One Remaining Castle
In this ravished land of ours, this land blighted with poverty there is a class of people that have been blamed for sucking the treasury dry, a portrayed villainous near underclass of malnourished malingerers. The evils of this world are blamed upon them and they are mere targets to blame, with infamous labels being cast out as malignant seeds by the media to grow in people’s minds such negative thoughts. Attacked by those that are supposed to represent them in the halls of power, attacked by the official opposition to those in power, attacked by the media jackals, attacked by the public and undefended by the laws of the land, yes an underclass has developed. Or should this more accurately be a new class, those that won’t take the crap any more, those that will fight back, those that will galvanise together into power voting blocks and fight off the dogs that have been unleashed, the evil forces that have been let loose to pick off those unable to defend themselves. But there is another attack on the horizon, there is another unleashing of the damned upon the righteous.
So preparations are made, the ramparts are built bigger, stronger. The moat is made deeper and wider, weapons of war are gathered in the Keep, and armour is hammered into readiness. Yes, one final battle left to fight, and as all defending a castle know that they will eventually be overrun, but the intention is to make it such a costly victory, so many to perish upon the defences that in the future they will think twice before feeling so free to attack the vulnerable. One stands on the battlements with weapon feeling heavy in hand, and armour straps dig into the shoulders, but the storm clouds are gathering in the dark horizon, the sun does not shine on this land any more, the clouds of war come forth. They herald the arrival of the evil ones, massing in their thousands, with siege engines of war, scarred and snarled from every previous fight that they have won. No one has stood up to their ferocity, to their murderous intent, to their pure aggression. Some are camouflaged; some have breast plates stained in the blood of the slain, all have to their name victory upon victory of slaughter, if you can call such evil successions victorious.
This time their victory, which will come, will be at a bloody cost to them, as they have become complacent with the millions that have fallen onto their rusting blades, to their spears dulled from use. They don’t take prisoners and have a unique way of dealing with those that surrender, those who foolishly try to negotiate a peace. These demons stab them in the back and even leave those still alive to starve to death in their own pools of blood and filth from the terror. Negotiation was the chosen way for a while until one saw that the result was the same. You can’t negotiate with mindless systems bent on destruction; you can’t negotiate with senselessness and the overriding desire to destroy a whole subjugated underclass of defenceless people. Well they will find this last battle somewhat different, our walls will cost them dear, our weapons are sharp and our aim accurate, they will spill as much as us, it will cost them the backing of the people, cost them the complicity of those that have been persuaded by their evil campaign. So I say bring on your aggression, bring on your best, your champions and watch them all fall before you win this last battle.
You have an evil system on your side and evil intent, your army of destruction is named, an old adversary that has claimed so many – yes I speak of the ATOS and their aim to dismantle, for their Masters, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the last bastion of the significantly disabled. This allowance is not, has not been means tested and was allocated to people with significant disabilities to help them with the additional cost of living due to disability. For example, it is impossible to use many forms of public transport, so there is a scheme where you can use DLA to fund an adapted car, on a lease type scheme, it’s called Motability. I have a condition associated with my disability called autonomic dysreflexia, which is fatal if not treated quickly. So I use my DLA for a driver from a care agency when I need it, who is trained in my condition and what to do, as I am not allowed to drive because of my condition and the medication I am on. If it was not for this allowance I would not be able to leave the house. Non-disabled people do not incur such ‘living’ expenses. I know a lot of people who use the allowance to access specialist sporting facilities that they could not afford as normal gyms and leisure centres are so under equipped. Others use their allowance to get to work by means other than public transport as they can’t use buses, trains and subways that are completely ill-equipped for wheelchair users. It helps with the additional costs of living that comes with having a significant disability.
