This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

Communication / 4 June 2008

And it’s good to see that the Disabled People’s Direct Action Network (DAN) is still alive and kicking. It all went a bit quiet after Alan Holdsworth (Aka Johnny Crescendo) departed for the States a few years ago.

My sources tell me that about 25 Disability activists and their PA’s entered the foyer of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) building and demanded to meet James Purnell, the work and pensions secretary. This was in a protest against ‘the use of negative propaganda against disabled people to justify benefits cuts’ (surely not?!). They also handed in a letter to staff in which they accused politicians of ignoring disabled people’s poor prospects for employment and equality in the job market.

Apparently the only official statement to come out of this from the work and pensions department was (wait for it!): ‘This is not the way to arrange a meeting with the secretary of state. It is more usual for people to write to him’.

I can imagine the correspondence before the next action … ‘Dear Mr Purnell, we would like to meet you at our next unannounced action on …’ and his reply …’Oh what a shame. I’ll be out of the office on that day visiting anybody, somewhere else!’