Dear Ed Miliband MP
As a disabled woman who dared to consider you might understand the basic ethos of the Labour Party, I am totally appalled by your ‘response’ to the recent letter from Ms Sonia Poulton et al.
You state the Labour Party believes “Disabled people need support and compassion” and “in a welfare state that fulfils this principle”; and yet you follow this up with, what I believe to be a ridiculous comment; the need to separate out “ill health and disability from the decision not to work, which is taken by a distinct minority”.
The real problem is, this weeding out of, to use your own words of a “distant minority” then becomes your primary focus; it is the very fact that identifying this small number of people abusing the system, has become the principle goal, at the expense of all genuinely ill and disabled people.
How does sit with the Labour Party’s belief in disabled people receiving support and compassion from a fit for purpose Welfare State?
You claim that you share ‘some’ of our concerns regarding the Work Capability Assessments (WCA), and acknowledge the high number of appeals and the expert views of Professor Harrington show the test needs improving, I agree you’re right to conclude this but, our concerns are only in part about the WCA.
We are also very concerned by disabled people being abused on a regular basis by the media, the use of skewed statistics to justify the ‘scrounging’ rhetoric that all disabled people are now labelled with; the rising rates of Hate Crime against us; and more importantly, the growing number of disabled people dying in fear and poverty.
Ms Poulton’s letter referred to all our fears, it was a letter Sonia scribed but we, as a disabled community by adding our names to it endorsed. Thereby, it became a letter from all of us asking that you as the leader of the Labour Party, take note of the bigger picture, and meet with our nominated representative to discuss the range of problems experienced by disabled people as a result of your endorsement of what you agree with, is a flawed system.
Yours without much hope of a response