UN Inquiry into Human Rights Violations Against Disabled People

The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life . . . the children; those who are in the twilight of life . . . the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled.”
Hubert Humphrey

This news has been around for a few days and somehow I missed it. I cannot however let this great news go without mention.

I am pleased to learn that the United Nations is carrying out an  inquiry into “systematic and grave violations” of  the human rights of disabled people by the Tory government here in the UK? Though I knew that the UN were undertaking an inquiry into the UK’s human rights violations in this regard I did not know that it had finally been confirmed.  According to a
spokesperson from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) the UN inquiry “will examine the vicious and punitive attacks on disabled people’s independent living as well as the cuts which have seen so many placed in inhuman circumstances and has led to unnecessary deaths.”

From Disability news Service

Confirmed! UN is investigating UK’s ‘grave violations’ of disabled people’s rights

“The United Nations is carrying out an unprecedented inquiry into “systematic and grave violations” of disabled people’s human rights by the UK government, Disability News Service (DNS) can finally confirm.

DNS revealed last August that the UK appeared to have become the first country to face a high-level inquiry by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD).”

Continue Reading:
http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/confirmed-un-is-investigating-uks-grave-violations-of-disabled-peoples-rights/

In the meantime keep campaigning, writing letters and signing petitions such as the one below:

“Leaving people with no means of feeding themselves, keeping warm and keeping essential electrical appliances working is unconscionable and has no place in a civilised and rich society such as Great Britain.”

Too many people have die and suffered. Act now and Implement these Select Committees recommendations.

Please read more and sign the petition:
https://www.change.org/p/rt-hon-david-cameron-mp-implement-the-recommendations-of-the-benefit-sanctions-policy-beyond-the-oakley-review

It is claimed that the government ignores petitions, whether of not this is true it is still a good idea to sign and voice your opinion, it shows the level of public feeling regardless as to whether or not the government decide to ignore petitions or letters or any other form of protest.

The treatment of sick and disabled people, and the unemployed and low paid for that matter, here in the UK during this and the previous Tory government, aided and abetted by the Lib/Dems, is shocking and now that they have the majority is getting ever more abusive and punitive.

“Many disabled people are facing a multitude of attacks on their human rights and living standards. It is rarely just one or two issues per person. This is the crucial point in the current retrogression of the human rights of disabled people – attacks are being carried out in every area of our lives.”

“There has been a massive rise in the numbers of disabled people being sanctioned and left reliant on food banks, and the increasing levels of malnutrition people are suffering due to increased poverty,”
DPAC spokeswoman quoted in Herald Scotland

Along with unfair assessments, cuts and sanctions is the Nazi style campaign to vilify benefit claimants labelling them “scroungers “and “Skivers”. This is outrageous and unethical treatment that has to stop now, such treatment of the most vulnerable in our society has no place in the UK, one of the richest nations in the world. Shame on Cameron and IDS who have violated the human rights of sick and disabled people causing deaths and unimaginable misery. I hope now that finally they will get their comeuppance and that the main instigators Cameron and IDS and all those who enthusiastically supported them will finally be recognised for the evil and vile people that they are and that this grave injustice will end once and for all.

Thanks to the grassroots campaigning organisation DPAC who have tirelessly petitioned the UN to launch an inquiry when charities for the disabled and the Labour party have done so little.

Read more information about the inquiry

So DPAC triggered the UNCRPD inquiry but what does it really mean?http://dpac.uk.net/2015/09/so-dpac-triggered-the-uncrpd-inquiry-but-what-does-it-really-mean/

Maybe just the news alone that the UK government is under investigation by the UN will raise public awareness regarding the violation of human rights concerning people with disabilities.

Other hope comes in the form of Jeremy Corbyn who says Labour would now oppose all the Tories welfare changes, including the benefit cap

Opposition to welfare cuts

“Labour will oppose the Welfare Bill in full. We oppose the benefit cap. We oppose social cleansing,” 

“We will bring the welfare bill down by controlling rents and boosting wages, not by impoverishing families and socially cleansing our communities.”

http://www.aol.co.uk/news/2015/09/15/jeremy-corbyn-slams-poverty-denier-david-cameron-in-blast-at-free-market/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cuk%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D383187

Below are links to articles and personal accounts of the reality of how Tory benefits cuts have affected the most vulnerable in our society. Ignored for the most part by mainstream media these stories need telling again and again and should not be allowed to fade into obscurity. The fact that 25 percent of people who are entitled to vote voted Tory either means that 25 percent of our fellow citizens don’t give a dam about the shocking treatment of people who are unfortunate to a have to depend on benefits, including disabled and sick people, or they are ignorant of what is happening. A third possibility of course is that those who voted Tory believed all the anti benefit propaganda spewed out by biased right-wing media.

Thousands have died after being found fit for work, DWP figures show

“Nearly 90 people a month are dying after being declared fit for work, according to new data that has prompted campaigners and Labour leadership contenders to call for an overhaul of the government’s welfare regime.”

“…7,200 claimants had died after being awarded ESA and being placed in the separate work-related activity group – a category which identifies claimants who are unfit to work but may be able to return to work in the future.”

Read more:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/27/thousands-died-after-fit-for-work-assessment-dwp-figures

UK Welfare Reform Deaths ~ Updated List ~ October 21st 2014

Updated tragic list of welfare-related deaths of UK’s sick and/or disabled people. This is the tip on the iceberg:

They shall be remembered forevermore.

Read the entire list, more people have died since the list was last updated and there is no doubt that more people have died who have not been included on the list. This is only the tip of the iceberg!
http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2014/10/21/uk-welfare-reform-deaths-updated-list-october-21st-2014/

Personal accounts

Chronically-ill dad kills himself with electric saw after fearing his sickness benefits would be changed again

Glenn Harris, who couldn’t work because of lupus and auto-immune disease, was “profoundly worried” about having to go through the reassessment procedure

“A chronically ill dad of two committed suicide with an electric saw because he was scared his benefits would be changed again, an inquest heard.”

Read More:
https://welfaretales.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/chronically-ill-dad-kills-himself-with-electric-saw-after-fearing-his-sickness-benefits-would-be-changed-again/

Confessions of a Pariah

“My personal story is just one of millions, millions of stories of no real significance to anyone in power but of very real significance and worth in human terms. What the government is doing is not saving the country from austerity but smashing the lives of millions. Disabled, vulnerable and poor people are being portrayed as feckless workshy scroungers, social pariahs who need teaching a lesson. It is an ideological Conservative dismantling of the welfare state, destruction of the health service, marketising social housing and higher education that is hurling this country back into an economically and socially divided nation.”

Read More:
https://apootler.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/confessions-of-a-pariah/

Shocking Benefits Story Exposes Britain’s ‘Barbaric’ Welfare System

“I became badly psychologically ill a few years ago at 17, diagnosed with major depression and general anxiety disorder which developed further into physical conditions and eventually made life impossible to function most days.”

Read More:
http://www.welfareweekly.com/shocking-benefits-story-exposes-britains-barbaric-welfare-system/

People with mental illnesses have seen their already difficult lives deteriorate as a result of welfare reforms.

Sanctioned Jobseekers With Mental Health Problems Are Not ‘Vulnerable’, Says DWP

“Requests for hardship payments may be made by people who say they have a mental condition. A person will only be a member of a vulnerable group if the condition causes limitation in functional capacity because of a physical impairment.”

