UK becomes the first country to face a UN inquiry into disability rights violations

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We ought to be very concerned about the government’s declaration that they intend to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, (ECHR) and to repeal our own Human Rights Act, (HRA). One has to wonder what Cameron’s discomfort with the HRA is. The Act, after all, goes towards protecting the vulnerable from neglect of duty and abuse of power. The rights protected by the HRA are drawn from the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights, which was a way of ensuring that we never again witness the full horrors of the second world war, and overwhelmingly, one of the greatest stains on the conscience of humanity – the Holocaust.

Human Rights establish a simple set of minimum standards of decency for humankind to hold onto for the future. The European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was drafted as a lasting legacy of the struggle against fascism and totalitarianism, as well as the atrocities of world war 2.

What kind of government would want those basic protections for citizens overturned?

One that doesn’t value or wish to uphold the universal protection of its citizens. From the State.

Last month, a new report, Dignity and Opportunity for All: Securing the Rights of Disabled People in the Austerity Era – Jane Young is the lead author – exposed the Coalition’s failure to meet its international human rights obligations under both the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

The report – also published by the Just Fair Coalition, a consortium of 80 national charities including Amnesty International, Save the Children, and Oxfam, says the UK is in clear breach of its legal obligations. Support structures for many disabled people have disappeared or are under threat as local authorities cut social care budgets, whilst cuts to benefits will leave many disabled people without crucial help for daily living.

Jane Campbell, a cross-bench peer who is disabled herself, said: “It is both extremely worrying and deeply sad that the UK – for so long regarded as an international leader in protecting and promoting disabled people’s rights – now risks sleepwalking towards the status of a systematic violator of these same rights.”

The UK government seems to be the first to face such a high-level international inquiry, initiated by the United Nations Committee because of “grave or systemic violations” of the rights of disabled people. That ought to be a source of shame for the Coalition, especially considering that this country was once considered a beacon of human rights, we are (supposedly) a first-world liberal democracy, and a very wealthy nation, yet our government behave like tyrants towards the poorest and some of the most vulnerable citizens of the UK.  As disability specialist, campaigner and first-class human rights activist, Samuel Miller says: “Britain is [now] a retrograde society and a flagrant violator of human rights—especially the rights of the sick and disabled”. 

It’s because of the sterling work of people such as Mr Miller that the UN have been made aware of our dire situation, here in the UK. Many of us have contacted the UN and made submissions, detailing the detrimental impacts that punitive Tory policies such as the bedroom tax, other welfare “reforms” (cuts), including the increasing use of benefit sanctions, the Work Capability Assessment, Tory targets for reducing spending and local authority cuts, for example, are having on sick and disabled people.

This is a government who refuse to undertake a cumulative impact assessment of their “reforms” and also continue to dismiss any evidence provided that challenges their own glib and deceitful account as “anecdotal”. Yet we are expected to regard Tory soundbites such as the “culture of entitlement” and the “something for nothing culture”as some sort of empirical evidence that somehow justifies the cruel removal of people’s lifeline benefits and support.

There’s more than one issue here, though it’s plain that the government have no intention of addressing any of the terrible consequences of their draconian policies, and use denial and stigmatising others to deflect attention from their intents. I am reminded of Techniques of Neutralisation – a well known collection of tactics used to justify prejudiced views and discriminatory actions.

Another related and important issue is that people’s qualitative experiences should matter to any decent government, but the Coalition is far more concerned with its persistent attempts at INVALIDATING those experiences, (such attempts to invalidate and exclude the narrative of experiences of previously and presently marginalised people is a hallmark of the oppressive, supremacist condescension of historically powerful and privileged groups) –  denying their victims a voice and remedy. We know that this is not a democratic government that serves its citizens and reflects their needs.

