Thursday, 23 June 2011

HELP: #EHRC #disability harrasment inquiry

Anne Novis, MBE has posted to our Facebook page asking for your help. She writes:

Hi everyone I need your help.
I have been an advisor to the EHRC disability harrasment inquiry
They have asked me for any evidence of any hostility directly related to government comments, speeches, news releases etc
There has to be a direct link so say someone says something that is the same as what MP etc has said
Or newspaper article comments which indicate hostility related to info in article about disabled people, benefit fraud, motability, work shy etc etc
I know the info is out there but trawling through all forums etc beyond me
I will collate all links and info and send to EHRC
Any help appreciated:)

This is an urgent request. Please submit your links here so that everything is in one place: mainstream media - Mail, Telegraph, Sun, Mirror, Express as well as prominent blogs, including those of all the parties. Responses on videos on YT helpful as well as all radio/TV shows where people have phoned in.

Many thanks!


Anonymous said...

"700,000 people wont be placed in WRAG. Unless they are all scroungers. Even then if they are unemployed they will get JSA."

Comment on 22 June 2011 21:45

Anonymous said...

A suicide letter and next of kin note were found in which he expressed concerns about Government cuts, Southampton Coroner’s Court heard.

Anonymous said...

The Court of Protection has ruled that an 18-year-old man with autism and severe learning disabilities who was regularly placed in a padded seclusion room more than six times a day was unlawfully deprived of his liberty.

Anonymous said...

BrokenOfBritain said...

DavidG said...


I think the problem is specifying a 'direct' link.

Complete strangers shouting 'This is the DWP, we know you are faking it!' across the street at me is pretty strong evidence that their attitudes have been shaped by the propaganda that surrounds us, but people mostly get their information filtered through the tabloids; the direct link isn't clearly there, yet the responsibility is.

However, I think we can make a clear case that feeding extreme examples of benefit fraud to the tabloids in press releases on a weekly basis, knowing exactly how they will be interpreted - as demonstrated by Grayling's 'bemused' remark to the Work and Pensions Committee, is the disablist equivalent of shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre (cf Oliver Wendell Holmes and his ruling on the point at which 'free speech' becomes criminal behaviour). If you manipulate someone into committing a crime it doesn't absolve you of guilt, but EHRC seem to be looking for a more direct link than the courts would insist on.

Scope's recent survey does demonstrate that disabled people think the situation has worsened in the last year, and Scope were convinced enough to push the message that government behaviour was responsible in the press. Maybe they could suggest some examples. At the very least the survey findings should have forced a government review of their strategy on even the off-chance they were the cause of increasing disablism, but the campaign continues unabated.

This isn't something that can be adequately answered in an 'urgent request', as you say it will take time to dig up evidence, particularly examples buried in a year's worth of newpaper columns (3 years worth if we include black propaganda under Labour, not just the current regime) and EHRC shouldn't be trying to use you to do their research for them in this way.

Perhaps they need to be reminded that the definition of disability related harassment in the Equality Act is based on the perception of harassment by the disabled person, not their ability to provide direct quotes.

Which reminds me of Cameron's remarks about people with disabilities causing addiction or obesity receiving benefits. I felt attacked by that and I am not even in that group.


Sam Barnett-Cormack said...

The problem here is that the most nasty and unpleasant stuff isn't in official statements or press releases - it's in private press briefings, like "Whitehall sources" and "sources close to the reforms", which many believe to be from SpAds, presumably with tacit ministerial permission if not direction. Yet Grayling shrugs 'not me guvs' to the Select Committee. Good luck on finding anything they can't wriggle out of, but take a start, for specific issues, with stuff mentioned on LatentExistence's recent post, now extended at DPAC, at Then, for misrepresentation issues that are either from DWP press releases, 'Whitehall sources' (ie private briefings), or actual things from the mouths of ministers, peruse Full Fact, at

DiverseJustice said...

To many of us are to frightened to go out the door now never mind attending an assessment. Every month since a year past April I've had to endure on average 10 days without food. On the 3rd of May this year I received the conformation letter for ESA this is now 23rd June still no monies in the bank. I do have a compliant history against DWP which MP's as well as Solicators etc were involved in. This was regarding a discrimanation issue.

Anonymous said...


29 June 2010 comment at 9:59AM

For me the jury is out on the true figure for disabled scroungers.

