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UK news: new minister for disabled against benefits and human rights for chronically ill

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Countrygirl, May 12, 2015.

  1. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    This depressing news came via the organisation Benefits and Works today. This is frightening for all of us who are sick in the UK. Time for a revolution?



    New minister for disabled strongly against disability benefits and human rights

    Category: Latest news
    Created: Tuesday, 12 May 2015 10:29

    The prime minister has announced that the new minister for disabled people is Justin Tomlinson, Conservative MP for North Swindon. Tomlinson has a strong anti-benefits and anti-human rights background.

    [​IMG]Tomlinson has replaced Mark Harper, who is now the Conservative chief whip.

    Tomlinson is a former national chairman of Conservative Future, the youth wing of the Conservative party and has been an MP since 2010.

    He is a party loyalist, with a strong record of voting against the interests of sick and disabled claimants.

    According to They work For You, Tomlinson:

    • Voted strongly for of the bedroom tax
    • Voted very strongly against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices
    • Voted very strongly against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
    • Voted very strongly for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support
    • Voted very strongly for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
    • Voted very strongly against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed.
    Tomlinson also voted in favour of repealing the Human Rights Act.

    His responsibilities a minister for disabled people include:

    • cross-government disability issues and strategy
    • Employment and Support Allowance, Work Capability Assessment and Incapacity Benefit Reassessment Programme
    • disability benefits (Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance)
    • carers
    • appeals reform
    • fraud and error (including debt management)
    Tomlinson has some interest in health issues, but does not seem to have shown any great interest in disability issues during his time as an MP
     
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I pointed out long ago that its possible, though very difficult, for the disabled to bring down the government, at least in a country where democracy and decency still have a foothold. This can only occur when the alternatives to public civil disobedience are so much worse, and most more reasonable avenues have failed.
     
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  3. aimossy

    aimossy Senior Member

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    Terrible news..... so do you think they will ever get rid of first past the post model of voting? Only about a 3rd of those who voted - actually voted for the conservative party.
     
  4. Marco

    Marco Grrrrrrr!

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    Of course the is and was an alternative. Vote for another party.
     
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I was referring to a massive civil disobedience campaign. How can they arrest and hold hundreds of thousands to millions of disabled? Nonviolent of course. I wrote a blog on this. However to push the disabled to do that things have to be very dire. I would suggest things might indeed become that dire.

    The opportunity to simply vote them out is gone for a few more years. It also may not stop their political opposition from keeping their policies.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
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  6. Marco

    Marco Grrrrrrr!

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    And that's life.
     
  7. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    It would be both very awkward for them, and expensive as well. Suddenly having to take care of a very large number of disabled and ill people would be incredibly difficult for the police. And the photos of them being arrested (usually involves some people not being treated nicely) would be rather bad PR.

    But I think it will take an immediate atrocity being widely publicized to ignite a widespread act of disobedience as well as widespread support. Until that happens, I doubt anyone would be able to successfully organize a large campaign.
     
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  8. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    UK Welfare Reform Deaths ~ Updated List ~ October 21st 2014

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2014/10/21/uk-welfare-reform-deaths-updated-list-october-21st-2014/


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




    The ESA ‘Revolving Door’ Process, and its Correlation with a Significant Increase in Deaths amongst the Disabled.


    https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2...with-a-hugely-significant-increase-in-deaths/


    “A Department for Work and Pensions FOI request yielded a response showing that people having their claim for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) stopped, between October 2010 and November 2011, with a recorded date of death within six weeks of that claim ceasing, who were until recently claiming Incapacity Benefit, totalled 310. Between January and November 2011, those having their ESA claim ended, with a recorded date of death within six weeks of that claim ending totalled 10,600.

    Bearing in mind that those who were successfully migrated to ESA from IB were assessed and deemed unfit for work, (under a different assessment process, originally) one would expect that the death rates would be similar to those who have only ever claimed ESA. This is very clearly not the case.

    Furthermore, there are NO alarming increases in death rates amongst those who are still in receipt of Incapacity Benefit …..”



    “Negative labelling, marginalising and stigmatising the vulnerable via propaganda in the media, using despiteful and malicious terms such as “workshy” and “feckless” is a major part of the Government’s malevolent “justification” to the public for removing the lifeline of support from the sick and disabled.”


    “A significant proportion of those required to have endless assessments have very obviously serious illnesses such as cancer, kidney failure, lung disease, heart disease, severe and life threatening chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, myalgic encephalomyelitis, rheumatoid arthritis, brain tumours, severe heart conditions, and severe mental health illness, for example. To qualify for ESA, the claimant must provide a note from a doctor stating that the person is unfit for work. There can be no justification for subjecting people who are so ill to further endless assessments, and to treating us as if we have done something wrong.


    "We need to ask why our Government refuses to instigate or agree an inquiry into the substantial rise in deaths amongst sick and disabled people, as these deaths are so clearly a correlated consequence of this Government’s policies."



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





    ‘UK becomes the first country to face a UN inquiry into disability rights violations’

    https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2...un-inquiry-into-disability-rights-violations/


    ‘The UK Government seems to be the first to face such a high-level international inquiry, initiated by the United Nations Committee because of “grave or systemic violations” of the rights of disabled people. That ought to be a source of shame for the Coalition, especially considering that this country was once considered a beacon of human rights, we are (supposedly) a first-world liberal democracy, and a very wealthy nation, yet our government behave like tyrants towards the most vulnerable citizens of the UK. As disability specialist, campaigner and first class human rights activist Samuel Miller says: “Britain is [now] a retrograde society and a flagrant violator of human rights—especially the rights of the sick and disabled”.


