MPs launch inquiry into DWP’s failure to prevent deaths of thousands of disabled people
Don’t get your hopes up – this is only an inquiry by the House of Commons’ Work and Pensions Committee. The DWP will probably ignore anything it says.
But after a decade, it’s a start:
After years of activism, lobbying, researching, campaigning and fighting for justice by so many disabled activists and allies, and so many deaths, finally an inquiry into the safeguarding failures of the #DWP: https://t.co/rAooqAF1XY
— Disability News Service (@johnpringdns) July 24, 2023
According to John Pring, over at Disability News Service:
The Commons work and pensions committee will investigate if DWP has a duty to safeguard “vulnerable people”, and if it does not, whether it should.
It is set to take evidence from coroners who have heard inquests into the deaths of claimants, lawyers who have taken legal cases against DWP, and the families of claimants who have died.
It is set to be the first serious public investigation into safeguarding at DWP since reports of deaths first began emerging in the early years of the 2010 Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission promised to carry out an inquiry into links between DWP’s work capability assessment and the deaths of claimants, but it was heavily criticised after it dropped those plans.
This Site – Vox Political – played a huge role in publicising the deaths. I was the campaigner who got the unexplained deaths of 2,400 people onto the front pages of the national daily newspapers in August 2015.
Nothing was done about those deaths, of course.
And while I applaud Labour’s Debbie Abrahams and even Nigel Mills of the Tory Party for managing to secure even this limited inquiry, I won’t hold my breath waiting for anything useful to come of it.
The best chance, I think, is if as many family members of deceased disability benefit claimants contact the Work and Pensions Committee and demand to be heard as possible.
If you are one such person, please do so by following the link above.
Pro-Israel pressure group influenced Unite union boss to cancel screening of Jeremy Corbyn film and book talk in its buildings
This is very awkward for Unite and its general secretary Sharon Graham in particular.
It seems the union has bowed to pressure from the false “charity” calling itself the Campaign Against Antisemitism to ban showings of Oh, Jeremy Corbyn: The Big Lie and appearances by author Asa Winstanley to discuss his book, Weaponising Antisemitism.
Explosive email uncovered by Electronic Intifada confirms months of investigative reporting by Skwawkbox that Unite leadership were directly involved in banning the film 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn!… The Big Lie’ revealing shocking abuses of process and democracy.https://t.co/OLkpTKkLAG
— Bath Ordinary Left (@OrdLeftBath) July 24, 2023
UPDATE: Anti-Palestinian group the "Campaign Against Antisemtism" has now claimed responsibility for Unite's cancellation of my book talk.
They say it came after they spoke to @unitetheunion.
— Asa Winstanley (@AsaWinstanley) July 23, 2023
On what grounds?
The claim in the CAA’s tweet – that the film is about “antisemitism-denial” – is false. We know that because lawyers for the Glastonbury Festival examined it and pronounced it safe to screen. The festival’s organisers still pulled it from their schedules – apparently because the CAA pressurised one of their sponsors to pressure them.
One has to question what this organisation does. Considering the way accusations of anti-Semitism have been weaponised beyond the point at which merely being accused is enough to harm anybody for life, This Writer is considered that Unite and its leaders may have been told to cancel the event or be smeared as anti-Semites themselves.
I wonder whether the facts of the matter will ever be known.
I certainly think the organisers of the Bristol event should be told. And then they should tell the rest of us, so we can judge for ourselves what kind of organisation the CAA is and whether it deserves to retain its charity status, considering the way its behaviour seems to be geared towards restricting free speech for political purposes.
Consider the content of the following tweet and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a reason to disagree:
Unite the Union banning a film in which Jewish people talk about their own experiences.
Because that's how we 'fight antisemitism'.
Obviously…@UniteSharon: think you've got some explaining to do. #ItWasAScamhttps://t.co/TivRHsk894
— simon maginn (@simonmaginn) July 24, 2023
Keir Starmer’s Shadow Chancellor is a liar: if she can’t tell the truth about Ken Loach’s expulsion from Labour, how can we trust her on the economy?
Ken Loach wasn’t “expelled from the Labour Party for anti-Semitism”, @RachelReevesMP.
Stop telling lies.
— James Foster (@JamesEFoster) July 24, 2023
The reason Mr Loach was expelled from the Labour Party has never been divulged – even to Mr Loach himself, if This Writer recalls correctly. That’s probably because there wasn’t any reason for it at all.
On the other hand, Reeves famously reverse Nancy Astor, who really was an anti-Semite. James Foster is referring to that in his tweet.
So she’s a hypocrite as well as a liar.
British Gas profits to hit record levels after Ofgem raised the energy price cap
British Gas’ profits are expected to reach record levels due to Ofgem’s increased energy price cap.
Analysts predict between £687m and £857m, compared to £98m in 2022.
Profits made by picking our pockets. Ofgem/Govt does nothing to curb profiteering.https://t.co/g2rA23dySp
— Prem Sikka (@premnsikka) July 24, 2023
Both Labour and the Tories think this price-gouging by a privatised national utility firm is absolutely fine when millions of UK citizens are struggling to pay their gas bills.
Do you think it is?
The UK’s richest people are £438 billion richer than 10 years ago. Now you know where all your money went
Just a reminder that UK billionaires' wealth is up £438 BILLION in the past decade.
A very modest proposal would be a 10% Wealth Tax just on this *increased* wealth.
That would raise £43bn which could create a huge social emergency fund to help get people through this crisis.
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) July 24, 2023
The Tories’ greatest achievement: making you think you have to wait longer for a GP appointment because there’s no money for the NHS
Before your militant @Conservatives took over 13 years ago, patients could see their GP in only 1-2 days. Now millions wait over 2 weeks. Bravo. The son of an NHS GP is now overseeing the death of general practice. The NHS is not safe in your hands.#SOSNHS pic.twitter.com/QmBFOgEvM6
— Dr Andrew Meyerson (@andrewmeyerson) July 24, 2023
Remember: the NHS in England is struggling due to lack of funding since 2010, and the richest people in the UK are £438 billion richer due to Conservative government policies over the last 10 years.
Do you think there might possibly be a connection?
As privatised rail firms cut ticket offices in the UK, the government give £680m for electric railway in Turkey
This is privatisation for you. Most of the money from the UK’s privatised rail system goes out of the country in profits for its foreign owners. And now the Tory government is using even more of our money to build a railway abroad:
— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) July 24, 2023
There’s very little investment in UK rail, of course. And the public – that’s you and me – is subsidising this failure massively.
At last people are starting to speak out against UK politicians’ failures
People: conditioned to not raise their heads above the parapet. Keep yourself to yourself and try and find enough for today's needs. Don't rock the boat.
The boat is sinking. It doesn't have to. The captain is aiming it at the iceberg. We can change course.
Lift your head up. https://t.co/uZdf7CwK7c
— David Williams (@MrDaveyWilliams) July 24, 2023
I draw your attention to it because both Jeremy Corbyn have been driven out of Keir Starmer’s political party (although admittedly, Mr Corbyn is still a member, he is not allowed to be in the Parliamentary Labour Party).
They have found their voices and are speaking out against the injustices they see – from both the Conservatives and their own former political homes.
So the question is: how long are you going to hang your head below the parapet? Just until it’s too late?
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