Thanks to the sterling work of Dr Simon J Duffy, from the Centre for Welfare Reform, amongst others, we know that the austerity measures in the UK have disproportionately affected those people with disabilities and their carers. Dr Duffy’s work on the impact of the austerity cuts shows us that:

  • People in poverty are targeted 5 times more than most citizens
  • Disabled people are targeted 9 times more than most citizens
  • People needing social care are targeted 19 times more than most citizens

Yet, this government claims a cumulative impact assessment is “too difficult and costly”, I suggest that they use their considerable publicly donated, tax-collected wealth to fund the work of the Centre for Welfare Reform, who managed to undertake this work without hitting the obstacles the government claims it has. This said, perhaps the findings are the real obstacle that the government are concerned about. Because those findings are damning, and tell us that the welfare “reforms” are NOT “fair” as claimed, and are causing harm, distress, hardships and sometimes, death. The grossly punitive, draconian “reforms” need to be repealed.

The UN Committee has the power to launch an inquiry if it receives “reliable information” that violations have been committed, and as the Labour Government signed up to the protocol in 2009 – the UNCRPD and the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights – it is legally binding. Many of us have used the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to send communication and make submissions since 2012.

Austerity measures and welfare “reforms” such as the bedroom tax (which is in itself established by the UN as being a contravention of human rights law) mean the rights of disabled people to independent living, work, and adequate social security have been seriously undermined, causing significant hardship, and sometimes, leading to tragic consequences.

Such investigations are necessarily conducted “confidentially”, so the UNCRPD  has formally refused to confirm or deny that the UK is being investigated. However, a recording has emerged (one hour and twenty five minutes long, watch from one hour and four minutes) of a former CRPD member seemingly revealing that the inquiry has been launched.

Professor Gabor Gombos, who is the co-founder of Voice of Soul, Hungary’s first organisation for ex-users and survivors of Mental Health Institutions, and co-chair of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, can be heard informing the audience that CRPD has “started its first inquiry procedure against the United Kingdom”.

He informs the Sixth International Disability Law Summer School at the National University of Ireland in Galway, June, that inquiries are only used where there are suspicions of “grave” violations of human rights. He says: “Where the issue has been raised and the government did not really make effective actions to fix the situation – it is a very high threshold thing – the violations should really be grave and very systemic.”

Earlier this year, the level of UK benefits paid in pensions, jobseeker’s allowance and incapacity benefits was deemed “manifestly inadequate” because it falls below 40% of the median income of European states, by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

The finding in an annual review of the UK’s adherence to the council’s European social charter is likely to provoke a fresh dispute between the government and European legal structures. Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, dismissed it as “lunacy”. Not an open, accountable Minister, or government, then.

The Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, said the conclusions were legally binding in the same way that judgements relating to the European Convention on Human Rights had to be applied by member states.

Aoife Nolan, professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Nottingham and a trustee of Just Fair said government policies were compromising disabled people’s human rights.

“Not only do these policies cause significant hardship and anxiety, but they also amount to impermissible backward steps in relation to disabled people’s human rights, contrary to the UN human rights framework.”

The report was submitted to the United Nations, which, as I’ve previously outlined in earlier articles here, is in the process of reviewing UK compliance with its obligations to the rights of disabled people.

Last year, Amnesty International condemned the erosion of human rights of disabled people in UK, and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights conducted an inquiry into the UK Government’s implementation of Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – the right to live independently and to be included in the community. The inquiry, which began in 2011, has received evidence from over 300 witnesses.

The inquiry highlighted just how little awareness, understanding and employment of the Convention there is by the Tory-led Government. Very few of the witnesses made specific reference to the Convention in their presented evidence, despite the inquiry being conducted by the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, with the terms of reference clearly framing the inquiry as being about Article 19 of the UNCRPD.

“This finding is of international importance”, said Oliver Lewis, MDAC Executive Director, “Our experience is that some Governments are of the view that the CRPD is nothing more than a policy nicety, rather than a treaty which sets out legal obligations which governments must fulfil.”

