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Damian Green: He won't have read the comments in this article; worse, he clearly doesn't care [Image: Daily Mirror].

Damian Green: He won’t have read the comments in this article; worse, he clearly doesn’t care [Image: Daily Mirror].

The author of this article drew my attention to it, and now I’m asking you to read it too.

This is just a fraction of the whole, and I recommend you visit the Muscular Dystrophy UK site for the full piece.

The government claims as a disabled person, you have rights to protect you from discrimination. It cites the Equality Act 2010 (please refer to here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance) & the UNCRPD (please refer to here http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml) will help to enforce, protect & promote your rights.

So, it is surprising to find last week that the UK, as a result of being the first member to be investigated by a United Nations committee for not fulfilling the terms of the UNCRPD, have been found guilty of grave & systematic violations of the rights of disabled people as a direct result of austerity policies introduced into welfare & social care by the UK government aimed at reducing public spending since 2010, an inquiry has concluded.

The highly critical report (please refer to here http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRPD%2fC%2f15%2fR.2%2fRev.1&Lang=en), published in Geneva on Monday 7th November 2016, says a range of measures including controversial cuts to disability benefits, social care budgets & the introduction of the bedroom tax, have disproportionately & adversely affected the rights of disabled people to live independently, to work & achieve an adequate standard of living.

It makes 11 recommendations, including calling on the UK government to carry out a study of the cumulative impact of all spending cuts on disabled people & to ensure the human rights of disabled people are upheld.

In response, the government stated it “did not plan to follow up on any of the recommendations”.

Isn’t this to our nation’s shame?

Why hasn’t there been public outcry? Why has it not been plastered across our television screens constantly? Why haven’t hordes of disgruntled & angry citizens waving placards not taken to the streets en masse in protest at the treatment of one of the proudest but, flawed sections of society?

Because it’s been another stroke of luck for the government that in the same week this damning report was published, the Americans voted for a misogynist, racist to be their president & Mondelez International changed the size of bloody Toblerone!

I am shocked & saddened at the apathetic reaction to this report by the public. This is your money, not the government’s, despite what they might think. It’s your money that you work damn hard for that is purposely being withheld or wasted by the very government department, the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP), charged with protecting the less fortunate.

Then there is the derision emanating from the new Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, the Rt Hon Damian Green MP.

[His] reaction is reminiscent of a scolded child. It is vulgar & quite frankly, damn right offensive. [His] protests are based on a misplaced, perceived sense of injustice for which [he has]no justifiable right to be offended.

I find Mr Green’s response is in keeping with the condescending & disrespectful attitude to the disabled which lies beneath the policies borne of his department.

Mr Green, if you think people losing their cars, their jobs, their homes, unprecedented reliance on foodbanks, destitution & even people taking or losing their lives are indicative of successfully supporting disabled people & an efficient way of distributing £50 billion then we have very contrasting definition of success.

And exactly how much of this alleged £50 billion outlay does the DWP waste on maintaining an IT infrastructure that’s not fit for purpose? And I would be very interested to know exactly how much of this alleged £50 billion the DWP spend, is spent by them defending & enforcing their draconian measures (such as the bedroom tax) in court via First Tier Tribunals, Upper Tribunals & beyond.

Mr Green is trying to defend the indefensible in government policy & the DWP. The motivation for the change in welfare is to drive down costs.

The reality is; the skivers & malingerers you’ve portrayed us as, the disabled, has turned out to be the genuinely sick & ill & now we’re suffering as a direct result.

Money. It’s all about money for the Tories … & always has been. Austerity is about money & clearly [the Conservative] government value money more than life.

You are guilty of systematic violations of our human rights sir. Fact.

Surely this is the nation’s shame?

Source: The Nation’s Shame – Muscular Dystrophy UK

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