I am beginning to think that David Cameron must like to hear from me.
Less than five days since my rant to our glorious Prime Minister about bed-blocking and the paucity of social care in this country, he has managed to rattle my cage once again and is now saying that sick and disabled people on Employment Support Allowance (ESA) have made a lifestyle choice and don’t need money to help them cope with the effects of their impairments.
Exactly where are you coming from Mr Cameron? Are you trying to say that being disabled is something I, and many other disabled people, actually wanted? Do you really think that we like being unable to work and support our families? How disillusioned and out of touch with reality are you.
Disabled people are being demonised and Government policies and pronouncements are making our lives unconscionable. The general public are being told, once again, that we are ‘scroungers’ and ‘swinging the lead’. Hate crime against disabled people is on the increase and, in part, it is your fault. People are being hurt, both physically and mentally and you are to blame. The general public not being helped to understand that disability is not something we have chosen. You are telling them or, at least implying, that we have made a conscious decision that we want to be reliant on others for everything. Time and time again you are saying this and some people believe you without question. It’s hard being ill and reliant on welfare support to live. It’s not fun having nothing. Having you continually questioning our right to support does not help. I am begging you, stop making things worse.
You are now saying that you want to cut welfare support for disabled people even further. It’s not as if these benefits are extravagant or overly generous, far from it, but you still want to reduce them further. Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is to be reduced to ‘encourage people back into work’. Laudable but wrong.
What is it about ESA that you are just not understanding?
One of the most important things that you appear to be failing to grasp is the fact that disabled people did not put themselves into this situation voluntarily. These are people who have been independently assessed by your own doctors and medical professionals at the DWP. Doctors and medical professionals who have determined that they are not fit for work. Are you saying you do not believe your own professionals? These are not people who have said “we don’t want to work”, many of them are people who would love to have a job but who are too ill, too disabled, to be able to do so. Thanks to you, and your Government’s policies, people who are extremely ill or have serious impairments are having their pitiful support cut even further in an effort to ‘encourage’ them to get a job and stop malingering. What makes you think that not being able to eat, not being able to heat a home, not being able to turn the lights on, not having enough to pay the rent will help someone with learning difficulties or cancer or MS or innumerable other impairments find a job? It won’t. If someone has been assessed as too sick or disabled to work, then face it, they are not scrounging or malingering, they are extremely ill or seriously incapacitated for the foreseeable future and in the long-term.
Try making things better and not worse. Your continual meddling is making things so much worse. Help us to live a life that is worth living. Don’t punish us for something we can do nothing about and stop encouraging others to do the same thing.
Stop cutting and demonising, cutting and demonising and give us a chance to live.