Holocaust Memorial Day tweet triggers hate-filled denial of disability-related deaths

Julie Hull (above) is the kind of person who wants the author of This Site condemned as an anti-Semite.

My word.

This Writer’s experience after Prime Minister’s Questions today demonstrates the danger of publishing unwise words – and I don’t mean my own.

At the very start of the session, Theresa May said: “I am sure that Members throughout the House will wish to join me in marking Holocaust Memorial Day this Saturday and in remembering all those who endured such appalling suffering in the holocaust.”

In fact, she seems to have made a common mistake, that HMD commemorates only the genocides perpetrated by the Nazis between 1939 and 1945. This is a falsehood. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn went some way towards correcting this as he stood to ask his first question: “I join the Prime Minister in commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day. Many Members will be signing the book of remembrance and attending the event tomorrow. We have to teach all generations that the descent into Nazism and the holocaust must never, ever be repeated anywhere on this planet.”

But of course it has been repeated – again and again. It is hard to describe the horror of the Shoah (as Jewish people describe the Nazi holocaust), but we have witnessed many occasions in which the same has been attempted against other ethnic groups.

The Cambodian genocide in the 1970s took anything up to three million lives. In Rwanda, in 1994, the highest estimate of the death toll is one million. In 1971, up to three million people were killed in Bangladesh.

There are smaller genocides, too. But are they to be treated with less horror, less revulsion, just because fewer people died? In East Timor between 1975 and 199, up to 200,000 people lost their lives. Are any of those lives less important than those lost between 1939 and 1945, or in Cambodia, or in Bangladesh? A similar number died in Somalia between 1988 and 1991. Were those lives any less important? What about the 200,000 Kurds said to have died in Iraq between 1986 and 1989? Or the 166,000 in Guatemala between 1962 and 1996?

Or the 30-40,000 deaths in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995? I was in Bosnia with a charity trying to help rebuild, in 1997. The things I saw, and the accounts of the people I met, will stay with me until the day I die.

What about the thousands of people who are understood to have died as a result of Conservative policies to people with long-term illnesses and disabilities since 2010?

They didn’t happen, according to people on Twitter today (January 24).

Perhaps it was unwise, considering the tidal wave of hate against me that has been swelling on Twitter over (false) claims of anti-Semitism that have been made against me – but I have been campaigning for many years against the Tory policy to push sick and disabled people to their deaths, and this was an opportunity I could not pass up.

So I tweeted:

Can open. Worms everywhere.

First, there are those who deny that people with long-term illnesses and disabilities are being pushed to their deaths by Tory policies.

Here’s one now – Julie Hull:

I’ll repeat her words, in case she chooses to delete the tweet later. She wrote: “A vile comment and equally grotesquely insulting to Conservatives, to true victims of genocides, and to the disabled. You and this kind of ‘kinder gentler politics’ bring shame on the party you pretend to love.”

Strong words. But it wasn’t clear what they actually meant, so I had to seek clarity. I asked: “Are you denying the deaths of sick and disabled people due to Tory policies?”

And she wrote: “Yes.”

Outrageous.

So Tory spending cuts in health and social care didn’t lead to the deaths of nearly 120,000 people since 2010 – mostly older people and those whose health issues mean they live in care homes? That will be news to the authors of this study, published by the British Medical Journal.

So Tory benefit cuts didn’t cause a “human catastrophe” for sick and disabled people in the UK? That will be news to the United Nations.

So Tory benefit cuts didn’t lead to the unexplained deaths of at least 2,400 people between 2011 and 2014? That would be news to me.

(If you click on the link, you’ll see it refers to fewer than 2,400 deaths. This is because the Conservative government at first tried to withhold some information from me. The remaining facts were provided later, under the cosh of the UK Statistics Authority).

And what of the other deaths? You see, the Department for Work and Pensions only records the deaths of claimants up to around two weeks after a decision is made to cut their benefits. Many, many people have died after that period – due to a number of causes.

Who can forget David Clapson, a former soldier who died of diabetic ketoacidosis caused by severe lack of insulin, three weeks after his benefits were stopped – for missing one meeting at the Job Centre. He had no money to pay for the electricity to keep his fridge working, meaning the insulin he kept there became useless. At the time of his death, he had no food in his stomach at all. A pile of CVs was found next to his body. His death was not recorded by the DWP as it occurred after the Department’s two-week limit.

How about Michael O’Sullivan, who was driven to suicide bids after being found “fit for work” by the Department for Work and Pensions? A coroner, Mary Hassall, made it clear that she considered the DWP – and therefore the Conservative government – to have triggered his suicide.

There are many more incidents. If you have the stamina for it, try going through the list of articles on the subject, published on This Site alone.

