I’ll be honest, this is a re-hash of my post from February, but I think it is just as, if not more important now.
Following my post in February highlighting the disgraceful behaviour of our MPs on welfare reform, today I am once again asking all British citizens with a shred of decency in their body to take action to help protect the most vulnerable in society.
I know that as people going about our every day lives it’s very easy to just gloss over items of news that don’t directly affect you. I know that in the current climate the media very rarely portrays the real-life implications of government decisions, preferring instead to promote the government’s own agenda. And I know that in reality, we don’t have time to get involved in every single issue that affects us or those around is. But if today’s treatment of disabled people during the protests outside of DWP did not convince you that our government is callous, uncaring and driven purely by financial motives, I ask you to read the following, before taking action.
- Mike Sivier presents the evidence for the case that we are now living in a dictatorship, not a democracy. When a government ruthlessly overrules the considered reasoning of the Lords in favour of party politicking, he may well be right.
- Disability campaigner BendyGirl blogs from the heart about the struggle that she and other campaigners went through to convince the Lords, only to see her hard work overturns by a heartless government.
- Finally, read Sue Marsh’s passionate account of the events of the last few days before the report was presented and realise that when presented with indisputable facts and figures, the government proceeded to squirm, spin, fabricate, lie and cheat at every opportunity, and push through its devastating changes anyway. And let’s not forget that the media lapped it all up.
- 32 people die each week after being told they are ‘fit-for-work’
If you can read those blogs and still believe that the government are doing the right thing by making disabled children and cancer sufferers pay for rich bankers’ mistakes and irresponsibility (with YOUR money, let us know forget) then please, go and carry on with your daily life. Just pray that you don’t ever get cancer, or have children that are born with disabilities. Remember also, that seven rulings were overturned, not just one or two. Think that the government won’t do the same to future rulings that might affect you more directly? Think again. And remember, 88 per cent of government cuts are still to come.
So, what can you do?
For those of you still here, there are several quick actions your can take to help the most vulnerable.
1. Talk about it. You can’t tell me that it doesn’t come up from time to time in the pub. If your friend mentions “benefit scroungers” (which, by the way, no one is denying DO exist – just not in the quantities the media and government would have you believe) – make sure you mention that disabled children and people with cancer are being made to suffer by the cuts introduced by this government. You don’t need to lecture anybody, just mention that there is another side to the story.
2. Educate yourself. Like the following pages on Facebook to hear about the other side of the cuts, the side you don’t read about in the news. Also known as the truth. There are many more of course, plus people and organisations on Twitter. Search #wrb and #atos to find the most vocal.
3. Write to local and national newspapers asking them to present a balanced case when presented facts and figures on disability benefits. You can visit Full Fact for a regular redressing of the balance if you are unsure about the facts and figures quoted. Full Fact is entirely independent and regularly addresses inaccuracies presented by all political parties, and all media outlets.
4. If you have time, write to your MP and tell them how disgusted you are using this quick and easy form.
5. Those blogs I listed above, check back to them occasionally and see how people are really affected by this government.
I know we all have lives to lead and we can’t revolt at every decision made by government, but remember – the people most affected by these cuts are often unable to stand up for themselves. The ones that do, such as Sue Marsh and BendyGirl, only have limited time and energy to do so because of their conditions. It’s up to the rest of us able-bodied individuals to tell this government that they have crossed a line.
To the people affected by these changes, they aren’t about money. They’re about independence, respect and common decency something I’m sure that every decent citizen in the developed world would not be willing to live without. They say you can judge a country by the way it treats its most vulnerable. Right now we’re treating ours with disdain, incompetence a serious lack of respect.
This blog is the tip of the iceberg – please feel free to leave further suggestions in comments below.