The report is particularly critical of the Minister for Disabled People (Maria Miller, at the time) who told the Committee that the CRPD was “soft law”. The Committee criticised this as “indicative of an approach to the treaty which regards the rights it protects as being of less normative force than those contained in other human rights instruments.” (See the full report.) The Committee’s view is that the CRPD is hard law, not soft law. 

Dr Hywel Francis MP, Chair of the Committee, said: “We are concerned to learn that the right of disabled people to independent living may be at risk through the cumulative impact of current reforms. Even though the UK ratified the UNCPRD in 2009 with cross-party support, the Government is unable to demonstrate that sufficient regard has been paid to the Convention in the development of policy with direct relevance to the lives of disabled people. The right to independent living in UK law may need to be strengthened further, and we call on the Government and other interested organisations to consider the need for a free-standing right to independent living in UK law.”

“The Government is meant to include disabled people in making sure people have their human rights upheld. We are concerned that a part of the Law on treating people equally and fairly (Equality Act section 149) does not say any more that disabled people should be involved. This is a step backwards.”

In other words, the Tory-led Coalition has quietly removed this part of the Equality Act.

The budget of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which was established by the Labour Party when they were drafting this flagship policy, is being reduced by over 60%, its staffing cut by 72%, and its powers restricted by the Coalition. Provisions that are being repealed by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (ERR) Bill include the duty on public authorities to have due regard to the need to reduce socio-economic inequalities.

Savage Legal aid cuts from April 2013 have also contributed significantly to creating further barriers to ensuring Equal Rights law protect us, and the Tory-driven Legal Aid Bill also contravenes our right to a fair trial under Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

This is not a coincidental multiple policy timeline, but rather a very coordinated political attack on potential legal challenges at a time when Tory-led severe and devastating multiple welfare and provision cuts have affected disabled people so disproportionately. The changes, which came into effect in April, will hit “the same group of disabled people over and over again”. 

Our political freedoms and human rights must not be subservient to Tory notions of economic success. Democracy is not about the private accumulation of wealth. It is about the wise use of the collective wealth for the common good of the public – that must extend to include ALL of our citizens. And a decent, civilised, democratic society supports its vulnerable members and upholds universal human rights.

We need to ask why our Government refuses to instigate or agree an inquiry into the substantial rise in deaths amongst sick and disabled people, as these deaths are so clearly a correlated consequence of this Government’s policies.

What kind of Government uses the media to scape-goat and stigmatise sick and disabled people, by lying and inventing statistics to “justify” the persecution of our most vulnerable citizens, and the withdrawal of their crucial lifelines and support?

One that does not value those lives, or regard them as having an equal worth with others.

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I’m adding this comment from Samuel Miller, as it highlights his ongoing, excellent, valuable and much appreciated work with the United Nations on our behalf, which is a most welcomed addition to our own ongoing submissions of evidence over the past couple of years:

A superlative piece, which I will bring to the attention of senior UN officials. Ahead of the September meeting of the Human Rights Council (see third paragraph of :-http://mydisabilitystudiesblackboard.blogspot.ca/2014/08/an-inopportune-time.html), I will shortly submit an inquiry request to the CRPD and Human Rights Council, petitioning them to open an investigation into Britain’s benefit-sanctioning regime. (At the request of Jorge Araya, UNCRPD Secretary, I am completing a bibliography of media articles on this subject, with particular focus on inappropriate sanctions.)

You already know my views on this matter: http://twishort.com/1RVfc.

My bibliographic assignment for the UNCRPD Secretary might be an indication that the UN has already opened an investigation into Britain’s benefit-sanctioning regime, but for the sake of certainty I’ll make that request myself.”

And further:  See my letter to High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, below. I included your superb article in my letter, Sue.

Subject: There is an urgent need for a UN investigation into the United Kingdom’s benefit-sanctioning regime

Samuel Miller 

Attachments3:58 PM 

High Commissioner Navi Pillay
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.

Dear Ms. Pillay,

I am a 57-year-old Disability Studies specialist and disability activist from Montreal, Canada who has been communicating frequently and voluntarily, since January 2012, to senior United Nations officials, on the welfare crisis for the United Kingdom’s sick and disabled.