One thing that is not in much doubt is with the onset of obesity across the nation being fat and its associated conditions is a disablement that you would have barely heard of 30 years ago

Anonymous said...

Most of the really vile comments from newspaper articles have been removed by the papers own moderators. If there was time would it be worth contacting The Guardian to see if they kept a record?

Sue Marsh said...

"I am sometimes disgusted and embarrassed by people who come up with excuses aas to why they can't/won't work! It they put that effort into job searches i wouldn't have to pay for you!
Get off your lazy backsides - none of us are in perfect health but we keep going! Imagine if we were all like you???"

In response to

"We are breeding wimps who expect it all done and paid for them! I for one am sick of paying for other peoples illness, others children and foreign immigrants. Why should my taxes go towards someone with aggrophobia/MS/arthiritis/whatever the complaint is?"

In response to

Visually Impaired said...

The peoplehere might be able to hel
Under their old name of flexible new deal they ran a series of posts DWP beaurocratic incompetence.

Also I would sgest going onto intensive activity. Ipswich Unemployed action group they have got some posts.

Wastold by A DWP manager that I was the first personto complain about the small print. I will stand up and say this to whoever you want.

During My flexible new deal at a chairty called the beacon centre. When I told them what was going on They said you don't like it well nobodys asking you to sign on. It is all on the ipswich.

Despite stating to the DWP over a year ago I was visually impaired and required things in largeprint it took them till feb this year to start sending things out to me in large print. They still dont get it to this day

Anonymous said...

Sue Marsh said...

As for Suey2y, she has a household income of £ 19K and there is no way she is in poverty. In fact, she is using her illness to prey on those with lower incomes through their taxes.

And given how easily she blogs and posts here, it would be hard to persuade me that there is no online work that she could be doing.

I have every sympathy for her disease and suffering, but none at all for her claims for benefits. She is, frankly, rich not poor.

In response to

But seriously, why should disabled children get more money ? I have to pay for my own children and so should you. If they have medical needs, those are covered by the NHS. Otherwise, what right have you to take my money for your kids ?

in response to

Anonymous said...



26.01.11, 11:30am

Of course they are, why? because you get more money than basic benefits.
Even as I type I can feel my bad back coming on, and because of that I feel depressed.
Where's my walking stick, I need to practice the benefits limp.

• Posted by: David16 • Report Comment


26.01.11, 8:34am

The more sane amongst us have known for years that sickness benefits are being misused by worthless individuals of the sub-human species.
But , in the present climate where are the jobs for these "shirkers" to fill?

• Posted by: TheWiseOne • Report Comment

26.01.11, 4:52am

Give some an inch, and they will take an ell. Labour enabled these skyvers with no conscience.

Give them help and support? Does anyone seriously think they want it or will accept it?

Obviously these lay abouts have been doing this for some time - long before the financial crisis and the loss of jobs. Many had the opportunities for jobs and simply didn't want them. They were quite happy, thank you, to take the hard-working taxpayers for a ride.

If this Coalition government thinks it is going to change the mindset of these lazy blighters, they have a new think coming. Pitying these people and describing them as being forced into an idle way of life is misguided at least and downright criminal when the cost is toted up.

Sue Marsh said...

Courtesy of davidG on one of my LeftFootForward articles :)

Disablist? Sue was accused of holding her position to exploit disabled people for political ends. When you understand that Sue is disabled and speaking for and with the support of disabled people then that is clearly disablist, it seeks to deny her disability and tarnish her motives.
Drawing attention to the poison-pen campaign against us isn’t lying, you can see Cameron’s contribution on the BBC news site and IDS’s latest broadside in the Saturday hate-rags. Your agreement with their message may blind you to the reality of what it means for actual disabled people, but that doesn’t make the message for us any less real or any less hateful. I talk about this poison-pen campaign in greater depth in my blog posting at
Scaremongering? I and many other people have been abused in the street, earlier this year someone tried to frame me for benefit fraud. The fear is very real and entirely justified.

BrokenOfBritain said...

Thanks folks, can we please get together as many links as we can to mainstream media - Mail, Telegraph, Sun, Mirror, Express as well as prominent blogs, including those of all the parties. Responses on videos on YT helpful as well as all radio/TV shows where ppl have phoned in.

Sue Marsh said...

I've just been trawling and all the worst examples had been removed on my articles too.

