A drip-feed of statistics about claimants who have been denied benefits by the Department for Work and Pensions because they are deemed fit to work threatens the safety and quality of life of its members, says an alliance of 50 charities. The government is feeding a negative attitude towards people with disabilities, which, the charities warn, will ultimately end in violence.Note that they aren't saying the statistics are wrong, miscalculated or in any way untrue; they are just inconvenient. They are dangerous.
They will (somehow) lead to ordinary, sane people to decide to go out today and kick a cripple.
Alice Maynard, the chair of Scope, who is a wheelchair user, said: "We just feel it is too much now. It is becoming such a frequent occurrence, it is likely to have some very serious negative effects. I think in the end it ends up in violence."So do I, but I'm not disabled. It's just that the breakdown of law and order means I don't feel as safe as I did 20 years ago. It's got nothing at all to do with anything else.
She added that a hardening of attitudes meant she now "thought harder" about going out at night in London.
I mean, I'm not worried about being assaulted or mugged by ordinary people turned somehow feral beasts by government statistics, but by the usual underclass scum for whom there are no more consequences, and so do as they please unhindered.
Jaspal Dhani, chief executive of the United Kingdom Disabled People's Council, said: "The language portrays disabled people as scroungers, as lazy – a drain who are not playing their part and making a contribution. It has led to an increase in hate crimes against disabled people, victimisation and reinforcement of very old stereotypes and prejudices.Where the hell are you meeting people, Jaspal, and who are you talking to? I personally know of at least three who work, one of them in my own building, FFS!
"In my experience as a disabled person in the last few months, when I have engaged strangers in conversation, they are surprised that as a wheelchair user I actually work."
Last night Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd said he had repeatedly raised the problem with the employment minister, Chris Grayling. "For many months now on the select committee and in the chamber I have been on the one hand supporting the government's general direction on the work programme, while at the same time demanding that ministers and the DWP use appropriate language for people who are on benefits. The phrases 'benefit cheats' and 'scroungers' – while we are trying to support people with disabilities back into work – are inappropriate."What exactly do you suggest in place of 'benefit cheat' for those found gaming the system?