And for anyone who still doubts that the Conservative government and its policies had anything to do with the deaths, bear in mind that the benefit assessment interview for both ESA and PIP includes a query about whether the claimant has ever considered suicide.

If they say “yes”, the next question is: “Why haven’t you done it?” Can you honestly tell yourself that a person with mental health problems, who has already considered suicide, won’t take that as a demand that they take their own life?

It’s called “chequebook euthanasia”. And yes, you can trace its roots back to Nazi Germany.

Oh, but never mind any of the evidence that has been amassed since 2010. Julie Hull says there’s no connection between the deaths of sick and disabled people and the Conservative government, so that’s all right then.

Is it? Really?

The other aspect of this is the following claim, repeated many times over the last few hours:

Beth Rosenberg wrote: “Minimising of the Holocaust is antisemitic, which you know and are doing deliberately to cause offence.”

Two points:

  1. I have not minimised any Holocaust.
  2. Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates many holocausts and genocides, not just what happened to the Jewish people.

The first point should be self-evident from what I have written above. If anything, my critics are minimising the deaths of sick and disabled people currently taking place here in the UK – and that is unforgivable.

It is possible that the people complaining to me misunderstand the terms. For example:

“What a vile human being,” tweeted Jonny Braham. “Someone needs to look up the definition of #Genocide.”

So I did – on the Holocaust Memorial Day website. I responded: “HMD website: “The Convention [The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide] defines genocide as … causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group… deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” among others.”

That reply defies belief: “Ah ok so the tories made all these people disabled & now wants to wipe them out, I reiterate my previous tweet, you’re a vile human being.”

Who said anything about the Tories making anybody disabled?

As for the rest of it – we were discussing genocide and I provided the information requested of me.

Oh, and yes – I referred to holocausts in the plural. Look up the definition – this one is from the Oxford Dictionary:

“holocaust
“noun
  1. 1.
    “destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war.”

My insistence on this definition will become clear, later in this article.

As for the second: The tweet I’ve quoted makes it very clear that the person attacking me believes Holocaust Memorial Day to refer specifically to the genocide committed against Jewish people by Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. So does this one, from the same person:

She wrote: “The mythology from the left compared to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews.”

So HMD refers only to the Shoah and not to any other such events, according to Ms Rosenberg. Oh, and the deaths of thousands of people with long-term illnesses and disabilities have not happened, in her opinion.

Here’s S. Nicholson:

“How dare you compare the systematic murder of millions of people with the fairy tale claim that controlling benefits is damaging?”

“Fairy tale”?

Christina Wallis tweeted: “That’s probably the most deluded and disgusting comment I’ve ever seen on Twitter. How dare you.”

I responded: “In what way? Are you denying the deaths of sick and disabled people due to Conservative Party policy? If so, on what basis? Have you read the information available on this subject (there’s a lot)? Or are you just trying to attack me?”

Her reply:

https://twitter.com/xtinewallis/status/956252907653025793

“I just find it upsetting that you’re using an atrocity that lead to the death of six million people, including members of my family to make a political point. I wasn’t attacking you, I’ve never attacked anyone in my life.”

Oh, is that right? It seemed like an attack.

So we’ve established that the people quoted above consider the Holocaust to be the atrocity committed by Nazi Germany against Jewish people, and I am an anti-Semite for suggesting anything else.

I draw attention to it because, back in September 2016, former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker was suspended by the Labour Party after members of the Jewish Labour Movement complained that she was an anti-Semite, for believing exactly the same thing.

According to The Independent:

“In terms of Holocaust Day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all people who experienced Holocaust?” she said at a training workshop on dealing with antisemitism at Momentum’s conference.

A number of people in the room immediately spoke out against Ms Walker’s comments and told her that Holocaust Memorial Day already included commemoration of other genocides. She responded: “In practice, it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such.”

Look at Theresa May’s words, quoted above. Look at Jeremy Corbyn’s. It is clear that they are referring to the Nazi atrocity. Together with the tweets above, I would say there is evidence that Ms Walker has a point.

Wouldn’t you?

For those who posted your hate messages in the hope that you would condemn me: At least you’ve done your bit to get Ms Walker’s suspension lifted.

For clarity, Holocaust Memorial Day does commemorate other atrocities – in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. That means it leaves out many, many other such horrific events. Ms Walker, if I recall correctly, was unhappy that transatlantic slavery is not mentioned.

Fortunately, there were people who were willing to stand up and be counted on my side too:

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/956140471578918913

One more thing: The Holocaust Memorial Day website has an image entitled “The ten stages of genocide”, which I’ll reproduce below:

As you can see, the Conservatives are well on their way with their genocide of people with illnesses and disabilities.

