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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

'Welfare Reform' is Literally Killing People

New Labour Began the Attacks on the Disabled and 'Welfare Reform' - the Tories and Clegg are Finishing Off

The story below has been covered, both in the Guardian and the Sunday Mirror, though not those disgusting tabloids which were cheer leaders for Hitler in the 1930’s – the Daily Hate Mail and the Daily Express – the latter owned appropriately by Britain’s biggest pornographer, Richard Desmond.

The story of people being repeatedly called back to medical tests when they win an appeal, although it is obvious that their condition has not improved, is a scandal to which the Coalition Government is turning a blind eye. This was what Clegg’s Orange revolution inside the Liberal Democrats meant. This is the free market at work. As the so-called left of the Lib. Dems. collapses, like the bunch of opportunists they always were, we have a situation where there is consensus between all 3 major establishment parties.

But we should not forget that New Labour has been wholeheartedly behind the government’s ‘welfare reform’. Not surprising given that ‘welfare reform’ was begun by New Labour. Shadow Minister for Welfare, Stephen Timms has made clear his support for the principle behind the Government’s savage attack on Welfare. As he says on his own website, ‘The Bill’s basic idea is good….. Disabled people are particularly worried. I support reform of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).’

Reform of course means the abolition of Disability Living Allowance, a lifeline to the disabled that the John Major Government introduced! New Labour proposed in its 2010 Green Paper on Care to abolish Attendance Allowance (DLA for the 65s and over and the Tory/Libs abolished it for those receiving the Mobility component of DLA who are in care.

Our first demand should be that Miliband lives up to his claim that Labour represents an opposition by sacking Timms. Timms is a Tory and he should join his true friends.

The same goes for all the other New Labour 'advisers' to the Tories on Welfare - Frank Field, John Hutton and Alan Milburn. If Ed Miliband is serious that Labour is an Opposition then he should sack these turncoats and traitors and appoint someone like John McDonnell as shadow Welfare Minister.

And at the same time we should be stepping up the campaign to oppose the attempt to make claimants and working class people pay for the bankers’ crisis.

Tony Greenstein

1 comment:

joe90 kane said...

Just in passing, here is an excellent article of the wonderful After Atos Assessment website from Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty -
ATOS: ROBBING THE POOR TO GIVE TO THE RICH
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no date

Some news - John McArdle, founder of Black Triangle (on Facebook and now has a website), is giving a speech today to TUC Disability Conference.


Anyway, I would just like to repeat a point I made recently on Socialist Unity website, that there is a rich, vibrant, involved grass-roots activist campaign going on amongst sick, ill and disabled people up and down Britain who are in the forefront of trying to save what's left of the welfare state, but it's hardly being noticed by much of the Left in Britain as far as I can see.

The absence of the Left is certainly reflected in the many Facebook and website based groups, events and campaigns whcih all say next to nothing about any of the left-wing parties and figures. I am bemused as to why this is.

There is certainly not much left of the right to dole money if someone has no means to support themselves and no source of income - instead, in order to qualify for unemployment benefit from the state, cliamants have to prove they are 'actively seeking work' otherwise they go hungry. Such a demand is wide open to abuse and fraud by the government and its bureaucrats, as the Guardian has proven -
Jobcentres 'tricking' people out of benefits to cut costs, says whistleblower
Soaring number of sanctions against unemployed amid claims that DWP staff are being told to trip people up with paperwork
01 Apr 2011

Government admits Jobcentres set targets to take away benefits
Department of Work and Pensions backtracks on denial of Guardian investigation that some jobcentres have been taking people off benefits amid pressure to meet targets
08 Apr 2011

And the so-called welfare reforms for sick, ill and disabled people are just unbelievable. They aren't examined for the state of their health. Opinions and findings of NHS staff, GPs, consultants and specialists are completely ignored. Instead long-term sick patients and the disabled are put through a 'functional' non-medical Work Capability Assessment which is a human rights atrocity.

The welfare state has almost been destroyed with some kind of Kafkaesque-Orwellian nightmare put in its place, and there has hardly been a murmur about it all from the Left as far as I can see.

Anyway, sorry for going on. The Articles on the protests and pickets outside Atos HQ in Brighton were well circulated and the interests and activities which TG Blog represents, at least, has been well-involved in the grass-roots activist campaign to save the welfare state from these awful 'reforms'.

Take care.

ps
It's gotten to the stage that so many destitue sick and ill people are being abused by a 'welfare' system which is meant to help them that even the government's own department have to admit there is a problem -
Jobcentre staff 'sent guidelines on how to deal with claimants' suicide threats'
Employees 'receive six-point plan telling them to take each threat seriously' as clamp on benefits takes effect
Guardian
08 May 2011

It would be interesting to get up to date figures on suicide rates for the UK but the government don't update them too often.