(See attached, and the following:

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rp0uui,
http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rtnc63,
http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rtvfk5 )
.

It is my understanding that a 22-page letter, pointing out that cuts to social security benefits introduced by Iain Duncan Smith and enforced by his Department for Work and Pensions on behalf of the Coalition government may constitute a breach of the UK’s international treaty obligations to the poor, will also be discussed at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in New York, in September. It is signed by Raquel Rolnik, the former UN special rapporteur on adequate housing; Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, the former UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty; and Olivier De Schutter, the former UN special rapporteur on the right to food.

Could you please add, as an addendum to that letter, my partial bibliography on Britain’s benefit-sanctioning regime, which is attached below in PDF format. My views can be found on page two; I am extremely concerned about the British government’s soaring use of benefit sanctions, and the evidence from MPs and the Work & Pensions Committee, which provides oversight of the Department for Work and Pensions, is especially compelling and strongly suggests that the government is stitching-up benefit claimants and is involved in a cover-up of that fact. The refusal of the government to agree to the Work & Pensions Committee’s request for an independent inquiry into this matter only compounds suspicion.

In closing, I would be most appreciative if the Human Rights Council and the OHCHR would open an investigation into this matter. This article (https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/uk-becomes-the-first-country-to-face-a-un-inquiry-into-disability-rights-violations/) is very worthy of your—and their—attention, as well.

I wish to congratulate you on your tenure as High Commissioner, and wish you every success in your future endeavors.

Warm regards

Samuel Miller

 

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Pictures courtesy of  Robert Livingstone 

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The last Labour government introduced a host of measures to strengthen the rights of our most vulnerable groups – in particular they protected the rights of disabled people. They formulated the Human Rights Act 1998. They passed the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, introduced the Equality Act 2010, formed the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and, in 2009, the Labour government signed the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

The few successful cases we have seen brought against the Tories are down to these Labour laws. We mustn’t lose sight of that. And I’ve every faith that a Labour government will address the gross injustices extended by the draconian of this government, using the existing laws, and their currently proposed policy of prosecuting people for hate speech against the vulnerable.


I don’t make any money from my work and I am not funded. I am disabled because of illness and struggle to get by. But you can help me continue to research and write informative, insightful and independent articles, and to provide support to others, by making a donation. The smallest amount is much appreciated – thank you.

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130 thoughts on “UK becomes the first country to face a UN inquiry into disability rights violations

  1. The erosion of human rights in the UK will ultimately affect not only the poor, sick, disabled and vulnerable but everyone. One of the biggest problemsI have come up against when trying to motivate others to become involved in campaining against this and the draconian cuts and sanctions is total apathy. Comments range from “it’s nothing to do with me” to ” well they’re in power now we can’t do anything”. We all need to unite as a nation and think about everyone else not just ourselves.

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    1. Yes I agree. Recently I heard an elderly relative say: “I’m not interested in hearing about sickness benefits because I’ve never claimed them.” I told her that anyone can become disabled, as I have, through illness or through accident I pointed out that it can also happen to our loved ones and that I want to live in a Country where my children are supported should they need it from the tax they pay for their own provision – our welfare state and NHS.

      People have become selfish, irrational, and the right-wing press have succeeded in shaping that. It’s as if people can’t make basic logical connections – do joined up thinking.

      It’s even more terrifying to witness the increasing incoherence and irrationality in govt rhetoric, and their justification narratives for draconian policies. They sound like the lunatic despots that they really are, and noone seems to be noticing. That is frankly terrifying.

