This new strain of double-standards among Eurosceptics is all about disability

160612 EU sovereignty

There is a disturbing new trend among the Eurosceptics inhabiting This Writer’s Twitter feed.

For example, in response to my reblogging of the Disability News Service‘s EU laws ‘have played crucial role’ in fight for disability rights, I received this comment: “Not 1 reference to the EU doing anything about the abysmal treatment of disabled folk in the UK.”

This is, of course, an entirely prejudicial conflation of two different things. The EU has indeed played a crucial role in ensuring rights to information, transport and accessible goods and services.

But member states still have their sovereignty and may still enact legislation that relates exclusively to their own citizens. If that were not the case, wouldn’t the same person complaining about the lack of provision for the disabled then be complaining about our loss of sovereignty to the ‘unelected bureaucrats’ about whom we all hear so much?

I tackled this particular Tweeter on that issue: “Tell me, are you angry at a perceived loss of sovereignty? If so, you should be pleased the EU leaves some things to nations.”

Here’s the reply: “No. 1. I’m not angry. 2. I hate the use of the category I fall into being used as a political instrument. Satisfied?”

Well, no – because this person was using their disability as a political instrument.

This person added: “btw, before you call me a shirker, I work +30 hrs a week because I have to, as I didn’t qualify for PIP.”

Considering my recent history of standing up for disabled people, both individually and as a group, over the last few years, I’m sure you’ll understand why I lost any sympathy at all for that person at that point. Some people need to check who they’re addressing before they make such offensive remarks.

This is just an example of a growing number of similar comments that have started circulating over the last couple of days.

My question is, which would these people rather have – national sovereignty, or the removal of that sovereignty so the EU can legislate on disability?

They can’t have both.

And, more importantly, they can’t use both as arguments to leave the European Union.


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11 thoughts on “This new strain of double-standards among Eurosceptics is all about disability

  1. joanna

    I realise this is way off-topic, but the DWP lost my friend a job, whilst my friend was being interviewed, the DWP chose that moment to ring him and then text him right in the middle of the interview to see if he had got the job, they had told my friend to keep his phone on. My friend lost the opportunity for the first secure and permanent job in 6 years! How is that possibly helping people get jobs? He is a computer hardware and software expert.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Can you ask your friend to get in touch? I’d love to do an article about this.

  2. Brian

    It really comes down to the same thing that possess electorate to make a certain choice; knowing the facts or not. Unfortunately those that rely upon the ‘quick fix’ of today frequently misjudge reality. The political right know this and use it to effect on lazy minds.

  3. paulrutherford8

    I’ve had the pleasure of being slagged off for supporting ‘remain’ by people who [allegedly], supported my bedroom tax campaign through the courts.

    To be honest, it has put me off using twitter for a while… it was reminiscent of the cybernats and the Scottish referendum, when comments got both heated and insulting.

    I am convinced that people are failing to grasp the ‘bigger picture’ and are erring on the ‘leave’ side because of a faux-nationalsim whipped up by the Farages of this world.

    ‘Brexit’, if it happens will be nothing short of a right-wing coup.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I have to say I read one of your tweets just now and it read as though you supported ‘Leave’. I thought it was immensely strange but reacted to it on face value so if I’ve caused offence I apologise. Have a look at what you’ve said, though, and see if it said what you meant it to.

  4. Keith

    A lot of people on internet social media, comments sections etc are just very angry. I think they take it out on say the EU or another issue as a form of projection. They latch on to some political issue that is may be irrelevant to their personal situation as an emotional reaction to what ever they are upset about.

  5. Bookworm

    The whole Brexit issue is bringing out the worst in people. Some see it solely in racist terms, sadly people in my age group and upwards.

  6. Marie Pace (@MarieLPace)

    What a very oddly uninformed comment from that person. He has to work 30+ hours because he didn’t qualify for PIP? PIP, which is not a work-related benefit, and can be obtained whether you work or not? If I understand him, he’s working because he has to, if he did get benefits, he wouldn’t bother working? Isn’t that the very definition of the shirker? *intrigued*

  7. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    The EU may not be perfect but it is far less imperfect than the controls and cutbacks which the Tory party want to inflict on ordinary decent people if they can get rid of the European court of Human Rights. By staying In with our neighbours we have the enormous advantage of the Court and the opportunity to work for better relations all round in the future.

    Don’t let the immigration figures make you vote for a dictatorship; we are not the only country in the world accepting immigrants and in time all countries will be able to discuss better arrangements if we stay together.

  8. Steven Preece

    There’s a wave of nationalism sweeping across the country which is fueled by austerity. Sadly, rather than blaming the Government, who contrary to popular opinion decide on the vast majority of policies and laws, too many people have been led to believe that all the pain caused in recent years is to be blamed on EU membership. Others have fallen foul of the myth that leaving would somehow help to improve their lot in lot. A third group have latched on to the idea of “no democracy without accountability”, seemingly ignoring the fact that our own Government has somehow managed to escape accountability for the pain (even death) it has inflicted on the poorest and more vulnerable.

    Steven Preece – Welfare Weekly Editor & Founder

Comments are closed.