Tag Archives: persecution

Coronavirus discrimination: surgery asks chronically sick and disabled patients to refuse treatment

People with serious health conditions and disabilities who are registered with a GP surgery in Wales had a nasty surprise in the post.

The surgery sent them a letter saying if they caught the coronavirus, the best thing for them to do would be to reject treatment and wait for death – and it asked them to sign a form confirming it.

Llynfi Surgery, in Llynfi Road, Maesteg, sent the letter to patients with serious health conditions such as incurable cancer, motor neurone disease, and untreatable heart and lung conditions, on March 27.

It comes as further confirmation that people with disabilities will suffer adverse discrimination in the coronavirus crisis – that government guidance is to abandon them.

The letter states that people with these conditions are “unlikely to be offered hospital admission” if they become unwell with coronavirus and “certainly will not be offered a ventilator bed”.

It continued: “We would therefore like to complete a DNACPR form for you which we can share with the OOH [out of hours] GP services and which will mean that in the event of a sudden deterioration in your condition because of a Covid-19 infection or disease progression the emergency services will not be called and resuscitation attempts to restart your heart or breathing will not be attempted.”

Going on, it suggested that the “best option” for patients is to stay at home to be cared for by their family with “ongoing support from ourselves and community nursing services”.

It listed “benefits” to signing the DNACPR form:

  • “Your GP and more importantly your friends and family will know not to call 999”;
  • “Scarce ambulance resources can be targeted to the young and fit who have chance of surviving the infection”, and;
  • “The risk of transmitting the virus to friends, family and emergency responders from CPR (even chest compression alone) is very high. By having a DNACPR form in place you protect your family and emergency responders from this additional risk”.

The final line reads: “We will not abandon you but we need to be frank and realistic about what the next few months holds for all of us.”

Wales Online reported on this scandalous correspondence, saying that the local health board had contacted patients who were upset by the letter, to apologise and “answer any concerns”.

And both the Welsh Assembly member and MP have issued a joint statement saying this was “not a standard letter” and the board is working with the surgery “to offer compassionate and sound advice in the very best traditions of our health service”.

You’ll notice that there isn’t a single line in these comments that contradicts the suggestions in the letter.

If anything, it seems the authorities have simply been embarrassed that it has stated the facts about government guidance on long-term sick and disabled patients who contract the coronavirus in a blunt way.

The affair seems to be confirmation that the government is indeed using the coronavirus to cull “useless eaters”, in line with the eugenics beliefs of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings, and the Nazi-style persecution of people with long-term health issues that has been carried out by successive Conservative governments over the last decade.

Source: Surgery asks sickest patients to sign ‘do not attempt CPR’ form if they get Covid-19 – Wales Online

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Faced with five more years of Tory persecution, disabled people are losing hope

This didn’t happen: But you can bet the Tories would have wanted it.

“Basically now we are all buggered.

“No hope left for me as I’m disabled and they’ve messed me about so much already.

“I don’t see any compassion for people like myself and all the others like me out there – and to all the ones who have already taken their lives because of cuts cuts cuts cuts n more cuts.

“I’m so disappointed in people in general because of all the hatred towards different groups of people.

“And it’s now going to get worse. Thanks a bunch.”

Those aren’t my words; they were written by Mrs Mike, after the extent of Boris Johnson’s general election victory became clear.

I wonder how many of those who voted Tory because they really wanted Brexit stopped to think about the harm they were doing to their relatives on sickness and/or disability benefits, or to anybody else who is vulnerable because of the draconian Tory policies we’ve had to endure since 2010?

Did these people stop for a moment to think what the Tories will give us?

They won’t give us reform of the Department for Work and Pensions. Labour would have scrapped the DWP because the culture of persecution has now become so ingrained into it that the only responsible choice was to dissolve the entire department and replace it with a new Department of Social Security. That will not happen under the Conservatives and the culture of persecution will continue to kill people – your relatives, maybe.

They won’t reform the benefit system and scrap Universal Credit. UC has been a hugely-expensive ‘white elephant’ from the start – but it does exactly what the Conservatives want: It kills benefit claimants. With an 80-seat majority, Johnson will really put the screws on the poor and vulnerable. Mrs Mike was right and we can expect a bloodbath.

(But don’t expect the Tory-led mass media to report on it. Apparently there were huge demonstrations against the new Tory government in London over the weekend. Did you see it reported on the news? Neither did I. I did see a report on how Russian president Putin controls the news media so nothing is said against his government. That is what you’ll get from now on.)

They won’t reform the so-called “digital barrier” that obstructs people who have trouble coping with computers and the internet from claiming benefits. Telephone, face-to-face and outreach support cost money and might result in people actually being able to claim the benefits they deserve and no Tory MP wants that.

