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General Election 2017

GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,275 Disability Gamechanger
edited April 2017 in Coffee lounge
I am often surprised how often people say they ‘don’t do politics’. This is because life in the UK is about politics and this often impact negatively on disabled people more than any other group. This has been especially true in the last seven years of conservative government.
I believe this year’s general election will be one of the most important for disabled people there has been for many years. For the first five years from 2010, the conservatives were hindered by having to share power with the Lib Dems. The last two they have been hampered by having a small working majority. Despite these limitations, the effect on disabled people has been devastating for many.

We can expect the Conservatives and UKIP to make this election about Brexit and negotiating our exit from the European market. ‘Give us the mandate and we will be able to negotiate a better deal for Britain’. Sounds good, but if we give them the mandate they want – an overwhelming Conservative majority in Parliament – we grant them the mandate to do whatever they want, with only the House of Lords left to offer any checks and provide an effective opposition.

When it started PIP applicants had their assessment, if the applicant was unhappy with the result they could go to tribunal. Applicant success rate was high, 65 – 70% success rate. To deal with this the Conservative introduced the mandatory review. This was designed to cut down the number of cases going to appeal and has been effective, while those who continued to the appeal stage still hae a success rate of 60%. To reduce this further they are now talking about changing the appeal stage so applicants do not appear before the tribunal, again designed to reduce the number of applicants and to reduce the success rate.

Last November the government published a green paper on the welfare changes. A single line went largely unnoticed and generally unreported, they want to move those in the ESA Support Group to be moved to the WRAG group, with all the stipulations and demands this group face. Including a reduction in this benefit of £30, so they receive the same as those on JSA. This reduction was introduced because those in the WRAG group were less likely to move into work than those on JSA, the loss of £30 obviously would be a greater incentive to this group to move back into work. If this change goes through then potentially people with terminally illnesses will be expected to attend work related activities or face sanctions.

It is this perverse way of thinking which lead to another decision which has had a huge impact on many families. Those who were in rented accommodation were more likely to be working than those in social housing. To their way of thinking forcing more people into private renting would encourage greater employment. So councils were encouraged to fulfill their obligations to house people by putting them into private rented accommodation. The result has been the largest growing number of children living in relative poverty is among families living in private accommodation. Higher rents, less security, lower access to support and far more vulnerable.

The housing crisis in the South East and London, in particular, is so skewered that there is a growing number of architects and developers who pushing to be able to build micro-homes to sell. These are units which are smaller than the regulations for a bedroom in social housing with shared facilities. You read it right, these are not designed to be a temporary solution for homelessness but to actually sell. Young single people, 18 to 25, no longer qualify for housing benefit leaving many young people who are abused at home to either stay where they are and continue to be abused or become homeless.

Theresa May when she became the Prime Minister promised to work for the UK which benefited everyone. Yet continued Conservative policy suggests that there are clear losers while they continue to reduce subsidising poverty and continue to subsidise wealth. For me, the question is if Theresa May is creating a better UK for everyone, who are the nobodies? The answer seems obvious, anyone who depends on the welfare system.

Why bother voting, it won’t make any difference?


The vast majority of welfare spending goes to one vulnerable group who currently enjoy a triple lock on their benefits. So what is so special about this group? The majority vote. It doesn’t matter who they vote for, the fact they vote means they can have a huge impact on elections and keeping them sweet and happy makes sense.
While I may scratch my head as to why people may vote for a party that does not have their best interest at heart, at least they have voted and I respect that. To not vote but then complain about what follows, is a failure to understand that by abdicating your right to vote you consent to what follows.

Another argument I have heard is that so and so party always wins, my vote will not make a difference. Too many politicians sit on comfortable majorities and don’t have to worry about the views of those who do not vote. Each vote against them reduces their majority and as that majority vote disappears they can no longer ignore what the local electorate think.

There is little point in complaining that we do not have a voice when the opportunity to have one comes and we stay quiet because we cannot be bothered.

As I said, I don’t care who you vote for, but please vote in June.

As an individual I stood alone.
As a member of a group I did things.
As part of a community I helped to create change!

