This is a guest post from Sean McGovern, the Disability Delegate to the Unite Executive, Chair of the TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee, Chair of the Lambeth Pan-Disability Forum, a member of DPAC. He blogs as BombasticSpastic
“Left-wing activists’ treatment of disabled people as objects of pity is far more disgusting than anything the government has done…” – Brendan O’Neill
Brendan O’Neill’s recent article The Daily Telegraph is yet another example of the lazy journalism to which we’re exposed all too frequently these days. Here we have another ex-Leftie turned right-wing libertarian attempting to paint the Left as a politically moribund entity bereft of ideas and direction; while portraying the Right as the true champions of the working classes and disabled with their ‘work is the only solution’ message.
From beginning to end this piece is a gross insult to the very group O’Neill purports to defend – disabled people. He begins the article by speaking as though the “…Left-wing observers…” (the villains of this piece) are the spokespersons for disabled people; when the reality is that it is disabled people who are speaking up for themselves on a variety of social media sites- in blogs, on Facebook, on Twitter, in newspapers and out on the streets via direct action.
So, O’Neill’s take on the fear for many disabled people expressed by themselves is a casual “Concerned commentators tell us disabled people will be propelled into “destitution” by the government’s overhaul of disability benefits.” O’Neill, we are the concerned commentators; and many of us are enduring the real destitution caused by the dismantling of the welfare state!
“They claim disabled people will commit suicide in droves if their benefits are changed or removed.” O’Neill, look to sites such as Black Triangle, DPAC and ATOS Stories for proof of the suicides caused as a result of a flawed system that disregards the frailty and sense of hopelessness associated with some disabilities and conditions, especially those of a mental health nature. Click to continue reading