I think if Maria Miller can use "misleading" (sorry but obviously I use the word "misleading" to mean lying but don't want to be sued) statistics claiming that more "alcoholics" claim higher rate DLA than those who were blind, be found to be wrong by Full Fact , yet nothing is done, it can only have a negative effect on those with alcohol abuse problems.

There has been a vote of no confidence in her at the Hardest Hit march, the biggest ever protest of sick and disabled people. There are calls all over the internet for her to step down, but no-one listens and she is not made to.

This is a dazzling failure of democracy - when the very people a minister represents are calling with all their might for her to step down for mis-representing them in the press! Yet no-one listens because they have the media and they have the parliament.

Why on earth would we expect any kind of understanding or compassion from the public when the MINISTER FOR DISABLED PEOPLE is setting us one against each other in the press? The deserving blind person and the undeserving drunk?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

11th February 2011

Daily Mail:

“Up to two million people who have been living on sickness benefits for years may be perfectly fit to work, official test results show.”

The Sun:

“A SHOCKING 1.8 million people claiming incapacity benefit are FIT to work, figures reveal today.

“Seven out of ten could start jobs straight away - or within a few weeks with help.”

Daily Telegraph:

More than two thirds of those currently claiming incapacity benefit are fit for work, ministers revealed last night, after publishing the first statistical evidence of Britain’s bloated benefits culture.

Daily Express:

“NEARLY seven out of 10 incapacity benefit claimants were found to be fit for work as part of a Government crackdown on Britain’s sick note culture."

Sam Barnett-Cormack said...

My concern is, how many of these will be considered 'direct' by the EHRC? The vast majority are laundered through either a newspaper or unknown members of the public.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Tim said...

Don't know if it's any help, but two links I remember:

Don't know about 'direct links' though.


BrokenOfBritain said...

Who knows, Sam? But at the very least we will have a good catalogue of these things and no doubt it will be useful all sorts of things. Should probably archive them before they vanish.

Anonymous said...

"Blitz on Britains Benefit Madness"

BRITAIN'S benefits culture was laid bare yesterday as ­figures showed nearly a million people have been on sickness handouts for a decade.

They include more than 22,000 who are deemed too fat to work or are addicted to drink or drugs.

From Comments -


21.04.11, 7:51am

Sickness means you will get well with treatment or control the illness to a degree you can work normally.
Disability is because you will never be fit do a normal job and likely to aggravate the problem, the problems maybe progressive.
Employer want to employ normal people.
Druggie and some others may cause their own problem could be fit to work with treatment and made to take the treatment.
If you take illegal drugs and make your self unfit for work then just let them die they won’t be missed and cause less troubles, if people supply illegal drugs and maybe use them, jut let them die, they are no good to society. They will soon stop or correct themselves.

• Posted by: Nemesisnow • Report Comment


21.04.11, 7:36am

If you are too fat to work then you have an addiction to food.
If you are too high to work then you have an addiction to drugs.
If yyou are too sloshed to work then you have an addiction to drink.

None of these addictions should qualify for incapacity benefits.
Addicts need to learn to help themselves and stop expecting state handouts for their addictions.

• Posted by: Realistic • Report Comment


21.04.11, 7:34am

It is about time to pull the dependency rug from under these people. The hard work, saving, contributors to the Government's "Scroungers Fund" are fed up to the back teeth with having to pay taxes to keep the Flotsam and Jetsam of this country. What is the point of people working, saving, managing their own lives on their own, making a worthwhile contribution to the success of the country when a shower of hangers-on, cheats and feckless get away with not making any .Make these people feel the pain all us taxpayers feel.

• Posted by: albert9rn • Report Comment


21.04.11, 8:23am

Stop giving these free loaders the money Its the best way to help them if they cant buy the booze they will have to cut back.Yes I know they will steal it but are we going to hand money over to everyone that steals to stop them.

• Posted by: retiredmale • Report Comment

Liane said...

"France is right in UK it just go's on and on me fed up with walking past lane after lane with disabled badges on them stop the car allowance and save us some tax"

- sick of it, france, 14/4/2010 16:31

"Yes discrimination from politicians who are always targetting the sick and disabled as though ALL of them are capable of work and just skiving and/or malingering."

"Example...Politicians and the media always pick on those claiming invalidity benefit, citing they should be seeking out employment within their capabilities.."

"A Government source said: ‘This change will be caricatured as government cuts taken to new heights – but we really need to clamp down on those who abuse the regime.’

Transport Minister Norman Baker said the genuinely needy were being hit by the abuse of the system.

