Posts Tagged ‘Diabetes’

Trump Passes Law Allowing Gene Testing by Bosses

March 14, 2017

This is another, very chilling step towards genuine Fascism by Trump, who’s surrounded himself with Fascists and White Supremacists. In this piece from the David Pakman Show, the host and his producer, Louis, reveal how Trump introduced legislation that would permit employers to demand their employees take genetic tests and hand over information about the DNA. This was slipped past Congress when the public had their attention on the colossal mess that is Trumpcare. This overturns previous legislation which prevented employers from demanding such information, not least under US privacy laws. The legislation permits US employers to do this if they are running ‘wellness’ programmes. Pakman states that this is all about employers having the ability to charge people more for their healthcare, if they find out they have certain genetic conditions.

This is exactly what the authors Ruth Hubbard and Elijah Wald wished to expose and counter in their book, Exploding the Gene Myth (Boston: Beacon Press 1997).

The book is subtitled ‘How Genetic Information Is Produced and Manipulated by Scientists, Physicians, Employers, Insurance Companies, Educators and Law Enforcers’. It’s about the way the above have tried to link illness and criminality to heredity since the 19th century, and how this has led to eugenics legislation in which the ‘genetically unfit’ were sterilised and institutionalised in order to prevent them breeding. Or else it was used as pretext to prevent the passage of welfare legislation. The argument here was that it would be a waste of resources supporting those, who were unable to work as their illness was down to their own faulty biological heredity, not the terrible working conditions and industrial hazards of the time.

Eugenics was a favourite topic amongst the European and American chattering classes from the late 19th century until it was discredited by the horrors of the Nazi regime during World War II. But Hubbard and Wald warned that it was coming back with the drive to find a genetic basis for illnesses like schizophrenia and other traits. The book has the following chapters

1. Of Genes and People
The Role of Genetics in Our Lives
Genes for Deafness, Genes for Being Raped
A Word about Scientists
Heredity and Environment
What Are Genes?

2. Genetic Labelling and Old Eugenics
The Birth of Eugenics
Genetic Labelling
Involuntary Sterilisation
Eugenic Immigration Policies.

3. The New Eugenics: Testing, Screening and Choice
Overt and Subtle Eugenics
Parenting, Disabilities and Selective Abortion
Genetic Screening
Fallacies of Genetic Prediction.

4. A Brief Look at Genetics
Heredity and Genes
The Beginning: Gregor Mendel, “Traits” and “Factors”
From Mendel to the Double Helix
Genes and Proteins
How Chromosomes and Genes Are Duplicated
X and Y: The Sex Chromosome
From DNA to RNA to Proteins
How Genes Function
Sequencing the Human Genome
RFLPs: Linking DNA with Traits

5. Genes in Context
Definitions of Health and Disease
Individualisation of Health and Illness
Genes as Blueprints
Geneticisation
Diagnostic Labeling

6. “Inherited Tendencies”: Chronic Conditions
Some Underlying Assumptions
Conditions that Run in Families
Diabetes
High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, and Strokes
Cancer
Oncogenes and Anti-Oncogenes
Cancer Prevention and Cancer Screening
Breast Cancer
Cancer Prevention versus Cancer Therapy

7. “Inherited Tendencies”: Behaviours
Which Behaviours?
Homosexuality
Alcoholism
Problems of Linking Genes to Behaviour
Pitfalls of Behavioural Research: The XYY Fallacy

8. Manipulating Our Genes
Conventional Treatments for Inherited Conditions
Modifying DNA: Somatic Cell Manipulations
“Germ-Line Gene Therapy”: Changing Future Generations

9. Genes for Sale
Funds for Research, Profits for Biotechnology
Commercialisation and Conflicts of Interest
Owning the Genome
What to Do?

10. Genetic Discrimination:
Education, Employment and Insurance

Genetic Testing and the Schools
Genetic Discrimination in the Workplace
Measures in Counter Employment-Related Discrimination
Genetic Discrimination in Insurance

11. DNA-Based Identification Systems, Privacy, and Civil Liberties
DNA and the Criminal Justice System
Scientific Problems with DNA Profiles
Genetic Privacy and Civil Liberties
Employment- and Health-Related Issues
Controlling Genetic Information.

There is also a preface, in which they give their reasons and aims for writing the book, a conclusion and afterword, as well as an appendix on mitochondrial DNA, notes, glossary and a bibliography and list of other resources.