It continues: “It is extremely rare for a mental condition to produce a physical impairment that limits or restricts functional capacity but it can happen.”

http://www.welfareweekly.com/sanctioned-jobseekers-with-mental-health-problems-are-not-vulnerable-says-dwp/ – please be sure to read the above in full. To comment fully on the outrageous claim that mental illness does not limit functional capacity and vulnerability would need a separate entry. Mental health conditions to name but two of the most obvious and most common, agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder OCD, can incapacitate sufferers in such a way that they can no longer leave their home, sometimes not even one room. Sufferers of conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be even more severely affected. Indeed mental illness can be physically incapacitating in the extreme, such as a person with depression may become catatonic. Even if this was the case people still have to feed themselves, keep warm, pay their rent and so on. Mental illness is a profoundly disabling condition which can prevent a person from functioning in any capacity whatsoever. How the hell can you work if you cannot get out of bed incapacitated by depression or you cannot leave your home as a result of agoraphobia?In fact in some way those with a mental health condition may be more vulnerable because it is far less easy to fight for your rights when your mind is in turmoil as a result of delusional thinking and or anxious fearful thoughts, when thought processes are numbed by depression or you are stuck in the turmoil of compulsive behaviours incapacitated by fear and dread.  A sufferer of a mental illness often finds it difficult to communicate either by talking or writing, a phone call can be a monumental ordeal of stress and anxiety. Few understand the effect of mental illness on the entire life of a person who suffers in this way and how added stress can exacerbate symptoms. Publilius Syrus once said that “pain of the mind is worse than pain of the body” and in many ways this may be so, it most certainly can in some cases be just as incapacitating though in a less obvious way than a Physical  disability.

Disabled and sick benefit claimants are not alone in their suffering as low wage earners are now much worse off since Osborne’s Budget.

Minimum-wage families would be £2,038 a year richer if George Osborne’s Budget had never happened

http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-date/work-capability-assessment.html#.VWw_0KDqYo4.wordpress

Well I could go on, there are so many sad tragic stories so much suffering and despair. I doubt if anyone has read all the above. There are many stories as their are injustices as the Tory government carry on with their destruction of our welfare state and if no one stands up to them things will continue to get worse and more lives will be ruined and more people will die. This is not the society we want for ourselves, for our children or future generations.

Petitions to Stop the Reinstatement of Fox hunting

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We must expect an attempt very soon by the Tory government to repeal the fox-hunting bill, as it seems these over privileges psychopaths are desperate to resume their sadistic pastime despite the majority of the public being against its reinstatement. The Repeal of the Hunting Act also means a return of hare coursing & hunting hares with dogs. There should be no place in a modern society for setting dogs onto helpless animals for pleasure.

To make matters worse it has been reported that the Scottish National Party SNP may abstain from voting as this is not a Scottish issue the ban already being in place there.

If you read nothing else please be sure to sign the following Petitions:

Keep the Ban on Fox Hunting
https://www.change.org/p/david-cameron-mp-keep-the-ban-on-fox-hunting-2?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=curated_trending

David Cameron: For Foxes’ Sake: Don’t Repeal The Fox Hunting Act!
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Environment_Secretary_Elizabeth_Truss_For_Foxes_Sake_Dont_Let_The_Tradition_Of_The_Boxing_Day_Hunt_Return/?pv=7&rc=tagging&fb_action_ids=10152759326331561&fb_action_types=og.shares

Both petitions may be signed by anyone worldwide.

Also a petition by 38degrees. I am not sure if this petition can be signed by anyone worldwide as some 38 degree petitions are only open to UK residents. However it is worth just filling in the details and see what happens.

DO NOT REPEAL THE FOX HUNTING BAN
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/do-not-repeal-the-fox-hunting-ban?bucket=tw

Scroll down for more actions you can take to prevent the reinstatement of fox hunting such as writing to MPs including SNP’s and first minister Nicola Sturgeon. Please ask that SNP MPs  take part in the vote and vote against the repeal of the fox hunting act.

Please write or email your MP today and ask him or her to support the ban – contact details further down.

With the shocking news the conservatives reelection – shocking at least to those who care about things other than the acquisition of wealth at the expense of other people, other animals and the environment – there is now a real threat that our countryside will be the playground once again for the sociopathic few in our society who enjoy chasing a defenseless animal with a pack of dogs and watch the poor creature being torn apart.

Cameron’s reelection promise to reinstate fox hunting is imminent and may take place in a few months time. We must take action to stop this barbarity not worthy of any modern-day society, not worthy of the UK which supposedly is a nation of animal lovers. Shocking that a few in our country, but not the majority, voted to have both foxes and Badgers killed – fox hunting and hare coursing  are of course not the only attack on your wildlife on the Tory agenda but the massacre of badgers ( Cull/killing) will now continue as promised prior to the election.

Yes that’s right if you voted Tory you will be responsible for the return of the atrocity of fox hunting and the continuation of the badger cull, not forgetting of course the impending £12 billion welfare cuts to vulnerable people, the privatisation of the NHS and the scrapping of the human rights act. More about these in another blog entry.

You can read about these issues here:

Fox hunting back on the agenda says Jeremy Hunt as Tories plan ‘radical blitz’ after election bloodbath

“A free vote on the hunting ban, scrapping the Human Rights Act and finally working out £12bn of welfare cuts are all in the Conservatives’ plans:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fox-hunting-back-agenda-says-5665629#rlabs=1  – note the poll which shows that 80 percent of people want fox hunting to remain banned. This not only shows you what a cruel and sadistic individual Cameron is but also how he does not respect democracy or the will of the people but pushes on with what appears to be a fixation of his, this fact is apparent if you read the following article written by Cameron back in 2002 which shows what an unbalanced and despicable person he really is. Read the disturbing remarks made by then MP, now unfortunately Prime Minister, David Cameron in the Guardian Newspaper.

“Sitting in parliament involves hours of listening to opinions with which you profoundly disagree. I am usually able to do this without shouting, but as soon as I hear Labour members calling for hunting to be banned, I completely lose it.

When John McFall (Dumbarton) gets to his feet I shout “go back to Scotland, you’ve already banned it.”

Interrupting Gerald Kaufman during one of his lengthy and over-precise questions to the minister, I heard myself baying “shut up, you pompous prat.”

During the hunting debate I sat patiently for five hours without catching the Speaker’s eye. My carefully prepared speech was steadily crumpled and shredded in frustration.””

Read the entire tirade:
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/mar/22/davidcameron.politicalcolumnists – Yes I have mentioned this article on many occasions as it offers great insight into the kind of person Cameron is.

Fox hunting, hare coursing and hunting hares with dogs is cruel; it is barbaric and has no place in any modern society. Frankly any hunting is abhorrent and should be banned, but for now we have to fight for the progress we have made and not allow the Torys to reinstate this cruel “sport”.  Fox hunting should be banned permanently and consigned to history where it belongs. The majority of the British public do not want the ban lifted, it is undemocratic for the government to consider its reinstatement.

Please take the following actions.

In the run up to the commons vote to lift the ban on fox hunting I will post as many petitions, notifications of demonstrations and other actions as I come across them. In the meantime please sign the following petitions one of which has been a round awhile but is still relevant of course.  As you will see after signing the avaaz petition  people continue to sign every minute. The Change org petition needs even more signatures than it has at present.

Please sign and share all petitions widely.

Please Sign the following petitions if you have not already signed them and send letters and e-mails to your MP and David Cameron. Also consider writing to Nicola Sturgeon and other SNP MPs asking that they vote on the bill and vote not to repeal the fox hunting act.

