DPAC has a policy of staying out of party politics. We have no party allegiance because that leaves us free to criticise all parties where they don’t work in the interests of disabled people, and give praise on the rare occasions that they do.
It’s a long standing policy, and one that we have adhered to strictly, even when, for instance, we were much criticised for not taking sides in the General Election and Scottish Independence Referendum, we stuck to our position of neutrality, as we believe it is the best way to serve all of our members.
We’re going to break that self-imposed rule today. We’re going to break that rule because of what happened in Parliament last night.
Last night there was a vote on the governments Welfare Reform Bill, the one that will strip away Tax Credits from people in in-work poverty, the one that will introduce a benefit cap so severe that it must lead to mass homelessness, the one that will remove child benefit for any more than 2 children leaving mothers unable to provide for their children, and the one that will take £30 a week away from claimants in the ESA WRAG pushing them into desperate poverty, even though they do not have the option of working.
This bill will cause great harm and misery to hundreds of thousands of people. Make no mistake, this bill is evil.
This bill is evil. And when faced with evil, those who don’t fight it, those who sit passively on the sidelines enable that evil to thrive.
And that’s what most of the Labour Party did last night, they abstained, they sat on the sidelines and waved evil past.
Abstainer-in-chief, temporary Labour Leader Harriet Harman, instructed her MPs to abstain, and most of them meekly did, including leadership contenders, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, and Liz Kendall.
These are not leaders, these are jobsworths, “its more than my job is worth to stick my neck out, even when it really matters, I am more interested in polishing my career then taking risks, no matter how important it is to others”
Cooper should be particularly ashamed , because she has previously claimed incapacity benefit herself .
We are less surprised at Burnham as has shown this sort of cowardice before, when we approached him to support the Save the Ilf Campaign – he couldn’t get away from us quick enough. We captured it on video – you can see it here
Cooper and Burnham had previously made political capital in the leadership race by saying they would oppose this bill, which makes their cowardice even more complete.
Kendall at least had the honesty to admit she would support the bill, although where there is any merit to be had in being open about supporting evil is arguable.
48 Labour MPs had the courage to stand firm and vote against this bill, at least we know there are 48 Mps in the Labour Party who still have principles and who are prepared to fight for them.
One among that honourable number, Jeremy Corbyn, stands out as the ONLY Labour Leadership contender who had the guts to fight this evil bill.
Just as we have seen previous indicators of compliance in the behaviour of the other three leadership contenders, there is plenty in the previous behaviour of Jeremy Corbyn to indicate that he would stand and fight last night.
Jeremy has a proud and long established track record of standing up for what he believes, of going against the flow when it matters, and opposing, not just with fine words, but with deeds the evil that comes his way.
Jeremy Corbyn has also been a long standing supporter of DPAC and disabled people’s rights. He has been there for us when it mattered, now its time for DPAC to return some of that support.
That is why DPAC are stepping out of our political neutrality for the Labour Leadership Elections, this is why we are backing Jeremy Corbyn for leader.
Labour needs a leader, not a jobsworth, the country needs Labour to have a leader, and disabled people need Labour to have a Leader that will fight the evil that this Tory government will do.
DPAC call on all disabled people, all of our members and supporters, to register to vote in the Labour Leadership elections, by becoming a registered supporter (it costs just £3) and voting for Jeremy Corbyn for Leader.
You have till August 12th to become a registered supporter – and you can sign up here
It might be the best £3 you have ever spent.
2 more important things remain to be said:
1) We are aware that even a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn won’t be enough to bring the change we desire. Activists and communities must continue to organise autonomously and build the movement. We call on those who are willing to resist this government in any way they can and fight for change.
2) On the conclusion of the Leadership elections, we will revert to our former position of holding no party allegiance. That means, should Jeremy Corbyn become Labour Leader, the party will not escape criticism from DPAC, should we feel it necessary, neither will it be neglected for praise, where it is merited.
Jeremy Corbyn MP’s response to the Tories 2015 Budget
Jeremy Corbyn – End Austerity Now – June 20th 2015
#milifandom founder Abby Tomlinson interviews Labour Leader candidate Jeremy Corbyn MP in the midst of his involvement in the Anti-Austerity protests on Parliament Square on the day of the 2015 Budget.