bigleyma is thinking…

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My letter to Chris Grayling, that’s him on the right >:

Chris Grayling MP
Minister for Employment
The House of Commons,

Dear Sir,
My attention was drawn recently to a press release originating from your
department earlier this year. It concerned the numbers of people (stated to be the
‘Majority’) ‘found fit for work’ by the Work Capability Assessment, which is presented
as objective fact, despite certain ambiguities around the interpretation of the
statistics provided, and the existence of contradictory evidence which disputes that
interpretation. Not least an example of the latter is the independent report by
Professor Harrington which exposed the many failings of the assessment procedure,
describing it as ‘badly malfunctioning’. You omit to mention the growing numbers of
people who have had that decision overturned and those who point to explicit
structural flaws in the WCA which make it both unfair and unfit for purpose.
You were quoted subsequently as saying that you don’t control the editorial
tone of newspapers. Forgive me my scepticism Mr Grayling, but in these media
savvy times are you suggesting that ministers are anything but intensely aware of
exactly what the respective newspapers will make of what the government feed

I don’t know if you are aware just how much condemnatory material of the
WCA is accumulating online, and how many people are sharing their experiences of
the flawed WCA delivered by ATOS. Those people recognise the falsehoods within
this release, and so do their families and their circle of friends. This propaganda
against the sick may work with those who have yet to suffer the misfortune of being
taken ill or having an accident, or the development of a work-related disability or
illness, but it does not wash with those who have undergone this process. To
encourage hostility in this way towards the sick and vulnerable is nothing short of
wicked and it is manifesting in an increasing number of disability hate crimes. To
force people who are impaired, physically or mentally to compete with the ablebodied
for the shrinking number and quality of jobs is nothing short of callous and
cruel. It is a shocking indictment of this government, and the society that it is helping
to create, that suicides are beginning to happen as a result of the withdrawal of
support from many, many of the sick who have paid into a system that they believed
would cushion them should they fall into difficult circumstances.

I am a recent Social Science graduate (First Class hons) who studied fulltime,
while working a part-time cleaning job and, additionally, in the final year of my
study, becoming a carer for my, previously hard-working, cancer-stricken brother. I
am therefore eminently qualified on several levels to make a realistic appraisal of the
devastating effects that your government’s actions are provoking. Much more, it
seems, than those who devise the social policies that subject vulnerable people to
the indignities and demonisation that now prevails in our society.

Your conservative government is engineering a society that not only fosters
an uncaring attitude in general but singles out for hostility those who are least able to
defend themselves against it. The casualties arising from this will continue to mount.
I hope you are ready to deal with the society that you are helping to create, because
it will not be a stable or a pretty one. I do know there is a growing body of people
who can see through the kind of disinformation that that press release represents,
who know the truth and reality of being sick and disempowered. Many will not rest
until the unfair WCA system has been exposed as a sham. I am one of them.
I should hope you would do me the common courtesy to provide a personal reply to
my letter, specifically addressing the points I have raised.
Yours sincerely

The response:


Written by bigleyma

July 23, 2011 at 10:45 am

Posted in Talking to thisgov

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