Dec 112013

For the past few months we at Disabled People Against Cuts have been receiving emails daily from disabled people and disabled parents with children who are being left without any food or any money for heating. They have had their benefits sanctioned and all money taken away from them for a period of between 2 weeks and 3 months. Disabled people who have never committed any crimes in their lives are being forced into shoplifting simply to be able to eat themselves or to feed their children.

The reasons they are being sanctioned are pathetic, looking for too many jobs, being late to sign on because they were at an interview for a job, having to help a pregnant partner before coming out and being 5 minutes late. Imagine being left utterly destitute in this way by a gang of uncaring, heartless millionaire politicians who think being starved will ‘encourage’ you to find one of the non-existent jobs. It is hard to believe that in a country which is still one of the richest in the world people are being deliberately and callously left to starve and freeze.

Surely democracy, if it exists, depends on government of the people by consensus rather than by the use of force or fear which is tyranny. Yet this week’s appearances by government ministers in front of the DWP select committee only highlights that no such consensus exists in the UK today.

And what of our own minister for disabled people – Mike Penning aka Machine Gun Mike and that DWP henchman Iain Duncan Smith. When the mere thought of being in the same room as a small group of disabled people exercising their democratic right to attend a select committee hearing drives DWP ministers to resort to mass protection by police guards heavily armed with machine guns pointed towards disabled spectators while they waited in the corridor to go into the rooms and after they came out of the meeting I think it is fair for all citizens to ask just what has this government become. Certainly they really cannot be viewed as democratic or legitimate in any way. Neither can they use the excuse that such ‘vulnerable’ people as us are in any way a threat to them – or are we? We are large in numbers and most of us are allowed to vote in elections.

One disabled woman who was there said

“we are being treated like terrorists because we are disabled people –  disgusting!”

and another said

“ A very disturbing sight to se an MP having guns pointed at 3 unarmed people in wheelchairs and about 8 other disabled people and carers who came peacefully to exercise their democratic right to sit in on a hearing.”

As if being threatened with a machine gun was not enough disabled people legitimately attending meetings in the House of Commons are now regularly being subjected to more and more ridiculous security checks. Yesterday when I attended the BIHR charter launch I was forced to remove not only my watch but the quite ordinary belt from my trousers so it could be scanned. What exactly could be hidden in a belt I have no idea and can only assume this was done to cause me to be humiliated. Needless to say I wasn’t I was simply left wondering how disabled people being treated in such ways could possibly equate to the UK government being viewed as ‘good’ on upholding human rights in other parts of the world.

However I won’t dwell further on that as the subject is fraught with problems if we start to remember the Blair years, Guatanamo, and other abuses carried out in the name of democracy.

I simply want to reiterate that the very fact that DWP ministers felt the need to be protected from us and to be hidden away behind machinegun carrying police in this way simply illustrates how successful we have been with our campaigning so far. Shame on them all.

See also this FOI request to DWP about the incident on Monday which was made by someone not known to DPAC.

11 December 2013

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

My questions refer to security processes surrounding the Work &
Pensions meeting held on 9th December 2013 at 16:30 in the Wilson

According to multiple witnesses (members of the public, mainly
physically or mentally disabled) who arrived to observe the above
meeting, they were initially met by standard airport and court type
security, metal detectors, belongings checked, they were frisked –
all pretty much what I would expect.

The public area was off camera (although some public members did
appear in view of the camera to find their seats and I did witness
one electric wheelchair user briefly on camera.

However the witnesses stated something rather disturbing which
wasn’t seen on camera which could explain their unusual silence
throughout the proceedings. There were several policemen or
security guards with machine guns, not pointed down, instead
pointing TOWARDS the public area throughout this meeting.

My questions are as follows:

1. Who from the DWP asked for these guards with machine guns to be

2. Who from the DWP asked for these guards to keep their machine
guns pointed toward the public area?

3. Please provide the report which deemed it necessary to have
guards with machine guns pointed toward the public during this

My fourth question is only for if you’re unable to answer any one
of the above questions.

4. Please specify the Government department I should send this FoI
request to if you don’t hold the above information on any question
I ask above.

