|Posted by Electric Frog on October 24, 2012 at 5:40 AM|
Not related to the content of this site at all, but something i feel compelled to share....
A headline in one of the papers (that i wouldn't usually give the time of day to) caught my eye today. "'Disability Hate Crimes' rise by a quarter in a year', and my mind was drawn back to events from my childhood.
My eldest brother, who is autistic and epileptic, was hounded by a large number of people from as early as i can remember. Teasing and name calling were everyday occurrences, while on a bad day he would be spat at, have stones thrown at him, and even be chased up the road with sticks. Sometimes it was small groups of kids, other times they were joined by adults. Sometimes the groups of kids would disappear only to return later with "reinforcements".
My parents reported this to the police quite often, the most helpful advice given being "Maybe you should keep him indoors?". We knew who these people were, we knew where they lived, but the police said they could do nothing unless they caught them in the act.... and we needed to report these incidents as they were happening. How? This was the 70s and 80s - there were no mobile phones, and not that many house phones.
Eventually Tony suffered multiple strokes brought on by the stress of his existence, and has been in a residential care home since 1998. At first i was sad for him, but looking back now i think maybe he has a better quality of life than he ever did before. And there's another reason he might be better off where he is.... bullying and harassment of the sick and disabled doesn't only come from groups of scum on the streets these days, there's a far more sinister threat from our very own government.
If he hadn't had a stroke and require full time residential care, no doubt he would now be subject to the unfair, humiliating and frankly shambolic "WCA" (Work Capability Assessment). These tests, carried out by a French IT firm (Atos Origin, with a newly invented department called Atos Healthcare), are a computer based tick-box test designed with the sole intention of stripping the most vulnerable people of their benefits. In actual fact, the software called LIMA was designed by insurance firm UNUM as a way of refusing health insurance claims. The system was developed in the USA where their test centres became known as "Disability Denial Factories". It wasn't too long before the system was deemed unlawful, and banned from use in America. So then our government bought the system, to use against it's own people - the ones it is employed to serve. It would be a joke if it wasn't so tragic.
Some time ago, a report revealed that 26 people per week were dying of their illness within 6 weeks of being declared "fit for work" by this system. Since then the figure has been revealed to be nearly 3 times that - 72 in fact.
But people in this country have been lied to, by government propaganda and sensationalist reporting in the gutter press. A recent survey revealed that the average joe believes that 75% of all people in reciept of health related benifits are "faking it", when the official figure from the governments own department (the DWP) is less than 1%.
Headlines from the likes of The Sun and The Mail screamed "Two Thirds Of Disabled People Faking It" and such like. Articles went on to point out that 75% of people that are subject to the WCA are declared fit for work.
Of course they failed to point out that a high percentage of those decisions are overturned by an independant tribunal, that a high proportion of their so-called Healthcare Professionals were under investigation by the GMC and the NMC. They won't tell you about the software used and the related scandal accross the pond. They won't tell you that even when people meet the required"descriptors" that the assessor will lie on the report and leave out vital information. They would never mention that even people with terminal cancer were being thrown off benefits and told to get a job. Jobs that don't exist by the way.
6 million (at least) in this country currently looking for full time employment, for around half a million vacancies....
But i think i'll leave that rant for another day....