They won’t end the five-week wait for Universal Credit payments. This plunges people into crushing poverty which is exactly where the Tories want them.

They won’t reintroduce fortnightly payments, to help people manage their money. Tories want benefit claimants to be in a permanent state of panic, poverty and – ultimately – despair. Look at what Mrs Mike said, above. It’s working (and she’s not even on UC).

They won’t end the evil sanction regime. It is unfair and harsh for a reason – to harm poor people.

They won’t scrap the benefit cap. Tories are about denying money to the people who really need it.

They won’t end the two-child limit on benefits and scrap the so-called ‘rape clause’. Despite being described as “immoral and outrageous”, Tories love it because it humiliates women.

They won’t pay the child element of benefits to the primary carer, to ensure that women are no longer forced to stay in abusive relationships by the system. Tories like keeping women in abusive relationships.

They won’t end the Bedroom Tax and increase the Local Housing Allowance to protect people against the threat of eviction. Tories want to pitch poor people into the street. Their homes can then be redeveloped into high-cost dwellings for the very rich, “gentrifying” – and socially-cleansing – whole towns if they can.

They won’t end the “dehumanising” Work Capability Assessments and PIP Assessments. Tories love humiliating the poor and vulnerable, remember.

They won’t stop benefit assessments being contracted-out to private companies and ensure that all benefit assessments are carried out by government employees in future. Privatisation is a Tory mantra. While it encourages corruption, it also puts any harm caused to claimants at arms’-length from the Tory government itself.

They won’t increase Employment and Support Allowance for people in the Work-Related Activity Group. Tories are about putting people into poverty and debt, remember.

Oh, and they won’t put people right when they ask Labour MPs why they aren’t putting a stop to the hate-filled persecution that is on its way.

Labour can’t stop the coming Tory wall of hate. Your vote put a stop to that.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Netanyahu echoes Hitler. Will his followers call ‘anti-Semitism!’ on those who point this out?

Benjamin Netanyahu: echoing Adolf Hitler.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lowered himself to baiting his critics – trying to lure them into apparent displays of anti-Semitism – by paraphrasing Nazi tyrant Adolf Hitler in a comment on Twitter.

He stated, in a sabre-rattling speech aimed at Iran: “The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.”

As you can see from the response by Evolve Politics, Hitler said something almost identical in 1923: “The whole of nature is a mighty struggle between strength and weakness, an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.”

It is true that one of the examples of anti-Semitism listed with the IHRA working definition is “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”.

For some, that would be enough. We know several right-wing Labour MPs who would scream “anti-Semitism” if anybody compared Netanyahu with Hitler.

However – and this is a biggie:

The working definition of anti-Semitism itself states that examples such as that listed above are “non-legally binding”, only “to guide IHRA in its work”, and are indications of what “might” be manifestations, “taking into account the overall context”.

So – as Martin Odoni clarifies in this Critique Archives article, “the notorious ‘examples’ in the IHRA definition… are not meant to be seen as cast-iron proof of anti-Semitic attitudes. They are merely meant to be seen as clues for ‘where to look’, as it were. Where these behaviours are seen, the person or people demonstrating them might be anti-Semitic in their intentions, and so it is advisable to investigate.”

So the IHRA accepts that drawing comparisons between contemporary Israeli policy and that of the Nazis may not be inherently anti-Semitic – and one occasion in which it most certainly would not is if the Israeli prime minister paraphrased the words of Hitler.

Furthermore, such behaviour encourages unfavourable analysis of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians – not direct comparisons with the Nazis’ persecution of European Jews, although it is clear that, as Hitler believed the Jews to be weak, Netanyahu applies the same description to Palestinians.

So, in context, there is nothing anti-Semitic about this tweet by Craig Murray, no matter how much the pro-Israeli-government lobby rages about it.

This one, by John Clarke, is a valid expression of opinion:

And duncanpoundcake doesn’t go far enough: Hitler had shouted this crap, long before the Nuremberg rallies:

Marcus Chown’s comment can’t be touched because not only is he absolutely right, but he actually places Netanyahu’s remarks in their correct context:

But it seems the pro-Israeli-government lobby has the mass media neatly muzzled. Tom Clark of Another Angry Voice says it loud and clear:

Where indeed?

And Jill Segger teaches the lesson that Mr Netanyahu and all the supporters of his genocidal regime seem to have forgotten:

We are told – constantly – that the Nazi persecution of the Jews is, indeed, hateful to the Jews.

But the leader of what he himself has described as the “nation-state of the Jewish people” has not only embraced the rhetoric that informed that persecution – he uses it to justify doing what is hateful to his own neighbours in Palestine.

And, to their eternal shame, our mainstream news media are spineless, supine and silent.

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Challenged to defend their record of persecution against the disabled, Tories have nothing to say

Debbie Abrahams in the House of Commons.