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      1. I want to live in a country where everyone is equal, which will never happen, Where everyone will pay rent when they get over 80 pounds a week, Where everyone will pay for car tax, etc, etc.

        we hear about disability this and that, The disabled are better off than the able bodied. No tax, No rent, No car Tax, and many other benefits that the normal person doesnt get.

        example

        Normal person gets 200 pounds a week wages
        pay = rent
        Pay = Council tax
        pay = car tax if they have one
        Dont get weekend assistance from electric/gas company
        Dont get special treatment with mobile phones (turned back on for free)

        all the above the disabled have no problem with, And i have proved it.. My auntie gets more than 200 a week in disabilityand other fees, and she has 200 pounds plus to spend.. I get 200 pound a week, im left with about 40 pound to spend, So who is better off..

        Someitmes i wish i was disabled, just so i didnt have all this shit to pay for.. (this is discrimination) “I am better off if im disabled”

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      2. You can have my disability if you like. I have agonising widespread nerve pain, tendon pain and damage, I am going blind, I have a life-threatening bleeding disorder, blinding headaches, cognitive function problems, joint pain and damage, damaged spine, Raynaud’s – a severe circulation problem, and often, utter exhaustion. I sometimes cannot walk, take care of myself, get out to the shop to buy food. I worked and paid tax all my life until I became too ill to work. You really are a stupid selfish person.

        Illness and accident can happen to anyone, leaving them disabled and unable to work, and it’s not a lifestyle choice.

        Out of the disability benefit that I paid for from my own taxes, like many other disabled people, I face having to pay bedroom tax, council tax, and some rent, as I don’t get full housing benefit. I don’t have a car because my eyesight is so bad I cannot drive any more. I couldn’t afford to run one anyway.

        I don’t get any support with gas and electric or mobile phones, and most disabled people don’t. You have “proved” nothing except you are dumb, gullible extremely spiteful and prejudiced. Your low wages are to do with your employer and the government who permit employers to pay people a pittance, not my fault or your aunts or anyone else. Get a grip, you petty, vindictive, spiteful, resentful person. Only a very unempathic and stupid person would say they wish they were disabled.

        You can have my treatment too, it’s a weekly injection into my stomach of a chemotherapy called methotrexate, and a monthly infusion of rituximab, an immune suppressant. Side effects include sudden death, liver, kidney, lung damage, sudden blindness, besides the more mundane serious infections such as pneumonia, nausea, sickness, weakness and so on.

        People with illnesses and disability have much higher living costs than others, because they have more needs. For example, I can’t drive because of retinal damage caused by a treatment, and I can’t afford a car anyway, so for hospital appointments I have to pay for taxis. Ditto going to the local shop for essentials like food.

        People on low wages claim benefit. In fact the largest portion of this countries’ benefit bill goes on the low paid workers. They claim housing benefit, tax credit and a range of other benefits to top up their wages. I have no problem with people claiming what they need to survive, because we have paid for welfare when we worked through tax, very very few people have never worked. Those that can’t, well as a civilised society we should support them. What kind of inhumane low life would resent people the means to survive? And benefits were calculated to meet basic needs only: standard costs of food and fuel. That’s on the assumption that people are exempt from council tax, bedroom tax and rent.

        You are ignorant of the fact that this is no longer the case. Very very few people get full housing benefit and no-one is exempt from bedroom tax, most of us have to pay council tax. That now comes out of money that was allocated for food and fuel. Do the maths instead of stomping around resenting the poor and disabled, go and address your issues with your employer who is exploiting you, and your government who allows that to happen. Grow some balls instead of whining about people with more physical frailty than you. Bully. Too afraid and dumb to address the real problem, so you attack people weaker than yourself.

        You ought to be more concerned about the fact disabled people have died due to the welfare reforms, because they don’t get enough to live on, and they are persecuted by the state as well as people like you. Three of my friends died after the were told they were fit for work and their benefit was stopped, over this past 3 years. People like you have allowed that to happen because you are petty enough to resent the idea of anyone having something you think they shouldn’t. Sort your own life out instead of concerning youself with moralising about others, because you are amoral, selfish, callous, and spiteful. Look in the mirror.

