Government #Disablism Discrimination in Action

This week a woman not known for her timidity, admitted how a non-disabled man had used his presence and the environment to disempower her; I’m referring to Dame Anne Begg and the she interview gave to the BBC. In the Daily Record Dame Anne is quoted as saying “Iain Duncan Smith took to standing behind me during Prime Minister’s Questions. He stood at what’s called the Bar of the House and occasionally he would lean on my wheelchair…Our working relationship was slightly fraught anyway because I’d been critical of him a lot. I wanted to keep that criticism a professional criticism, not a criticism of him as a person so I never quite built up the courage to actually say: ‘Please don’t do that.’” Dame Anne also was recorded as having explaining how “she would normally reproach people who invaded her personal space but she let him off“.

This is an excellent example of how competent, intelligent, and independent disabled people not only experience prejudice – as people either knowingly or subconsciously, use their bodies, words or actions to oppress us; but how this actively exasperates and diminishes us.

It is no coincidence I use this example with IDS being the perpetrator, as it is again his department, the DWP, I am discussing today. In November last year I introduced you to Burt, who with our support at DEAEP was transferred from WRAG to the support group last December; since then Burt has received up to three letters a month plus texts reminding him of his “Back to Work” appointments! Each month Burt has responded to each letter with a phone call saying “but I’m in the Support Group”, he has received an apology and a promise to rectify this from each call; yet it has continued.

Burt is a former career soldier who fought in wars all over the world, until being retired out with a crushed spine and severe PTSD, amongst other conditions, all contracted during his service.  He isn’t a naturally timid man, he loved his Army life and willingly gave everything to “Queen & Country”, as his service record and the plethora of photographs and awards proudly displayed in his lounge demonstrate; and yet the persistent harassment he has experienced from the DWP in the past 2 years has left him joyless, feeling without purpose and literally unable to complain.

As Dame Anne alluded to regarding IDS, his actions which amount to bullying in my opinion, makes it difficult if not impossible to positively challenge the perpetrator(s); and this is the situation Burt is in. Personally I can totally relate to this, and would suggest many readers and other claimants can also. It is these dismissive attitudes and continuous intimidation by the DWP that creates the ‘Brown envelope Syndrome’, so well recognised by those of us unfortunate enough to claim benefits; it is also this oppression, and misuse of positions of power, that has contributed to the deaths of many us.

How much worse this is going to get following the closure of ILF and a budget, which I believe initiates the removal of WRAG? Being forced to deal with increasing poverty is physically and psychologically damaging enough without having to deal with this prejudice and discrimination from the DWP.

I find this particularly ironic that jobseekers (presumably including those who would have been placed in WRAG)  are being mandated to participate in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), which claims to Stop negative thought cycles; I can’t help but think IDS, his ministers and the staff at DWP would benefit far more from CBT than claimants?

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18 thoughts on “Government #Disablism Discrimination in Action

  1. The person they call ids is a total tawt, he should be hounded out of his job because he is not fit for purpose, when the Bodgit was being read out he was like a little boy jumping and shaking his arms with glee that the poor and sick and disabled we’re going to be made even poorer.

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  2. Pingback: Government #Disablism Discrimination in Action...

  3. Reblogged this on patricktsudlow and commented:
    There is nothing to really like about the article, except it exposes the truth. People are intimidated into remaining silent, as the #JimmySalville unsavoury affair highlighted. People are too frightened to stand up against bullying from figures of authority. And this is reflected in the declining numbers registering to vote and low voter turn-out. Nothing much has changed, since the Norman invasion of 1066, when we Anglo-Saxon-Jutes lost our democratic rights, to be only ruled over by the robber Barons.

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  4. Deliberately invading someones space is a power game to undermine, control and manoeuvre the victim. It is also a non-verbal statement that the target is vulnerable and is helpless to do anything about the situation. Provocation as in what are you going to do about it? Reacting against something so seemingly trivial can easily be made to look like an over-reaction on the targets behalf, making the victim look odd, not the person doing the provoking. A no win situation for the victim. They either put up with the insult quietly (having been “put in their place” as a subordinate) or react and look crazy.
    As a target of gang stalking I get this constantly when I go out. In shops when considering buying goods people will come and stand immediately beside me or immediately in front obscuring my view. And I mean immediately – virtually touching. If I go into a cafe someone will come and sit directly opposite and stare at me, even when the cafe is empty and they would normally sit elsewhere. In queues people always stand too close. This happening occasionally is expected, but not constantly. One theory of gang stalking is that targets are used to practice a wide range of social invalidation techniques, working out what works and refining the tactics. Harassing people with maximum deniability. I now listen very carefully to anyone’s account of being insulted, invalidated, or subjected to mind games and emotional blackmail in impersonal or formal social transactions where such playground antics should not be happening. People are being deliberately distressed on no rational grounds.

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  5. Gaslighting is a well know technique of making the victim seem like they are overreacting. The term comes from a film in the 30s I think (look it up) where the victim is made to think they are imagining a threat. Smith knew exactly what he was doing. As a psychopath he will have practiced it many times. As ex leader of Cons he manipulates Cameron because he has all the inside info on him from the BLACK BOOKS of past. Do not worry watch out for Australian 60 mins on Sunday which is going to reveal names of child sex abuse politicians that Cameron and co have been protecting. They will be history as far as their majority is concerned.

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