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DWP’s watchdog demands £1,000 benefit boost for millions


It is with dismay that the DWP appear to be blaming software for problems in not updating ‘Legacy’ benefits, for surely it is their responsibility to ensure software is uptodate.

If it was with regards to their own salaries, they would not stand for it, so why should people on Legacy Benefits.

‘Own the problems’ and do not make excuses.

Minister told ‘alarm bells are ringing’ over disability hate crime – Black Triangle Campaign


Disabled campaigners have written to a government minister to warn him that “alarm bells are ringing” over the “massive discrepancies and inconsistencies” in the way the criminal justice system deals with disability hate crime prosecutions.

The Disability Hate Crime Network says there is “increasing concern” over these failings.

And it has asked solicitor general Robert Buckland to create “tighter and understandably clear guidance”, and to pressure the system to comply with the rules on disability hate crime.

Stephen Brookes, a coordinator of the network, says in the letter that he and his colleagues felt “deep dismay” that six recent court cases involving violent attacks on disabled people – reported last month by Disability News Service (DNS) – had not been treated as disability hate crimes.

Source: Minister told ‘alarm bells are ringing’ over disability hate crime – Black Triangle Campaign

Nobody is Unfit for Work – Black Triangle Campaign


What you will read may be very distressing for you, but we are looking at the worst-case scenario and identifying measures to help you and other claimants.
It would be good to have some feedback on the Health and Work Conversations from people who have made an ESA claim. More we know about it, and more we can fight this.
What you should not do, is to decide not to claim ESA. That is what DWP wants you to do.
Some documents released by the DWP have shown the direction of travel in terms of claiming ESA under UC.
Under the old regime, a person wishing to claim ESA was placed in the ESA assessment phase, attracting the lowest ESA rate (JSA rate), and also no conditionality, and this until a Work Capability Assessment could decide whether the claimant was fit or unfit for work.
The Work and Health Conversation
Under Universal Credit, a person wishing to claim ESA will be first called for a Health and Work Conversation (HWC). This conversation is basically a Work Focus Interview, and is mandatory, which means that a claimant can be sanctioned for not attending. Attending does not only mean being physically present at the interview but also fulfilling all the requirements set by DWP for a WFI:
Regulation 57 of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008:
57.—(1) A claimant is regarded as having taken part in a work-focused interview if the claimant—
(a) attends for the interview at the place and at the date and time notified in accordance with regulation 56;
(b) provides information, if requested by the Secretary of State, about any or all of the matters set out in paragraph (2);
(c) participates in discussions to the extent the Secretary of State considers necessary, about any or all of the matters set out in paragraph (3);
(d) assists the Secretary of State in the completion of an action plan.
 (2) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(b) are—
(a) the claimant’s educational qualifications and vocational training;
(b) the claimant’s work history;
(c) the claimant’s aspirations for future work;
(d) the claimant’s skills that are relevant to work;
(e) the claimant’s work-related abilities;
(f) the claimant’s caring or childcare responsibilities; and
(g) any paid or unpaid work that the claimant is undertaking.
(3) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(c) are—

Source: Nobody is Unfit for Work – Black Triangle Campaign

Trump: The U.S. Transition From Democracy to Authoritarianism


America voted Trump in now they are reaping what they sowed, but is it too late for action to suppress the slide into authoritarian order. We can only hope it is not.

Josep Goded

In Upper New York Bay stands the colossal statue of Liberty, a universal symbol of freedom. It is also the Mother of immigrants, embodying hope and opportunity for those seeking a better life in America. It stirs the desire for liberty in people all over the world. It represents the United States itself. However…Last week, the flame of the freedom from its torch has started to extinguish.ocaso sol estatua libertad simbolismo.jpgIn hardly two weeks, President Trump’s unlawful decisions and his unprecedented pressures on judges to fail in his favour have shaken the fundamentals of U.S. Democracy. For many, it indicates that Trump has various hidden plans to turn the U.S. system into an authoritarian to gain power. However, it won’t be possible without dominating the Supreme Court.supreme-courtThe U.S. Supreme Court is the final court of appeal and final expositor of the Constitution of the United States. It marks the boundaries of authority…

View original post 553 more words

Why we need disability campaigners like Lord Rix now


Unfortunately it is never ending campaigning on disability issues for when you are successful on one count there are others to take its place.