There were a series of scandals regarding the enforced genetic testing of employees in the ’80s and ’90s, one of which was compulsory genetic testing of a set of recruits in the US army. They also make it very clear that the insurance companies wanted to introduce it as a way of charging those with ‘faulty’ genes higher premiums.

And from that, it’s a very short step to eugenics and then the mass slaughter of the congenitally disabled under the Third Reich’s Aktion T4.

The forcible genetic testing of US recruits is mentioned in one of the books that came out on the X-Files, as an example of how the paranoid fantasies of the show nevertheless had a factual basis in this instance. To be fair to the Christian Right in the America, they are very hostile to sterilisation and eugenics. However, it’ll be interesting to see if they oppose this noxious piece of legislation. In much of the rhetoric of the religious right, such legislation is linked to oppressive, totalitarian states, like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. It’ll be interesting to see if they oppose it when it’s introduced by an ostensibly democratic government (yeah, I know, it ain’t really), dominated by big business and which is bitterly hostile to any kind of Socialism.

I don’t think you’ll see a word against it. As Pakman explains, when it came to voting, all the Republicans voted for it, all the Democrats against. And I doubt the right-wing Conspiracy fringe will oppose it either. Alex Jones on Infowars has been pumping out pro-Trump propaganda since the Orange Nazi’s election campaign. He wants Americans to believe that Trump is somehow ‘anti-globalist’, despite the fact that he’s stuffed his cabinet full of globalists and monopoly capitalists.

This is truly terrifying, as it does bring us once step closer to the genetic dystopia of the film Gattaca.

And it’s yet more proof of the Nazism at the core of Trump’s administration.

Advertisements

Vox Political on Disabled Protest Against Benefit Deaths at Westminster Bridge

September 8, 2016

Yesterday, Mike over at Vox Political put up a piece reporting and commenting on a sit-down protest by the Disability advocacy group, Disabled People Against Cuts, which closed Westminster Bridge for three hours. The group was protesting against the deaths that have been caused by the government’s welfare cuts. While Mike’s article points out that the group weren’t chanting, ‘There’s only one Jeremy Corbyn’, they fully support Mr Corbyn and his deputy, McDonnell, for their opposition to the welfare reforms. Mike quotes their press release as saying

“Since 2010 deaf and disabled people have been targeted for cuts and seen hard won rights and freedoms taken away – and as a result, the UK is now the first country to be investigated by the UN for grave and systematic violation of disabled people’s rights.

“Through all this, while much of Labour was competing with the Tories on who could be the toughest on welfare, Jeremy [Corbyn] and John [McDonnell] stood with disabled people and opposed the cuts.”

Mike also points out that one person, who didn’t support them, was Owen Smith. And I really am not surprised. Despite all the censorship and the attempt to deform the language used in the leadership debate to rule out any mention of the word, Smudger’s a Blairite. And it was New Labour under Gordon Brown that introduced the wretched ‘Work Capability Test’, which has seen so many disabled people thrown off benefit for the flimsiest and most ridiculous pretexts. Among those, who have been declared ‘fit for work’ have been terminally ill cancer patients, including those in comas. And injury has been compounded with insulting stupidity, as when one of those involved in the tests asked a claimant, an amputee, when they expected their limbs to grow back.

Thousands, if not tens of thousands of people have been thrown off benefit because of the cuts. Mike’s posted up many times the precise number, including those who’ve died after being found ‘fit for work’. And upwards of 500 have starved to death, or taken their own lives in despair, unable to fee themselves through having their benefit taken away. The victims have included an elderly couple, a young mother with her baby, and a diabetic man.

It’s a gross scandal, which should be a source of bitter shame to Britain as one of the richest countries in the world. And any decent left-wing party should be shouting from the roof tops demanding an end to it. But the ruling New Labour clique didn’t want to. Ed Miliband instructed his shadow cabinet to abstain, rather than oppose the cuts, because he did not want the right-wing press claiming that Labour was soft on welfare scroungers. Thanks to shrieking headlines from the likes of the Daily Mail and the Scum, most Brits apparently believe that a very sizable number of claims, if not all of them, are fraudulent, while the real number of is 0.7 per cent. Which to my mind, makes Paul Dacre, Richard Desmond and Rupert Murdoch complicit in promoting these murderous policies.

