A letter from a Conservative MP to a constituent about welfare reforms and a UN inquiry shows the “downright offensive” attitude of some Tories towards people on benefits.
Rachel Maclean is the Conservative MP for Redditch. On 17 October, she replied to a constituent regarding a UN report into life for disabled people in the UK.
But Maclean, using a similar script to that of Minister for Disabled People Penny Mordaunt, said:
I… strongly disagree with the conclusions reached in the [UN] report… I cannot accept the report’s conclusion that there is evidence of grave and systematic violation of the rights of disabled people…
I'm pretty sure this MP wouldn't want this going viral… You all know what to do… pic.twitter.com/cZKq6EU00X
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— Alex Hovden (@WheelsOnFire92) October 24, 2017
The Canary has seen the original letter.
As The Canary previously reported, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) met in August. It assessed whether the UK government is sticking to its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People; ratified by the government in 2009.
And the UNCRPD was bold in its findings on how disabled people are treated by the Conservative government. Its Chair, Theresia Degener, said in a statement seen by The Canary:
[welfare] cut policies [have] led to [a] human catastrophe… totally neglecting the vulnerable situation people with disabilities find themselves in.
It said the government is failing disabled people in over 70 areas – from basic human rights, to not tackling discrimination, to the damaging impact of welfare cuts. It gave over 90 recommendations, the most in its 10-year history.
This is now the fourth report in 14 months by the UN into the Conservative government. All of them condemned its treatment of disabled people, saying it had committed “grave” and “systematic” violations of their human rights.
“A law unto themselves”
But Maclean seems to disagree. And a disabled person who was involved in the UN report but wishes to remain anonymous told The Canary:
Apart from clearly being in denial and a law unto themselves, Maclean’s government has totally dismissed the hard work and efforts of thousands of disabled people, who shared their personal experiences with the UN. This was all whilst battling not only a massive rise in disability hate crime but a vastly diminishing NHS. And it was on top of witnessing the loss of entitlements and safety nets originally given by a once-proud Department for Health and Social Security.
Its replacement, the DWP, now takes pleasure in burdening its claimants with bureaucracy, sanctions and most recently a systematic attack with the rollout of Universal Credit. As a disabled person, I am left feeling that I have no place in society; that I have become a sub-species under this current UK government, of which Maclean is a part.
The Canary asked Maclean’s office for comment, but none was received by the time of publication.
The ability of a Conservative MP to dismiss four reports by the UN is staggering. But it perhaps sums up a party that seems to think it has a God-given right to do as it pleases to the people of the UK, without criticism or recourse.
– Write to your MP, asking them to support the UN findings.
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