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Crippen is told that most Crips are not really disabled at all! / 5 November 2010

The Daily Mail, the Express and the Sun seem to have been competing in order to see which of them can persuade the most readers that the majority of Disabled people in the UK are not really disabled at all.

In their collective opinion most people claiming disability related benefits are not disabled, they are in fact scroungers and work shy benefit cheats and should be made to work for their money, the same as every other member of society.

Somehow, the suggestion that a few non-disabled people have been fraudulently claiming disability benefits has allowed these right wing rags to direct the outrage of their readers NOT at the non-disabled benefit cheats, but at disabled people generally.

Unfortunately a great number of the readers of these right wing publications tend to believe what they are told and as a consequence have moved us from being seen as objects of pity and therefore worthy of their support, into the people who are the real cause of the UK’s current financial problems.

Still, I suppose it’s an improvement of sorts when we no longer have to put up with their usual patronizing and condescending manner whenever they write about us!

As an ironic aside to this cartoon I’ve just received a news update that tells me that the Ministry of Defence has nearly tripled the number of rehabilitation beds available for severely wounded soldiers from Afghanistan to accommodate a sharp rise in the number of soldiers who have lost one or more limbs in the conflict.

Incidentally, I've not heard if they'll be increasing resources for those service personnel that have been traumatized by the war in other, non physical ways. They tend to keep a lid on information that concerns our brothers and sisters who return from the war zones diagnosed with a mental illness.

Keywords: benefit cuts,disabled people's movement,disabled people's protest,discrimination,mental health,politics,wounded soldiers,


Kev Towner

5 November 2010

Well, I suppose if the ranks of (unemployed)Disabled people are going to be swollen by returning soldiers from Afghanistan, then the government have really got their work cut out - so they've got to scapegoat SOMEONE haven't they? Will we really notice any difference?


5 November 2010

I've already had a few emails along the lines of "how very dare I" with regard to my reference to our newly disabled brothers and sisters in the armed forces. If my cartoons can raise awareness to the fact that we're still sending our young people out to beat the crap out of other country's young people, and all in the name of patriotism, then I consider I'm still doing my job.


5 November 2010

Your cartoon about this subject makes me want to cry - it's so true! If we're not being stereotyped as objects of pity then we're the monster under the bed. Why don't the press afford us the courtesy of reporting us as regular human beings with ordinary desires and aspirations? It's going to take lots of cartoons like this to hammer home the point. Hope you've got the energy Mr C. I find myself weakening by the minute!

Alan Wheatley, London Green Party Spokesperson on Disability

5 November 2010

I'm glad to report that there is good news on the horizon; the tide is turning in our favour.

Peter Oborne -- not to be confused in any way with George Osborne the Chancellor -- has done some delving into the statistical clap trap that Osborne has spouted. Peter Oborne was a leading exposer of the parliamentary expenses scandal. Oborne has backed the campaign by three leading groups of churches in the UK, and called on the Chancellor to retract his blanket smear of us all as benefit cheats. Look this up in the Telegraph.

Meanwhile, I report that my first actual Work Capability Assessment for Employment & Support Allowance took place in June 2009 and awarded me 0 eligibility points. The DWP decision maker apparently did not thoroughly check my records [that have largely been declared by JobCentre Plus and its predecessors as 'too confidential' for the disabled claimant's 'unsupervised access'. For the Atos Origin 'Approved Healthcare Practitioner' wrote of my 'occupational history that I had last worked four years previously as a social care worker to adults with learning disabilities and left on account of stress; thus he neglected the fact that that had had amounted to only 11 months of the cumulative total 17 months waged employment I had accrued since November 1977.

At my ESA tribunal on 16 December 2009, I was awarded 21 eligibility points and put into the coveted Support Group. I was awarded back money to 12 July 2009. In the subsequent two months that it took the assessments & appeals section of the DWP to wade through the sandbags of papers on their cutting room floor, the DWP lost its right to appeal at the one month mark.

But it seems that the DWP places more store upon the integrity of Atos Origin than either staffing the claims processing sections adequately; Atos Origin pride themselves on their global turnover amounting to billions of pound in 49 countries and their "turning client vision into results." (Let's not embarrass them by reference to the growing number of appeals that work against them, and the tribunals backlog of tens of thousands of cases nationally, ha, ha!)

And so at the end of August I was summonsed to re-apply for ESA by 12 October 2010. I went for my assessment yesterday, where I was told that there was an over-run on the schedule. From a 15:15 appointment, I was told eventually at 17:00 that there was no way the 'doctor' assigned to my assessment could do it justice that day, and the bookings call centre had all gone home, so they would need to call me at home to reschedule.

Notably, by that time the lift from the jobcentre had been switched off at 16:30 when the jobcentre staff went home. Thus it would have been nigh impossible for the very elderly claimant with serious mobility problems that my 'McKenzie friend' and I witnessed, to get out of the building.

With reporters like Oborne on our side, it's time for us to come out on the counter-attack. Let's not bother about official complaints procedures. Let's give them the bad press they are due.

Inform and survive.