Success for one disability campaign – but another needs your help

You may remember an irate column on this blog a few weeks ago, berating the British public for failing to provide the required 100,000 signatures for Pat’s Petition.

The petition, calling on the government to “stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families”, totalled more than 62,600 signatures when it closed, fair short of the required amount of support.

I am delighted, therefore, to report that there will be an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons, bsed around the petition.

The Labour Party agreed to the debate after campaigners sent an open letter to Liam Byrne, the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary.

The petition’s creator, Pat Onions, wrote: “The debate will probably take place some time in January and we will only have a week’s notice, so the important thing now is to get ready for the debate and make sure all the issues we have been campaigning on get attention.

“The theme of the motion for the debate will be the Pat’s Petition demand that the government stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families, and a demand for a cumulative impact assessment. It’s a very wide brief so if you want to focus on a particular issue that’s fine.

“We will need lots of help from you all to make sure that, after all your effort, this debate gets real results. We will also need help to ask MPs from all parties to speak in this debate.”

Contact your MP via this link.

This is all very encouraging.

But securing a debate does not mean any battles are won, and another aspect of the fight against those disproportionate cuts to benefits and services is the appeal to the United Nations by Samuel Miller – another matter which has been well-reported on this site.

Mr Miller is calling for people who are sick or disabled, and in the work-related activity group for Employment and Support Allowance, to send him scans of letters from their GP that state, explicitly, that they are not fit for work.

“This information is needed for the filing of United Nations complaints against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” he wrote.   “It is my opinion that the British government’s mandatory Work Programme for sick and/or disabled persons is in violation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which it signed on September 16, 1968 and ratified on May 20, 1976. (See and   “Further, it is my opinion the British government is violating the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol.” (See and

I strongly urge anyone who is able to help Mr Miller to send him copies of these documents. The more information he is able to collect, the easier it will be to persuade the United Nations that the British Government is knowingly and deliberately causing serious harm to sick and disabled people across the UK.

The email address, as ever, is [email protected]


  1. Linda Kilpatrick December 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Byrne doesnt answer his mail and neither does IDS.

    • naeth December 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm - Reply

      Your right this is just Labour jumping on the many band wagons. we all remember Miliband speech about knocking on a disabled person door.

      I simple do not believe labour for a minute….

  2. Mike Sivier December 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    Another blog covering this subject is here, if you’d like to see Samuel Miller’s words verbatim:

  3. clouty December 9, 2012 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Am I thick? I can’t see a way of contacting Sam Miller as is being asked here….

    • Mike Sivier December 9, 2012 at 10:21 am - Reply

      You’re not thick – it’s what I get for writing articles late at night. I’ve amended the article and the email address is at the end. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  4. s0ciallyh0used December 12, 2012 at 9:20 am - Reply

    I think it may be a Labour ploy to win votes – HOWEVER I don’t care – as long as it gets the time it richly deserves in Parliament – Pat has campaigned tirelessly to get this petition into the public’s consciousness & I applaud her – We need more people like her – Ones willing to stand!
    Well done Lady
    I don’t know you personally, But I am proud of you for doing this.

  5. s0ciallyh0used December 12, 2012 at 9:23 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on Socially Housed and commented:
    Please Read & act on this blog!
    I admire those that do something – I admire PAT!!
    Come on UK, Wake up – We CAN stop the Social Cleansing that’s going on..
    From one stone rolling a whole landslide can happen!

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