David Cameron: For Foxes’ Sake: Don’t Repeal The Fox Hunting Act!
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Environment_Secretary_Elizabeth_Truss_For_Foxes_Sake_Dont_Let_The_Tradition_Of_The_Boxing_Day_Hunt_Return/?pv=7&rc=tagging&fb_action_ids=10152759326331561&fb_action_types=og.shares

Keep the Ban on Fox Hunting
https://www.change.org/p/david-cameron-mp-keep-the-ban-on-fox-hunting-2?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=curated_trending

Also a petition by 38degrees. I am not sure if this petition can be signed by anyone worldwide as some 38 degree petitions are only open to UK residents. However it is worth just filling in the details and see what happens.

DO NOT REPEAL THE FOX HUNTING BAN
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/do-not-repeal-the-fox-hunting-ban?bucket=tw

You can write to your MP and tell him or her why you oppose lifting the ban on fox hunting.
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/contacting-your-mp/

If you don’t live in the UK can still raise your objections by writing to David Cameron – contact details further down

Letters or e-mail but please try and send send a letter if possible though e-mail if this is easier. Letters can get noticed more but this depends on your MP as does any response you may get. Also tweet them and leave a message on their Facebook page if they have one.

It is Important to note that the bill will put the question to MPs in a free vote, which means they could vote with their consciences and not along party lines. So do not be put off if your MP is a Tory, not all Tories support support this bill, in fact some are opposed:
Conservatives against fox hunting
http://www.conservativesagainstfoxhunting.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bluefoxCAFH

Don’t forget to also write to Cameron and let him know politely but in no uncertain terms what you think of his plans to bring back fox hunting.

Here are Cameron’s contact details

David Cameron

Parliamentary

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 3475
Fax: 020 7219 0918

Constituency

West Oxfordshire Conservative Association, Waterloo House, 58-60 High Street, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 6HJ
Tel: 01993 702302

Departmental

10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA
Tel: 020 7270 3000

David Cameron’s websites, Twitter details may also be found by clicking the link below

http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/mr-david-cameron/1467

Contact the Scottish National Party

Please write to Nicola Sturgeon and other SNP MPs asking that they vote on the bill and vote not to repeal the fox hunting act.  According to the following more recent news on the issue there is a possibility that the SNPs may vote:
Having previously suggested SNP MPs wouldn’t vote, the party’s leader at Westminster, Angus Robertson, told Sky News they’d need to see the legislation before making a decision and on Saturday night Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “We certainly don’t agree with repealing the ban.”
http://news.sky.com/story/1485688/hunting-vote-could-be-just-months-away  – so its well worth writing to Nicola Sturgeon and SNP MPs to encourage them to vote.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon.

All the first ministers contact details can be found by clicking the link below including postal and e-mail addresses, an online form, telephone numbers and  links to her Twitter and Facebook pages. There are many ways you can contact the first minister. Please take as much action as you can.

https://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps/currentmsps/28558.aspx

SNP MPs:

Contact details of SNP MPs
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps/current-msps.aspx

Visit the League Against Cruel Sports to check out for their latest campaigns against fox hunting and other cruelty to animals in the guise of “sport”
http://www.league.org.uk/?gclid=CLi-op67u8UCFTCWtAodZDkA9g

http://www.league.org.uk/our-campaigns/hunting

Related Links

“Supporters of hunting with dogs are confident of overturning the ban imposed 10 years ago, claiming that a majority of MPs in the new House of Commons will vote to lift it.

David Cameron is under mounting pressure from Conservative MPs to honour swiftly the party’s election manifesto pledge to hold a free Commons vote on the ban.  The pro-hunting lobby, which has analysed the views of the MPs elected this month, believes it has achieved the “magic number” of 286 votes it needs to win. The figure is less than half of the 650-member House because the Scottish National Party has said its 56 MPs will not take part.”

The Countryside Alliance calculates that only about 12 of the 330 Conservative MPs will vote to keep the ban imposed by the Blair Government. However, the rival League Against Cruel Sports is also lobbying MPs and is confident that more than 12 Tories will vote to maintain the ban. It believes it can win the critical vote, which could be very close. It accused  the Countryside Alliance of trying to bounce Tory MPs into believing a decision to repeal the Hunting Act 2004 is inevitable, when it is not.

Read More:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/hunting-ban-set-to-be-repealed-within-12-months-with-early-commons-vote-expected-10254419.html  –  I don’t give a damn about what the majority of MPs want, it’s not about them is it, it’s about democracy, they know perfectly well that the majority of us oppose the repeal of the ban. They are supposed to represent us not their own self serving agendas. Really it is just so sickening that in a modern society there are people think it is perfectly okay to murder members of other species just for fun! It is cruel, unethical and barbaric and it has to stop.

Petition to Help Save Loch Ness Red Squirrels

Please sign the following petition to tell the Scottish Government to stop the Scottish Forestry Commission from destroying squirrel habitat!

652569-1431011327-wide

Demand that Loch Ness red squirrels are saved from destruction.

“Red squirrels are endangered in the United Kingdom and are a protected animal. Their forest habitat must be protected or they will not survive.

The Scottish Forestry Commission have brought forward their plans for more clear felling in Invermoriston by 20 years, and we are asking that they leave a forest corridor for the red squirrels so that they don’t die.

The Scottish Forestry Commission are responsible for planting maintaining and harvesting trees. The trees are mainly used for paper making and fuel products. They have already felled three large areas around the village and have not yet replanted any trees. They propose to continue the clear felling which will leave the populations of red squirrels and pine martins no suitable habitat here. They claim to be partners in protecting and reintroducing the red squirrel — so they should not be able to destroy squirrels’ habitat without making some provision for them.”

Please read more and sign the petition
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/652/569/454/demand-that-loch-ness-red-squirrels-are-saved-from-destruction/

Squirrels are not the only creatures under threat as a result of the Forestry Commission’s dubious plans.

The destruction of forests displaces others animals, destroys their habitats, their right to live in this world free from interference by man.

Look at what has happened to a forest in Co Durham near to the approach of the Yorkshire Dales

What become of the Stang Forest :

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http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1197951

Privatisation

The Stang Forest was privatised back in 2011 before the coalition abandoned their plans to privatize our forests as a result of public pressure.

“AS protests over the privatisation of the region’s woodland grows, The Northern Echo can reveal that one 526- hectare forest has been sold to a consultancy company.

The Forestry Commission confirmed last night that The Stang, an evergreen forest, was sold in January for £3.25m.”

“The Stang is one of many post-war conifer plantations in the region, but about nine years ago the Forestry Commission launched a 50-year project to encourage a wider variety of trees to grow in the forest.

It was hoped that more hardwood and deciduous trees would attract a wider variety of flora and fauna.”

Read More:
http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/8833856.Consultancy_company_buys_our_woodland/  – at the rate logging is progressing it is unlikely there will be any Forest left in fifty years time or even the next decade!

The new owners promised it would remain accessible.

All well and good if there is any forest left after it has been decimated by logging in the past four years without seemingly much effort to replace the cut down trees.

Barningham_LDWA_Walk_12_5_2012_22_Stang_Forest (1)

http://www.ldwa.org.uk/Cleveland/W/1902/a-barningham-trail.html  As the comment so clearly points out:
“We had good views all day especially from Hope Scar looking towards Teesdale, which had probably not been seen for more than 50 years as this section of Stang Forest had recently been cut down, opening up a panoramic views. “

Maybe an impressive view but what about the thousands of wild creatures displaced including deer and the pleasure of walking in this forest for locals and visitors alike. Indeed vast swaths of this forest have been hacked down and logging continues on a scale more massive than that which previously occurred. In other regions of Co Durham other small forests have been cut down with no regard for the wildlife that inhabits them.

Be on the alert for any  UK government plans to sell off our forests. A different issue you may think but reading the article below and looking at the photographs above it isn’t is it. With privatisation comes even more devastation to our forests and death for our wildlife. Until privatisation relatively few trees had been cut down in the Stang Forest now whole sections lay bear.

