By John Sullivan,
I wrote on the Barnet Eye blog just a few short weeks ago about the plight of Paul dad of 3 who had been unable to work since 2000 due to considerable heart problems. A man I don't know and have never met, and the fact the bully boys at ATOS acting on behalf of our caring coalition government had forced him back to work in the face of medical evidence that said he was unfit for work.
Sadly within a short period Paul dad of 3 died from his massive heart complications, and I asked how many others have died in similar circumstances, how many Pauls are their out there I asked, and today I receive my answer. I was reading my daily paper and on page 24 not the front page , the headline reads in large letters " WORKED TO DEATH ", 32 disability claimants die after being forced into jobs. It went on to say, a recent review by specialist Prof Malcolm Harrington CBE had suggested changes to make the ATOS " fit for work " testing process more " fair and humane. But his recommendations, which would mean more people staying on benefits were not taken up, and he was asked to step down as a government adviser.
On page 10 on my Guardian on the same day the headline reads " Minister Accused of Trying to Censor Disabled Advice."
A video that was produced by the ministry of justice to aid disabled people in claiming their right to benefits that is factually accurate and true in all its claims, has been challenged by that warm hearted Tory minister Chris Grayling. Emails between him and the MOJ have been described as appearing to show that the government was " ignoring the needs of the disabled". Neil Bateman from the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers, who filed the freedom of information request for the exchanges between good old Chris and the MOJ, said "the parts of the video which Chris Grayling objected to, were all parts which the disabled would find helpful ". " There is a strong impression that this was a deliberate attempt to censor the video ".
32 human beings, dads, mums, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, uncles, aunts and others have been sent to their deaths in the name of austerity cuts, disabled people having their benefits cut to the bone along with their support services and having their quality of life destroyed and the only help available to them censored. Whilst at the same time the government have given thousands to millionaires in tax cuts. Our Barnet Tory councillors follow the lead of their masters in Westminster and like them show no mercy for the weak and the vulnerable, as I have repeatedly stated they have aided and abetted the changing of the public perception of disabled people in the past couple of years led from Westminster. That now portrays all disabled people as scrounging bastards, and no longer the poor dears they truly are. A heartless central government followed with a reverence and a glee and a relish by Barnet Tory councillors in the name of austerity, when it has nothing to do with austerity because it is ideology and dogma born of an inbuilt contempt for the weak and the vulnerable .In the attack on the quality of life of disabled sick and vulnerable people of Barnet by slashing benefits and cutting services, in order to justify their immoral justification of making a profit from the misery of the disabled the sick the elderly and the vulnerable. I ask again how can Barnet Tory Councillors suggest that making a profit from these groups is morally justifiable, how can it possibly be a moral objective to strip away the support services for these groups in order to make a profit. Surely all savings from improvements to efficiency of services should be ploughed back into the support services to improve the services even more and not be used for other reasons.
I still fail to understand how Barnet councillors can still try to justify the inhuman cuts to the services of the most vulnerable in our society which is in all but name is a part of the "One Barnet Commissioning Programme", whilst refusing full and open access to the One Barnet business plan. In order to pay highly priced consultants in excess of 23 million pounds to privatise public services , when those millions could be invested in improving both the quality and the efficiency of the current in house public services. I see on a daily basis the press condemning the likes of Gaddafi & Assad for killing their own people and destroying their quality of life, but my question is what is the difference between killing somebody with a bullet or a bomb , or sending them to their death in a more subtle way such as via ATOS, or perhaps by extending NHS waiting lists so they become death lists as they became for so many under the last Tory administration, waiting lists that are now growing at a pace. Or destroying the quality of the lives of the disabled not with bombs and bullets but by unjustifiable cuts to services in order to make a profit.
When Barnet residents go to vote do they seriously think about what the people they are voting for are up to, or do they think I vote conservative, because they kill off the layabouts " Great ", they make the disabled live a hand to mouth existence " Great ", they will create unemployment then force those layabouts to work for nothing who have all deliberately become unemployed. Do they really support the mantra that every sick and disabled person claiming any sort of benefit is a layabout and a scrounging bastard, and deserves to live in misery or deserves to die. Do they all seriously believe that young people and older people would not sooner work for a living, than live on a pittance on the dole, a way of life that destroys them as human beings and consumes for ever their self esteem?
Or do the Tory supporting Barnet residents just vote out of habit and not care about their fellow man ?
John Sullivan is a Barnet resident and carer for his daughter Susan. Guest Blogs are always welcome at the Barnet Eye