Private Eye on Death of Man from Heart Attack after being Assessed ‘Fit for Work’

February 11, 2016

IDS Death Meme

This is a piece from Private Eye’s issue for the 27th November to0 10th December 2015 issue. It’s an article reporting the death of a man suffering from diabetes, Alan McArdle, after he failed to attend ‘work related activity’ sessions with Maximus. The article makes it very plain that the Eye sees it as further proof of the harm aIDS’ policies are having on disabled people, and those genuinely unfit for work.

Fitness To Work Tests
Deadly Reckoning

Yet more evidence has emerged of the often devastating impact of the government’s welfare reforms on those with disabilities after Alan McArdle died of a heart attack less than an hour after learning that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was threatening to cut his out-of-work disability benefits.

Mr McArdle is the latest claimant to have fallen foul of a push to force people off sickness benefit and into work, no matter how ill they are.

Mr McArdle, whose diabetes left him with no feeling in his arms or legs, had just come out of hospital following a fall and was too unwell to visit the offices of Work Programme contractor Maximus for sessions of compulsory “work-related activity”. Even though the charity Slough Homeless Our Concern, which had worked with Mr McArdle for 16 years, told Maximus he was not well enough to travel to its offices, the company recommended to the DWP that he be sanctioned with the loss of benefits. Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart said it was “shocking” that the only way Mr McArdle could prove he was not well enough to take part in the Work Programme was by dying.

Details of his death emerged as new research from Liverpool and Oxford universities concluded that the government’s controversial “fit to work” tests for disabled claimants, which Mr McArdle faced, were associated with an extra 590 suicides in just three years and 279,000 cases of mental ill health. Eye readers will be aware that the tests, until recently run by Atos, have attracted widespread criticism for delay; for being too prescriptive, leading to devastating errors; and for leaving claimants stressed and penniless.

Ministers continue to claim that any link to suicide or death is “misleading”- even though they received a formal warning in 2010 in a “Rule 43” letter from a coroner after a suicide “triggered” by a wrong dining of “fit for work”. The coroner urged improvement in the collection of medical evidence before finding someone fit for work, in order to prevent further unnecessary deaths.

It is now being asked why work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and former employment minister Chris Grayling failed to respond substantively to the coroner back in 2010 – as they are legally obliged to. Nor did they pass on the coroner’s concerns to Professor Malcolm Harrington, the independent expert commissioned to review the tests in the wake of widespread concern.

Let’s make this very plain, and itemise some of the salient general points about the policy as a whole.

* Private Eye concurs that there is a real and overwhelming link between aIDS’ policies and the deaths of disabled people. The Eye is, presumably, sure of the legal basis of its claim. It is a magazine, after all, that has had a very long history fighting libel battles, and I doubt Ian Hislop, the editor, fancies another appearance in court.

* It also mentions studies by Oxford and Liverpool Universities. This sounds like the book, First Do No Harm, mentioned in Mike’s article.

* The Eye cites the figures of 590 suicides and 279,000 cases of ‘mental ill-health’. Vox Political has put up some of these suicides. So has Stilloaks, who put on a website the increasing number of this foul policies helpless victims. Tom Pride over at Pride’s Purge has also covered it, along with many, many others. And Mike has also reported the various reports and warning about the policy from mental health practitioners – the doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists, who have to treat severely vulnerable people, who have been made seriously depressed or turned into genuine nervous wrecks from …Smith’s callous, inept and cruel policy.

* A coroner has come to the same conclusion as the Eye, and informed aIDS and his vile colleagues under a legal instrument.

* Furthermore, aIDS has broken the law by not responding to the coroner’s “Rule 43” letter, and he and Chris Grayling also did not pass it on to an independent researcher, Professor Malcolm Harrington.

This is truly a perverse and lawless administration that has absolute contempt for both the disabled and the laws and legal and academic authorities, who try to protect them. Mike has issued a challenge to aIDS stating that he has made outrageous claims about the Gentleman Ranker, and that the Spurious Major should prove him wrong.

IDS can’t and probably won’t. … Smith is the stereotypical bully: once confronted, he runs away and starts squealing. He has hidden from protestors behind armed guards in parliament, run away from them out the back way of a Job Centre, and hidden in laundry baskets in hotels. These are acts of such magnificent cowardice that you could probably turn them into a brilliant comedy film. He’s just as craven when it comes to producing evidence. When it’s demanded, his tactic has been to find some spurious reason to turn it down, or stonewall the request, and appeal at the very last minute. And then finally to misinterpret the terms of the request quite deliberately so that he can send the wrong information.