‘Such are the high levels of fraud in the current system that 50 per cent of blue badge holders now find it difficult to get a parking space,’ he said."

"this is not new,its been going on for over 30 years,only wat to stop it is giving out new cars every two years and make disabled people stick to just one type of car.

- tezer, lancs, 13/2/2011 22:47"

"You do not have to look far to see the abuse"

"While they are checking on the disabled, the Doctors can save us many more millions in benefits by recalling and thoroughly rechecking all the layabouts on sickies etc."

they want equal rights in every part of life except for the bits that do not suit them LIKE PAYING for parking, isn't it funny how they want to be treated as able bodied one minute then not the next if it will cost them money

"I also cannot believe that someone who is supposed to be intelligent and sensible can make a statement that he thinks that 25% of people on incapacity benefit are actually fit for work. I live in the real world and I would put the figure at 75%. Most are just idle scroungers."

Anonymous said...

Frank Field was interviewed on Radio 4 this goes back some 5 years I think to John Hutton's tenure at DWP. Frank Field was talking in the interview about his frustrations at being stymied by disabled protests at the hated benefits integrity project.He candidly stated that "these silly people" (who were covering themselves in red paint and chaining themselves and their wheelchairs to the Westminster railings) if they could do this they could go and find jobs. I can't remember verbatim his words but the sentiment was thus and minimised peoples fear and was totally dismissive of their anger and displayed complete diregard for their legitimate anxiety .David Blunkett's government career at Work & Pensions and the Home Office was "enabled/facilitated" by massive financial support (by the taxpayer) in order that he could effectively operate and overcome the obstacles created by his disability/visual deficit.Each holder of the post at Work & Pensions (and there were seven during Labours terms of office) -and now IDS/Chris Grayling/Maria Miller have consistently declared that people have nothing to fear and the genuinely sick & disabled would not be penalised/punished/targeted etc.etc. We knew then it was lies we know now that we have been right all along! Of course they've cranked up the scrounger rhetoric it 's been the only way to undermine sympathy and defence by Joe Public of the sick/disabled. IT'S WORKED by a long and deliberate drip feeding of negative propoganda via DWP/Dept of Health press releases and the willing accomplices specifically of the tabloid press but also from the broadsheets of whatever political hue. There are so many party politicians huddled on the so called centre ground there's a huge unoccupied greenbelt of real justice around about them.POPULISM RULES OK!especially when it's manipulated by govt machinery who seek to use deserving and undeserving as their adjectives.YEAH! LETS ALL STIGMATISE ABSENT FATHERS AND DRUG ADDICTED BENEFIT SCROUNGERS YEAH LETS ALL KILL A CRIPPLE FOR JESUS AND CAMERON>>>>>LETS ALL BECOME THE WORST KIND OF UNREASONING BIGOTS ROLL BACK THE YEARS AND RETURN TO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT CHAIN GANGS AND INSTITUTIONAL POVERTY BRING BACK THE WORKHOUSE YEAH!!!!

DiverseJustice said...

Iconic Imagery said...

The BBC, talk sports and lbc have had phone-INS recently ... Will need to research to find them all ... Comments were frightening and one in particular attracted a well known Internet troll ..., and there's Twitter comments whenever these stories come out.

Anonymous said...

just look at the number of comments which had to be removed on this article -

Anonymous said...

Comment -


10 June 2011 9:57PM

Came home today, took a shower and noticed a rash on my stomach/chest - possibly due to antibiotics. I called the NHS24 hotline to talk to a nurse, see what to do. She helped a little, but not before being condesending and telling me to just get a job at Tesco! She asked me what I did, and I said I was on disability due to my health. This is how politicised it all has become here in the UK. Even a nurse who is supposed to be helping me in a time of need, needs to comment on my status of disability and lack of work - when she doesn't even know the whole picture! Horrible! I felt like a little shrivelled up person when she spoke to me like that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Youtube videos -

Anonymous said...

Iconic Imagery said...

Anne Novis, MBE has posted again to our Facebook Page. She is overwhelmed at the response to help her prepare her report for the EHRC Disability Harassment Enquiry. She writes:

Wow everyone you have done so well giving me info to send to EHRC re hostility related to government comments and info. BBC Ouchers have also helped, thank you so much. I have 30 pages of evidence!!!!! Thanks to you!!

Anonymous said...