Replies

  • AlexAlex Scope Team Posts: 1,325 Scope community team
    edited May 2017
    Great post, thanks @Geoark.

    And just another reminder that if people are not registered they need to do it before the 22nd May.

    If you might have difficulties voting on the day, or just like the convenience - anyone can register for a postal vote



  • johnny100johnny100 Member Posts: 125 Pioneering
    This will give the conservaties more power to cut the benefit bill.They will then say you elected us in to give the people of the UK a better standard of living,total rubbish.They will cut cut cut again with many more disabled people losing out,particually those on the higher rate,mark my words,wait till the Autumn budget.   
  • JusticeJustice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    @ geoark. Great post. I agree totally. I get so angry when People do not bother to vote. We have a voice USE IT!!! Especially Women, There are omen in the past who died so that we females could have the vote, if you don't vote that is total apathy, and I know this is strong, but if you don't have your say then you deserve what you get, and have no right to complain. 
    Stand up and fight!!
  • JusticeJustice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    women not omen !!!
  • nanof6nanof6 Member Posts: 200 Pioneering
    geoark they have slipped out they might be going for the tripple lock on pensions, i always vote, my voteing station isnt wheelchair accsess, the woman comes out to my car so i can vote.
  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,275 Disability Gamechanger
    @Justice just a side line I agree with what you say. Knowing how hard women fought for equality, the right to vote, the right to a bank account or loan in the womans name it makes me want to cry how many young women have taken the opportunity to be the worst of some men, as can be seen in many town and city centres on a Friday and Saturday night.

    1928 the year all women over 21 gained the right to vote, 1918 for men.
    1980 women won the right to get credit cards and loans in their own name - only 37 years ago!

    The only time the government stepped in to control private rents was during the second world war. This was forced by women working in munitions factories, particularly in Glasgow, who went on rent strikes to protest against the greedy landlords who were profiteering from the large influx of women brought into the surrounding areas to keep the war effort going.

    While it is still considered a mans world in the UK it is the women who have shaped the society we live in. Sadly not always for the better.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • mikejc9mikejc9 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    We need a voice! I do not believe that any political party will reverse the trend to cutting costs and benefits. We need to have some power to change things. What are our real choices? NOTHING!!!!!
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2017

    nanof6 said:

    geoark they have slipped out they might be going for the tripple lock on pensions, i always vote, my voteing station isnt wheelchair accsess, the woman comes out to my car so i can vote.


    You know you can apply for a postal vote @nanof6

    The deadline to apply by post at the UK general election on Thursday 8 June is 5pm on Tuesday 23 May.
    You can find more information about this here.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,275 Disability Gamechanger
    @mikejc9 at the general election we have the same choices as everyone else, vote or not vote.

    On a personal level you have a number of choices. 

    You could find a party whose values are close to your own, and see if you can stand for MP yourself, or put yourself forward as an independent.

    Or you could do the same at the local government level and try to make things better for disabled people as a councillor.

    You could choose to get involved with one of the local or national campaigns, either with a registered charity, or through one of the protest groups.

    There are thousands of disabled people who make the lives of others better through volunteering with local and national organisations or even setting up local charities to deal with gaps in local provision.

    What are our choices? A LOT actually.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • mikejc9mikejc9 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    I simply meant, what party represents Disabled people? None that I can see.
    I really didn't want a diatribe.
    I have spent my life serving other people but now find myself faced with voting for a fascist, or someone who wishes to take disability funding from them, no one is speaking for disabled people as far as I can see in the political spectrum.
    Sadly I am no longer able to serve other people let alone stand for election and as for being an MP! 
    `There are not as many choices for some of us as you wish to point out.
  • nanof6nanof6 Member Posts: 200 Pioneering
    look you don't vote for a nice face, vote for the right polices, im not keen on corbin, but he will make sure the disabled will be looked after, we cant go on the county is going down the pan, are you looking for more of this treatment,well things in this country can't get much worse, AND REALY DO WE NEED A NUCLIER WEPON TO PROTECT OUR FOOD BANKS?
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    There's an online quiz you can do to find out how your beliefs align with the different political parties.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • mikejc9mikejc9 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    No one Knows what Corbyn believes. He is friends of Hamas and was friends with the IRA, he hates the Queen, The Armed services, The Police Forces, I DO NOT BELIEVE A WORD HE SAYS! He is probably better looking that the Tory leader. I dont go for soundbites etc. Look at how he has vacillated and what he stands for. He does not represent ME, like all politicians they represent themselves. You and I do not matter.
    As a famous person once said; "A politician is an **** with a person on it">
  • AlexAlex Scope Team Posts: 1,325 Scope community team
    Scope has been in touch with the four main parties to find out their views on the key issues facing disabled people. There should be a blog going up soon with their responses!
  • mikejc9mikejc9 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Great! I haven't got a clue as to who stands for us.
    Many thanks
    M
  • johnny100johnny100 Member Posts: 125 Pioneering
    If the leader of any party comes to power they are told to tow the line,do dosagree with the leader,im the chief and you are the indians,