(For public reference, the meeting can be watched here although the
public area and the guards with machine guns are off camera:… )

Yours faithfully,




[suffusion-the-author display='description']
 Posted by at 19:37

  28 Responses to “Machine Guns vs Disabled People : Ministers quake facing the wrath of disabled people.”

  1. There were no machine guns off camera and pointed at the general public during the DWP hearing, that is just ridiculous and was made up by someone seeking to undermine the real story. There were no guns in the hearing or after the hearing, the guns were in the corridor before the hearing. I cannot comment on Wednesday’s Mike Penning hearing as I wasn’t present, but at the Monday DWP hearing the guns were in the corridor before the hearing, not in the committee room and were not there in the corridor after the hearing had ended.

    One policeman sat in the corner during the hearing, he was not visibly armed but it is possible that he had a concealed gun. I did not find his presence intimidating, I spoke to him outside the Wilson Room during the hearing and he just seemed like a decent copper doing a days work. As we left the hearing he wished some of us ‘good luck’ which made me feel that he was actually on our side.

    One disabled campaigner says that there was also a body guard in the room, I trust this campaigner as she worked in security before she became ill and there were certain things about this man including a wired up ear piece that made her sure he was a body guard. However, I cannot say that I personally noticed the body guard which doesn’t mean he wasn’t there.

    It is outrageous that Iain Duncan Smith arrived for the hearing with what looked like his own personal team of police who were armed with machine guns which were pointed at us at about waist height instead of at the ground. I think I saw 3 or 4 guns, but I didn’t want to look as though I was paying them too much attention for obvious reasons. It was a deliberate attempt to intimidate a very small group of members of the public who had come to peacefully attend a hearing in the House of Commons. We had all been through rigorous security checks, 3 of us were in wheelchairs, none of posed any security risk. We are now trying to find out who authorised Iain Duncan Smith to arrive at a hearing with his own department accompanied by a posse of armed guards who pointed guns at the general public.

    It is a real shame that the letter was sent to the DWP requesting information about guns pointing at people during the hearing, something which is utterly made up and which overshadows the true story and which now makes the testimony of people who were there look unreliable. I also think it is rather cruel as people are already being terrorised by the government why unnecessarily increase the terror by making up untrue stories?

    • Katy, I find your comment a little confusing, which may be because I am not recognising a quotation or an important qulaification.

      In para 1 you say:

      “There were no machine guns off camera and pointed at the general public during the DWP hearing,”

      In para 4, you say:

      “It is outrageous that IDS arrived for the hearing with what looked like his own personal team of police who were armed with machine guns which were pointed at us.”

      and in your final para, you say:

      “It is a real shame that the letter was sent to the DWP requesting information about guns pointing at people during the hearing, something which is utterly made up and which overshadows the true story and which now makes the testimony of people who were there look unreliable.”

      I’m not casting doubt on anyone’s evidence, I just want to be sure of the facts before I pass this one on to anyone outside our community. So, were there guns at the hearing, pointed at the general public or not?

      • the machine guns were in the corridor before the hearing, they were pointed at us as we waited to enter the Wilson Room. There were no machine guns in the Wilson committee room during the actual hearing. At no point were machine guns brought into the Wilson room. The fact that the guns were only in the corridors as we waited does not diminish the shock of seeing an individual minister with what looked like his own posse of police armed with several machine guns in the corridors of Westminister.

        the Met have said that there are armed police in the Houses of Commons. They patrol outside the building and on the terrace, but do not enter the committee room corridors. They say we must have been mistaken as the closest they would come to the committee room corridors is the bottom of the stairs. There were at least 11 of us waiting and we all saw the guns brought into the corridors and surrounding IDS so they cannot deny they were brought into the corridors. Also when you do witness machine guns outside the building or on the terrace they are not being used as private protection for individual ministers. What we witnessed is highly unusual and so far we cannot find out who authorised such a thing.

