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We're just Colateral Damage! / 4 November 2012

Crippen's cartoon about colateral damage

Crippen's colateral damage cartoon

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I read a letter in a local newspaper the other day. The writer was praising David Cameron for reducing the number of people who were on benefits and for making them work for a living instead of scrounging off the state. He seemed to think that some 60% of those people on benefits had now been found work by the government, freeing up a considerable amount of money from the welfare fund.

Where on earth had he got this evidence from? Surely he didn't just rely on the government or the right wing newspapers for his information? Surely he realised that the "facts" supplied from these sources would be biased?

Why didn't he know that the Department of Work and pensions (DWP) has subcontracted out this benefits reduction work to the French-based company ATOS, which has cost the country over £110 million to date. Or that some 20,000 of this year's assessments had been declared sub-standard, resulting in 37% of those disabled people who'd had their benefits stopped having them reinstated under appeal?

Why didn't he know about the estimated 25,000 people who have died whilst participating in this so-called welfare reform, many of them undergoing the Work Capability Assessment managed by ATOS? (The figure of 10,600 people who died during the period between January and November 20011 was recently substantiated by the DWP's own records.) Or that this 'fitness for work' test continues to kill, on average, 32 people each week, due to stress induced by the process or by suicide as a result of their benefits being stopped? (The actual death toll is estimated at just under 72 people per week, but this includes people who have died of impairment/illness related causes.)

Why didn't he know that Margaret Hodge, as Chair of the Public Accounts committee, has recently issued a statement to the effect that ATOS, during the period 2011 - 12, have been taking the DWP (and this country) to the cleaners and are still exploiting many loopholes created in the process?

The letter-writer could research the figures for himself. They're all in the public domain - though admittedly not published by the likes of the Daily Mail or the Telegraph - but available to everyone who has access to the internet. I've even made it easy for him by putting links to these various sources in my blogs!

The real problem with our letter writing friend is the true facts do not support his predudices. It's more comfortable for him to accept the pap he is fed, without analysis. He's been told that we're either super hero Olympians or despicable scoungers and he's bought it! He's lazily accepted the version that slots into his existing pre-conceptions.

Of course, he'll rationalise, there are bound to be a few genuine disabled people who get caught up amongst the fakes, but that's inevitable. You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs can you?!

But at its core, our letter writer's perspective is one without compassion, without understanding, without generosity of spirit and certainly without intelligence.

There's a phrase for what's happening to disabled people you know. It's called colateral damage ... and that's what we've become. The colateral damage in Cameron's callous financial missile-firing.

Oh and by-the-way, welcome to the Big Society!

Keywords: atos,atos protest,benefit cuts,benefits,caricature,cartoons,crippen,cuts to services,disability,disabled peoples movement,dwp,political,politics,suicide,the big society,welfare reform,disabled peoples protest

Comments

Joe Bailey - via Face Book

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7 November 2012

The big problem with our letter writing friend is that he's too damn lazy to get of his arse and look for the real truth of what's happening to our country. It's disabled people now ... but he'll be next, and then he'd wished he'd done something earlier! Wait until he has a stroke or something equally debilitating and HE needs support!

John Hargrave via face Book

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7 November 2012

The Road to Nowhere?

Crippen

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7 November 2012

Nice one Jackie :-)

Jackie Luckman

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6 November 2012

Dont be blind in your understanding, or crippled in your action,

these ideas wernt born out of idle distractions,

if you're low incomed, jobless, disabled or sick,

you're soon gonna feel the pain of the reform kicks,

healthcare and welfare will be a thing of the past,

and rights, support and care provisions-you may well have seen the last?

Fuel prices, food shortages and over population,

what makes us think we're more important than any other nation?

When greed says that these things are only for the elite,

new ordered society will rob you and cheat,

disbanding communities for little opposition,

picking on those with a weakened disposition-

No funds, no strength, no allies in this battle,

we're no more important than mass produced cattle.

Crippen

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5 November 2012

@ David - The FaceBook group 'We demand that Cameron undergoes a psychiatric assessment' are of a mind that he's just projecting all of the grief and anger that he felt when his disabled son died, against the rest of us. Might be some truth in that eh?! The man and his cronies are certainly out to get us! :-(

David

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5 November 2012

I can't help but wonder that Cameron hates disabled people. Actually hates us.

Arty Farty

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5 November 2012

BRILLIANT!!

Nikki Cumiskey via FaceBook

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4 November 2012

He also seems to think that those found fit for work are now actually working when instead they are living on JSA, still at a cost to the taxpayer, and on money that no reasonable person could survive on, because employers won't take on the disabled or sick.