Disabled MP accuses Tories of ‘eugenics’ – is that why they won’t let him take a seat?

Jared O’Mara (centre) [Image: Disability News Service].

Jared O’Mara caused a bit of an upset in this year’s general election, when he unseated former Liberal Democrat leader – and co-architect of the Coalition Government, Nick Clegg.

Now he has caused further upset by actually coming out and saying that Tory policy amounts to a Nazi-style eugenics programme against the disabled.

He told Disability News Service: “A lot of people say you can’t use that word, but I will do: it’s eugenics.

“They want disabled people to suffer and die. That’s literally what’s happening.

“Disabled people are out there suffering and dying because they have not got the financial means and financial support and nor have they got the legal means to lead an equal life, or even to lead a satisfactory life.”

Among the evidence he points to are reports of people who have been asked by benefit assessors why they have not taken their own lives.

He said: “How is that not eugenics? Putting thoughts of suicide into a disabled person’s head. It’s literally eugenics.”

This Writer agrees – and the point has been made many times on Vox Political – look at the comment by Colin Wilkes after this article, for example.

Mr O’Mara also targeted former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith who in 2010, shortly after becoming work and pensions secretary, appeared to echo the phrase “arbeit macht frei” – which was written over the entrance gates of Auschwitz – by telling a BBC journalist: “Look, work actually helps free people.”

Vox Political has also commented on this.

So Mr O’Mara is making all the right noises about Tory disability policy.

Is that why they won’t let him take a seat in the House of Commons?

Here’s Disability News Service again:

“Nearly a month into his new role, he is still having to miss some debates in the House of Commons chamber because he cannot stand for longer than five or 10 minutes and there have been no seats free.

“He told Disability News Service (DNS): ‘There has been a couple of times where I have not been able to get a seat and so I have not been able to attend.

“’The thing is with the Commons chamber, it is 650 MPs but there’s not 650 seats, so for busy events… there’s not enough seats for everybody. It’s ridiculous in this day and age.’

“He is mystified about why there is no form which new disabled MPs can fill in to tell the Commons authorities about any adjustments they might need, which he says could easily be included in the information pack they are handed immediately after their election victory.

“He also points to the Equality Act, which says parliament has an “anticipatory” duty as a public organisation to think in advance about the adjustments it should make for disabled people, such as improving the signs and information around the Houses of Parliament.”

Perhaps those responsible simply don’t want him in the House, making factually-accurate claims that will be extremely embarrassing for an already-weak minority Tory government?

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14 thoughts on “Disabled MP accuses Tories of ‘eugenics’ – is that why they won’t let him take a seat?

  1. Christine Cullen

    I just wrote to John Bercow about this. It’s disgraceful. Apart from the loss of dignity, the man is unable to do his job properly. I hope as many people as possible will also write. [email protected]

  2. drewdog2060drewdog2060

    This gentleman (quite obviously) should not be expected to stand as his disability makes it difficult for him to do so for protracted periods. Has noone in his own party seen fit to offer him a seat? Surely that would be the correct thing to do in the short-term. Howwever, in the longer-term (if the facts reported here are correct) facilities for people with disabilities require to be improved in Parliament. Kevin

  3. Fibro confused

    Mr O’Mara is completely correct it’s eugenics, we know IDS was part of a ‘right wing’ think tank who thought eugenics should be govt policy, it is just not in name. I hope he keeps kicking up a stink as are quite a few of the new intake on the Labour benches. More power to them it gives some of us much needed hope.

  4. Prickly

    This is disheartening that an MP is having difficulties in the House of Commons due to his disability. I don’t suppose any of the other MPs could possibly be kind enough to give up their seat for him? No perhaps not.

    I voted for Jared for various reasons:

    1. He wasn’t Nick Clegg
    2. He didn’t represent the Conservative party or the Lib-Dems
    3. He has a disability and therefore, just may have an understanding of the lives of similar people.

    The media would have you believe Jared only got in due to the student vote in Hallam. It is a great many years since I was a student. Hallam (Sheffield) is quite a wealthy area but there are also many people who are poor and/or disabled in this area.

  5. kyle austin

    although it begs the question as to why not ONE single MP no matter what the party has offered to give up their seat for him. sorry but if it was me i would make damn sure i held up the whole proceedings until they had met my needs to be able to do my job and if that meant causing a lot of red faces all round then so be it. and yes i am disabled my self too

  6. Jean Eveleigh

    I would argue that the issue of the seating is a bigger issue with his own party as well if anyone was to offer him as seat you would expect it to be one of his own party members before any of the wider membership of the house.

    On the wider issue of lack of signage and adaptions they house should be leading from the front how can they expect other industries, businesses and individuals to make adaption f they refuse to do so themselves.

    As to eugenics I can understand where he is coming from but feel this is less about eugenics and more about plain old ignorance.

    1. Ellis Hawkins

      Him not getting a seat is not why he accuses them of eugenics its their policies for the rest of disabled people, the commons as a whole may operate by plain old ignorance but the conservative agenda?

  7. David Walsh

    He should complain to the Speakers Office, as it seems clear the Tory Whips will not help him. The House authorities can assist him – recall tat Anne Begg, Labour MP for one of the Aberdeen seats, was able to procure her own wheelchair space to sit and speak in the chamber, which was arranged y the Speaker and the Serjeant at Arms office.

  8. Pamela Stocks

    I have ME and severe orthostatic intolerance and because of this, I often find it difficult to stand for even 30 seconds. If I go anywhere where there is any risk of having to stand or queue (bus stops, banks, shops and a huge list of other places), I have taken a folding seat, as I’m also too weak to propel a wheelchair, although it’s rare that I can manage to carry it. Mostly this means being housebound or relying on my husband, which means I am seldom able to have any independence. Unfortunately, society – as well as the House of Commons it seems – is incredibly disabling.

  9. leonc1963

    If there are not enough seats then an able bodied MP who can stand should give up a seat FFS this is the 21st century if the highest house in the land cannot get disability issue right who can

  10. L allen

    Mr o’mara, I am disgusted that no-one would think to offer you a seat, we where all taught as children to stand for an adult, give up your seat to the elderly and the pregnant lady, help the disabled, even the disabled will give up their seat to someone who is wise off than they are. That’s the British way. So shame on them all! However, if it was me I would not let them stop me, there are many slimline motability scooters on the market, maybe party funds should be used to supply one and then you could run over a few feet, they really do deserve it. ?

  11. Zippi

    Is The house above the £aw, then? What of the laws on access? Surely, the employer has a responsibility? Regardless of members of his own party not surrendering their seats, which is a disgrace, what about human compassion? Is their none in the House? That aside, is this not a matter of £aw? If I were he, I would certainly not be silent about it. My mother has mobility issue and though I was not travelling, I entered a train carriage with her and made sure that she got a seat. This is a stain on our collective humanity, not to mention Democracy. Civilised society? For SHAME!

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