    • The metropolitian police’s behaviour in parliament is extremely poor and it would not surprise me if the police were pointing machine guns at fellow disabled people during t
      the meeting with the DWP in Dec 2013 following my own experiences in May 2011 in Portcullis House during the questioning of Atos.
      I have an outstanding injury on my foot. The wound had opened up and so I left the Grimmond Room and asked a police officer outside for a sticking plaster. The police officer concerned stated you have to go to Boot outside. This resulted in myself getting angry and descending the stairs and exiting the wrong doors. In fact, I broke the security code on 3 occassions on that day and on the last occassion I faced by three police officers, two held their police guns straight in the air (they seem to be getting worse.)
      The unarmed police officer was more ‘helpful’. He suggested I go to St.Thomas and finally was informed where the first aid room is. He pointed beyond the security bridge. I asked for a sticking plaster and
      finally got one. I was shaking and have a history of panic attacks. I applied the plaster away from the disinterested passing public. Unfortunately, I was told I could not there. I asked to be escorted out and did get help with that. I experienced auditory hallucinations of intimidation during this event, however,
      I was aware that police officers did not verbally intimidate me as I look at people’s lips and there is a clear difference in the volume of sound as well auditory hallucinations have an echoey quality–this on computer modelling terms is to do with the memory looping. I stupidly complained to my local MP Lynne Featherstone, Wood Green & Hornsey MP. She merely did a posting job to the then deputy-serjeant of arms Mike Naworynsky OBE (I found out later that he has sat on the industrial commitee concerning Tescos.) The reply was received from Lynne Featherstone on 7 July–I sent out my letter on May 18th 2011. Approximately, 6 weeks and Mike Naworynsky could see nothing wrong with my complaint. Unfortunately, the combination of tranquillisers and life events including this one now has left me traumatised. There were mistakes in the original letter however the complaint was clear. I had periods over that summmer where I would sleep for long periods, the combination of tranquillisers, allergies and an underactive thyroid all having an effect. I woke up when I stopped taking tranquillisers. However, my complaint to the IPCC was over the 12 month period. I did ultimately get a letter from the Seargeant of Arms Lawrence Ward 31 August 2012. The officer concerned stated that over recent months additional training has occured. He states therea have been occassions when these standards have not been acheived (if he put his hands up I wouldn’t shoot him), he goes on to state improved sign-posting for first-aid area and the search area being provided with more clearer areas to wait. I complained as well about the time of meeting of the parliamentary questioning of Atos in May 2011. The time was 09.30am –not a good time if you have to use public transport and you a mobility impairment & take tranquillisers…It is ta clerks responsibility to book the room. I will put a complaint in concerning this. Of course, those in power choose what they want to be responsible about. When I asked Lynne Featherstone about racism in her constituency, quoting a count of intimidatory incidents in 2005/6 including racist intimidation and intimidation concerning mental health she stated that she had come across only one incident. She was equalities minister–it is one of the things you check–crime statistics, employment, housing..she moved onto the home office. hmm.

    In 1983 Thatcher head hunted David Nicholson and hired him to create the Managerial Target Driven agenda within the NHS.Nicholson with no Medical qualifications at all was the right person for the job in hand at that time which was to ignore the basic fundamental principles of the NHS and run it on a corporate basis .He started with closing most mental hospitals and the patients were farmed out on the Care in the Community Programme .He has continued to Departmentalise the NHS for easier sell off .
    Ever increasing queues to receive operations is beyond fair treatment at present when the full impact of Privatisation kicks in it will be even worse .An ever increasing Aged Population makes it inevitable more people will be seeking treatment for ailments related to old age which will burden the waiting lists beyond tolerance to limited resources .
    People will eventually resort to badgering consultants for them to queue jump in order for them to be treated above others .
    Naturally individuals will assume their condition worse than others and expect priority which would be a natural reaction and not one borne out of just expecting preferential treatment for any length of time waited ,which in itself is worsening any condition .
    We are being forced into Private Hospital Insurance or go without .One way of thinning out the population or pay up .
    British People Fought and Died in two World Wars to supposedly safeguard the British way of life ,the basic truth is they all died in vain .RIP

  3. What was the cost to the public purse of having these armed guards?

  4. Will none of the daily newspapers take this horrifying report on? The daily mirror seems to be on our side.

    This is absolutely terrifying and I reckon there there will be a mass suicide because of this government, this is on my mind too because of the sheer terror I’m feeling.