Now he’s squealing that people have been making ‘outrageous claims’ about him. This is wrong. They’ve been making entirely reasonable statements, based on solid factual evidence, about aIDS’ policies and their effects. The only thing that’s outrageous are precisely those: that nearly 600 men and women have killed themselves due to his wretched policies, and over a quarter of million have been driven into depression, anxiety and madness.

And this coward, bully, braggart and fantasist has the audacity to declare that he’s being maligned. Well, Mike’s right. The facts speak for themselves. Let this monumental sham and incompetent prove otherwise.

Private Eye on ATOS’ Incompetence Running PIP

October 17, 2015

Private Eye in their edition for the 4th to 17th September 2015 also carried this report about ATOS’ continuing abysmal performance, this time in administering the Personal Independence Payments introduced by the Tories.

ATOS
Wait for the PIPs

Outsourcing giant Atos no doubt thought that pulling out of its contract to carry out the governments “fitness for work” benefits tests would draw a line under five years of bad publicity over its pisspoor performance.

But last week the Department for Work and Pensions was finally forced to reveal figures showing that about 90 people a month were dying with 14 days of being declared fit to work under Atos’ watch. And now the claims of poor practice have shifted to the way Atos assesses some people for a different disability benefit – the new personal independence payment (PIP), which is gradually replacing disability living allowance (DLA).

In July the Disability News Service revealed that in parts of the country where Atos was running the PIP show, the proportion of disabled people stuck in the queue for an assessment was more than five times higher than in areas managed by rival Crapita. Now people who have managed to be assessed by Atos claim they have fallen prey to inaccurate and misleading reports that affect their benefit claims.

Colin Stupples-Whyley, for example, says an Atos nurse wrote that he had attended the PIP assessment alone – even though his civil partner sat with him throughout the interview. He was only able to prove he had not been alone because his partner had signed in to the Atos visitor book.

Mr Stupples-Whyley has agoraphobia, general anxiety disorder, depression, fibromyalgia and diabetes, but the impact of these impairments was he says, ignored or misrepresented by the Atos assessor. The assessor wrote that his mental health conditions had ben diagnosed by a “counsellor” when in fact he was on medication prescribed by a psychiatrist; his long list of diabetes symptoms was reduced to “urinates a lot”; and a panic attack during the assessment was not recorded. Mr Stupples-Whyley claims the entire section of the form devoted to a physical examination supposedly carried out by the nurse was fabricated, as no test took place.

This is remarkably similar to the experience of Colleen Hardy, who also has several chronic physical and mental conditions. She was able to prove that the Atos physiotherapist who assessed her (this time for the old fitness-to-work test) had inaccurately reported she had climbed a flight of stairs without help and by holding on to a bannister, because she was actually helped by her community psychiatric nurse and a friend! Different benefits, but same old Atos story.

* Mr Stupples-Whyley so distrusts Atos he has turned down the offer of a reassessment and is taking his case to a tribunal.

As the Eye itself points out, this is merely case of Atos carrying on as they always have done. Only the benefit they administer is different. Atos’ cruel attitude to claimants and their determination to declare everyone ‘fit for work’ is satirised in this cartoon on page 27 of the same issue.

Atos cartoon

If you can’t read it, the speech bubble from the doctor says ‘See? I knew you could crawl if you tried… I’ll call the mushroom farm’.

Atos aren’t quite that bad, but there’re extremely close. The mobility test does involve the patients’ ability to walk a minimal number of yards, and there have been cases where wheelchair users have been told to come to offices on the upper floors of buildings for their assessment without adequate wheelchair access. And the above article describes how they were determined to find Colleen Hardy able to walk, even though she needed to rely on the assistance of a nurse and a friend.

Atos, however, shouldn’t take all over the blame. They were hired by New Labour to find a set proportion of people fit for work according to the Neoliberal ideas coming over from Bliar’s friends in the big transatlantic corporations. And New Labour’s involvement in no way exonerates the Tories. Bliar in many ways simply carried on the Thatcherite project, which has in its turn been carried on and massively expanded by Cameron and IDS. The whole system is rotten and desperately needs to be changed. A good start would be by sacking Atos, Crapita, and the old charade of fitness to work assessments.

