Feb 252013
 

DPAC has been passed a letter from Ed on WCA/Atos which we’ve been asked to share. While reading please remember that it was New Labour that first contracted Atos and Ed has done some visits to them too- no, not  joining DPAC, or disabled  people in  protests outside Atos offices in direct actions against the 72 deaths a week of those being put through this inhuman regime. But as a kind of badly advised PR exercise. He seems to have stopped that now.

The letter says:

              ‘We appreciate and share the concerns that have been expressed by many charities, disability groups and health care professionals regarding the WCA …’

Would these be the same multi-million big disability charities that sat at the table with Atos in the working groups on the construction of the WCA we wonder? And is Ed really talking about HCPs here? Ed’s  letter continues:

             ‘….and we agree that the government need to move quickly to remedy the problems. A large number of charities and disabled people have reported serious shortcomings with the assessment process and there is clear evidence that the WCA is not working….’

A slight understatement? Then there’s a bit of a disclaimer about previous New Labour government and what they intended for the WCA which was for it to work with applicants ‘fairly, quickly and compassionately’ with ‘appropriate support’.  Ah so no plans to scrap this inhumane disaster and start looking at it all again then? Back to Ed:

           ‘…It is clear, however, that the current Government have been too slow to adapt the Work Capability Assessment in the light of experience, and in view of the much bigger job it is now being asked to do…’

Actually they have been adapting it, mobilising distance for example has been reduced several times to make even more difficult to score those elusive Atos points removing more people from any support. Then we have a paragraph on Professor Malcolm Harrison’s independent reports and lack of progress. Let’s also remember Prof Harrison was sacked/resigned/came to the end of his appointment, apparently after appearing on Panorama citing the disaster of the WCA and Atos. But moving on:

       ‘…We would like to see the Government move much faster-for example in acting on the recommendations made by charities on dealing with mental health problems and fluctuating conditions-and to reduce the current bureaucracy of the current system. Atos healthcare also have questions to answer about the effectiveness of the current assessment process…’

        ‘..We are also very concerned that the scale of the cuts to disability benefits and social care introduced by this Government-which will total 8.6 billion over the parliament-will have a very serious impact on many disabled people..’

Isn’t it over 9 billion?

     ‘…Mr Miliband and the Shadow Frontbench will continue to press the Government on the need to put right the serious problems with the WCA…’

Cheers Ed and let us add that the work of Labour’s John McDonnell, Michael Meacher and others in bringing this Atos horror and the links between Atos and Unum in running ‘Government’ from the inside are much appreciated.

You can download the full letter from link below

 http://www.dpac.uk.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Letter-From-Ed-Milliband-Mp2.jpg

Sep 212011
 

The Labour party conference starts in Liverpool on Saturday. As we all know, Labour were the architects of Employment Support Allowance and the ‘not fit for purpose’ Work Capability Assessment which is so stressful and traumatic it was linked to the suicide of claimants whilst Labour were still in power. The Labour party are the official party of opposition, but they are not opposing the Welfare Reform Bill as they should be and seem to have forgotten that the 10 million sick and or disabled people plus carers, friends and family in the UK have the power to vote. It is time for us to remind Labour that they will not get any of our votes if they do not start to oppose the parts of the Welfare Reform Bill set to return sick people, disabled people and carers to a life of desperation, dependency, despair and charity.

We are asking you to help with a mass email to the Labour party to remind them of our voting power. Please include the following details in your email and send it to Ed Miliband, Margaret Curran (shadow minister for disability) and Liam Byrne (shadow minister for DWP). If you have time please also email it to any Labour MP and particularly any members of the shadow cabinet. We have provided a list of email contacts below.

Please aim to send your email at 11am tomorrow (Thursday the 22nd September) If you can’t send the email at 11am, don’t worry, just please try to send it at any time between then and the end of Labour party conference on Wednesday 29th September.

