Is the Tory media campaign against the disabled the root cause of Brendan Mason’s murder?

Brendan Mason had ‘numerous learning difficulties’ [Image: SWNS].

What kind of a place has the UK become, where people think it is acceptable to beat a disabled man to death?

And how much of the blame should be attached to our Conservative Government and its constant stream of propaganda against people with long-term disabilities or illnesses?

According to the report in yesterday’s (Sunday) Metro, Keith Lowe was recorded saying he wanted to “do it because he’s f**k me off with the lies.” What lies? Was this a reference to claims that people with disabilities are ‘faking’ their conditions – put about by the Department for Work and Pensions with its unreasonable sanctions regime?

The report also says the two killers filmed the murder on their phone cameras because they wanted to show Mr Mason’s death to a “third party”. Why? “To show them what happened to Brendan” – in an intimidating way? Or to encourage this person into similar behaviour?

These attitudes are a sickness.

This Site has spent years reporting on the way they have been spread by the Tories. Now, it may be that such attitudes have taken root in the British public and are spreading freely.

It is a shame the report of the court case does not answer the questions I have asked here.

For context, though, here are a few facts, courtesy of The Canary:

“The lynching of Brendan Mason comes at a tough time for people living with a disability in the UK. Since 2007/8, there has been a 213% rise in hate crimes against disabled people, with figures jumping 40% a year for the last two years. These numbers include Lee Irving, a man with “the mind of an 8-year-old”. He was bullied and tortured over a number of days at a house in Newcastle in 2015.  When he finally succumbed to his injuries, his tormentors dumped his body on a grass verge.

“And in 2016, when Daniel Smith – an autistic man – attempted to defend himself from a violent hate crime, he found himself charged with assault. Thankfully, he was later acquitted by the courts, who agreed he’d acted in self-defence.

“The rise in hate crimes coincided with the austerity programmes of the coalition and Conservative governments. The justification for disability-related benefit cuts and mass reassessment of claimants has involved suspicion and mistrust of disabled people.”

Make no mistake – Joshua Hack and Keith Lowe are murderers and will be imprisoned for their crime.

My question is: Should we be charging the Conservative government and its Department for Work and Pensions as accessories?

Two friends filmed themselves beating a man with learning difficulties to death, telling him ‘Smile for the camera’ as they killed him.

Joshua Hack, 21, and Keith Lowe, 22, lured ‘easily led’ Brendan Mason to a park, making him believe they wanted to spend time with him.

But when they arrived, they hung him from a tree, taking turns hitting him while the other held him for several hours, laughing and taunting him in the early hours of July 5 last year.

After he fell unconscious, they stripped him naked and threw his body in a pond, leaving him for dead in Abbey Park, Leicester.

Groundsmen found Mr Mason naked, unconscious and bleeding at 7.40am and he was airlifted to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry.

Medics discovered he had 99 separate injuries to his head and body, including brain damage, five broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and he died later that day.

Source: ‘Friends’ hung man with learning difficulties from tree and beat him to death

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20 thoughts on “Is the Tory media campaign against the disabled the root cause of Brendan Mason’s murder?

  1. Fibro confused

    Speaking for myself I no longer feel I’m entitled to live what life I’m able too, I’m a burden, of no use. People now have a right (as they see it) to question me, look at me as if I’m some sort of alien. Before 2010 I didn’t get any of this, the normal curious stares when in a wheelchair but that was it, since 2010 I’ve been questioned as to whether I should park in a disabled bay, been called lazy workshy and so on. Is it this Governments fault, hell yes!!

  2. Neilth

    This is sickening. Tragically it’s all too symptomatic of a coarsening of attitudes in this so called civilised country. The blame culture where the weakest and most vulnerable, instead of being cherished and valued, are blamed, not only for their own circumstances but for the ills of society in general.
    The elderly are blamed for pressures on the NHS and the care system, ‘immigrants’ are blamed for unemployment and all that’s wrong with Europe, children are blamed for the governments broken promises on asylum and so on and on.
    The real blame lies with the way things are reported. An emphasis on the users of services and the difficulties of providing support is being used as an excuse/reason for cutting those services even further. This callousness has been growing virtually unchecked for many years and can trace its origins to the ‘no such thing as society’ comment of Thatcher.
    The attacks on the sick, disabled and vulnerable by the DWP and its sanction culture serves to support the view that these citizens are to be derided as some form of underclass who are undeserving.

  3. Bob

    I am in total agreement with you article but I all question the number of people on disability benefits in this country. I personally know people on DLA who have no disability but have been playing the system for years and living a better life than most hard working individuals. This needs to stop and sensible assessment carried out on all disability claimants, as this safety net is essential for people with a real disability

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      We hear this occasionally. If you’re not privy to a chairman’s information then you really can’t comment.
      Your claims simply provide justification to the Tories.