Debbie Abrahams in the House of Commons.

How pleasant to hear this said in a Parliamentary debate, with not a single word of denial from the Conservative Government:

“Last week there was an amazing sequence of events. On Monday, the Secretary of State told me that he could not publish … data because they were not kept, and told me to stop scaremongering; on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said that they would be published; and this was swiftly followed by the Government saying that they were appealing against the Information Commissioner’s ruling, stating that publishing these data would lead to ‘probable misinterpretations’ and ‘was too emotive…and wasn’t in the public interest’. What an absolute shambles!”

This was part of the speech by Debbie Abrahams, Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, in a debate on ‘welfare reform and people with disabilities’, called by her to set the scene for any measures against the disabled that George Osborne is considering for his July budget. As the Government prepares to cut £12 billion from the annual social security budget next week, there are real concerns that – in addition to potentially slashing tax credits for the working poor – they will cut further support for working-age people with disabilities.

She was referring, of course, to the government’s increasingly confused response to This Writer’s request for an honest answer to the question, ‘How many people have died while claiming Employment and Support Allowance between November 2011 and May 2014 (the date of my request)?” But wait! She continued:

“I could not disagree more. This is definitely in the public interest. As a former public health academic, I am more than aware of the strict criteria for establishing causality, but there are no grounds for not publishing numbers of actual deaths as well as the Government-proposed standardised mortality ratios, including those who died within six weeks of being found fit for work. Will the Minister now confirm when these data will be published?

Dear reader, it falls to This Writer to report that not one word came back from the Government benches – not even when the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Justin Tomlinson (who?) got onto his hind legs to give the Government’s response to the debate.

You can sign the petition demanding that the Government end its appeal against the order to publish the statistics, and provide the figures to the public, on the Change.org website.

She also asked when the Government will publish redacted information on the circumstances of the deaths of claimants who died while sanctioned, and what changes the DWP instigated in the light of reviews of these deaths – and whether the significant surge in suicide rates for both men and women since 2010— particularly for working-age men—is being analysed by the DWP. No response.

The Government doesn’t have anything to say to the sick, disabled or vulnerable, and even less to say about them.

Ms Abrahams began her speech by pointing out, “It is poignant that this debate falls on the very day that the Independent Living Fund closes. A further £1.2 billion is being cut from support for people with disabilities. Such cuts were a hallmark of the Tory-led coalition, and many are concerned that not only will this increase but the cuts will get worse under this Government.

“I … want to draw attention to the punitive and dehumanising culture that has been part of the delivery of these welfare reforms, which set the tone for the leadership within the Department for Work and Pensions and the Government’s wider tone on social security.”

Here’s a quick precis of the facts: She said that, by 2018, £23.8 billion of support would have been taken from 3.7 million people with disabilities, according to Demos. The measures include:

  • Indexation of social security payments was changed from the higher retail prices index to the lower consumer prices index
  • There was also a 1% cap on the uprating of certain working-age benefits.
  • People on incapacity benefit were reassessed.
  • The time that disabled people in the work-related activity group are able to receive the employment and support allowance was limited.
  • Disabled people in receipt of disability living allowance are being reassessed to determine whether they are eligible for the personal independence payment.
  • Disability benefits are approximately 15% of average earnings. With the recent changes—the 1% uprating and the indexation to the consumer prices index—they will fall even further below those in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Luxembourg, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
  • People with disabilities are twice as likely to live in persistent poverty as non-disabled people: 80% of disability-related poverty is caused by extra costs. This has implications for disabled people’s families – a third of all families living in poverty include one disabled family member.
  • Since the Government’s new sanctions regime, the rate of sanctioning of people on IB and ESA has doubled.

She said part of the Government’s strategy has been the “invidious” spreading of a culture of blame and fear.

“In the 1980s we saw the unions being targeted; today the focus is on the poor and the vulnerable.

“The narrative associated with the so-called welfare reforms has been one of divide and rule, deliberately attempting to vilify people who receive social security as the new undeserving poor.

“The Government have spread a culture of pejorative language, such as “shirkers” and “scroungers”. They have intentionally attempted to demonise social security recipients, including disabled people.

“The innuendo that people with a disability or illness might be faking it or are feckless is, quite frankly, grotesque… Unfortunately, the regular misuse of statistics is another way that the Government are trying to harden the public’s attitude.

“The facts are that, in an ageing population, the largest proportion of social security recipients are pensioners and not, as is often implied, the workshy.”

The whole debate can be found here.

Additional: It has been pointed out to me that Mr Tomlinson stated: “We will be publishing them [sic] the mortality stats—I know the hon. Lady is keen to see them soon; we would all like to see them as soon as possible.” Since he did not define the form those statistics would take, nor did he provide a firm date on which they would be published, it seems clear that what he did say was as near to nothing as makes no odds.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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