The email subject  should read “Your Silence Is Deafening”

We suggest embedding a link to this youtube video “The Sound of Silence” To embed the video into your email just copy and paste the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvsX03LOMhI

Then please copy the following text into your email;

Dear (insert name here)

‘The 10 million disabled people in this country plus their carers, relatives and friends are watching what your party do in relation to disability issues and wondering why you seem uninterested in trying to get their votes by opposing the savage attacks against disabled people being made by the Coalition government. During conference season we wish to remind you, the architects of Employment and Support Allowance to ‘never fall ill, never grow old, never become disabled’ (and never become a carer), for if you do, as we have found, not even Labour will speak up for you.’

If you would like to add a short, personal message explaining to Labour how you feel about their lack of support for sick, disabled people and carers then please include it after the suggested text. You might also like to include a photo of yourself, or perhaps a photo of what disability, sickness or caring means to you. Don’t worry if you don’t want to personalise the email, sending the suggested text is fine.

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4778
ed.miliband.mp@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Work & Pensions

Liam Byrne

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6953
Fax: 020 7219 1431
byrnel@parliament.uk

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8102
Fax: 020 7219 6656
margaret.curran.mp@parliament.uk

Shadow Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities

Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP

coopery@parliament.uk

Shadow Chief Secretary

Angela Eagle

eaglea@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills

John Denham

denhamj@parliament.uk

Cabinet Office and Minister for the Olympics

Tessa Jowell

jowellt@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Caroline Flint

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4407
Fax: 020 7219 1277
caroline.flint.mp@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport

Ivan Lewis

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2609
lewisi@parliament.uk

Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

Hilary Benn

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5770
hilary.benn.mp@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

Jim Murphy

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4615
Fax: 020 7219 5657
jimmurphymp@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Mary Creagh

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6984/020 7219 8766
Fax: 020 7219 4257
creaghm@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Election Coordinator

Andy Burnham

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8250
andy.burnham.mp@parliament.uk

Shadow Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice

Sadiq Khan

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6967
Fax: 020 7219 6477
sadiqkhanmp@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

Meg Hillier

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5325
Fax: 020 7219 8768
meghilliermp@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Health

John Healey

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6359
Fax: 020 7219 2451
healeyj@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Shaun Woodward

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2680
woodwardsh@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland

Ann McKechin

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8239
Fax: 020 7219 1770
ann.mckechin.mp@parliament.uk

Constituency

Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

Maria Eagle

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4019
Fax: 020 7219 1157
eaglem@parliament.uk

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales

Peter Hain

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 3925
Fax: 020 7219 3816
hainp@parliament.uk

Steven Timms MP

timmss@parliament.uk
stephen@stephentimms.org.uk

Karen Buck MP

buckk@parliament.uk

Jun 202011
 

We marched together- Now why disabled people should support the June 30th strikes…

Unite the Fights June 30th

Unite the Fights June 30th

The millionaire wreckers now in government are determined to continue the wholesale destruction of our National Health Service and welfare state both of which most of us rely on. The National Health Service and the welfare state were fought for through generations of poverty and misery by working class people, likewise disability rights came because of the strength of those disabled people who would not accept less then their human rights. Everything worked for is being destroyed in the biggest onslaught on social justice in our life-times.

DPAC believes in the united strength of disabled people to fight these savage ideological attacks. We also believe that supporting and joining in with the June 30th public sector strikes is an important part of our fight. On June 30th over 700,000 public sector workers will strike. Disabled people must be an important part of shaping the resistance to these cuts on June 30th.

This strike is not just about public sector pensions, the proposed changes to public sector pensions is only a very small part of how the welfare state has already been dismantled in other countries such as US, Canada, Australia. It is vital that we join together to protect hardwon services and rights for working class and disabled people and tell the millionaire politicians who have no need of these services that they were never elected to destroy them.

Added to all of that we have now witnessed the appalling ignorance and prejudice of Conservative MP for Shipley, Philip Davies, who publicly stated that disabled people should be willing to work for less then the minimum wage as employers may then be more willing to employ them. This type of outdated attitude helps to show the importance to disabled people in employment of strong unions both in the public and private sectors.