  • mikejc9mikejc9 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    You are quite right; we do not have democracy in Britain we have Party Politics. MP's represent the party even though they say that they represent us as ordinary people. 
    I would love to see real democracy; I thought that UKip would be that but it has become a damp squib.
    M
  • WorksopChrisWorksopChris Member Posts: 28 Connected
  • WorksopChrisWorksopChris Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Our Irish cousins show a clear pair of heels to any of our supporting organisations :

    http://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-campaigns-and-surveys/latest-caring-news/carers-in-ireland-27529

  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,275 Disability Gamechanger
    @WorksopChris Of course voting makes no change. This is why we still deal in black slavery, have poor houses for debtors, put many of our disabled people in asylums, women cannot vote or take out a loan in their own name without a man as a guarantor, It is also the reason why we still hang children as criminals.

    So why bother with voting? It's not as if young people, sick, disabled or anyone else has fared badly during the last seven years, and no reason to suspect that things will get worse if May wins June during the next five years.


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • WorksopChrisWorksopChris Member Posts: 28 Connected
    So why bother with voting? It's not as if young people, sick, disabled
    or anyone else has fared badly during the last seven years, and no
    reason to suspect that things will get worse if May wins June during the
    next five years.

    Obviously you are not one of the four close / at / below the official poverty line ... a mere 14 million citizens ... with every prospect of the numbers increasing.


    Nor one of the 1.1 million citizens needing a food bank in the last callender year.


    Austerity ? The worst is yet to come ...

  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,275 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2017
    Hi @WorksopChris

    You are correct I am not, and barring something going wrong my situation is likely to improve within the next 12 to 18 months. Your point being?

    So your solution is for us all to go and stick our heads in the sand and wait for what is to come, because the one way to make the politicians listen is pointless?

    That would be one solution for ensuring the Conservative party being returned with a larger majority and mandate to do what they want and ensuring the poorest in society continue to  suffer the worst from their austerity measures. After all it is what they have promised. But if that is what you want to continue advocating that is your privilege.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • WorksopChrisWorksopChris Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Projected turnout ... say 40%

    40% vote Conservative ... majority 50-100.

    Therefore , an elected Government will a clear majority.

    Less than 1 in 6 of voters eligible voted for the Conservatives.

    When it comes to tackling the largest wealth gap seen since the Victorian age , allied with the almost total collapse of social care ( built on the foundation of 6 million carers virtually enslaved to the system under the terms and condition imposed ... Lord Kitch poster fully details this ) , which political party has a policy which does address this Issue.

    Answer ? None ... not even scratching the surface.

    In which case , 13 / 14 million close / on / below the poverty line are disenfranchised ... no party exists to tackle their concerns.
  • WorksopChrisWorksopChris Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Lord Kitch ?

    https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/33261/lord-kitch-recruitment-poster#latest

    Put one of these posters up in every Job Centre.

    Give everyone unemployed a straight choice.

    Find a job or become a family carer. No benefits after one month.

    Result full employment ... 77p per hour falling after caring for 35 hours ? ... some care 24/7 365 ... poster fully details what life will be like.

  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,275 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2017
    HI @WorksopChris

    I will give you that the poster is one of the best I have seen over the years but with some aspects of being a carer missing.