Despite the shelving of plans as a result of public pressure to privatise our forests the threat remains, more so after the Tory majority. Prior to the election the Lib/Dems had plans to put forests into trust to avoid privatisation.

Lib Dems suggest putting forests in trusts to avoid privatisation, so it is likely that privatisation of our forests is on the agenda.
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/30/lib-dems-forests-trusts-avoid-privatisation-trees

Even with those forests left under the care of the Forestry Commission there remains a threat of private involvement to the detriment of wildlife and local people such was the case of Fineshade Woods in Northamptonshire.

“Forest Holidays, a joint venture with the Forestry Commission, wants to build the holiday cabins at Fineshade Woods, near Corby.

Campaigners say if the multi-million pound venture goes ahead it will threaten wildlife habits and spoil the beauty of the woodland.”

Read More:
Fineshade Woods cabins ‘will be a money-spinner’

http://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/news/top-stories/fineshade-woods-cabins-will-be-a-money-spinner-1-6062432  – note in this article the usual promise of jobs and a boost to the ecconomy in order to justify building at Fineshade woods.

A Close Shave for Fineshade

“Last week I attended the meeting of East Northamptonshire Council at which the councillors considered a planning application from Forest Holidays – a commercial off-shoot of the Forestry Commission – to build 70 holiday chalets in Fineshade Woods.  The outcome was a good one, but the process was concerning. ”

Read More:
https://www.buglife.org.uk/blog/matt-shardlow-ceo/a-close-shave-for-fineshade

While it appears that the threat has passed for Fineshade woods we must remain vigilant to prevent the privatisation of our forests.

The forests are saved, but campaigners must remain vigilant

“The campaign to protect the forests must continue. If we drop our guard, there is little doubt that the government will have another go.  Dave Bangs who co-ordinates Keep Our Forests Public wrote recently in the Morning Star, ‘State ownership’s major advantage is that it subtracts a resource, at least partially, from the irrationality and greed of the market.’ The answer for our public forests is the same as the answer for our economy – we need more democratic public ownership and economy-wide planning, enough to break the dominance of the market and not some porridge of private businesses and “social enterprises” struggling for their market share.'”
Read More:
http://www.redpepper.org.uk/the-forests-are-saved-but-campaigners-must-remain-vigilant/ – notice at the end of the article the following link:
38 degrees forest campaign http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/tag/save-our-forests/ Apparently there was a second attempt last year to privatize our forests from which once again the coalition backed down.  I doubt they have given up yet and now with more power than before it is even more likely they will try again.

Please sign the petition to save red squirrels if you have not already done so:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/652/569/454/demand-that-loch-ness-red-squirrels-are-saved-from-destruction/

 

Join Protests, Sign Petitions, Write Letters

We need to fan every flame of resistance—from strikes to housing campaigns, to the People’s Assembly demonstration on 20 June, to the battles against racism, to the mobilisations over climate change. We need to challenge the Labour and trade union leaders who have led us to this disaster.”
Charlie Kimber The socialist Worker

10958761_906986996027881_1681593856384428544_n

More ideas to fan the flames – continue reading for details of protests and petitions for you to sign.

There is something we can all do to stop the Tory onslaught. Not everyone can attend protests or Marches but most of us can sign petitions, write letters and e-mail, tweet and share all such actions.

Take action about anything related to the government’s assault on our welfare system, the NHS, the environment such as fracking, the abolition of the human rights bill, increased austerity, the reinstatement of fox hunting and Badger culling to name just a few of the grave social injustices that the majority of us did not vote for.

“When the richest 20% of people vote to attack the poorest 20% – a crude but not unfair summary of what just happened in the election – then any talk of democratic mandates or majorities is redundant.  What we are left with instead is human decency – do we want to live in a society wherediabetics die because they cannot afford the electricity to chill their medicine?  Or where children are socially cleansed away from their schools, friends and families because neither benefits or wages are enough to pay soaring rents?”

Please continue reading the above article and take particular note of the following:

“There are upcoming protests in Glasgow, Peterborough, Manchester, Sheffield,Cardiff, Winchester, Newcastle, Leeds and many more to come – please feel free to leave details of upcoming events, protests or actions in the comments.

Class War and the National Coalition Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) have both called a protest in Central London on the day of the state opening of Parliament, May 27th – keep it free.

UK Uncut have called a day of action on Saturday May 30th, which coincides with a protest against scrapping the Human Right’s Act.

A massive demonstration wil be taking place in the City of London on the 20th June.

Please help spread the word about all events and let’s make them huge.”

Read More:
https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/the-worst-of-margaret-thatcher-meets-the-worst-of-tony-blair-we-need-to-fight-these-bastards-like-never-before/

Please try to support the events above.

Here is a taste of things to come:

David Cameron’s new disabilities minister voted against protecting disabled children’s benefits

“David Cameron’s new disabilities minister voted against protecting benefits for disabled children and cancer patients, according to parliamentary records.

Justin Tomlinson, appointed in the new government’s reshuffle, will assist Iain Duncan Smith in implementing Conservative reforms to the benefits system and making £12bn as-yet unspecified cuts.”

Please continue reading and be sure to watch the video:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-camerons-new-disabilities-minister-voted-against-protecting-disabled-childrens-benefits-10246049.html

Please no violence – Gandhi’s peaceful way of civil disobedience is more effective, It has been used in many nonviolent resistance movements in India (Gandhi’s campaigns for independence from the British Empire)  Violence soon looses public support and is never the solution.

It is unfortunate that someone felt it okay to write slogans on the war memorial during last week’s protest, though it has to be said that there is no proof that the graffiti on the war memorial was written by one of the protesters.

More about the protests and petitions to sign

If you cannot manage a march or other demo you can still make your voice heard by signing a petition

In the coming weeks I will post as many petitions, notifications of demonstrations and other actions as I come across them.

In the meantime please sign the following petitions however unlikely you think they are to succeed, our signatures represent public opinion about which we should not leave them in any doubt.

Unite and cooperate to create an anti-Tory majority in 2020

“In a fair world we would have proportional representation so that the Greens and Liberal Democrats received a fair number of MPs relative to votes received.

In a fair world we would have campaign finance laws that meant a few millionaire donors with vested interests weren’t able to stuff Tory treasure chests with 3 times the amount Labour raised.”

Read More and please sign the petition:
https://www.change.org/p/the-labour-party-the-green-party-the-liberal-democrats-plaid-cymru-the-scottish-national-party-unite-and-cooperate-to-create-an-anti-tory-majority-in-2020

End Austerity in Northern England:

“We, the people of northern England will not sit back in silence while you impose draconian austerity measures on us and crush our NHS. While we accept that your government is legitimate, the north of England voted resoundingly against you. We rejected austerity, and you have swept into office only through a campaign of fear and the support of middle England.” 

“We call upon our fellow countrymen both north and south of the border who are seeking an end to austerity to help us make our voice heard and will work with anyone interested in a progressive and fair society.  We deserve to be treat with dignity and respect”
https://www.change.org/p/end-austerity-in-northern-england – you do not have to live in the north of England to sign the petition, anyone may sign

A Vote of No Confidence in the Conservative Party Running the UK:

“This is important to protect the lives of our societies most vulnerable like the elderly, disabled, homeless, hard working families not earning enough, people on zero hours contracts, students, people having benefits stopped, people victimised by Tory cuts, people having to use food banks, whilst those with more than enough get tax cuts and get let off with tax evasion.”
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/a-vote-of-no-confidence-in-the-conservative-party-running-the-uk

Call for an inquiry into the psychological Impact of Austerity:

“Commit to a parliamentary inquiry assessing the Psychological Impact of Austerity.