Stage One – Classification, Stage Four – Dehumanisation and Stage Six – Polarisation have already been implemented, with government and their tame media encouraging their supporters to ostracise those who have long-term illnesses and/or disabilities, and to refer to them as “scroungers”, “skivers” and worse. The Tories have the Daily Mail, among other rags, to spread their hate.

Attempts have been made at Stage Two – Symbolisation, with the bid to make disabled people wear badges on the London Underground. On the face of it, this was to allow them access to facilities for the disabled, but advocates for disabled people warned that it would make them targets for people who had been indoctrinated with the hatred symbolised by Stage One and Stage Four.

Stage Three – Discrimination is exactly why the United Nations criticised the UK government several years ago. The government was found guilty of “grave or systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities”.

Stage Five – Organisation is covered by the Department for Work and Pensions. You see, violence doesn’t have to be carried out with guns these days – it can be done with a keystroke when a benefit claimant is deprived of their allowance. The assessment system for ESA and PIP assumes either that illness and/or disability is all in the mind, or that the claimant is trying to avoid working for a living, and current information has it that the government wants to clear 80 per cent of claimants from the benefit books.

Deprived of their means of survival, sick/disabled people are left to their own devices. They can’t claim Jobseekers’ Allowance – as directed by the DWP – because they would be sanctioned very quickly when their illness made it impossible for them to meet one or more of the conditions required of someone searching for a job. So they starve to death like David Clapson, or commit suicide, like Michael O’Sullivan, and the government can deny any responsibility, in accordance with Stage Ten – Denial.

We have already seen the Conservatives deny any wrong-doing to the United Nations; we know they do not collect information about the well-being of former sickness and disability benefit claimants who have been cut off by their cruel assessment system.

That’s how the Tory genocide of the sick and disabled works. If you denied it before reading this article, please reconsider your position.

The phrase most commonly associated with the Holocaust inflicted by the Nazis is “Never again”.

The fact is, since 1945, such events have happened again and again.

It is outrageous that I should be vilified for pointing it out.

Postscript: Believe it or not, I received the following after publishing this article:

https://twitter.com/kb32904/status/956339570915889152

“People die – it’s the way of the world” has to be one of the most sickening attempts to justify the Tory persecution of sick and disabled people that I have yet seen.


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26 thoughts on “Holocaust Memorial Day tweet triggers hate-filled denial of disability-related deaths

  1. Dave Putson

    One of the best and detailed articles I have read on this subject. Stonking work sir.

    Tory apologists everywhere, be careful of mike sivier.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They’ll probably just try to find something else with which to smear me.

      Thank you very much for the kind words!

  2. aunty1960

    Holocaust Memorial Day is My Birthday as well, Proud to Share it.

    Also Siege of Leningrade, Birth or Mozart and Introduction of Logie Bairds television

    We need another siege or we are under one, we need a Requiem

    I have noticed and come to the conclusion, Facts never convince anyone who is a headless emotion. Only a few are convinced by facts, most run on feeling and fixed prejudices. That is why commercials and political posturing works. True this is, even Conservatives and hardline Tory towns and shires are telling govt of the impact and horrors of cuts and austerity and disability denying.

    Lets face it, the Conservative Disability Group Leader got cut and he left disgusted. and was much impressed by Corbyn. Took me years to convince him.

  3. Brian

    Arguments like this reveal a truth, that the Tory line is indefensible, and they know it, putting them on the spot and demanding answers is the only way of blowing their gaff.

  4. M R

    Thank you Mike. For standing up for the sick and people with disabilities who are vilified by this cruel and uncaring government. Lives are being destroyed and the majority of us are standing by and letting it happen. How can anyone defend these vile policies by attacking you. I too salute you and thank you for your courage.

  5. Pat Hibernian McQueenie

    I could not help notice the majority of the attacks on your good self were from Women probably privileged Women just an observation on my part, The Coalition under Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, Cable, and Der Bald Beast IDS began the assault and Murder of Sick and Disabled Mental and Physical, Using Osborne’s oft repeated mantra about The Hard Working Tax Payer and Closed Curtains which in my view was the Catalyst and in their twisted minds justification for Murder, All the above mentioned along with E McVey, J Hunt, P Hammond, P Patel A Soubry J R Mogg B Johnstone along with many many others should Face The Judiciary Charged with The Crime of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity, if it was not so tragic you would have to laugh all these Political Elitists with a certain A Blair added told the People of Britain Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Assad and Gaddafi were all Despots and had to be Removed, The reason they mistreated their People Pot Kettle Black springs to mind.

  6. Barry Davies

    Surely those who take umbrage and claim the holocaust between 1939 and 1945 is solely about the Jewish people who were murdered, are ignoring the Gypsies Russian POW’S the mentally ill, those who these days are designated as having Learning difficulties in particular although there were others as well, are their lives less important because they were Christians Muslims atheist or any other religion?

