CJD sufferer to be homeless – Tories will call this their greatest achievement (Part One of Three)

The latest atrocity to be inflicted on the innocent by the Conservative government became the opening act of a three-part farce on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (November 18), demonstrating everything that is wrong with our government and its complicit media.

The story, broken by The Sunday Times, concerns 19-year-old Emily Lydon, who was born brain-damaged after her mother contracted the human form of mad cow disease (BSE), but now faces losing her home because of benefit cuts linked to the switch to Universal Credit.

Her mother died when she was seven months old and since then she has been raised by her grandmother, 68-year-old Jean Godfrey. But last month the Department for Work and Pensions told Ms Godfrey their joint income was to be slashed from the £720 a week needed to pay for Emily’s 24-hour care and transport to £342. She now faces having to sell their bungalow in East Markham in Nottinghamshire.

Ms Godfrey pointed out that it was a failure of a former Conservative government that allowed BSE into the food chain – by allowing sick cows to be slaughtered, minced and fed back to other cattle as “cannibal cow-feeds”, spreading BSE to herds across the UK and into human beings who ate beef.

Emily’s mother, Sally Evans, was unknowingly developing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) before becoming pregnant. It attacked her brain and that of Emily, and she died in May 2000, aged 24.

Emily cannot speak or eat. She is fed with a syringe, is doubly incontinent and cannot walk – but DWP staff made her attend a work capability assessment at a job centre in Retford, then sent staff to review her case at her day centre.

They awarded her £58 a week in Universal Credit – and cut other benefits totalling £520 a week.

The review left them with £342 a week — less than half what they had been getting — and they were also left with extra mortgage and transport costs.

After The Sunday Times spoke to the DWP, a civil servant contacted Ms Godfrey and offered an extra £150 a week – but she said it still wasn’t enough to prevent her from having to sell the house.

You can read the full story in the newspaper. For some reason it isn’t behind a paywall (or wasn’t when I read it).

Reaction to the story has been universally negative:

It even attracted sympathy from Tory MP Anna Soubry, who tweeted: “No ifs no buts no excuses this is a disgrace & NOT what I voted for when supporting much needed benefit reforms.”

Unfortunately for Ms Soubry, and as Frances Ryan points out below, it was exactly what she voted to support. Dr Ryan, whose work in The Guardian has exposed the facts about Tory cuts to sickness and disability benefits, was right to point out that Tory rhetoric about protecting the “real disabled” was nothing other than a filthy lie.

Jonathan Portes offered up a more plausible reason for Ms Soubry’s outburst:

We shall see that it would have been better if Kwasi Kwarteng had adopted a similar attitude…

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5 thoughts on “CJD sufferer to be homeless – Tories will call this their greatest achievement (Part One of Three)

  1. Crawling Chaos (@crawlingchaosuk)

    I think the main point that I’ve learned from this is NOT that the tories are complete and utter duplicitous gutter-twats (I already knew this).
    The main point for me is that Murdoch has (probably) sensed the winds of change and is easing off support for the current batch of failed liars. For a few years now The Times and The Sun have been behind paywalls. Obviously I’d not purposely visit but would if I had to check the veracity of something. It’s at this point that I’d find the checking process blocked by the paywall.
    Recently though, I’ve followed links that have had NO paywall reminders – and the one in your article Mike, is another example. The stories have all been what I’d loosely describe as “sob-stories”, hopefully without offending anyone. I’m guessing terms like this are used in newspaper offices? Drop the dead donkey-ish.
    I don’t think that it’s a technical mistake on the website as the articles are headed “shared article” by design. I have no idea what they mean by this. Shared with who?….
    All I see is a few poignant tales, tales to make you rise against the hackles of injustice and cruelty, things like that, whereas before they were all locked away behind the paywalls.

    Why would this be? Have I missed something? Is it just coincidence that I’ve spotted these patterns or am I just noticing things to fit my own agenda?

  2. Pat Sheehan

    Pure ‘evil’! But these sort of government policies and this sort of behaviour has become so ‘normalized’ now in the UK of 2018 and accepted and supported by so many UK citizens we can clearly see how far we have travelled down the ‘fascist’ road. Anyone with any remaining sense of integrity and morality, any sense of awareness or direction will clearly see where we are all headed! Is there no turning this monster back?

Comments are closed.