Why is this important?

The evidence is clear, austerity policies are having damaging psychological costs, both increasing mental distress in the present, and storing problems for the future. As a group of psychologists, therapists, service users and allies we feel it is our public and professional duty to bring these issues to light.”

Read more and please sign the petition:
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/psychological-costs-of-austerity-inquiry

Protests

Please check the following link from time to time for details of protests in your locality

List of demonstrations, actions and meetings currently being organised:
http://anticuts.com/2015/05/12/fight-the-tory-government-actions-across-the-country/

Fight Austerity, Fight the Tories – March on the State Opening of Parliament

“On Wednesday 27th May it will be the state opening of Parliament, where the Tories will officially form a Government.

They will do so with just 37% of the vote, and with the consent of 24% of eligible voters in the UK.

The new Government is going to try to: smash the welfare state by £12bn, privatise the NHS, raise tuition fees, decimate local services, make strike action illegal, scapegoat migrants, worsen the housing crisis and to crush all dissent that stands in their way.

There is now only one thing stopping this from becoming a reality: us. Over the coming weeks and months, we are going to have to show the Tories that we will not let them do this, and we will have to inspire broader layers of the population into resisting austerity. That new wave of resistance starts now.

We are putting this call out for a mobilisation to coincide with the opening of Parliament; we don’t yet have any particular plans beyond it happening. NCAFC does not claim to represent the anti-austerity movement as a whole, and we are putting this call out in the hope that other groups, collectives and organisations will come on board.

Please email againstfeesandcuts@gmail.com to add your group.

Read More:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1600237216914656/

http://anticuts.com/

UK Uncut has also called a day of action, for Saturday 30th May:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1584349118501734/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1600237216914656/1600495150222196/

Not in London Check out the following also included in the above Facebook link
http://anticuts.com/2015/05/12/fight-the-tory-government-actions-across-the-country/

Don’t Vote Conservative: Unless You Want to Wave Goodbye to the NHS

“The NHS has been reduced to such a state that, if things don’t change, it could be about to get a whole lot worse.
“The extreme Tory spending plans will see social care further stripped out, pushing hospitals to breaking point.
“And, with the Health and Social Care Act still in force, the next parliament could see the NHS sunk by a toxic mix of cuts, crisis and privatisation.”
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham

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Flickr user Byzantine_K

Download larger sizes:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/16954312671/

Before voting consider the following:

More than 140 top doctors attack government record on NHS

Letter from senior health professionals says coalition has left NHS in weakest position ever and calls on people to use votes to reinstate service

“As medical and public health professionals our primary concern is for all patients. We invite voters to consider carefully how the NHS has fared over the last five years, and to use their vote to ensure that the NHS in England is reinstated,”

“… the NHS “is withering away and if things carry on as they are then in future people will be denied care they once had under the NHS and have to pay more for health services. Privatisation not only threatens coordinated services but also jeopardises training of our future healthcare providers and medical research, particularly that of public health.”
The signatories to the letter

Read the complete article which includes the letter in full:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/07/more-than-100-top-doctors-attack-government-record-on-nhs

More extracts from the Doctor’s letter to the Guardian:

“After five years of a government which pledged to protect the NHS, this election campaign makes it timely to assess its stewardship, since 2010, of England’s most precious institution. Our verdict, as doctors working in and for the NHS, is that history will judge that this administration’s record is characterised by broken promises, reductions in necessary funding, and destructive legislation, which leaves health services weaker, more fragmented, and less able to perform their vital role than at any time in the NHS’s history.

In short, the coalition has failed to keep its NHS pledges.”

Here is the most important section:
“We invite voters to consider carefully how the NHS has fared over the last five years, and to use their vote to ensure that the NHS in England is reinstated.”

Please continue reading the complete letter if you have not already done so.
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/07/senior-doctors-assess-governments-record-on-nhs-letter-in-full

In response, The desperate Tories try to unsuccessfully organise their own letter

“Desperate” Tory plot to organise own letter from doctors exposed in bomb shell leaked email.

“Jeremy Hunt has been left red-faced tonight as a bombshell leaked email exposes a “desperate” Tory plot to organise their own letter from doctors.

It comes just days after more than 100 leading doctors signed a letter accusing the Tory-led coalition of endangering the NHS in England.”
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-crisis-tory-plot-letter-5488071

5 More Toxic Years? Say goodbye to our NHS

DAVID Cameron’s “ideological prescription” for cuts and privatisation could kill off the NHS within five years, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham warns today.

Writing exclusively for the Morning Star, Mr Burnham insists it is “no exaggeration” to say the future of the NHS as a public service is at risk if the Tory Prime Minister stays in office.

Labour’s health chief says a looming £7 billion funding shortfall combined with the Tories pro-privatisation policy will “create a toxic medicine that may well finish the patient off.”

Read more
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-899f-5-more-toxic-Tory-years-Say-goodbye-to-our-NHS

NHS charges are certain if Tories win election

“The BMA rightly raises the spectre of the NHS being subject to charges for medical treatment after the election.   This has become a real threat as a result of Tory policy over the last 5 years – partly from the unprecedented imposition of £20bn cuts amounting to nearly a fifth of the entire NHS budget, and partly as a result from a third or more of hospital trusts now being in deficit and a growing minority being cast into actual bankruptcy.   All three political parties deny they have any such plans, and of course it would be politically suicidal if they did anything else.   But are they all credible?   The Tories have hugely increased charging for social care by imposing 40% cuts in the social care of the elderly and disabled.   They have expanded private dental care to such a degree in cost and coverage that DIY dental first aid kit is now growing fast – one estimate now by DenTek, one of the biggest sellers of kits, claims there are already a quarter of a million users.   And there are other reasons too why charging is very likely to be Tory policy after the election.”

http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2015/04/nhs-charges-are-certain-if-tories-win-election/

12 Things You Should Know About The Tories And The NHS

“12 things that should make anyone who cares about the National Health Service very wary of voting for the Tory party.”

Read More:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/anotherangryvoice/12-things-you-should-know-about-the-tories-and-the-wyf2

Well I could go on the evidence is overwhelming, five more years of Tory government will see an end to the NHS. If you value our NHS and think that free health care is a human right and should not be privatised DON’T VOTE CONSERVATIVE!!!!!!!!!

Reasons Not to Vote Conservative in the 2015 General Elections: Rise in Homelessness

Homelessness is about more than rooflessness. A home is not just a physical space, it also has a legal and social dimension. A home provides roots, identity, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. Homelessness is about the loss of all of these. It is an isolating and destructive experience and homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society.
Crisis – The national charity for single homeless people

Since 2010 when the coalition came into power homelessness has risen by as much as 55 percent and in London people sleeping rough has risen even more dramatically by a huge 80 percent since 2010!

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Help in to Homelessness

The official figures claim that there are 52,000 homeless and that homelessness has decreased in recent years. Under the circumstances both claims would be nearing the miraculous if they were actually true.

Stagnant or falling wages, rising prices, severe cuts to in-work, out-of-work and disability benefits, the rising costs of living, the implementation of such evils as the bedroom tax and the DWP’s usually fraudulent use of sanctions: how could homelessness be so low, and falling? Of course it isn’t, anything but. The official figures are yet another example of the blatant lies concocted by this government (and governments generally).

