There were emotional scenes at parliament yesterday. But most of the media didn’t care. [VIDEO]

Disabled People Parliament
Support us and go ad-free

On Wednesday 31 January there were emotional scenes at parliament, as the reality of life for a large section of society was brought into sharp focus. But only The Mirror bothered to report on it.

Disabled people: truth to power

As The Canary previously reported, on 31 January Labour’s Laura Pidcock held a debate in parliament on the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It highlighted emotional stories about the distress the PIP process causes sick and disabled people. But Pidcock said the Conservative MPs’ attitudes at the debate “astounded” her. And two activists from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Paula Peters and Keith Walker, made their feelings clear at the end. Listen:

Peters and Walker also confronted the Minister for Disabled People. And they told part of their story to The Mirror. But aside from the tabloid, no other outlet picked up on it.

Nothing about us, without us

So The Canary spoke to Peters. And here’s what she had to say:

Yesterday’s debate was exceptionally painful to listen to, and anger-inducing.

Seeing Tory MPs like the former Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, laugh, smirk and play on his phone and ipad as MPs recounted terminally ill cancer patient stories of being denied PIP and dying shortly after was horrendous. It was totally disrespectful. Not only to the claimants whose last weeks on this Earth were having the additional distress of battling the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions], but to their families who mourn today. His denial of the PIP statistics, which were often the ones the DWP used, showed how out of touch these MPs are with the reality of these horrendous policies.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

She continued:

They show disdain to us every day. And they simply do not care about the decisions they make having horrendous, life changing impacts for us. Sarah Newton, Justin Tomlinson, Esther McVey and Theresa May can deny it all they want. But the UK is the first state to be formally investigated under the UN because of the neoliberal Tory austerity agenda that has caused a ‘human catastrophe‘ on disabled people’s lives. The first state to be found guilty of ‘grave’ and ‘systematic’ human rights violations towards disabled people.

Disabled people are dying due to the the impact of the cuts, many dying in dreadful distress. We are in an abusive relationship with the DWP, we can’t leave it or get away from it due to financial insecurity. The decisions the DWP make cause life or death decisions for us.

Confronting the Minister for Disabled People was needed. We need to continue to do that. To hold them to account for their horrendous actions, but ultimately to get them out of government.

People are dying

Between December 2011 and February 2014 nearly 90 people a month were dying after the DWP told them they were fit for work.

590 cases of people taking their own lives have been linked to the Work Capability Assessment.

So Peters and Walker are right: people are dying because of government policy. Unfortunately for Conservative politicians and the media, this appears to be an uncomfortable truth.

Get Involved!

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

Featured image via YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed