General Election 2017 — Scope | Disability forum
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General Election 2017

Geoark
Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,388 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!

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Comments

  • Alex
    Alex Scope Posts: 1,305 Pioneering
    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



  • johnny100
    johnny100 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.   
  • Justice
    Justice Member Posts: 198 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!!
  • Justice
    Justice Member Posts: 198 Pioneering
    women not omen !!!
  • nanof6
    nanof6 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.
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,388 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!

  • mikejc9
    mikejc9 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_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 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
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,388 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!

  • mikejc9
    mikejc9 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.
  • nanof6
    nanof6 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_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 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
  • mikejc9
    mikejc9 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">
  • Alex
    Alex Scope Posts: 1,305 Pioneering
    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!
  • mikejc9
    mikejc9 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Great! I haven't got a clue as to who stands for us.
    Many thanks
    M
  • johnny100
    johnny100 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,


  • mikejc9
    mikejc9 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
  • WorksopChris
    WorksopChris Member Posts: 27 Connected
  • WorksopChris
    WorksopChris Member Posts: 27 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

  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,388 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!

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