    My illnesses include, rheumatoid arthritis, oustioarthrtis, diabetes insulin dependent, COPD, tenosynovitis, fibromyalgia, ME, Raynauds, high BP, 2 crushed discs in spine and last but not least COAD, THEY SEEM TO THING LIFE IS ROSY, My meds are 30 pills daily (including painkillers) , 7 injections a day, morphine patch 35 mg, with all this crap from those in charge, is life really worth it?.

    • You should not have to Justify yourself If you have an Illness..Sorry you suffer.

      I was fit before I became injured doing my Work as a YOUNG NURSE now I have a back injury caused through heavy lifting 1980’s and a fall down stairs at work.

      I have never been able to function since 1984 full time and have lost out in many ways having to reduce my hours ..I should have sued them.

      I have made a claim against the NHS INJURY Scheme which is rigged. So I now live with daily pain and a chronic spinal condition which affects my walking with Peroneal nerve pain to my feet.

      I get treated badly by the Doctors as they know my history and background, they failed me from the outset and why I need help now.. DWP NHS all DIFFICULT even cheated me with my claim for industrial injury I get nothing accept DLA which will reduce in 2015.. I have given evidence of which the NHS DWP choose to ignore because they can and they will and show no sympathy for the damage they have done to me.. before 1985 we had no choice but to lift and should have been covered by the Health & Safety Act 1974. Failed me.

      This country is becoming like a dictatorship.. reminds me of Hitler’s Germany 1940..

      We must keep fighting I have seen it from both sides of the fence.

  5. We need to fight for each other no one else is going to do it for us xxx

  6. There is a cull in progress. And as much as that seems beyond belief the evidence is becoming overwhelming. Instead of using manufactured devices they are using starvation and cold.

    The article mentions “Democracy” – unfortunately we do not live in a democracy but a Plutocracy.


    Plu·toc·ra·cy [ploo-tok-ruh-see] Plural plu·toc·ra·cies.
    1. The rule or power of wealth or of the wealthy.
    2. A government or state in which the wealthy class rules.
    3. A class or group ruling, or exercising power or influence, by virtue of its wealth.

    And even more chilling;

    verb [T] /kʌl/
    › When people cull animals, (*see below) they kill them, especially the weaker members of a particular group of them, in order to reduce or limit their number:

    *Think IDS and the way he glibly referred to the disabled in terminology that dehumanises them when he called them “Stock”. They are then no higher than animals in that context.

    See it now?

  7. After my frisking. bag search etc; I met with Kate Green in the Central lobby at Portcullis House; my carer went to look at the art work on the wall and was immediately sent back to the table by a security officer having been told – you must remain with the MP at ALL times. Sarcastically he asked if this applied to use of toilets as well and was told YES you wait!

    And this before having to hobble through armed police to the queue for the Wilson Room

  8. Hands up, you’re disabled…Sadly, my exerience of lots of my friends, family, ex-colleagues etc. is that they don’t really seem to care how those with disabilities/long-term illnesses are treated. It’s tragically sad.

  9. ‘Black Rod’ in Parliament is responsible for the security of the Palace of Westminster – see

    I recommend either going through the House of Commons Information office ( as the incident occurred at a select committee of that House. Or you may wish to go through your local MP to make representations to the Speaker.

  10. Machine Guns vs dead Disabled People. Infectious diseases and rotting corpses everywhere. Machine Guns do not protect you from a sickly nation that cant even afford a basic prescription coughing and spluttering on every bus and tube train spreading even more disease.

  11. Checking watches, belts, handbags etc is normal proceedure for portcullis house… Not sure about armed body gards but all the secrity at parliment carry guns… I didnt think it was personal because im disabled… Just my experiance of the process of getting in to parliment…Dxxx

  12. Oh my God I actually feel nauseous. How dare they treat disabled people this way. They say they are all for equal opportunity???? As if it isn’t bad enough disabled people having their money taken away with no warning to start with. I thought this government could stoop no lower. Absolutely disgusted doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel. Where can I send a copy of this letter to please?

    • the FOI request you mean. Send it to Cameron and

      • This is really starting to worry me. Have people read the work of Dr Andrew Lobackskewski. He speaks of PATHOCRACY. He said that when a dominating pathological government are in power, they have ways of making society blind and sick too. IDS is afraid and probably knows he has gone too far. Everyone must stay strong and keep fighting this terrible oppression. This is what it is now, I am certain of it.

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