There is currently an official complaint logged against a Tavistock North Conservative Councillor for racist and sexist remarks published on his official West Devon Borough Council Facebook page.

In two postings by Darren Peter Lake under his auspices as a WDBC Cllr. he expresses the opinion that

'(He) Thinks the government should be givin (sic.) free handjobs for the blind'.

A complaint was lodged with the local Conservative Party who defended his action as well as to Baroness Warsi who was dismissive of the importance of the matter.

Several emails of complaint over this councillors comments to David Cameron have been met with a wall of silence.

Anonymous said...

Light Chronicles Info said...

One woman with achondroplasia in Bolton.

Maverick said... hacking-suspect-aspergers-155634238.html

SUSAN 10 hours ago

So thats 2 hackers who have aspergers, what about the other tens of thousands of hackers who dont and get caught, and as for all the morons who are on about claiming extra benefits, thats just crap, my aspergers son has completed a college course and now works with his father full time to pay for your job seekers allowance and you council rent benefits.

Maverick said...

17 June 2011 5:57PM

Oh for goodness sake. He was only voicing the suggestions raised by some disabled people he'd spoken to.
Guardian makes a mountain out of a molehill as usual. Surely, the issue is that many employers aren't willing to employ disabled people (so there is no employment, let alone paid the minimum wage) - anything that acts as an incentive to help these people prove their capabilities is a good thing.
Stop crowing and go have a beer.

17 June 2011 6:16PM
People's pay should be based on their productivity NOT stupid politically correct dogma.

17 June 2011 5:58PM
How do you suppose we encourage employers to emply disabled people when there are so many able-bodied people out of work?
Like it or not, there are plenty of disabled people whose skills simply aren't worth the minimum wage to employers

17 June 2011 6:05PM
It's not "disgusting". Off your high horses. It's perfectly sensible. If employers are being discouraged from giving disabled people a chance by the minimum wage, cut (or abandon) the minimum wage altogether. Isn't that better than excluding them from the workforce by pricing them out?

17 June 2011 6:43PM
My piece was meant as an example. There are many people with disabilities who would welcome any rate of pay for a chance to work with the self-esteem that employment brings.

17 June 2011 8:13PM
Natural human diversity manifests itself in differentials in labour market remuneration. It is a fact of life that some people are of such marginal worth to business that it is not really worth paying them much more than £1 per hour to half heartedly sweep muck off the floor. Interfering in the voluntary exchange between people in the aim of fairness is a rather blunt tool and may not be the best way to go about things. I understand a negative income tax would have less of a market distorting effect than an artificial price floor.
If people are willing to work for peanuts, they ought to be allowed to.

Maverick said...

2 June 2011 3:52PM
Sooner people learn that housing in the UK is a luxury not a right or necessity the happier they will all be.
People don't go around complaining that they don't have enough bars of gold, now do they?

2 June 2011 3:55PM
Disabled young people should not be forced to live in unsuitable accommodation.
However, I can imagine that many young people will be reading this article and thinking "I can't afford a place of my own, why shouldn't disabled people share with others just like me?"

2 June 2011 4:17PM
However, I can imagine that many young people will be reading this article and thinking "I can't afford a place of my own, why shouldn't disabled people share with others just like me?"
Unfortunately there is some truth in this.
So a disabled person should be able to live in their own self contained flat but not a healthy working people just on a low wage.
Therefore the goverment cannot say" if you are under 35 you can't, if you are over 35 you can". This is utter nonsense. It must stop!!!

2 June 2011 4:55PM
Disabled young people should not be forced to live in unsuitable accommodation.
However, I can imagine that many young people will be reading this article and thinking "I can't afford a place of my own, why shouldn't disabled people share with others just like me?"
so true, I don't know anybody that was able to afford to rent a whole flat to themselves when I was first out of university - most moved back to parents, those who had jobs elsewhere got flatshares and occasionally a bedsit, which is little more than an ensuite bedroom with a lock on the door really. Young people who have a high level of needs which renders standard shared living inappropriate should be treated fairly, but in most cases a shared house with the right flatmates might be better for them than living alone, but only for those whose parents cannot have them at home / do not have parents ..... most young people do live with their parents, "normal" young people that is, and they do not like it either but until you earn enough money to support yourself thats what we all had to do.

2 June 2011 5:04PM
That's just the way it is. We all have to tighten our belts to some extent and no one should be immune from that.
Those who are given the most will notice the cuts the most.
Deal with it.