This has really pissed me off today. As the image states, last night two programmes on different stations conducted undercover reporting which uncovered abuse by our own Government Departments to force the sick and disabled off benefits, costing not only taxpayers well in excess of £1billion, some of which went into the pockets of ATOS and more to other bodies after tribunals ruled that ATOS were wrong in their assessments.
But it also cost lives. Suicides among the sick and disabled have gone up dramatically in the last 2 years since ATOS started being paid for every claimant they ruled “Fit to work” and therefore off Disability Living Allowance. Some of those people killed themselves at the very fear of having no money coming in. One of the people in the shows had a heart attack after being pronounced fit for work.
Daily Mail and Telegraph headlines which were designed by Tories to bolster support from the public for Welfare Reform has had a chilling side affect. A report from a study carried out by SCOPE has found that 2/3rds of disabled people have had abuse from members of the public accusing them of being benefit scroungers. 50% have seen attitudes towards them change for the worse. Disabled people are actually being attacked in the street, all because of the demonisation of the sick and disabled by a Government hell bent on cutting the deficit by reducing public spending. (instead of say closing a few tax loopholes that can only be used by the stinking rich)
And this is in a country about to host the Paralympics.
Today, BBC R4 Today spoke to the charity at 06:55 AM! for less than 3mins before cutting off Richard Hawkes the Chief Executive of SCOPE claiming it was a bad line, (Personally, I understood every word the guy said) and it got mentioned occasionally in their half hourly summaries.
But that was it. The majority of the news on BBC radio today had as it’s lead, the Chinese swimmer that didn’t take drugs. An athlete didn’t take drugs. How is that a story? It didn’t become a story, until the BBC news and from what I understand most media outlets did the same, of reporting the story a million different ways until there were several questions they created which had to be answered.
How does someone so young do that?
How does a complete unknown win gold out of nowhere like that?
How did she manage to go faster than the winner of the mens on his last lap?
Well Ian Thorpe did something similar when he was 17 knocking about 5 seconds off his personal best, breaking a world record and winning a gold medal.
She’s not a complete unknown. She’s been swimming since she was 6 and she won the World Championship last year.
The guy that won the mens knew he had won and was relaxing and slowing down on his last lap. It wasn’t that she was fast, it was he was slow.
I found most of that out on Google in 5mins. You’d expect the trained and experienced associate producers on a flagship news show to find that sort of shit even faster. The only news there really was to report in this story, was that one of the American coaches hinted that he thought she might be doping. She was cleared by testing and that was read out plainly by Lord Colin Moynihan head of the British Olympic Association. But someone at the Beeb sure thought it was a story they could beat the shit out of for 12hrs at least.
This story was gossip at best and it fitted nicely as the top spot on The Jeremy Vine show on Radio2 which can never claim to be a serious political and social debate show while it insists on playing jaunty music every 5mins. But to be more important than disabled people being abused by our own Government and attacked by self centred fuckheads in the street? Well that’s just fucked up thinking.
For the links, check out Channel4 Dispatches on 4OD, and Panorama on the BBC iPlayer. I urge you to watch them and inform yourself to this subject. And there are a lot out there that still haven’t been hearing about this, even though most activists have been yelling about it for the last two years. Last night Twitter was awash with tweets from people who were shocked by the whole lot of it.
I spoke to Tom Greatrex MP tonight and he told me that himself and a handful of other MP’s are gathering support in the Commons. They’ve secured a debate in the house on Sept 4th about ATOS, the Work Capability Assessment and the DWP. I’d suggest you watch the shows, check it out and then contact your MP and ask them why the DWP are still paying ATOS millions to ruin lives.