The Daily Mail is a far-right rag and an utter disgrace for meddling in the Human Rights of sick and disabled people

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I reported yesterday that the United Nations (UN) is investigating the UK government’s welfare “reforms” and the consequences of them for evidence of abuses of the human rights of sick and disabled people. The Daily Mail has preempted the visit from the special rapporteur, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, who is expected to visit the UK in the coming months to spearhead the ongoing inquiry into many claims that Britain is guilty of grave or systematic violations of the rights of sick and disabled people, by using racist stereotypes, and claiming that the UN are “meddling”. The Mail has blatantly attempted to discredit this important UN intervention and the UN rapporteur before the visit even takes place.

“Meddling” is a curious and interesting word to use, as oppose to “wrong” or, say, “inaccurate”. It implies that the government are already aware that their policies are in breach of the human rights of sick and disabled people, but that they simply don’t welcome independent and international scrutiny of the fact.

There was not a shred of concern expressed in the Mail article regarding the cruel treatment of sick and disabled people by the government. It wasn’t mentioned once that whilst sick and disabled people have been targeted by the government with cuts to their income that are disproportionately large, the millionaires of this country got a handout of £107,000 each per year, in the form of a tax “break”. That choice of policy was made intentionally and purposefully, designed to target the most vulnerable citizens – already amongst the poorest – for further cuts to their lifeline benefits. In 2012:

  • Disabled people (1 in 13 of us) bore 29% of all the cuts
  • People with severe disabilities (1 in 50 of us) bore 15% of all the cuts.

Further cuts to benefits since 2012 will make these proportions even larger now.

Thanks to the Centre for Welfare Reform for this info graphic.

The specialised rapporteur, sent by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, will report back on a range of issues, including whether welfare cuts have harmed disabled people. This is because we are a voluntary signatory to the Convention on the rights of disabled person, and as such, we are expected to meet the international standards and the legal obligations in terms of the human rights of disabled people.

Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger last night described the inquiry as “the most absurd and offensive nonsense”.

As a sick and disabled person, I can confirm that Ian Liddell-Grainger is the one who is talking absurd and offensive nonsense. He added: “I am not an expert on disability rights in Costa Rica [the rapporteur’s country of origin], but I suspect Miss Devandas Aguilar might be better off focusing her efforts much closer to home. The UN should keep their noses out.”

Clearly Mr Liddell-Grainger doesn’t know anything at all about disbility rights or international laws. I’m sure his comments are uttered by every despotic minister that has ever faced an inquiry into their conduct towards others: “the UN should keep their noses out” echoes bullies and tyrants everywhere.

Not very encouraging comment, in terms of government response, openness, accountability,  transparency and democracy, then, bearing in mind that a UN inquiry is only ordered where the UN committee believes there is evidence of grave or systematic violations of the rights of disabled people. We are a very wealthy, so-called first-world liberal democracy, the fact that such an inquiry has been deemed necessary at all ought to be a source of great shame for this government.

Looking at some of the comments on the Daily Mail site, I can’t help wondering if some members of the wider public would still look the other way if the government rounded up the sick and disabled people of this country and shot them in front of TV cameras. The thing is, starvation through cutting off lifeline benefits, sanctions, stress through inhumane policies, invalidating someone’s experience of being seriously ill by constant re-assessment and telling them to work when they cannot, and shooting, they all result in death.

And dead is dead.

Eugenics by stealth is still eugenics.

Bystander apathy is complicity.

And people ARE dying as a consequence of this government’s policies.

Welfare reforms break UN convention

Amnesty International has condemned the erosion of human rights of disabled people in UK

A distillation of thoughts on Tory policies aimed at the vulnerable

Aktion Arbeitsscheu Reich, Human Rights and infrahumanisation

Despotic paternalism and punishing the poor. Can this really be England?

Stigmatising unemployment: the government has redefined it as a psychological disorder

Tory Fascist Lie Machine The Daily Mail Has Met Its Match

And not forgetting the fascistic Daily Mail’s involvement in attempting to discredit the left by publishing the fake Zinoviev letter – From Spycatcher and GBH to the Zinoviev letter – an emergent pattern and the real enemy within

Anyone wishing to make a submission regarding the inquiry may contact the UN here:

Catalina Devandas Aguilar
Special rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
Address: OHCHR-UNOG; CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Email: sr.disability@ohchr.org

292533_330073053728896_1536469241_nPictures courtesy of Robert Livingstone
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28 thoughts on “The Daily Mail is a far-right rag and an utter disgrace for meddling in the Human Rights of sick and disabled people

  1. We’re descending very quickly into an authoritarian one party state.

    Fiction slowly becoming reality, the poor, sick, unemployed and disabled accussed of being ‘ charlatans’, ‘fraudsters’ and living high on the hog thanks to ‘the hardworking taxpayer’

    These myths perpeturated by the ‘New Right’ originating in the United States with the lauding of Any Rand with her fictious work ‘Atlas Shrugged’ which claimed the wealthy were being bled dry by a lazy population….

    Sadly after the financial crash the New Right were invigorated and once returned to power saw an opportunity to put into practice the evisceration of the Welfare state and the terms and conditions of workers through severs Austerity measures.