But it’s not enough that the forces of evil, I of course refer to the Coalition, have singled handily managed to:
- Turn disabled people into villains;
- Use them as targets for the ills of the Welfare State even though most people who claim support from the Government are actually in work;
- Use disabled people as scapegoats claiming many are ‘scroungers’, ‘malingerers’ or ‘fraudsters’, yet very (if any) significantly disabled people have been taken off benefits for any fraudulent activity;
- Reduce the amount of support people are getting;
- Close down respite centres so families can no longer take a break;
- Close day centres by indirect cuts to funded services, by indirect I mean that the money Councils have, especially the Labour controlled Councils, has been slashed. In my own area the local Council have to find another £100 million in further cuts;
- Cap the housing tax even for the poorest;
- Reduce the level of Working Tax Credits;
- Give the rich tax relief whilst taxing empty rooms for the poorest of our land;
- Making the terminally ill and/or the severely disabled fit for work, and you thought it was only Jesus that could deliver physical miracles;
These are ‘achievements’ that the evil ones crow over. Now the evil ones bombard the defences with fury and these are assaults on the very fabric and meaning of the Welfare State. The demonising of those we should be looking after has reached an inevitable final stage. Yes now we have the Governments miss-information about DLA, exaggerations and again the claims how disabled people abuse this benefit, “fraudulent claims are rife”. We have seen this strategy time and time again, just before they slash and cut support to the bone until some families feel they have no choice but to end their lives. That’s the real result of this campaign against people with disabilities, there are examples of people deciding that they could no longer cope and think of ending it all rather than starve or freeze to death. How many have died after being assessed as fit for work and having their benefits reduced or withdrawn. How many victims will we see played out in the media over DLA? But what is the truth behind the strategy of attack, attack, attack.
At one end of the scale DLA gives the disabled person about £120 per month and at the other end it gives the person £526 per month – but this is the highest rate, rarely awarded and is reserved for the most significantly disabled people in the country. There are an approximate 3 million people on one level of DLA or another, totalling some £13.5 billion pounds in this unique benefit. This benefit allows people with significant disabilities to afford the extra costs that come with having such a disability as we have discussed above. However, rather than evaluate the system the Government have just picked a number out of the sky and said that they intend to take DLA away from 400,000 people and they intend to save each year £2.25 billion. Just plucked those figures out of the sky, and where are they are going to unleash ATOS first, yes the North of England. The replacement for DLA will be Personal Independent Payments (PIP) and the Government haven’t released any real detail about PIP. So people that rely on DLA have no idea if they will be transferred to PIP, whether this is another cut they face, whether PIP will be at the same rate as DLA – and you wonder why people become distraught and anxious, taking extreme actions at times as they just cannot deal with the pressure. But hey, from the Governments point of view it is one less person claiming, one less parasite on society, as this is how they make people feel. And of course their lapdog, ATOS, will be the administrator of the pain that this final battle will cause.
Every new claimant will be assessed by ATOS for PIP; that means no one else will get it, and eventually ATOS will assess all people currently on DLA as they have a target to find 400,000 people to kick off the benefit – just doesn’t make sense. Take me for example, I do work and I have DLA to help me with transport as discussed above. My condition will only worsen and my needs will only increase, eventually killing me perhaps, but even I will have to be re-assessed. Blind people are not going to suddenly see again, I am not going to walk again, and deaf people will not hear, but yet ATOS has to find 400,000 people that will not need PIP. The battle line is drawn; no more of this vicious crap the disabled community have had to put up with. I intend to work with others to form a group dedicated to restabilising:
- Caring for those less fortunate than ourselves;
- A fair Welfare State;
- A supportive State of those having to live with the most terrible of afflictions;
But there is one final aspiration, to join people with disabilities under one roof and act as a political force I know they can be if we just come together. We have one last fight, so let’s join and fight back and get rid of these evil people and their organisations, which make millions off the suffering they inflict on the weak in our name. No more will it be tolerated, time to stand tall on the ramparts and fight back!
Smiling Cat Ventures and Innovations Group
Smiling Cat Ventures Ltd (www.smilingcatventures.org)
Innovative Minds At Work Ltd (www.innovativemindsatwork.org)
Moments in Time Ltd (www.momentsinmind.org)
Innovative Business Consultancy Ltd (www.ibcv.org.uk)
Systems of Equality Ltd
Passport to Care Ltd (Social Enterprise – Not For Profit)
Spiritual Inclusion (Social Enterprise – Not For Profit)
Disability In Business Centre (in development)
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