    1. Some carers at serious risk of homelessness when the person they care for dies or the tenancy ends.

    2.Just being a long term carer increases your chances of becoming long term ill, disabled and / or suffer from mental illness.

    I also find it a bit disingenuous. Carers allowance is not payment for being a carer, ie a wage, it is an acknowledgement that carers have additional costs, much like dla and pip for the disabled. It is also likely that those who do get carers allowance also get at least one other benefit, esa or jsa along with housing and council tax benefits if they are not living with the person they care for.

    Projected turnout ... say 40%
    40% vote Conservative ... majority 50-100.
    Therefore , an elected Government will a clear majority.
    Less than 1 in 6 of voters eligible voted for the Conservatives.

    I am happy to use your projected figure, though the lowest turnout was 57.2% in 1918. It was then above 71% until 2001 when it dropped just below 60%. Rising then to 66.1% when the conservatives managed a small majority.

    Many of the gains for both the long term sick, disabled and carers have been eroded away in the last 7 years. We both agree that another 5 years with a strong Conservative majority would be a disaster for these three groups in particular.

    You are right though, you are not likely to get what you want who ever gets in. Free travel for carers is free to the carer but would you suggest this is subsidised through local or national taxes?

    The point is whether we like it or not the books have got to be balanced. and this is where the main differences in the parties can be found. So taking the two main parities, Conservatives will always punish the poor while rewarding the rich whilst Labour in general will look to support the poorer members in society while at the expense of the more wealthy.

    So back to your projected figures. Less than 16.66% vote for Conservatives but they return with a majority. However 60% have not even bothered to vote, so the vast majority are not even bothered about the results, even though they potentially could have made a difference. With that much apathy though why should anyone care about what the 60% of the population think or want when they cannot even be bothered to stick an x in a box, or arrange a postal vote? Why should anyone care about the opinions or views of those who advocate people don't vote because they cannot get what they want, or those who listen to them?

    Don't get me wrong, I do not necessarily disagree with most of your points and I am far from unsympathetic. However we have a first past the pole system, not perfect by any means but consistently there has been little support for any other voting system so it is what we are stuck with.


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • WorksopChrisWorksopChris Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Apathy ?

    Biggest problem facing carers , consistently increasing as the vice of our lives increases.

    No support . no political remedy , simply expected to care until we drop.

    And yet , needed by the System to for almost everything else ... without our contribution , where does it find £ 132 billion to do the things it does ?

    Without us , there will be a minimum of 6 miilion more citizens needing nursing and social care ... where would that money come from ?

    No wonder the System keeps us carers in our cage , scraps to survive , no hope for any until the caring ends.

    All workers are protected by Law ... professional careworkers as well ... family carers ?

    Imagine ... all family carers elected to become careworkers ... follow through the consequencies .... and the death toll likely ...

    Now , what would anyone call that System ?
  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,275 Disability Gamechanger
    Sadly @WorksopChris that is what happens when you decided to stay silent when it counts.

    Okay, so lets look at this differently, So what do you want?

    Some we know

    To  be treated like work dogs - but seriously as I asked how would you pay for this?

    To be 'paid' a decent rate - okay how much per hour and for how many hours?

    What support do you want?

    Which exercisable rights enjoyed by others are denied to you?

    No Union - unions play a number of roles here are the key ones

    • negotiating agreements with employers on pay and conditions - You're not employed by anyone
    • discussing big changes like large scale redundancy - your not employed
    • discussing members’ concerns with employers - what employer
    • going with members to disciplinary and grievance meetings - with whom?
    All workers are protected by Law ... professional careworkers as well ... family carers ?  So what are the legal protections enjoyed by workers which you want for carers?


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • WorksopChrisWorksopChris Member Posts: 28 Connected
    A question that can only be answered by carers themselves.

    Certainly the daily choice of either eating or heating for upto 2 million would be in the top 3 of priorities.

    Main problem ? NOBODY knows who are carers ! Only 1 in 12 claim Carers Allowance after jumping through the hoops to claim it in the first place.

    The rest ? Ticked the CARERS box on the 2011 census ... some 5.5 million ... caring for 35 hours or more a week , disabled caree requirements.

    Identify carers first , then start to work on policies.