Read more and download larger sizes
Flickr user Byzantine_K
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/16567317250/

Shocking facts

Today in affluent 21st century Britain 90,000 children are homeless

Homeless children ‘at highest level since 2011’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29851119

Fifty-two percent of those seeking help with homelessness are under 25.
http://www.homeless.org.uk/facts/our-research/young-and-homeless-research

“…there are more people sleeping on the streets in our city centres than at any point since national records began in 1998.”
https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/the-homelessness-epidemic-gets-worse-highest-number-of-rough-sleepers-since-national-count-began/

“The homeless charity Crisis say the rise has been caused by cuts to benefits, government welfare reform, housing shortages and the legal injustice where homeless people are not a “priority for help.””
http://rt.com/uk/236231-homeless-figures-uk-cameron/

“On average homeless people die at just 47 years old.”
http://www.crisis.org.uk/

There can be few things worse than being homeless. No refuge, no sanctuary, no privacy, no hope.

“We should ask ourselves why it is acceptable that anyone has to sleep rough in Britain today.”
Rick Henderson, chief executive of charity Homeless Link quoted in the Mirror
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/homelessness-up-more-50-per-5235998

Indeed here in the UK the tax havan for the super rich and the sixth richest country it is unacceptable – well in actual fact it is unaceptable anywhere in the world that people are homeless or live in substandard accommodation and that only 1 percent own half the wealth of fifty percent of the entire population of the world.

In the UK people sleeping on the streets has risen by 55%  since the current Government came into power. This is an absolute disgrace, while the well off have second homes, such as the eight bedroom mansion that is owned by Lord Freud who is responsible for the bedroom tax,  people have to resort to rough sleeping.

Demand an end to homelessness in the sixth richest country in the world

For the sake of the poorest in our society don’t vote Tory in the coming election.

Where do Your Political Candidates Stand on Animal Welfare

take action banner v2

If you do not have time to read the following introduction please scroll down to send a message concerning animal welfare to all candidates in your constituency. Also “Tweet for animals” on April 2nd.

“An English gentleman would not himself give a moment’s unnecessary pain to any living creature, and would instinctively exert himself to put an end to any suffering before his eyes: yet it is a fact that every game preserver in this country sanctions a system which consigns thousands of animals to acute agony, probably of eight or ten hours duration, before it is ended by death. I allude to the setting of steel traps for catching vermin.”

“Bull-baiting and cock-fighting have rightly been put down by law; I hope it may never be said that the members of the British Parliament will not make laws to protect animals if such laws should in any way interfere with their own sports.

Some who reflect upon this subject for the first time will wonder how such cruelty can have been permitted to continue in these days of civilisation; and no doubt if men of education saw with their own eyes what takes place under their sanction, the system would have been put an end to long ago.”
Charles Darwin referring to steel traps

Indeed the cruelty meted out to animals in the name of “sport” should have long been consigned to history.

Of particular note in the above quote :I hope it may never be said that the members of the British Parliament will not make laws to protect animals if such laws should in any way interfere with their own sports.

Unfortunately some members of the British government avoid making laws to protect animals or attempt to revoke laws which have been painstakingly passed if it interferes with their sport, Cameron’s continued attempts to reinstate hunting with dogs, fox hunting, is a case in point.

Please take the following actions

Send a message to all candidates in your constituency

Find out where your political candidates stand on animal welfare by sending them a message to question them directly on and ask them to support the five 5 key requests included in the League Against Cruel Sports’ 2015 Election Manifesto.

We are asking every parliamentary candidate to support our five election pledges.

1. To defend and strengthen the Hunting Act

 2. To ban the use of snares

 3. To conduct an independent inquiry into the commercial shooting industry

 4. To take tough action to deal with illegal dog fighting

 5. To strengthen protection for racing greyhounds”

Read more detail and take action by sending a form letter to your candidates:
http://www.league.org.uk/our-campaigns/election-manifesto/take-action-for-animals-general-election-2015

Please send the message included in the above link, it is easier than it sounds as it does not require editing. The message will be sent to each candidate in your constituency.

More Action you can take

Tweet For Animals

“On Thursday 2nd April leaders from the 7 main political parties in the UK will  be taking part in a live televised debate and we want you to tweet them and tell them that animals matter at the general election.”

Click the link below to access links to each of the party leaders’ Twitter accounts. Click on the “Tweet” button and be a voice for animals.”

http://www.league.org.uk/our-campaigns/election-manifesto/tweet-for-animals

Hunting, shooting, deer stalking, hare coursing, snaring, dog racing and other so called”sports” should be banned outright, such should have no place in any civilised society. While dog fighting is of course banned there should be more done to enforce such a ban. Rather like fox hunting, bans of this kind are ignored which makes them meaningless.

 

 

 

Stop the Privatisation of the NHS – Please Sign Urgent Petition

Scroll further to sign  Urgent Petition

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Planet of the One Percenters

The Tories opposed the creation of the NHS back in 1947 and have been looking for ways to destroy the service ever since.

Now, as the Party of the 1%, they seem set to do just that unless they are stopped.

Byzantine_K
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/16319036702/

With no regard for democracy, knowing that the majority of us are opposed to the privatisation of the NHS, Cameron and the coalition government are hell bent on systematically allowing private corporations motivated by profit over patient care to take over NHS hospitals and other services. I firmly believe that in time if allowed to continue this will eventually lead to an American style system of health care.

Take Action

Please take the following actions to stop the privatisation of our NHS by signing the following petitions.

Urgent please sign!

38degress petition 

STOP THE NHS SELL-OFF OF £1.2 BILLION CANCER CARE IN STAFFORDSHIRE

Cancer patients in Staffordshire should know that the people caring for them are in the business of saving lives, not making money. There’s no justification for privatisation on this scale, ordinary people in Staffordshire haven’t been properly asked what they think, and if this deal goes through, we’ll be stuck with it for 10 years – and it could open the door for sweeping privatisation of our NHS across the country

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-nhs-sell-off-of-1-2-billion-cancer-and-end-of-life-care-in-staffordshire

Read More:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/mar/16/privatisating-nhs-staffordshire-cancer-care-harm-patients-campaigners-say

Sumofus petition

The first private corporation to take over an NHS hospital is pulling out. The reason? It’s no longer making a profit.

This is a glimpse into the future of a fully privatised NHS — one we can’t afford to meet. Tell the government to stop privatisation and defend the NHS!

Read more and please sign the petition, its time Cameron was left in no doubt as to the extent of public feeling on the matter.
http://action.sumofus.org/a/circle-nhs/?akid=9144.1820923.-0MyR7&rd=1&sub=fwd&t=1

Here is lots more action from 38 degress you can take to save our NHS.

SAVE OUR NHS ACTION CENTRE
http://www.38degrees.org.uk/pages/save_our_nhs_action_centre

The best way we can stop this happening is not to vote Tory in the forth coming elections.

Reasons Not to Vote Conservative in the General Elections 2015: The Injustice of Benefit Sanctions

“I am not surprised people want to kill themselves. People are now being given sanctions for the most minor things. They make you feel worthless, I felt unworthy being a student and thought I should be working like other non-disabled students can manage.”
Julia a student with autism

If you can’t read the text, click on the image to view the full size

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Six of many examples of the ludicrous reasons in which people have had what is often their only source of income taken from them for months – and even longer. Sanctions have led to hunger, homelessness and suicides.

The Jobcentre is sanctioning people to maintain targets set within the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), not in the majority of cases because of any wrongdoing by the claimant. Benefit sanctions were once almost unheard of.

Read more and access larger sizes

Byzantine_K
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/16094843129/

One of the most inhumane actions taken by the coalition government is the introduction of punitive benefit sanctions.

Unfair Benefit sanctions have driven people into poverty, destitution, despair and suicide. Benefit sanctions are one of the main reasons people have to resort to food banks. Such treatment of vulnerable people – namely the unemployed claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and sick and disabled people claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who are consigned to the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) – is not worthy of any civilised society, it is not worthy of the UK.  The present government has come under the condemnation of the UN for the present vicious welfare reforms which have left sick and disabled people with a lower or no income. The introduction of ever more punitive sanctions adds further to the misery and suffering that has resulted from the coalitions welfare reforms.