Benefits And Work: IDS Runs from Meeting Sister of Sanctions’ Victim

May 2, 2015

Benefits and Work have this piece, IDS flees from sister of dead claimant, posted three days ago on the 29th. The minister for killing the poor and disabled was due to appear on a hustings in his Chingford constituency with six other candidates. One of the speakers was the sister of David Clapson, the diabetic ex-serviceman, who died of starvation and his illness thanks to the government’s sanctions. Suddenly, IDS couldn’t make it, because he was unexpectedly called away to the north of England.

The story, and Benefits and Work’s own comments on the incident, can be read at http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/3084-ids-flees-from-sister-of-dead-claimant.

I am not remotely surprised that RTU, or ‘Tosser’, as he was known to the squaddies in his unit, ran away from debating with her. For all Cameron’s boasting last week about how physically tough he is, there is very little evidence that he could crush someone’s skull with his kneecaps. Instead, he has a long history of running away from the slightest hint of trouble. Upon in Scotland, he hid in a laundry basket to avoid a confrontation with angry opponents. Speaking to the House of Commons Select Committee on Work and Pensions, he surrounded himself with armed police and bodyguards. Just in case any of the disabled people or their carers in the public gallery decided to attack. When opening a jobcentre in Bath, he sneaked out the back. He was due to open a jobs fair held by the Tories in Chingford, but did so much earlier than the advertised time. This looks again like a piece of monumental cowardice.

This says so much about the man, who is apparently proud of the reforms he has introduced into the benefits system, and has even had the audacity, if not the megalomania, to compare it with William Wilberforce’s abolition of slavery. Somehow, I don’t think Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson or the other anti-slavery campaigners, like Olaudah Equiano, ever shrank from meeting the victims of slavery or human suffering.

Cameron and IDS have absolutely no sympathy with the disabled, or the people, whose lives have been destroyed by their sanctions. Cameron himself desperately tried not to answer Andrew Marr’s question about whether he realised just how much ordinary people were suffering from these reforms. When he finally did answer, he said that the sanctions regime was entirely appropriate.

They know, however, how hard it is hitting ordinary people, and how bad that makes them look. And so they try to change the question, and run from debate with its victims as hard and as fast as possible.

Or failing that, just get a thuggish goon to manhandle their prospective interlocutor away, as Boris did today with Rupa Huq, sister of Konnie, former Blue Peter presenter and wife of Charlie Brooker.

Brooker has recently taken to writing dystopian SF in the shape of the Black Mirror tv series. The violence and thuggish behaviour of certain Tory candidates would seem to be a fitting premonition of a very grim near future if the present lot get back in power.

Independent: State GPs Better than Private Enterprise, Report Shows

April 26, 2015

NHS-privatisation

Friday’s Independent carried news of research by Imperial College London that that the private and voluntary healthcare organisations that have bought into the NHS perform worse than the traditional GP system. New Labour in 2004 opened up the NHS to private healthcare firms like Virgin Healthcare and Care UK, and also social enterprises and voluntary organisations. At the moment, these organisations provide 347 GP surgeries out of the total 8,300 in England. The Indie noted that these firms typically served more deprived, younger and diverse populations than normal, state-run surgeries.

The study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, found that these private, voluntary and social organisations provided worse service than the state in 15 out of 17 key areas. These included patient satisfaction, diabetes control and keeping patients out of hospital.

Supporters of these private GP services criticised the study’s findings on the grounds that like was not compared with like.

This is, nevertheless, a blow to the supporters of the piecemeal privatisation of the NHS under the Tories and Lib Dems. There are 92 MPs in the coalition parties, who either own, or have senior positions in the private healthcare firms seeking to profit from the NHS, including the minister for chequebook genocide, Iain Duncan Smith. Andrew Lansley and Jeremy Hunt have both spoken out in favour of the privatisation of the NHS. One Tory politico even stated that it wouldn’t exist if the Tories won a second term. When this was reported, Tory Central Office immediately went into emergency spin mode, and claimed he’d been misreported. They said instead that what he meant was that the NHS would be transformed by the removal of all the bureaucracy.

And the Kippers have been very outspoken in their desire to privatise the NHS. The Purple Duce, Nigel Farage, claims he doesn’t want to privatise it, but has said that he wants state funding to be replace by private insurance. Which means privatisation. His deputy, Paul Nuttall, has stated very clearly that he wants it privatised. I can’t remember if it was Nuttall, or one of the other Kippers, who went off and compared the NHS to Nazi Germany. This says much about the extreme Right-wing hysteria running through UKIP. They really believe that any kind of state intervention = Nazism. Because the Nazis put ‘Socialist’ in their name.