    With New Labour’s demise, it was hoped the leadership of Ed Milliband and Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor would seize the opportunity to defend the record of Labour and attack the failing economics of Austerity ….sadly they chose not too.

    Come May 2015, the UK is now a frightening place go live if you are poor, sick, disabled or unemployed….

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    1. I agree with most of what you said. But I happen to know Miliband’s MPs worked their asses off to try and get the info out there. Miliband himself put articles in the media at the time, outlining that the tories were lying. Including this one from 2011, which went out (oddly) in the Times, Observer and Guardian – https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/tories-are-guilty-of-great-deceit-in-blaming-labour-for-the-deficit-ed-miliband/

      Many well-respected economists as well as humble bloggers such as me all contributed to debunking the tory myths, Rachel Reeves reported the Tories for lying to the ONS, who issued an official rebuke more than once and that also hit the MSM. Question is, why does no-one seem to remember?

      The rest I completely agree with, as a sick and disabled person myself, I can say that these are times I never thought I’d live through.

      Spot on comment on Ayn Rand and the link with the New Right, from Thatcher to Cameron. But Rand relied on the US welfare system herself towards the end of her large smoking habit, cancer-seized life.

      It can happen to anyone, can need. Though for most of us, it’s not through any fault of our own. Scary times.

      Like

  2. That Liddell-Grainger oaf typifies everything that is sick and unpleasant in this country. The ignorance and toadying to the establishment is not a great legacy. He’d be a useful member in a faschist state…….oh wait, we do seem to have that.

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  3. When will financial market trading begin to dedicate accounts to alleviating this , and other ‘social’ – (the word which shakes the Tory-every time)- messes? Or are the tools to do so going to remain the preserve of private individuals only? As the system needs re-balancing, isn’t this the correct approach, rather than the maudlin tones of fascist /victorian/mediaeval/stone-age etc toned austerity? Yielding eventually to backlash mayhem? (..and back again…yes..we know the routine by now…and again…etc etc ad nauseum to *smh*) The lack of will in this regard speaks volumes of our inability to move forward. The tools are there. They are not being permitted thus far by a recalcitrant regressive slide. We get this instead…..bah. People will not be happy Cake might not suffice.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The editor of the Daily Mail, who has not learnt how to use toilet paper. nor the graces of educated society, should first lick his own bottom clean before he opens his mouth.

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  5. The problem is that twats like Liddell-Grainger are not required to have any test of their mental abilities before being selected to stand for the rotten Tory government. It’s time that as a civilized society we ridded ourselves of such callous and ignorant individuals and showed what a caring society looks like.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for this article.

    Other Tories have been equally outrageous in their commentary about this criticisms raised in this investigation.
    Michael Ellis said, ‘This politically motivated loony left decision brings the UN organisation in to disrepute.
    ‘At a time when there are grave international crises around the world and when in dozens of countries around the world there are no benefits available, this absurd decision is made to attack our country which rightly does more than almost any other to protect the rights of disadvantaged people from all walks of life.’

    Philip Davies (once quoted as saying he thinks that employers should have the right to pay certain disabled people less than the minimum wage) said: ‘These people at the UN are idiots, frankly. There’s no other way to describe them.”

    I read an interesting quote from Professor Gabor Gombos, a world renowned independent disability rights defender who until the end of 2012 served as Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons withDisabilities (which monitors implementation of the Disability Convention). He spoke at a conference in Galway, Ireland and said of the investigation, ‘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 be grave and very systemic.’

    It’s noteworthy that the UN committee includes members from Uganda, Kenya, Thailand and Tunisia, along with vice-chairs from Australia and Germany, and representatives of Denmark, Hungary, Spain -and oh, yes- the UK itself.

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  7. The Daily Mail has a long history of Nazi sympathies and once lauded Hitler and his evil, murderous regime. It puzzles me why so many seemingly intelligent people read it – I can only think that it panders to some extremely unpleasant prejudices. The UN Inquiry is going to come under sustained attack and rubbishing from the reactionary media, but when it suits them these self same right wingers use the UN for their own purposes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. He (Ian Liddell Grainger) added: “I am not an expert on disability rights in Costa Rica [the rapporteur’s country of origin], but I suspect Miss Devandas Aguilar might be better off focusing her efforts much closer to home. The UN should keep their noses out.”

    What, Costa Rica, the happiest nation on earth? I’m not an expert on disability rights in Costa Rica either, but I’m gonna guess that, as a happy society, they look after their most vulnerable people. (http://www.happyplanetindex.org/countries/costa-rica/ ) You know, the thing Cameron started measuring here in the vain hope it would distract us from the effects of austerity – UK is 41st.

    And I realise I’m preaching to the converted here, but there’s no way I’m ever going to comment on the Daily Mail website. Some things are just a sacrifice too far.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A wonderful post, and I will be including a link to it in one of my own posts soon. I have expressed on more than one occasion my belief that IDS’s conduct merits a single ticket to The Hague, and I hope that the UN Raporteur reaches the same conclusion.

    Liked by 1 person

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