This will only end when the sources of these maligned attitudes are persuaded to alter their views, so a concerted effort is required on the Government and many, if not all, of the tabloid media.

Westminster Confidential

Lord Rix pc credit BBC Lord Rix who died this week aged 92

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM 

The sad death recently of Lord Rix highlighted how much progress a determined individual can make in a particular field.

As well as being famous for his slapstick comedy Lord Rix went on to have  a second career fighting for people with learning disabilities ending up as a vocal champion in the House of Lords

I knew Lord Rix in the 1980s when I was social services correspondent of The Guardian and he became secretary general of Mencap, the charity which campaigns for people with learning disabilities.

At the time there was enormous stigma attached to people who were then called mentally handicapped or even worse, Mongols, which was both derogatory and racist.

Most of them at the time were locked away in a network of hospitals for the mentally handicapped which people often confused with hospitals for…

View original post 423 more words

New ‘hub’ means pioneering university will join world leaders in disability law | DisabledGo News and Blog


The University of Leeds is set to become a world leader in disability law, after setting up a ground-breaking new “hub” of some of the UK’s leading legal scholars. The Disability Law Hub boasts expertise across equality, social care, mental health, mental capacity and international disability rights law, as well as in the relationship between disability and mainstream UK law. The hub is closely linked to the university’s pioneering Centre for Disability Studies (CDS), which brings together scholars from a range of academic disciplines across the university, and is led by Professor Anna Lawson, the disabled law scholar who also heads CDS. Its position has been strengthened by the decision of two leading experts on disability law, Professor Luke Clements and Professor Oliver Lewis, to join the university’s School of Law as members of the hub. Clements is an expert on social care law, who has taken a series of landmark discrimination cases to the European Court of Human Rights, while Lewis,

Source: New ‘hub’ means pioneering university will join world leaders in disability law | DisabledGo News and Blog

Tory MP David Willetts’ Defence of the Welfare State


Beastrabban\'s Weblog

The Tory MP, David Willetts, a member of the ‘One Nation’ group within the party, which had been set up to reconcile the Conservatives with the NHS, wrote a defence of the welfare state in his 1992 book, Modern Conservatism. This is surprising, not only because Willetts was a Tory, but also because he was Thatcher’s former adviser on social security. He wrote

Nobody is very clear why a Conservative should support a welfare state. It seems to fit in with the highmindedness of the Liberals and the egalitarianism of the Labour party. But what is conservative about it? If Conservatives do support it, is this mere political expediency? …

Why have a welfare state: efficiency and community
The are two types of argument for a welfare state. Neither is exclusively conservative, but they both tie in closely with two crucial elements of conservative philosophy – the belief in…

View original post 968 more words

ELECTION 2015: Disabled people ‘should come together in new national body’


Original post from Disabled Go News

‘…………….

unionjack_disabled2

Leading activists appalled by the prospect of another five years of attacks on disability rights and equality – following the election of a majority Conservative government – are working on plans to set up a new national organisation of disabled people.

They want to bring disabled people’s organisations and disabled activists together under a non-party political umbrella, funded by membership fees and with elections to a steering group or executive.

The idea came from conversations between disabled bloggers and campaigners on social media, in the wake of last week’s general election results.

One of the disabled activists involved in the discussions, Gail Ward, said that such an organisation would provide “a platform for all to feed in and act as a collective, giving us more bargaining power and a voice that every individual disabled person can get behind”.

Another, Debbie Sayers, said in a blog that disabled people “as a community need to use our assets collectively, we need to come together to pool our resources”.

She added: “We need to work together in spite of our differences, because quite frankly our differences are far outweighed by our similarities and common foe.”

Among the Conservative manifesto commitments that could cause a regression in the rights of disabled people over the next five years include plans to scrap the Human Rights Act – with the potential loss of key protections under a replacement bill of rights – the party’s failure to pledge to fill the social care funding gap, and its commitment to further funding cuts, including slashing social security by another £12 billion a year.

Another leading figure involved in the discussions is disabled activist Sam Barnett-Cormack, who wrote in a blog: “Given the results of this general election, it’s more clear than ever that we need to make use of every tool outside of Parliament to stand up for ourselves.”

