The doublespeak of the condemns started before the general election. “We will protect the most vulnerable” stated Cameron. Usually these words were accompanied by pictures of his son Ivan. I shall not bring this wee boy into it but for all of us parents of children with disabilities we know that we have become more compassionate for others. I am surely not alone then in hoping that Cameron understood our daily struggles. Unfortunately we were lied too Cameron and his generals Ian Duncan Smith and Esther McVey seem content to dismantle the welfare state and all the supports the most vulnerable depend on.
Esther McVey yesterday announced even before the rollout commenced that 300,000 people with disabilities would lose their entitlement to benefit with the introduction of PIP or personal Independence Payment. This replaces DLA which was ironically introduced by Thatcher ‘s government. When this was first mooted it was supposed to be a fair and non biased assessment. The main rollout will now begin after the general election and will be a major election issue. For that read the Tories fear that UKIP May win more votes therefore pander to the right wing views of the home countries of fortress little Britain.
The truth is that these people live in a cosy bubble of cognitive dissonance of their own creation. Esther McVey refused to come to Hollyrood to explain why foodbank use is escalating. Instead her mandarin Couling gave evidence. Poor people use Foodbanks not because they are hungry but because like rich people they are milking the system. Benefit sanctions are not a cruel and unusual punishment but a jolt. Of course Couling was only uttering the words of his master’s who are desperate to hold onto power and benefit their friends the rich. These are the only people to make money in these austere times.
The rest of us survive or get by. I am not alone in expressing my fears. Many charities have began to express their fears on how these cuts will impact on people with disabilities. What about those who love and care for them. If people loss PIP their family who care for them will also lose their entitlement to carers allowance. It is not just the individual but their family who will bear the brunt. God bless the condemns for placing women and children, and people with disabilities and those who care for them in the firing line yet again. Our lives are fragile enough already without this This is a great way of protecting the most vulnerable. It also declares that many people on disability benefit are fraudsters when we know this is nothing more than condemns rhetoric of divide and conquer.
Still this time the masks are off. They are not even pretending or hiding the new tests are all about robbing people of their entitlement to benefit which makes the challenges they face due to disability and I’ll health even more difficult to manage I know independence is not a Shangri-La. We will have to work hard to make it the place that is the kinder fairer society for all of us. However the SNP have promised to end work capability assessments that is a start Isn’t it? Remaining in the UK where people with disabilities continue to be scapegoats fills me with dread. Let’s break free in September and create a Scotland that is a beacon of hope. Where no one is left behind. I dare to dream.