  7. dave horton

    It seems very clear to me that your detractors are the ones in denial [or wish to keep the crown of victimhood ?]

  8. Jill Phillips

    Can I just make the usual plea – especially bearing in mind the words of “The Convention already quoted above [The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide] defines genocide as … causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group… deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” among others” – for the inclusion of the devastated stolen land and people, so intentionally forgotten – but not by the Unitede Nations – of Palestine in the list of those so badly hurt by despicable holocaust activity. Thank you.

  9. David Young

    Excellent article Mike. ‘Common little man’ eh? Obviously you ought to be just using the tradesmans entrance and not dabbling in things that peasants cant understand! And as for that final line – -‘People die – -its the way of the world’ – -words fail me.

  10. Roland Laycock

    Mike Sivier you are right in your comments genocide is going on in the UK today but the media don’t want to know as there all making money out of it, as for the word Holocaust invented by the Jews for the Jews it tries to make people think that only Jews where murdered when they where well down the list of people murdered you never hear of German Socialists and Trade Unionists, anyone that denies there crimes weren’t committed must be sick

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Origin of the word “holocaust”: “Middle English: from Old French holocauste, via late Latin from Greek holokauston, from holos ‘whole’ + kaustos ‘burnt’ (from kaiein ‘burn’).”

      And make no mistake – Jews were NOT “well down the list of people murdered”. The largest number of deaths were those of Jews. The highest estimate is six million deaths, among 17 million in total – around a third of those killed in the Nazi Holocaust. In Poland and the Baltic countries, 90 per cent of the Jewish populations were wiped out. Consider what it would mean if 90 per cent of the UK population was killed.

      Where you’re right is that others were killed as well, and their deaths are no less significant.

  11. The People's Cries

    You left out of the list of relatively recent Holocausts the slaughter of communists in Indonesia in the 1950s. Indeed the concept of Holocaust as generally used often seems to miss out overtly political mass murders and to emphasise mass murder on the grounds of “race”. That is, of categorisations, ‘traces of history’, whether of colonialism, slavery, or exclusion, the political nature of which have been warped into stigmatised identities.

  12. Helen Maddock

    I have been reading your stuff for a couple of years now so I can say that this was indeed one of your finest articles. Thank you for NOT letting the haters get to you, thank you for standing up and being counted….ditto and I still have the scars.
    Thank you for that roar when im just too sick to give a damn anymore and am no longer surprised at the sheer audacity of this situation. I often wonder what future scholars will make of it all and I trust that your literature along with DPACs will be studied in universities as 1st hand accounts of these destructive policies. Rest if you must but never give in or give up…easier said than done some days (I know) but thanks again for your daily articles and the inspiration that they often contain.

  13. Helen Hill

    Thank you so much for all your hard work, Mike. Hopefully , at least some of these people with wool over their eyes will eventually accept the truth of your words. X

  14. Pat Sheehan

    Dear Mike Sivier you are in ‘the front line’ and you well know you are face to face with some of the nastiest (and silliest) individuals imaginable: worthy of contempt alone, perhaps.
    We know they are not going to just go away – they never ever just go away – they usually have a vested interest and are well dug into their indefensible position. Most of the planet now knows these grotesque caricatures are quite happy to ignore the repeated protests and condemnation of the United Nations, no less. How dare you make a stand for decency and humanity, you frail, vulnerable human being, you!

  15. gfranklinpercival

    Following the NAZI pattern, are the tories, by starting off with killing the disabled.

    ‘Fearful of public reaction, the Nazi regime never proposed a formal “euthanasia” law. Unlike the forced sterilizations, the killing of patients in mental asylums and other institutions was carried out in secrecy. The code name was “Operation T4,” a reference to Tiergartenstrasse 4, the address of the Berlin Chancellery offices where the program was headquartered.’

    The entire article merits a reading.

    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/nazi-persecution-of-the-mentally-and-physically-disabled

  16. leonc1963

    Tory deniers have seen a few of them today it is too embarrassing for them to admit that there party is committing such crimes, they are lazy for not speaking out and would make prime employees for the DWP as they have already been conditioned

  17. john

    iam disabled and all like me have been through hell and back and with a sad heavy heart many have died and without my career and others i believe that i could have passed..all newspapers mostly inc many many news websites have EVIDENCE that from 2010 onwards the torys have committed crimes on the disabled… my god even the ian duncun smith resignation was for George Osborne was going to take and cut even more from the pip payments…..

  18. john

    all torys think is abought themselves…. everything is them…. god is an englishman quote ….. god save the queen quote……. blue blood from god quote….. i just cant or dont understand how they think….. thank god my quote *

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