He said that a new national, membership-based organisation, with a proper constitution, would be “a strong way to ensure the voice of disabled people in politics, in civil society, and in the media”, and would provide a “credible, mature and accountable voice for disabled people on the national stage”.

He believes that such a body could work alongside existing disabled people’s organisations, and anti-cuts grassroots groups such as Disabled People Against Cuts and Black Triangle.

It would carry out “constructive policy work and campaigning in all areas, not just political”, including work “to protect the social security that so many disabled people rely on”, but also in areas such as inaccessible town centres, healthcare inequality and disability sport, and would have “the data and policy work to back it up”.

Barnett-Cormack told Disability News Service that there had been an “enthusiastic response on social media and in blog comments” to the idea, although he accepted that not everyone was in favour of setting up a new organisation.

News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com

  Aden

Hi I’m Aden, I work at DisabledGo as the Digital Marketing Manager and I manage the blog and all social media channels.

More posts from author  ………’

 

America’s patchy same-sex marriage laws hurt businesses, and corporate America is fighting back


Original post from The Washington Post

‘…………By Drew Harwell

Diaspora Jews, it’s time to step up


Original post from +972

‘….By

For years there have been calls for on-the-ground opposition to the occupation. Now there are a growing number of Jewish platforms — and voices — seeking to make it happen.

By A. Daniel Roth

Activists hold a sign reading 'Segregation is not our Judaism,in Hebron , October 25, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Members of the ‘All That’s Left’ collective at a direct action protesting segregation in Hebron, West Bank, October 25, 2013. Seven of the Jewish activists were arrested and later released. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The way the world is talking about the Israeli occupation is changing. Alongside that change, opportunity is knocking for those of us standing in opposition: calls for diaspora Jews to be present on the ground in Israel and Palestine are increasing. An important shift is beginning to take place — right now.

The writing is on the wall. Since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected, U.S. President Obama and his staff have been speaking differentlyabout the once-incontrovertible two-state solution. One campus Hillel changed its name instead of changing it’s programming to adhere to Hillel International’s rules. If Not Now stormed onto the scene last summer in response to the violence in Gaza. Boycotts and BDS campaigns are sprouting up on campuses and at supermarkets all over the world.

That was on display for anyone to see last week in Washington D.C. The J Street conference, which brought together over 3,000 people, saw a series of fired up conversations that put shone a spotlight on the American-Jewish relationship with Israel. During a panel on liberal Zionism, Israeli journalist (and +972 blogger) Noam Sheizaf made a clear plea for a collective refocusing from “state solutions” to the urgency of ending the inequality that exists for millions under occupation, who lack freedom of movement or access to civilian courts.

Peter Beinart also took a step forward on stage, calling on young Jews from North America and around the world to stand physically in Israel and Palestine, and to take part in Palestinian non-violent resistance to the occupation.

For years there have been calls for on-the-ground participation from a variety of communities. Recently, there has been a surge in Jewish platforms for those communities to take part in peace and justice work.

A Jerusalem-based volunteer program for young American Jews (which I co-founded) called Solidarity of Nations-Achvat Amimengages in human rights work and learning based on the core value of self-determination for all peoples. All That’s Left (of which I am a member) is a collective aimed at engaging the diaspora in anti-occupation learning, organizing, and on-the-ground actions. The newCenter for Jewish Nonviolence has already brought a delegation to help Palestinian farmers to replant trees the IDF uprooted last spring.

It is important that Jewish communities with connections to Israel take part in this movement. Whether they have a personal, communal, religious or cultural relationship with this land, diaspora communities should be on the forefront, stepping up to take responsibility for a peaceful and just future here.

The groups and initiatives I mentioned above are working on engaging even more people in this work: bringing dozens of diaspora Jews — who are already living and learning in Israel — to do solidarity work with Palestinians. In the coming months, they hope to bring hundreds more from around the world for direct actions and educational initiatives in the West Bank.

There are important roles for people from all over the world, of various backgrounds, in organizing opposition to the occupation. Right now, at this very moment, there is a growing call for diaspora Jews to to find their way here and stand up for equality. It’s time to answer that call.

A. Daniel Roth is a journalist and educator based in South Tel Aviv. His writing and photography is at allthesedays.org and you can follow him on Twitter @adanielroth.  ….’

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