A disabled man is being taken to court for allegedly calling a Conservative MP a ‘Nazi’

Disabled Campaigner Chloe Smith
Support us and go ad-free

Norfolk Constabulary has charged a disabled man with threatening behaviour. It comes after an incident where he allegedly referred to Conservative MP Chloe Smith as a “fucking little Nazi”.

Alleged comments

Mick Hardy, 63 and from Norwich, allegedly made the comment at the Norwich Pride Parade 2017, where Smith was giving a speech to the crowd. Hardy is a member of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), which describes him as a “disability rights campaigner”. As The Eastern Daily Press reported, Hardy lives with “arthritis and mobility problems, as well as stress and anxiety”.

Smith was elected MP for Norwich North in 2009, and has held various positions in government. In 2013, Smith wore a blindfold and travelled on a bus to try and understand the challenges faced by disabled people when using public transport.

The UK government: violating disabled people’s human rights?

Meanwhile, as The Canary previously reported, on 24 January the European Committee of Social Rights (part of the Council of Europe) released a critical report of the UK government. The committee found that the government had breached its obligations under the European Social Charter in two areas: Article 12, the right to social security; and Article 3, the right to safe and healthy working conditions.

It specifically said regarding Article 12 that many welfare benefits – including Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) – were “manifestly inadequate”. That is, the government is not giving people enough money to live on and leaving them in poverty. The committee was also critical of the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) benefit sanctions regime.

The CPS and police said…

The Canary contacted both the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Norfolk Constabulary for comment on Hardy’s case. A CPS spokesperson said:

This case was charged by the police who have now sent us an electronic file. We will review the case in advance of the first appearance at Norwich Magistrates’ Court…

Read on...

And a Norfolk Constabulary spokesperson said:

A 63 year old from Norwich was sent a postal requisition on 10/1/2018 for ‘Using threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour to cause harassment/alarm/distress’.

The requisition relates to an incident which happened on 29 July 2017, during Norwich City Pride, where a man has been verbally abusive towards a speaker at the event.

Hardy will make his first appearance at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Friday 9 February.

Get Involved!

– Support Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), fighting for disabled people’s rights.

– Write to your MP, asking them to support the European committee’s findings.

Featured image via The Canary and Chris McAndrew/Wikimedia

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us

Comments are closed