    2. Fibro confused

      You know Bob I heard this sort of thing so many times, If your so sure they’re fiddling the system there’s a lovely website that you can report them to the DWP for fraud, over a million people were reported last year and investigated, an investigation that presumes your guilty and you have to prove your innocent. Just over 15 thousand were in fact claiming benefits fraudulently, not all the benefits we for disabled I hasten to add, unemployment, claiming tax credits and so on, because of the stringent assessments more benefits go unclaimed than are paid out, yes that’s right more goes unclaimed. Shop them if your so sure, it’s your right of course.

      I & Mike can assure you the assessments are stringent, so much so in some cases your expected to grow missing limbs back, getting of my high horse now.
      Without a doubt there are a very small number of people who used to swing the lead, how that is possible now I have absolutely no idea, to reassure you DLA recipients will all be reassessed for PIP(except for 16 and under yr old and those who were of retirement age when the new benefit was brought in) thousands are loosing the benefits & cars whilst they wait for tribunals to over turn the often corrupt assessments, which are often full of lies, these companies are paid handsomely to get people of the benefits so people are forced to go to court to prove they are indeed disabled, more often than not it takes just 10mins for a judge to dismiss the DWP’s case, all the judge has to do is look at the person read the doctors information compare with the assessment and that’s it they’re given what they really deserve.
      I’ve been accused of faking it, because I don’t use a wheelchair & I occasionally go to the shop, only when it’s that or starve. I carry a doctors letter around with me to show my accusers, most disabilities are invisible. But if your really sure and you want to save the tax payer some money it’s your duty to shop ’em.
      FYI there are many DLA/PIP recipients who work, don’t mix that up with not having a disability

  4. Bob

    This safety net was set up for people with real disabilities and not for drug addicts, over weight people who just use the money to fund there unhealthy lifestyles, I agree that this government demonise people on benfits also not just people on disability benefits but all benefits and people claiming them as away to get out of working which there are many is not helping. We need a system where people are assessed sensibly and vigorously to make sure they are truly entitled to disability benefits and are not just playing the system. That way we would all feel better about the system and it would help the individuals falsely claiming as taking responsibility for there life’s can only help them

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m glad you agree the current system is rubbish.
      Are you aware that the amount of benefit fraud – of any kind – totals less than one per cent of the total number of claimants?
      And are you aware that a significant percentage of the eligible population simply don’t claim benefits, for reasons including a belief that the government’s assessment system will cheat them out of what they are owed in any case?
      Your references to drug addicts and people with weight problems say more about you than them.

  5. Dez

    With the amount of injuries inflicted by these pair of murderers ironically they probably have a severe mental disability themselves. Another sad day for civilisation.

  6. NMac

    In my opinion the constant stream of hatred and vitriol directed at the disabled and the most vulnerable members of society which has been emanating from and being encouraged by Government Ministers is a crime against society itself. It is, I believe, bound to have an effect and the appalling and sickening crimes such as the callous torturing and murdering of Daniel Smith is an inevitable result.

  7. Bill Williams

    A few years ago I was the victim of fraud. I have disabilities and am classed as a vulnerable adult. I was targeted directly because of my problems which also prevented me from getting justice. There was violence and constant intimidation involved which meant that I had to sell my house and move away from everyone I know. I do not feel safe anywhere and rarely leave my home. I did not want justice to reclaim the money or things I lost – just to stop the person who harmed me from hurting someone else. They had a history of such behavior – which was inadmissible in court. This story has really upset me today. It’s sickening. Nothing has changed.

  8. Barry Davies

    David Cameron should be arrested and charged with hate crime for 6 years of the mantra ” for hardworking people” which by implication meant that those who can’t work were not of value and he certainly was not “for sick incapacitated or disabled people”.

  9. Roy Beiley

    The country cries “Never again” when the horrors of the Holocaust become the focus of the news. Remember, the disabled were the first group to be euthanised by the Nazis before they turned on the Jews.Racial attacks and enticement to cause racial hatred are covered by specific laws .Disabled people do not have such protection. How long before the thugs turn on disabled people because they feel less “constrained” by the law?

  10. Paul for JC

    First they came for the………

    This sort of thing is cropping up more and more along with racism etc, the new up and coming target is the elderly have we noticed the non to subtle digs on the media .. ” the elderly have all the money, their weekly income is £20pw higher than the young, they have houses and cars” ….HATE the elderly is the message that is being put out loud and clear

  11. Florence

    It has become the norm. A friends autistic son was charged with GBH against a “friend” who, as younger lads, bullied him. The autistic lad was actually defending himself against an attack, and the court accepted his version. The bully didn’t seem to realise that what he had been getting away with at school had more serious outcomes once they were young adults.

    This has become the norm. So too will the attacks on the elderly now being scapegoated for the housing crisis, NHS crisis, care crisis, etc. We can look forward to the frail being bullied by govt and citizens to work to death with the SPA of 73 being talked about now. I bet those won’t be recorded as hate crimes either.

  12. mrmarcpc

    The right wing press will of course skew the truth with what happened with Daniel because their tory masters will tell them to, they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it!

      1. mrmarcpc

        My sincere apologies, Brendan I meant to say.
        The right wing press will of course skew the truth with what happened with Brendan because their tory masters will tell them to, they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it!

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