Here's my offering for this week's "MagicMonday" action . .
I've opened up the comment thread to all now and hope a few of you might share you actions to inspire others. http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/magic-mondays.html?m=0
I wanted to let your readers know about Mark Wood.
Mark was 44 and suffered from severe mental health problems. Amongst other things, he was diagnosed with aspbergers and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)
Last year, Atos Healthcare, the French IT company who carry out Employment & Support Allowance (previously incapacity or "sickness" benefit) judged that Mark was fit to work. They didn't consult his GP who has since said that if he had been consulted he would never have recommended that Mark could work.
His ESA was stopped along with his housing benefit, leaving him just £40 per week to cover all his expenses. Food, shelter, warmth.
Mark died of starvation just 4 months later. When they found him, there was just a banana and a tin of tuna in his home.
It is the UK and the year is 2014. Yet people are starving to death, alone in their homes. They do it discreetly, out of sight, but they die just the same.
If Mark was an isolated case, then maybe, just maybe, we could forgive his tragic loss. Maybe the pain his family feel would have been less crushing.
But he's very far from an isolated case. Stephanie Bottril, Karen Sherlock,
Mark and Helen Mullins, Denis Jones, Jacqueline Harris, David Barr, Elaine Lowe, Elenor Tatton, Linda Wootton......
The list goes on and on now. Every day a different death linked directly to government social security "reforms" yet we, the public, seem determined to look away.
I never thought I'd see the day when I had to warn people, right here in the UK, that often vulnerable sick or disabled people are dying and no-one cares.
In 2011/12, 10,600 people died within just 3 months of being found "fit for work" by the DWP. Since then, they've refused to publish further statistics at all.
When this government speaks of "welfare reforms", I'm fairly sure readers don't assume that they will cause tens of thousands of deaths. I just hope we all wake up soon, before they are joined by thousands more