How refreshing to awake of a fine May morning to see another chunk of the population about to be reviled in the daily discourse, it appears those that govern us have decided that people with a disability are to be peanalised, for er, being disabled. Shakespeare would have loved the irony of that.
All in the Telegraph here:
A couple of my favorite quotes:
“The Work and Pensions Secretary says: “It’s not like incapacity benefit, it’s not a statement of sickness. It is a gauge of your capability. In other words, do you need care, do you need support to get around. Those are the two things that are measured. Not, you have lost a limb…”
How could IDS have any idea of the challenges both mental and physical of the loss of a limb might cause. It’s like a savage Swiftian satire. I’m sure others with more insight will happily redress the balance and enlighten IDS about the true nature of living with a disability. All I can say is some of the conduct and conclusions drawn by “medical experts” and often successfully challenged by
defy belief in what we like to call a civilised society.
This is the other quote, with a “label them as feckless work shy scroungers” meta language that might require a little scrutiny.
“Mr Duncan Smith is also working on plans to encourage and help more disabled people to return to work. Many people wrongly believe that they will lose their disability benefits if returning to work, but they are not means tested. However, officials believe that other benefit bills may fall if more disabled people return to work once the new system is explained personally to them.”
Well I have to wish him the best of luck, firstly the statistic that never gets presented to those that govern us when the “label them as feckless work shy scroungers” divisive line is being trotted out:
There are 2.65 million people out of work.
There are 464,00 job vacancies.
Now I’m no mathematician but if all 2.65 million jobless were trained to the standard of a NASA astronauts, it seems to me only 464,00 could become gainfully employed.
It seems that in the fantasy world of IDS and his colleagues the amount of jobs will magically expand like we live in some Matrix-like artificial reality. An artificial reality that will allow what ever sector of society that they are currently dubbing “ feckless work shy scroungers” to suddenly rise up en masse and suddenly shape shift into a gainfully employed modern gleaming workforce fit and ready at their masters behest. How long will we listen to those that govern us stigmatise the unemployed, as if its a life style choice and not a situation that is forced upon the vast majority against their will.
So then exactly how are the disabled going to find this work of which you speak IDS? A philosophical utopian point might be that a fair and civilised might seek to get the able bodied in work first, lets face it, all we need is another 2.25 million job vacancies to be created so we can all work harder together. Double dip recessions all round then. (I’m not at this point suggesting people with disability should not work, far from it, just not forced into non-existent jobs and subsequently vilified in the press)
It also seems some of IDS’s colleagues have not been doing there utmost to “encourage and help more disabled people to return to work” I quote from the great:
“We believe the government’s decision to make 1,518 disabled workers unemployed by August, and a further 1,282 unemployed next year, by closing the Remploy factories is wrong. We do not believe these job losses constitute a victory for inclusion in the workplace.
This decision will effectively put these disabled workers on the scrapheap at a time of recession when there is little to no hope of finding alternative employment, when eligibility for benefits is being slashed, and when support services for disabled people are being destroyed. Of the Remploy workers made redundant through the first round of factory closures in 2008 only 6% went on to find alternative employment.
Disabled people face systemic discrimination in the workplace even when the economy is at its strongest. In the current recession in areas where Remploy factories are located there are now on average 30 to 40 people chasing every job. The stark reality is that these disabled workers currently have little chance of finding alternative work, at a time when we are hearing about increasing numbers of disabled people who are taking their own lives in despair after loss of benefits.
The government argues that the factories are inefficient and unsustainable. They fail to mention the top-heavy non-disabled Remploy board and senior management strata; or the £1.8 million handed out in bonuses to Remploy bosses last year which could have been reinvested in the business. Remploy workers have been let down by non-disabled management who have run down their factories to ease the way for the closures.
Disabled people are predicted to lose at the very least £9 billion in benefit entitlements over this Parliament. The Department for Work and Pensions’ own statistics put disability benefit fraud at no more than 0.5%. Proposals for reform of Disability Living Allowance will see 500,000 disabled people losing an essential benefit. 57% of disabled people in waged work on DLA have said in this situation they would be forced to give up work.”
Funny how this quote comes to mind every time I read an IDS interview:
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,