Monday, January 16, 2012

Spartacus Stories #spartacusstories #spartacusreport

This week, the focus in the Lords will shift to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Government plans to scrap it entirely and replace it with Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

It is this proposal that prompted us to produce the Spartacus Report or Responsible Reform.

Sick and disabled people, their charities and organisations do not support the plans, which are based on an ignorance of disability, flawed evidence and will do great harm to millions. The Government are steamrollering the changes through despite growing calls for PIP to be put on hold until the plans can be made safe.

We do not oppose reform of DLA - sick and disabled people want the benefit to be simpler and better targeted. We DO oppose plans that will fail causing millions to suffer. We call on the House of Lords to attend the debates tomorrow and vote for a pause. 


This morning, we see desperate attempts at propaganda from the DWP. Once more, we must ignore it, however painful it is. We must ignore the fear that these attacks inspire and make our own case honestly, calmly and clearly. Once more, we must present the British public with evidence and trust that they will not accept this attack on the most vulnerable of all.

All day, we will be posting stories here http://spartacus-stories.blogspot.com/

They will tell people what DLA is really used for and how it helps us to live as independently as we are able to. All over the internet, people will tell their side of the story and the blog will be updated all day. Please use the hashtag #spartacusstories to tell your own story on twitter or to post links to your own experiences.

Update your statuses on Facebook, calling for a pause to PIP and asking peers to attend the debate tomorrow. Blog, send the links to your local paper, ask friends and family to join in.

We must report our own news, we must be our own advocates.

It is becoming clearer every hour that the Government have no understanding of their own policies. Their arguments are unravelling by the day and no amount of lies or spin will hide us away.

If the best argument the Government can make is "we can't afford it" or "you don't deserve it" then we must just trust the public - and the Lords - to decide for themselves who to listen to. We must hope that they ask who they believe - corrupt, out of touch, ignorant, politicians or the very people they hope to silence and ignore. 


I am confident they will hear our stories and reject the arguments of MPs who receive more in food expenses than we must live on for a month. 


#spartacusstories is our chance to be heard. 


You can email your blogged #spartacusstories to   spartacusstories@gmail.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wanted to write something to go on the blog 'spartacus stories' but I don't have twitter. I hope it's ok to write it here, and someone can put it up for me.

I have been disabled since the age of 11, due to problems that have arisen from having Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. I went to Cambridge university but had to drop out of my degree half way through because I then developed M.E as well.

I spent 5 years working towards finishing my degree part time because I wanted to be able to get a good job if my M.E ever got better, but it hasn't done so. I got a first in my degree so would be capable of doing a lot if it wasn't for my ill health. I have had cbt and done the 'Lighting Process' in an attempt to get better, but nothing has had any effect on my symptoms.

I got a part time job at one point because I desperately wanted to work and not rely on benefits, but I just got more and more ill doing that and had to give it up. When I gave up my job I spent five months in bed recovering from the exhaustion and pain it had caused.

Receiving DLA (after being refused the first time I applied) means I can live independently. It pays for a carer to come in for a few hours a week to do all my housework and cook food for me. It pays for osteopath appointments which give me relief from the chronic pain I'm in; the only form of treatment that has helped. It has paid for a mobility scooter which has given me the freedom to go to the shops by myself once every few weeks, because I can't push myself in a manual wheelchair as my elbows, shoulders and wrists get too sore. It also helps me run a car so that very occasionally, maybe 2 or 3 times a month, I can go out and see a friend, or have lunch out and I'm therefore not housebound.

DLA has honestly changed my life and I am terrified of losing it. I am far too unwell to be able to get a job if I lose it, it isn't a matter of trying harder or pushing myself more. Everything I've read about PIP suggests to me that I wouldn't be deemed seriously disabled enough to be considered for it. Despite the fact that 90% of my life is spent in bed, because it hurts to sit, stand and walk.