Anyone claiming JSA or are assigned to the WRAG can be sanctioned from anything up to one month to three years!

“In the Northeast alone “At any one moment in time, 30,000 people are being sanctioned …”

Including:

* A Hartlepool woman who broke an appointment because she was “burying her grandfather and had been at his deathbed for week”.

* A Sunderland man who was told “an asthma attack is not a good reason for missing an appointment”.

* A Middlesbrough woman who forgot an interview because it was “the day her father died”.

* A man in Bishop Auckland constituency who was a collecting a sick daughter from school and was accused of inventing a “fictional child”.

Julie Elliott, the Labour MP for Sunderland, said: “For people to be treated in this inhumane way is wrong.””

Read More:
http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/11708430.print/

Read accounts concerning the detrimental effects of benefit sanctions

Where did we go wrong? Why has starvation, suicide and poverty become the norm? More sanctions.. sanctions kill.

As you know every week we hold a demonstration outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. We believe that the cruel sanctioning and the cruel benefit reforms that are affecting thousands of people up and down the country everyday. Once you start hearing the real stories and the way that they are affecting people in your local community you cant help but feel their pain in some way. Sometimes we cry whilst we are being told of a persons death, sometimes we go home and cry. Today was one of those days. I woke up wanting to change things, but sadly realised that I cant change much apart from peoples minds once they read my blog. I opened my emails and read some stories that have been sent to me, They want their news to be shared but sadly not always their names. You see they feel victimised already and don’t want to be persecuted anymore. Here are a few of their stories. Please read and share.

Continue reading:
https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/where-did-we-go-wrong-why-has-starvation-suicide-and-poverty-become-the-norm-more-sanctions-sanctions-kill/

As incredible as the following may seem one unfortunate person was sanctioned for three months for making a spelling mistake!!!!!!

Sanctioned for making a spelling mistake.

You couldn’t make it up… Well actually it’s become the norm to be sanctioned for making a spelling mistake. A gentleman who spoke to us on our Thursday demo told us that he was put on a three month sanction at Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre for making a spelling mistake. He wasn’t given a chance to correct it, or a chance to explain it. He was told very bluntly “we are sanctioning you for spelling this word incorrectly on a form. This will prevent you from getting work so therefore is a sanctionable offence”. This man received a three month sanction for this so called offence. No one bothered to ask him if he was dyslexic or had any other issues which may have prevented him from spelling the word correct. Neither is it a crime to spell a word incorrectly. Indeed we are all human and are prone to making mistakes.

https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/sanctioned-for-making-a-spelling-mistake/

Read the 11 most senseless benefit sanctions:
http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/the-11-most-senseless-benefit-sanction-decisions-known-to-man–x1dmkd2_Me

Worse hit by sanctions and rarely defended are people with mental health conditions many of whom have been unfairly and disproportionately sanctioned.

A Government That Permits The Psychological Torture Of Benefit Claimants Does Not Give A Fuck About Mental Health

This Government do not give a shit about people with mental health conditions, and neither did the last one.  Whilst politicians of all parties offer soundbites and fake sympathy the treatment of people with a mental health condition by the benefits system now amounts to little more than psychological torture.

This is not hyperbole.  Whilst the medical establishment has stood ildly by, and mental health charities have veered between mild disapproval and outright collaboration, the DWP has lanched an all out war on the most marginalised people in society.

Continue reading:
https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/a-government-that-permits-the-psychological-torture-of-benefit-claimants-does-not-give-a-fuck-about-mental-health/

Revealed: Inhumane Treatment Of UK’s Disabled & Poor By Department For Work And Pension

The following blog appears to show that, after blogger Jules Clarke contacted his MP, Iain Duncan Smith admitted in writing to the MP that the DWP sanctions people with “learning difficulties or mental health problems.” Both disabled and non-disabled benefits claimants are most at risk of having their rights eroded if they’re on Jobseeker’s Allowance, and especially if they’re coming off the Work Programme.

Read More:
http://www.mintpressnews.com/MyMPN/revealed-inhumane-treatment-uks-disabled-poor-department-work-pension/

Benefit sanctions and absurdity: will public attitudes change

It’s always worth reminding ourselves just how draconian and irrational, not to mention pointless, sadistic, and avoidably counterproductive the benefit sanctions regime can be, not least because, as my colleague Patrick Wintour noted this week:

“The issue is one that all political parties are reluctant to take up, partly because public opinion is thought to be hostile to “benefit scroungers”

http://www.theguardian.com/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2014/oct/24/benefit-sanctions-unfair-consequences-clapson

Is this the kind of Britain in which we want to live where people are hostile towards benefit claimants, the kind of Britain were people are impoverished by unfair benefit reforms including sanctions. Sickening that both of the major political parties consider that the continued persecution of benefit claimants and the imposed drastic decrease in benefit payments as a result of cuts and sanctions are seen as a vote catcher.

Take Action

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/benefit-sanctions-must-be-stopped-without-exceptions-in-uk

I would like to say that the best action is not to vote Tory which is indeed a necessary action if we are to ever bring about change concerning benefit sanctions and other unfair reforms.  However it is unclear what Labour intend and with the exception of abolishing the bedroom tax it looks increasingly that nothing much will be done to undo the vicious and unfair welfare reforms of the last five years.

We must demand a more fair system that allows those who through no fault of their own as a result of long term sickness, disability or unemployment to receive benefits which provide a decent standard of living. Bullying people to find work that they are too ill to do or to find jobs that simply don’t exist is unacceptable and it has to stop now, but unless more of us speak out nothing much of anything will ever change. The present government and to a lesser extent the previous one have done a thorough job of turning public opinion against benefit claimants, a tactic used in prewar Germany

Here is the latest outrage

David Cameron To Force NEETs To Carry Out 30 Hours Of Community Work A Week ‘From Day One’

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/02/17/cameron-neets-community-work-day-one_n_6696286.html?utm_hp_ref=uk&icid=maing-grid7%7Cukt2%7Cdl9%7Csec3_lnk4%26pLid%3D330421

Related Links

Sanctions and the charity shop.
https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/sanctions-and-the-charity-shop/

Entre staff under pressure to strip claimants of benefits for no good reason, North East MPs claim
http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/jobcentre-staff-under-pressure-strip-8401574

Iain Duncan Smith to accelerate benefit reforms to stop Labour reversing them
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11321769/Iain-Duncan-Smith-to-accelerate-benefit-reforms-to-stop-Labour-reversing-them.html

Updated list of deaths due to welfare reforms

http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2014/10/21/uk-welfare-reform-deaths-updated-list-october-21st-2014/

 

 

 

Reasons Not to Vote Tory: Violations of Disability Rights as a result of Benefit Reforms

A few years ago who would have thought that the UK would come under the scrutiny of the UN in regard to human rights violations against sick and disabled people?

During the lead up to the next election here in the UK I am going to include a series of entries under the simple heading: Reasons Not to Vote Tory. These periodic postings will as the title suggests concern the many reasons why we should not vote conservative in the next election. Each post will centre on one issue beginning today with the shocking fact that sick and disabled people are suffering and dying as a result of the present government’s welfare reforms.  Always though keep in mind that the Tory’s were invariably aided and abetted by their coalition partners the Liberal Democrats without whose support many of their draconian polices could never have been implemented.

“For a government to be so implacable in insisting on its course of action without any resort to due care and attention is appalling.