As for the Tories’ claim that their people don’t advocate the privatisation of the NHS: they’re lying. The bureaucracy has actually increased in the NHS due to the introduction of privatisation, PFI and the internal market, the basis of which was introduced by Peter ‘I’ve got a little list’ Lilley’ in the 1990s under John Major.

As for not keeping people out of hospital, from the point of view of private medicine this is just good, profit-making sense. Private hospitals make their money from treating people. Therefore, they have a vested interest in making sure as many people are sent to them as possible. It’s why the private healthcare system of the US is riddled with cases where people have undergone unnecessary surgery.

Earlier today I reblogged a video that has been sent out by 38 Degrees, asking people to use their vote to defend and protect the NHS. I notice that a number of my readers here have already reblogged in their turn. Thanks! We’ve got to do all we can to stop the privatisation of the NHS.

And that means definitely not voting for the Tories, the Lib Dems and very definitely not the Kippers.

Vox Political: Tories Run from Welfare Debate with Labour

April 26, 2015

Mike over at Vox Political posted this piece on Tudesday commenting on the Tories’ latest attempts to pull out or alter the format and content of the Leader debates as soon as they look like they’re going to be potentially embarrassing. The article’s entitled Tories run from welfare debate after Cameron’s Marr Show disaster, as it discusses the way Cameron was due to debate Ed Miliband about welfare policy. In the event, he didn’t, and pulled out. This came after he was humiliated on the Andrew Marr when he was asked if he understood the terrible suffering his welfare cuts were causing ordinary people.

Marr specifically raised the case of David Clapson, a diabetic former soldier, who died after his benefit was sanctioned. This left him unable to afford food, or pay for the insulin he needed.

Cameron hummed and ha-ed a bit, as he usually does when faced with a question he doesn’t like, and for which he doesn’t have answer specially prepared by Lynton Crosby or the other policy wonks at Tory Central Office. He claimed that the benefit cuts had seen people get back into work. They haven’t – see Johnny Void effective demolition of this claim over at his blog, as well as Mike’s own pieces on this. Then he made the devastating admission.

He thought it was entire right that people should suffer such deprivation, if they did not comply with the DWP’s demands.

He is damned by his own words: he has absolutely no concern or sympathy for the tens of thousands of lives that have been destroyed by his policies. Of his attitude towards David Clapson’s particular case, Mike comments

Cameron’s responses indicate that he seems to think it was right for Mr Clapson to die as punishment for missing a single Job Centre appointment (for reasons that have not been disclosed). He refused to accept that the system should be reviewed.

Cameron clearly felt deeply humiliated by the interview. The Mirror reported that Cameron and his cronies stormed off without going back to the green room afterwards to chat with the other guests. As for his demeanour when Paxo had asked him a similar, difficult question, Private Eye stated that it left him in ‘silent, puce fury’, as though his fag had dared to cheek him back.

And so Cameron decided that he was definitely not going to face Miliband in a debate about welfare policy. Mike comments that it shows the Tories for what they are: bullies. And

Like all bullies, they like to torture the weak. When public opinion rises up against them and they have a choice between “fight” and “flight”, they run like rabbits.

Mike’s article is at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/04/21/tories-run-from-welfare-debate-after-camerons-marr-show-disaster/. Go there and read it for yourself.

Mike’s article also has the highly relevant memes. This one below is specifically about David Clapson.

Clapson Meme

The other is on how Cameron plans to cut all social security spending, leaving the poor and sick to fend for themselves.

Cameron Welfare

Minister Mike Penning’s Contempt for the Disabled, and Paula Peter’s Response

December 12, 2013

In the comments section to his post on the duplicitous comments of Mike Penning, the current minister for the disabled, which I’ve reblogged here, my brother has also posted Paula Peters description of her meeting with the Rt. Hon. gentleman in a lift during her recent visit to parliament. Penning has told the press that he intends to cut down the time it takes to process claims for DLA and other benefits to stop cancer patients dying before they have received their due benefits payments. On the other hand, he has also told the Labour Party and the disabled themselves that it’s all the disabled’s own fault their disabled, and that diabetes is a life-style choice(!). I can remember the storm of protest that bust out way back in the 1990s when the current England manager said something similar. He was into various New Age philosophies, and announced that the reason disabled people were so afflicted was because of the bad karma they had brought upon themselves for sins and misdeeds they had committed in a previous life. The disabled and the British public in general were massively unimpressed, and the aforementioned Ron Manager had to do some very quick talking. Penning should similarly be taken to account for this unpleasant and simply wrong comments.