That’s why we’re asking our supporters to join in with any strike action in your area. If you’re unable to attend in person please send emails or telephone to

Andrew Lansley (architect of the destruction of our National Health Service)

lansleya@parliament.uk

constituency office 01954 211 625

Department of Health 0207 210 4850

Miller the Killer (alias Maria Miller monster ‘against’ disabled people)

Either- ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk or maria.miller.mp@parliament.uk

Westminster office 020 7219 5749

Ian Duncan Smith (man who tells disabled and unemployed people they are all ‘scroungers’) either ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk or alambridgesl@parliament.uk

Westminster office 0207 2191210

Nick Clegg (a man who said his party would abolish H.E. tuition fees and then agreed to treble them)

Google him either in parliament or his constituency and there is an email form to fill in with your message

Write to him at Deputy Prime minister’s office, 70, Whitehall, SW1A 2AS

Constituency office 0114 230 9002

David Cameron (A multimillionaire who smiles as he takes away peoples’ income and presides over tougher WCA tests)

http://www.number10.gov.uk/footer/contact-us

http://www.facebook.com/DavidCameron

Ed Miliband (Red Ed leading the ‘opposition’) milibande@parliament.uk

Constituency office 01302 875 462

Philip Davies daviesp@parliament.uk

Constituency office 01274 592248

Westminster office 020 72198264

Apr 082011
 

According to John Pring’s report on the TUC 26 March rally, many disabled people were there ‘

to protest against cuts to disability benefits and other aspects of the government’s welfare reforms, while others were angry about the impact on inclusive education, and cuts to local services and support.

Peter Purton, the TUC’s disability policy officer, said disabled people were the “worst affected” by the cuts, including disability benefit reforms, the loss of public sector jobs, and cuts to legal aid. He said he was “delighted” that so many disability groups had taken part in the protest.

The Labour MP Dame Anne Begg said she had taken part in the protest to show “solidarity” and that “there is an alternative and we know that the priorities of this government are wrong”.

She said:

“It seems to me that those who have least seem to be losing the most and that is simply not fair. Disabled people in particular feel very strongly because they seem to be in the forefront of many of the cuts.”

Criticisms were made of the TUC’s access arrangements, with some complaining that they had had to fight through crowds to reach the allocated “safe space” for disabled people near the front of the march.

The TUC had also said that the disabled people at the front would be able to set their own pace, but they were soon swamped and separated from each other by thousands of marchers who overtook them soon after the march began.

A TUC spokeswoman said it had made “extensive efforts” to make the event as accessible as possible, but was now carrying out an assessment of the access arrangements.

She said:

“We would not pretend that everything was perfect or could not be improved, but we are pretty sure that this was the most accessible demonstration of its size ever organised in London.”

She added: “Some reported issues were simply due to the greater than expected numbers.”

That might be true but we hope that this assessment means that they will be improved in the future. We are not convinced that the stewards were briefed enough to afford the right access to disabled people. Hopefully they will give more training to stewards in the future especially if they want disabled people to continue being able to take part in marches of this kind.

There was some disappointment that the Labour leader Ed Miliband failed to mention disabled people in his speech in Hyde Park, even though he mentioned maternity services, Sure Start centres, small business owners, teachers, students, “families struggling to get by”, libraries, Citizens Advice Bureaux, community centres and the NHS.

His spokeswoman said later that other groups had also not been mentioned, and that Miliband had raised the government’s plans to remove the mobility component of disability living allowance from people in residential care at that week’s prime minister’s questions.

She said:

“It is an issue he cares about and it is an issue the Labour Party cares about. He is actually aware of the deep concerns and anxieties that disabled people have about the effect of the cuts.”

As disabled people who bears the deepest impact of the cuts on our individual and collective lives we should hope he is more than ‘actually aware’ and that it is not mere ‘deep concerns and anxieties’ but actually feeling the effect of the cuts and drawing blood – that those cuts have taken the toll of a few lives already.

The report also mentioned DPAC’s online protest (which received more than a quarter of a million views) for those unable to attend the march or rally saw an estimated 200 people email messages of support, which were “pinned” to an online map of the UK.

—Eleanor Lisney