        The benefits have been cut at a time when the cost of living has risen. But millionaires had a tax break of £107, 000 each per year as a hand out from this government for nothing more than just being rich and you are bleating about your poor disabled aunt and people like me? Jog on.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. absolute rubbish. It’s do-gooders like you, sticking their noses in where they’re not wanted, that are the problem here.
      It is not our job to be the mother of the world, despite all you women thinking that. Down south, men don’t show any masculine traits anymore as they have been emasculated by the left-wing BBC political class. Go up north and you can still find real men.

      STOP FEMINISING MY COUNTRY!!!!

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      1. You ranting impotent fool, I LIVE ‘up north’ where the ‘real’ men (and women) voted LEFT WING LABOUR and LABOUR WON pretty much throughout the northern regions, so hardly a coherent comment, you rabid misogynist. The Tories gained the south, looks like your theory of drooling prejudice is utter rubbish. Or are the tories really feminising tory-voting southerners, you barm cake.

        As for telling me and anyone else what to do on my site – kiss my ass you knuckle dragging sexist idiot.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Are you for real?
        A real woman hater? opposed to people trying to do their best for the country and those less fortunate than themselves?
        WOW

        Liked by 1 person

      3. what part of my post says I’m a woman hater? I just don’t subscribe to women sticking their noses in where it’s not wanted. Just like my mother and my sisters, just like plenty of my colleagues. Just fuck off with your passive aggressive bullshit because one day someone will react with real aggression and then you’ll sorry.

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      4. You’re the one “sticking your nose in”, this is my blog site and my views reflect the interest of many people affected by this government’s policies. As for “passive aggressive bullshit” well you are the one ranting, raving and foaming at the mouth here, not me or anyone else. Your other extremely abusive comments have been trashed, people don’t want to see such vile, obscene, intimidating and aggressive comments on here. And I will continue to write about whatever I see fit, reflecting interests that I choose, like it or not. Your nasty little spiteful view of your female relatives and colleagues is irrelevant to the country, by and large. The UN inquiry, on the other hand affects potentially everyone. Go away and sort your head out, get some perspective that’s rather less egotistical. And learn some basic courtesy and manners whilst you are at it.

        Go rant and drool somewhere else, troll.

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      5. And you seem to have missed the point of the post: I’m not “sticking my nose in” at all, I am reporting events that affect other people. Whilst you may not like that, it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with your nasty sexist views of your family and peers. Most disabled people welcome the inquiry.

        I’m sure many of the Nazis accused people who disagreed with them of “sticking their nose in” as well. But don’t mark others with your own lack of ethics, principles, conscience and spine. Oh, and class.

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      6. CommuterRant Disability can happen to anyone YOU INCLUDED I hope it does’nt but you never kow do YOU ?
        disability does not discriminate dude.
        Looking at what you say in your post you sound like if it were to happen to you it would be the end of the world for YOU.
        I am guessing you would the the first and loudest to cry and shout feeling sorry for yourself.
        Most of us disabled people just want to get on with life and live as best we can.
        You don’t hear us moaning,crying feeling sorry for ourselves we just get on with it.
        Try a little compassion once in a while you never know when you will need some yourself.
        But now WE as in people with disabilities are being made to feel less than human by this Conservative government
        being lead by a person who had a disabled son who died from his disabilities who now uses HIM
        to score political points (SHAME ON HIM) he is a millionair who clamed FULL DLA for him.
        Would he deny his son those human rights that he is trying to deny us ummmm no I don’t think so.
        so stop being moronic and sounding predjudice and think before you speak.
        and before you say I know my spelling isn’t too good thank you.
        Oh! have a nice day

        Regards
        John.

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    3. I’ve had the same I was chucked off incap and had to go to court and won but starting to wonder what’s the point if the Tories plan to target me again!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Dear Kitty,

      I really admire your passion and drive to make a difference. You are such a brilliant writer, we all need a voice and you articulate everything so well, thank you for raising awareness and doing it is such a professional, passionate and amazing way x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Sunny. Before blogging, I didn’t write much, though I had a couple of articles published in a philosophical journal. I did write sketches briefly for the BBC, but I’m no journalist. However, I can think critically and analyse. I can’t always get out on protests because of health problems, so it’s my way of doing my part. It’s also good to use my education productively now that I can’t work. x

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  2. Reblogged this on discordion {Artist Ian Pritchard} and commented:
    Under successive Tory and New Labour governments people have become selfish, and irrational, and the right-wing mainstream media have succeeded in shaping that behaviour.

