There is – quite rightly – outrage when far-right thugs attack disabled people. Cameron and the media do just the same, using their wealth and power rather than their fists.
Disabled people are among the hardest hit by cuts. Cameron’s ideological assault echoes the eugenicist argument that disabled people are “useless mouths.” People can see many “useless mouths” around the cabinet table, in the banks and boardrooms.
The Disabled Teachers’ Conference on 30 June-1 July involved speakers from UCU and PCS unions who are also involved in opposing the ferocious attack on disabled people.
Sasha Callaghan of UCU described a “reign of terror” by the undeserving rich against the poor. “The government’s attitude to the poor harks back to the 19th century Poor Law. Our past is in front of us.” The NUT’s Allan Grey added that after Cameron’s vicious attacks on disabled people, we might believe “the Labour Party would represent us but I hardly need to say we can’t.”
PCS representative, Austin Harney, revealed that PCS members are being disciplined for merely telling claimants that they have a right to “access to work” support. But PCS has balloted on its political fund so they will be able to stand trade union candidates against pro-cuts candidates from any political party.
The government thinks disabled people are weak and have no allies. Certainly many charities which disabled people depend on folded in the face of the government onslaught. Downing Street should be in the middle of a perfect storm of recrimination from the charities but they are not.
The butcher has his big knife, but the lamb to be slaughtered has an open mind! Only a fighting, socialist, trade union movement can provide the strong allies that disabled people need.