Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Is The Tide Starting To Turn? By Jane Young

 Originally posted by Jane Young here

I get the feeling that the tide may be starting to turn in relation to welfare reform. This is just a gut feeling, nothing more, but I have some evidence – not that the Government is starting to  listen, yet, but that other organisations and individuals are finding their voice and that the media is starting to listen.

So where’s this evidence? Here’s just some:

  • Welfare Reform and DLA reform in particular is discussed today on the BBC – on the Daily Politics on BBC2 and on Women’s Hour on Radio 4. OK, maybe the coverage isn’t as impartial as we’d like, but it’s a start, and it’s a lot better than what we’ve seen from the BBC until now.
  • Disability Rights UK today publishes its economic impact assessment of the abolition of DLA and its replacement by PIP: Impact assessing the abolition of working age DLA – Disability Rights UK
  •  I have recently had encouraging contact with the Chief Executive of Motability and one of the organisation’s governors. They are very much aware of the risks to disabled people’s independence of the mobility criteria of PIP and are doing all they can behind the scenes to help us.
  • The publication in early March of the 23rd report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights: Implementation of the Right of Disabled People to Independent Living. The committee expressed the fear that DLA reform (the abolition of DLA and  the introduction of PIP) would restrict disabled people’s right to independent living enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified by the UK Government in 2009.

However, the problem is that these achievements in themselves will not make enough difference. We need to build on them to ensure the Government cannot continue to ignore us. Since protesting in central London doesn’t even get reported on the BBC and is ignored by the Government, we need to think of something else to get their attention.

Ideas, anyone?


hossylass said...

As all these reforms are purported to be about "liberating" us from the shackles of benefit dependancy and coercing us back to work via the big stick of financial sanctions, perhaps we should test the "real" world by all simultaneously attempting to access public transport.
Peacefully exercising our rights... the "rights" that Miller claims have changed the country so much in the last 20 years that we no longer need DLA.
The ensuing delays will at least prove that if we were to be able to find work, then our presence on public transport alone would be, at this moment in time, unfeasible.

Anonymous said...

Tries again
I said...

Some of us will have to get someone else to take a chir to be able to sit upon to a bus stop as there is no seating.

This big society being the one who wont allow you to sit down, who shouts or talks about you like you are not there whilst insulting you. And who kick your walking stick out from under you and then denies doing it to your face whilst laughing, if this is a wondrous big society - Housebound is a safer place to be whilst I starve to death cos this govt hate me and want all disabled people wiped off the planet (IMO)

Anonymous said...

If Motability have contacted you, can you please let them know that the cost of hiring a motability buggy has now risen by 150% in Eastleigh.
It used to be £2 but is now £5.
They say that the local council has cut funding...this is yet another way that government is bullying the disabled. I think they want us out of sight and out of mind...just go away and die or stay in your homes.
Well I am bloody well not going to do that...I am going to keep protesting, keep writing and keep trying.

Gilly and Mick said...

I love hossylass's idea of us all attempting to use public transport on mass. We could have a day on the buses and a day on the trains! Love it!

Hossylass said...

We are going ahead with this campaign - it should be fun! It will also be a big sacrifice for many sick and disabled people.

Keep an eye out, the working title is "Right to Roll", but is not just about wheelchair users - we would love to bring people together at local levels to help each other, and have some fun events in towns and cities, so tehre will be an additional reason to travel !

Anonymous said...

Is it not time for the Crown Prosecution Service to “dust off” their rules on the common law offence of MISCONDUCT IN PUBLIC OFFICE which can carry life imprisonment. ( see: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/ )
According to the CPS the offence is committed when:
a public officer acting as such
wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself
to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder
without reasonable excuse or justification.
A reminder of the penalties before each vote in Parliament – Lords or Commons – might shake the corruption out of the system.

If it is felt this is a bit harsh then people should realise that the impact of the changes falls on those least able to protect themselves :
1. The sick and disabled ( obviously)
2. The poor
3. The aged
4. Carers – mainly women.

Robert said...

Well not good using a wheelchair on a bus in Carmarthenshire, I complained that every bus I saw had a sign saying wheelchair ramp out of use, then one day I spent two hours looking at buses at the bus stop every single bus has these signs, I asked a driver and he said because drivers do not have the time to wait for people in wheelchair, I know I was waiting at a stop in my wheelchair and the bus driver did not stop.

They are looking into it plus the signs saying out of us, but do not tell me they did not know about it.

Anonymous said...

Great article from the Guardian to share:


Lisa Ansell said...

Hey- its Lisa Ansell. I thought I had an email addy for you but don't. Anyway- wanted to say I was really sad I didn#t meet you. We will. I thought you get shortlisted was bloody awesome and well done. Really proud we were on shortlist together.