    There is such dissonance of thought that people can’t make basic logical connections anymore. When the weakest in society are under constant attack, it diminishes us all.

    We ought to be very concerned about the government’s declaration that they intend to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, (ECHR) and to repeal our own Human Rights Act, (HRA).

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  3. This seems a really positive challenge to some frightening changes in Britain. Do you know what I could actually do to help? Write to my MP? Thank k you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.-THOMAS JEFFERSON. So in this New Utopia Who Will hold our Government to account and protect us from its own vagaries?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. We have an excellent Bill of Rights already, which is designed to protect citizens from abuse from the State. What kind of government would want to repeal such a Bill? Not one that plans to be democratic and liberal representatives of the people, reflecting their needs, that’s for sure

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      1. Thank you for this report. Simply by letting the Inland Revenue do its job and collect the taxes due from the major corporations will more than fund all benefit payments. So austerity is needless except if viewed as a cull of certain people.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. As things become worse for the poor and disabled of the UK with more and more Laws coming in and more and more taking their own lives because of it. What can the EU and UN do for us and how long would it take to put in motion. I am begging for help. We are now living under a Dictatorship. This ‘government is hell bent on reducing the population by means of sanctions and creative wording on new laws. We cannot comment against our ‘government’ as we will be viewed as being extremist and taken away without any rights of a fair trial because you are not allowed to attend. There will be a solicitor appointed for you whom you will not see or converse with. You will be found guilty and taken away to prison for up to 10 years without the knowledge of any family or friends. You will in effect disappear. We will lose our right to peaceful protest as this will also make you an extremist and the same will happen. We need help quickly !

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  6. Hi Kitty I have read with interest the above. Please can you help me .. I am trying to validify your statements. I am not disagreeing,how can I being disabled and already affected by the cuts, but in order to speak up I need to be able to know what are your sources. In other words how do I know what you have written is facts for myself…Again please be reassured, especially after you have had to respond to the gentleman who felt disability was better than being well, that I do believe the UK has a case of human rights violation to answer ..I just want to know where to draw the facts from and I don’t know you..or the gentleman ‘Samuel Miller’
    Kindest Regards
    Emma 🙂

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    1. I put hyperlinks on the article that link to the sources. I wrote this article in december last year about the ongoing UN inquiry, the more recent article cites the Scottish Herald and Inclusion Scotland as sources regarding the visit of the special rapporteur, but since then, much of the mainstream media has reported this issue, too.

      I’m a sick and disabled person – I have lupus, amongst other serious and related conditions – and I’ve been campaigning against austerity, for the rights of disabled people, and more generally, upholding human rights and keeping our HR act for some years now. I started this site in late 2012.

      I’m educated, my degrees – BA and Masters are in sociology, social psychology, politics, history and philosophy of science and social policy. I’ve also a qualification in youth and community work, and my vocational Masters is in social work. I specialised in mental health issues and additional needs that affect young people, in my professional role.

      I always cite evidence and put source links on my articles, which show up in blue.

      Samuel Miller is a Canadian disbility rights specialist and HR campaigner. He has done much to raise awareness regarding the impact of tory policies on sick and disabled people, he is also in contact with the UN, and sends them evidence, including evidenced work from my site.

      As stated in the work, UN inquiries are carried out confidentially. But the Daily Mail reporting it in such a vicious, derogatory manner yesterday more than confirms the truth of the pending visit 🙂

      Hope that helps. I understand your wanting confirmation of evidence, sources and facts. I wish more people in this country were the same when it comes to important details.

      Best wishes,

      Kitty Sue Jones

      Like

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