    Ideal ? New CARERS Act defining status / rights / terms / conditions enshrined in law.

    Then ,the 6 million carers would rejoin the people of this country who currently enjoy the Rights that carers are currently denied.

    Cart / horse argument / solution.

    Again , Lord Kitch details what 6 million carers are expected to do.

    How many breaches can be listed when compared to workers for instance ?

    Trade Union ? Carers are not workers , nor have they any weapon beyond ceasing caring ... what use would that be in practice ?

    Whichever direction one looks , they are problems.

    How financed ? Not our problem , thsat's a problem for society itself.

    6 million " Slaves " ... that's the problem that nobody has a solution for ... or even wants to know about.

    Welcome to CarerLand ...a separate society within normal society.

    Want to join our ranks ?

    Consider how easy it is to join our ranks following just one misadventure or illness.
  • WorksopChrisWorksopChris Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Breaches ?

    A few :

    Child carers , as young as 5 , used as primary carers.

    48 working week ? I cared 24/7 365 for 10 years

    Pay ? Minimum " Wage "  for carers ? 77p an hour. and , of course , it is not a wage.

    Holiday entitlement ? None ... if I wanted a break , £ 15 per hour for a carer to replace me.

    Sickness pay ? None ... if I were ever unfit to care , say in hospital of just 3 days ... charge of £ 15 per hour for 3 days when I came out.... a charge for being ill ???

    21 Hour Rule ? Caring days to finish ? Still can't study for more than 21 hours to gain further qualifications which maybe needed to gain employment afterwards.and claim Carers Allowance at the same time.

    Caree needing to go to doctors / hospital / anythere ? Public transport ... caree goes free ... carer , pushing wheelchair , has to pay full fare. Without the carer , the caree would be totally housebound.

    Any other sector of society with beneficial terms and conditions like these ?

    .... just a few to be going on with ....

  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,275 Disability Gamechanger
    Disappointing but not surprising.

    I was hoping that we could have an intelligent conversation but again it seems you are more interested in hyperbole than genuine discussion. Sorry but over the years I have heard too many people who prefer to moan about things and put down others who actually try to improve things but never do anything about it for themselves.

    As chair of a non profit organisation there was a particular member who constantly moaned and 'promised' come the AGM he would do something about it. Yet year after year the AGM came and they never came. In the end during a conversation about something I told them I would the win the argument because I would be at the meeting to argue my point and they will not even bother turning up. I even offered to shake his hand if they did and take them for a drink afterwards. I won the argument because again he could not be bothered to turn up.

    You complain about lack of union representation but when challenged accept this would not be appropriate.

    You complain about the cost of travel for carers but challenged on how to pay for it 'How financed ? Not our problem , thsat's a problem for society itself.' Actually it is not a problem for most of society as you frequently like to point out. After all there has been a lot of support for government policy towards disabled people and long term sick among those who do vote, so why are they going to be bothered by their carers. Not nice, not right but reality.

    You complain about the 21 day rule, but as you like to regularly point out many care 24/7, where are these magical number of hours to study going to appear from?

    You want the same rights as workers, but accept you are not workers. But still you continue to use this type of terminology:

    'Ideal ? New CARERS Act defining status / rights / terms / conditions enshrined in law.'

    And to answer your final question: Any other sector of society with beneficial terms and conditions like these ? Yes the long term sick and disabled, try having a read around and seeing the terms and conditions they are subjected to which are enshrined in law.

    I will say thank you for finally getting round to putting slaves in quotes. Nice bit of emotional language for what, when you come down to the basics, is something most people volunteer to do.

    As I previously pointed out and you have chosen, not surprisingly, to ignore is that under the last Labour government things were starting to improve for carers, much of it now undone by massive cuts to council spending. Yet you still stick to wanting to encourage people not to vote so the conservatives can make things worse, easy to understand why you chose to join the conversation with a quote from a celebrated anarchist.

    Please feel free to have the last word, unless you actually come up with something positive on how these issues can be dealt with I won't be responding again.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • WorksopChrisWorksopChris Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Final word ?

    I leave that to any readers who would care to join CareLand ....

    Ignoring carers ? Yes , carers are used to that.

    A separate world to your own.

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