    ‘Earlier this year, the level of UK benefits paid in pensions, jobseeker’s allowance and incapacity benefits was deemed “manifestly inadequate” because it falls below 40% of the median income of European states, by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

    The finding in an annual review of the UK’s adherence to the council’s European social charter is likely to provoke a fresh dispute between the government and European legal structures. Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, dismissed it as “lunacy”. Not an open, accountable Minister, or government, then.

    The Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, said the conclusions were legally binding in the same way that judgements relating to the European Convention on Human Rights had to be applied by member states.

    Aoife Nolan, professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Nottingham and a trustee of Just Fair said government policies were compromising disabled people’s human rights.

    “Not only do these policies cause significant hardship and anxiety, but they also amount to impermissible backward steps in relation to disabled people’s human rights, contrary to the UN human rights framework.”



    ‘Last year, Amnesty International condemned the erosion of human rights of disabled people in UK, and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights conducted an inquiry into the UK Government’s implementation of Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – the right to live independently and to be included in the community. The inquiry, which began in 2011, has received evidence from over 300 witnesses.



    What kind of Government uses the media to scape-goat and stigmatise sick and disabled people, by lying and inventing statistics to “justify” the persecution of our most vulnerable citizens, and the withdrawal of their crucial lifelines and support?’

    .
    .
    We need to ask why our Government refuses to instigate or agree an inquiry into the substantial rise in deaths amongst sick and disabled people, as these deaths are so clearly a correlated consequence of this Government’s policies.
    .


    .
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
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  9. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    ‘The Conservatives' manifesto says the party wants to scrap the Human Rights Act.’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...s-michael-gove-want-to-scrap-it-10240527.html


    ‘The Human Rights Act is a piece of law, introduced in 1998, that guarantees human rights in Britain. It was introduced as one of the first major reforms of the last Labour government.

    In practice, the Act has two main effects. Firstly, it incorporates the rights of the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic British law.

    What this means is that if someone has a complaint under human rights law they do not have to go to European courts but can get justice from British courts.

    Secondly, it requires all public bodies – not just the central government, but institutions like the police, NHS, and local councils – to abide by these human rights.’





    What is the European Convention on Human Rights?

    ‘The European Convention on Human Rights is an agreement that all countries in Europe will respect human rights. It was drawn up in 1950 in the aftermath of the Second World War.

    The Convention was spearheaded by Britain and the committee that drew up its final draft was chaired by British Conservative MP Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe. The UK was a founding signatory and ratified the Convention in March 1951.

    Different countries implement the Convention in different ways. The Human Rights Act is the British way of implementing the convention into domestic law.

    Even if countries haven’t implemented the Convention’s rights domestically, citizens can go to the European Court of Human Rights as Strasbourg which can issue judgements to the Convention’s signatory states. All 47 Council of Europe governments have voluntarily agreed to implement the rulings of the court.’
    .




    Why do the Conservatives want to end the Human Rights Act?

    The Conservatives say in their manifesto that they want to scrap the Human Rights Act. They would replace it with what they call a “British Bill of Rights”.

    They say this new bill will ‘break the formal link between British Courts and the European Court of Human Rights’.

    In practice, this would likely mean that people who wanted to bring human right cases under the ECHR would have to go to a court in Strasbourg to be heard.


    It would significantly slow down such cases and make them more difficult to bring.


    It is also not clear whether such a new Bill of Rights would continue the obligation on public authorities that were not central government to uphold human rights.'

    .
    Every European country except Belarus – Europe’s last military dictatorship – is member of the European Convention on Human Rights.'
    .
    .
    .
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  10. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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  11. Mark

    Mark Former CEO

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    We tried that, but it didn't work.

    More people voted for Labour, SNP and the Greens than voted for the Conservatives, but those 3 parties combined got many less seats than the Conservatives. The UK system is very undemocratic in the new reality of multi-party politics.

    The Conservatives got 37% of the votes, in a turnout of 66%, where a large but unknown percentage of the population is not registered to vote. This means that less than 24% of the population voted for them - probably less than 20% - but they still get to govern.

    I don't personally consider this government to have democratic legitimacy, and I think the protests and battles against it are likely to be a significant feature of the next few years. But this is why one of the first things they have announced is measures to combat 'extremism' and 'enemies of democracy'; supposedly an anti-terrorism policy but in reality it's sure to be used to stifle legitimate protest. I suspect US citizens who care about freedom of speech would be shocked to see the detail of these proposed new laws. Similarly scrapping the human rights act is an early priority, purportedly to help in the fight against terrorism, but in reality it's because they plan to step up their attack on the human rights of disabled people.

    It looks like there are turbulent times ahead in UK politics...
     
  12. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I think I'll give that petition its own thread then...
     
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  13. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Yeah like I posted elsewhere, the UK's "power" system is *evil*
    They also put in an "Equality" minister who voted against gay rights!

    and to show the depths of the bigotry, stupidity, and frankly ugly racism the Right wing, corporate owned media have deliberately created...
    read the comments of this piece (hit the VIEW all button to see them)
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...meron-swipe-appalling-Tory-plan.html#comments

     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
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  14. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
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  15. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...rights-act-would-breach-good-friday-agreement

    It feels like the mood is similar to the mood under Thatcher. There will be civil unrest.
     
  16. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Countrygirl, SilverbladeTE and Sasha like this.
  17. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    Scotland has it's own legal system always HAS, the Act of Union specifically protected and separated them, and the devolution accords also mean the Westminster government can't force us to remove the European Human Rights Act form our statutes, but the English imperialists in Westminster and their thug supporters who gulp down the Murdoch tabloids demand we do...
    they can get to hell!
     
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  18. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Here is a petition against scrapping Human Rights bill.

    (I get a lot of petitions notified to me.)
     
  19. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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  20. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    That's the 38 Degrees one that I mentioned above. :)
     
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