Esther McVey - disability expert? I think not! / 10 July 2013
The Minister for Disabled People, Ms Esther McVey, has once again shown just how ignorant she is about disability and in particular mental health issues.
A disabled friend of mine wrote to Ms McVey expressing her concerns about a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) planned for her partner who has been diagnosed with paranoid psychosis. McVey suggested that he'll be fine because "where a claimant lacks insight into their condition or the challenges they face, a companion can come with them to the assignment and talk about them instead!
My friend comments: "I'm sure that knowing other people can see his limitations where he doesn't, and are talking about him to a complete stranger, will really help with the paranoia, anxiety and lack of self confidence."
She adds: "McVey has no idea of the subtleties and complexities of Mental Health issues. She also suggests in her letter to me that if a doctor states that it would be damaging for my partner to attend, then they won't need to do a face to face assessment. I can imagine the conversation with the doc beforehand (if I could come up with a persuasive reason for him to go in the first place).
Dr: how are you feeling?
My partner: fine thanks.
Doc: what do you think about going to this Work Capability Assessment?
Partner: I'm sure I'll do ok.
Doc: that's great then. Bye.
"It all reminds me of a Simpson's episode where a self-help guru is promoting a book called 'Get confident, stupid!"
For a pictorial account of this monumental failure of understanding, you can go to the Criptarts cartoon strip by clicking here