Saturday, 22 February 2014

Keep Persuading

Many of you will have written to your MP already asking them to attend the #WOWPetition debate on 27th February.

Sadly, that means that by now, some of you will have received standardised replies from coalition MPs, lazily parroting DWP soundbites and half-truths.

Disheartening though it always seems, it's always worth following up a "thanks, but no thanks" reply in the hope that you can persuade him or her to change their mind. If nothing else, it might start a dialogue you can build on in the future.

Below is my impassioned reply to one such letter. Obviously you can't just cut and paste it to your own MP, but I hoped it might  be helpful to use as a guide.

"A Dr Simon Duffy  from the Centre for Welfare Reform has just a few days ago released the most comprehensive cumulative impact assessment (CIA) of all the welfare changes so affecting sick and disabled people to date. You can read it here :

Perhaps it won't be perfect, but if you actually read the DWP's own equality impact assessments , I think you would have no choice but to agree that they are inadequate and incomplete.

For instance, they all claim that there will be no impact on health or social justice but even if just 10% of what Dr Duffy concludes is correct, this clearly isn't the case.

As ever though in politics, we're arguing on a pinhead over whether or not a CIA is feasible. Meanwhile the real issues are hididen somewhere amongst deep, dark paper trails.

I would have given anything to be an MP, but sadly, I just got too sick. I envy that you've been elected to parliament by an electorate of your peers. An honour just 650 people can claim. I know that I'm not the only one of your constituents to write to you about this issue and I know that desperate pleas due to benefit changes for sick and disabled people make up an ever increasing part of your mailbag and surgeries.

I recognise the now familiar DWP soundbites in your reply wearily and they sadden me. I can't believe that anyone who reads the welfare reform impact assessments from the DWP  in full could stand by these policies.

However, none should, in good conscience, refuse to contemplate that Dr Duffy's findings might be a good proximation of what's unfolding.

All I, or any constituent asks, is that you represent me and attend the debate with an open mind. The dignity and well being of some 7000 of your sick or disabled constituents may be at stake. 

To ask that you judge the issue on merit and hear what opposition politicians you may hate have to say, with an open mind is a small thing to ask.

I ask you to reconsider and hope very much to see you there on the 27th."


  1. with regret sue my mp will stay away from any such debate as i am sure most mp's will including the prime minister

    this subject welfare reform has been done to death like no other topic over the past 50 years and with regret is going nowhere

    all that is happening is a lot of talk and action by the sick and disabled only but in reality getting nowhere and going nowhere and never will be getting anywhere

    the public in general are not reading the body language of David Cameron or ed milliband who are and will never change what they have set out to do and that's to get people to stand on their own too feet or suffer or die if they cant

    that is my interpretation of both David Cameron and that of ed milliband and has been from day one and with regret they will never be changing from this position despite what may come out of their mouth

    only body language can determine a persons transparency and truth and neither the above have that in their body language much less so IDS and lord freud who are crystal clear in their body language they will never change their views under any circumstances apart from their demise that is

    as for the sick and disabled community they will fight on for ever and a day but only for so long as this topic eventually will destroy all who peruse it and their families as for the very simple reason it has no ending and never will and all you will end up doing is going round in ever decreasing circles and on to madness

    MPs and Lords are able to vote on legislation, even when they have a direct financial interest. This happened with the Health and Social Care Act, which saw the NHS being forced into a world of an external market .
    The legislation was written for industry, by industry and is part of the overall plan for it's demise and the eventual takeover by private health insurance companies .The words of Oliver Letwin and John Redwood in their 1988 publication for the Centre for Policy Studies, 'Britain's Biggest Enterprise.'
    Meals are now not prepared and cooked on the premises but contracted in and then Microwaved .
    Cleaners are from outside contractors .
    Jeremy Hunt’s ‘hospital closure clause’ is dangerously close to becoming law .Video URL below :
    The Tory Benefactors and their involvement with the NHS .
    Lord Ashcroft - Donations: Lord Ashcroft has donated £112,726.09 to Conservative Central party between 2001/02 and £3,200 to Liam Fox in 2006. Lord Ashcroft has given the party more than £4.3m since 2006. Ashcroft has donated over £10 million to the Tory party according to the BBC.
    He has a 34% interest in The Priory Healthcare .
    Lord Boswell of Aynho - Has shares in Reckitt Benckiser which produces drugs for the NHS amongst other health institutions.
    Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone – Ex Health Secretary . Director of BUPA, the health insurance, private hospital and care group. Chair of Odgers Berndtson - recruitment company providing people for NHS Management positions. Shares in Broomco Ltd, which is a holding company of International Resources Group Ltd, which owns Odgers Berndston .NHS GRAVY TRAIN .Unum the not fit for purpose Insurance Group is behind the Private Health Insurance side . There are many others , you can read the full implications on the website below and then make your mind up .