“The breaches are now so blatant, the fact that people are dying and the coroner’s courts are recognising suicides or lack of care as direct results of benefit reform… there is a limit to how much can be said without anybody listening, and if it has to be from outside the country, so be it.”
Julie Newman, acting chair of the UK Disabled People’s Council

15032839585_fd63f7c776_h

This issue has certainly not gone away. Still every week I hear of someone who has committed suicide due to some aspect of benefit or service cuts – and that’s just the very few that are ever reported. Many more people are in dire poverty due to cuts – and to needless sanctions. The Jobcentre has targets to move people off of benefits whether it is justified or not. Usually not. And the consequences are appalling.

Many of our politicians and many civil servants need literally imprisoning for their part in fueling mass poverty and in particular for their responsibility for so many deaths.
Flickr user Byzantine_K

Credit Poster: Flickr user Byzantine_K
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/15032839585/  – larger sizes available of this and other posters with a creative commons license, ideal to spread the word about the coalition’s treatment of sick and disabled people and other issues. You would be amazed at how many people have fallen for the government’s scrounger propaganda, a deliberate and shameful Nazi Style campaign designed to turn people against the most vulnerable in our society.

Here’ s an idea, why not print a few out and stick in public places, for example on the doors of public toilets for a captive audience. (Please use only blue tack or other method which does not damage surfaces.) People need to know what is happening to genuinely sick and disabled people in our society as a result of Tory Benefit reforms.

Below is a list of some of the deaths that are connected to welfare reforms, there are thousands more.

Some Welfare related deaths:

Nick Barker – RIP

Former sheep farmer, Nick had a brain haemorrhage which left him struggling to walk. The father of two shot himself after the DWP claimed he was fit to work. Recording a suicide verdict, coroner Michael Oakley said the benefits assessment was key to the tragedy.

Robert Barlow – RIP
Robert worked as a Government scientist but gave it up when diagnosed with severe cardiomypathy. The DWP deemed him fit to work. He died penniless under 2 years later.

Cecilia Burns – RIP
Cecilia had cancer. Atos called her in for one of their assessments. The DWP declared her fit to work, but she appealed the decision. She died shortly after winning her appeal.

Read More:
https://welfaretales.wordpress.com/category/death-after-fit-to-work-decision/

As a result of ATOS work capability assessments People with serious health problems and disabilities have been declared fit for work.

…a 39-year-old woman from Livingstone with a brain tumour was fit to work just weeks before she died and a double heart and lung transplant patient from Essex dying nine days after being declared well enough for employment.

Colin, 59, from Flint, worked in the steel industry for more than 25 years, before a car accident and a nasty fall down the stairs finally forced him to give up work. His left hip and leg are so damaged that he is in constant pain and uses a stick to walk. But Atos assessors said he was fit to work, leaving him to live off Red Cross parcels while he waited for the reassessment.

Read more:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-claimants-lose-all-their-income-under-disability-benefits-reform-9107586.html

People with serious disabilities and health conditions are being left for weeks with no financial support as a result of Government changes to benefit assessments.

Under new rules implemented by the Tory government

…anyone wanting to appeal a decision that they are fit to work first has to have all their paperwork looked at again, while receiving no sickness benefits. The Citizens Advice Bureau believes this will result in thousands of people being wrongly forced to survive on no income at all.

The Government said that this “mandatory reconsideration” would cut down on bureaucracy and take just two weeks, but some disabled and sick people are being wrongly assessed and left with no support for months on end.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-claimants-lose-all-their-income-under-disability-benefits-reform-9107586.html

The UN are investigating the UK welfare reforms.

The above and other Benefit reforms have resulted in a UN investigation.

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has opened an investigation into the recent welfare reforms instigated by the present government. Concerning disability rights the UK, which once led the way internationally for decades, is now, thanks to the Tory government, set to be the first country to be investigated for violations regarding disability rights.

Disabled activists have welcomed the UN’s apparent decision to launch an inquiry into allegations of “grave or systematic” violations of its disability convention by the UK government.

Disability News Service (DNS) revealed last week that the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) appears to have made the UK the subject of its first inquiry into alleged violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Read More:
http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2014/08/activists-welcome-un-inquiry-decision/

According to the declaration of human rights:

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  • (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 25 http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ – clearly the government are in breach of this article and and many others as you will see if you read the entire declaration.

As a result of benefit reforms many disabled people are facing absolute poverty, a far cry from the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being...

Reforms such as the bedroom tax, unfair Work Capability Assessments with seriously ill and profoundly disabled people being declared fit for work, benefit sanctions for people on Employment and Support Allowance and other unfair reforms have left thousands in poverty, hopelessness and despair.

According to Disability News Service the figures show that 2,882 decisions were made to sanction claimants of employment and support allowance in December 2013, rising to 3,750 in January 2014, them 4,698 in February and 7,507 in March, an increase of nearly 580 per cent since March 2013.

Sanctions in some cases can mean no income – no money for food, gas and electricity, rent and so on.
“Sanctions are cruel and can leave people utterly destitute – without money even for food and at severe risk of homelessness. It is difficult to see how they are meant to help people prepare for work.
Matt DownieDirector of policy and external affairs, Crisis quoted in ‘Shocking increase’ in ESA sickness benefit sanctions:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28776102

Over ten thousand people have died after being found fit for work, still others have taken their own lives as a result of fear, anxiety and stress as a consequence of vicious welfare reforms and unfair assessments. Untold thousands more have suffered serious detriment to their lives because of these  reforms. According to the DWP’s own figures 10,600 people died during the months of January and November 2011. There are no records for 2012 and 2013. Therefore the number of deaths are much higher.

The list of injustices to sick and disabled goes on, for instance DLA (Disability Living Allowance).

Thousands will lose benefits as a result of the change from DLA to PIP including
100, 000 people in Scotland where a roll out of PIP began in January of this year..

Scottish ministers said the Personal Independence Payment, which replaces disability living allowance, would result in thousands losing benefits.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-28766917

Well I could go on the list of injustices is extensive. Even if there were no other reasons not to vote Tory or Liberal Democrat surely the coalition’s treatment of sick and disabled people alone is enough not to vote for either of these right-wing parties whose interests are only for the rich and privileged in our society.

What about Labour? Why not write to your MP or Milliband and ask him or her what they intend to do to rectify the injustices of the present government.

http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/contacting-your-mp/

At the time of writing as far as I am aware with the exception of the bedroom tax Labour have been quiet on the matter.

The UK has a long way to go concerning its treatment of the disabled and human rights in this regard are not as good as they once were. In some cases there are shocking discriminations which have been around for a long time and about which few people are familiar for instance regarding the abortion act:

The 1967 Abortion Act permits babies to be aborted right up to the moment of birth if the baby has a ‘serious’ disability? – See more at: http://prolife.org.uk/2009/01/aborting-disabled-babies/#sthash.2E8F9hWX.dpuf

Related Information

Number of Sick And Disabled Claimants Facing Sanctions Triples In Just Six Months:
http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/number-of-sick-and-disabled-claimants-facing-sanctions-triples-in-just-six-months/

Never Forget, it is David Cameron Who is Ultimately to Blame for Welfare Reform Deaths
http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/never-forget-it-is-david-cameron-who-is-ultimately-to-blame-for-welfare-reform-deaths/

Mark Unravels After Sanctions: “The process left me feeling Suicidal”
http://annmcgauran.org.uk/2014/08/19/mark-unravels-after-sanctions-the-process-left-me-feeling-suicidal/

KB’s list. ”Benefit Reforms Death Scandal Must Stop”
https://www.facebook.com/pages/KBs-list-Benefit-Reforms-Death-Scandal-Must-Stop/144196972397240