Here is Paula Peter’s account of her meeting with Penning. It’s ultimately taken from her facebook page. I’m not on Facebook, however, so I’ve taken it from Mike’s comments column to his piece on Penning. My apologies if any of this is inaccurate.

‘Hi all, got home literally 10 minutes ago. I got to Portcullis House by 8.50 this morning, and someone had my back to me in the lift, it was the Mike Penning the minister for disabled people! He was grinning away, So, i asked for 5-10 minutes of his time, and I said this to him. Mr Penning, please do not say that we are all frauding the benefits system, because we are not. Benefit fraud is 0..5 per cent and fraud is very very low. I said you need to check the official error within your department at the dwp which was at 70 per cent in 2011 (source social security advisory meeting 07.12.11)

Said, please do not say that disability and illness is our fault, BECAUSE IT IS NOT no one deserves to be born with a disbability, be struck down with a terrible physical or mental illness, no one, and said to him, Mr Penning you too, could develop an illness or disability, no one is immune from having an illness.

Please do not say diabetes is a life style choice, if you do not know anything about it educate yourself on it as ignorance can cost people ignoring symptoms of diabetes and getting checked and ignorance with illness costs lives. I said Mr Penning Type 2 diabetes is hereditary in families if one member has type 2 the chances of another member getting the disease is higher, and then had a dig, by your waistline Mr Penning, you had better check your sugar levels, too many meals in the subsided restuarant there eh?

Then said two weeks ago on 25th November you said to the labour party during DWP questions when they raised the issues about the welfare death statistics and the W.C.A that they should stop scaremongering. Well I have lost 18 friends, thousands have died because the stress and fear has made thier health detoriate and many have died by their own hands I know poeple who have lost loved ones, care to comment to them about that as the goverenmental polices are devastating many lives?

My last comment was this. in april 2013, my six year old niece abigail with type 1 diabetes was denied DLA as they said she had no care needs at night, she is 6, has constant hypos and toilet accidents at night, and has a canular attached to a stomach pump and needs constant care day and night at school and at home. That she and the family were put through the ordeal of an appeall and were one week away from a tribunial when DM overturned decision and upgraded her care needs. I said my brother heard from me about your remarks about Diabetes being a life style choice. He has written to you a letter how diabetes affects his children of 6 and 9 his wife who is 37 and him who is 39 all type 1 diabetics. They would like a response from you about the ordeal they had with DLA over their daughter and the DWP and a response to the anger and upset you have caused by your remarks about diabetes. I placed my brother letter in his hands.

He stared at me I stared back, down the corridor the smile was wiped off his face. He looked at me, and the one finger salute was what he got from me. He was then surrounded by his staff 15 minutes before the meeting and he was clearly rattled. The armed cops came by and what happened on Monday happened again, three cops for me. Not nice to have a nosel of a gun pointed at you, with their hands resting on their guns, but then with security alerts as high as it is (i can be anyone) it was still frightening though especially as they could see i had my tri rollerator with me and in a great deal of pain.’

Paula’s comments are a very sobering corrective to the image of diabetes that can be inadvertently given by the news. The coverage of the ‘obesity epidemic’ naturally refers to the increase in diabetes as a consequence of modern excessive eating and the consumption of foods with an extremely high calory content. This seems to have given the impression that if people are diabetic, it’s because they are somehow ‘fat slobs’. Paula’s comments to Penning are a clear refutation of that. It is particularly heartbreaking to hear of children as young as six and nine with such severe disabilities. I hope that despite such horrific disability, they still manage to lead a full life, however. One of the chaps I met when I was a re-enactor was a young lad, who was similarly fitted with an intravenous tube. I think it was because he had severe kidney condition. Nevertheless, despite the danger to his health, he had a girlfriend, an active social life with many friends and fought on the battlefield with the best of them. I hope Paula’s relatives are similarly able to overcome their difficulties.

In the meantime, however, Penning deserves to be kicked up and down the Houses of Parliament for his ignorant and extremely insensitive comments.