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Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/941/25080

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 March 2017

Reader's comment

'I'm writing this to tell you about the plight of disabled people'

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Debra Ergen, Warrington Socialist Party

First let me tell you why I joined the Socialist Party.

I got fed up with the main parties, mainly because they join forces against the working class, and I saw an alternative within the socialist movement. I'm an active member and find campaigning for a fairer society empowering.

I'm a single, disabled 50-year-old woman. I volunteer for the fire service, to keep my sanity and give something to the community.

So enough of this. Let me tell you the reason for me writing this.

As with most disabled people, I found my benefits under review. I received my form, filled it in, got a letter saying they hadn't received it.

So I filled in another, and took it into the job centre, hand delivering it and receiving a receipt. But still they claimed not to have received it.

On 11 November, my benefits were stopped. I was left with nothing.

Christmas was a nightmare. No money, no food... and for the most part no hope. I relied on family and friends for weeks.

Then I had no option but to resort to using the food bank. I have donated to the food bank for years through church, and was totally humiliated to get to this point in my life.

I phone the benefits agency every other day, and get the company line: there's nothing they can do. Bills have piled up. I sit worried about every knock on the door in case it's someone there to collect on a debt.

I've been so depressed, and often wondered why I should carry on at all. The pain of living was so great that ending it was an option.

But what would the point be in that? The bosses wouldn't care. The pain would pass to those closest to me.

So I'm still here, I'm still fighting for what I rightfully deserve. And I'm writing this to tell you about the plight of disabled people all over the country. We're not on the news separated from you, we're among you.

The fight goes on for us all.

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In The Socialist 22 March 2017:


What we think

Tory splits brought to the surface - Corbyn must go on the attack


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories scrap housing benefit for under-21s

Fight Tory attacks on women and children

Socialists demand reply to Livingstone's smear of Militant

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Northern Ireland: divisive election a warning

Jobstown Not Guilty: defend the right to protest

Netherlands: Heavy defeat for austerity government

Yemen: families left to starve by multinationals


Workplace news and analysis

Merseyrail guard found not guilty of "endangering safety"

End the seven-year public sector pay cap!

Aslef offer: unity needed with the RMT

Battle steps up in Unite general secretary election

Derby TAs' strike suspended after new offer

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

March against racism: Refugee Rights has lively bloc

We'll fight to save our NHS!

Biggest ever protest by Orgreave campaigners

Join the march against NHS cuts and privatisation in Cumbria

Battle for Wallsend walk-in NHS service

East London demonstration against A&E closure

Salford: International Women's Day meeting


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

"After seeing the branch's effect in the community, I decided to join"

'I'm writing this to tell you about the plight of disabled people'

Precise, visceral account of working class heroism

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Disabled:

triangleCall for an increase in PIP due to Covid-19

triangleStep forward for campaign to reverse mobility pass cuts in Nottingham

triangleSouth Yorkshire Freedom Riders - still battling on

triangleStop Nottingham Labour's cuts to disabled travel!

triangleMaximus profitus: disabillity profiteering scandal

Socialist:

triangleYoung Socialists and Socialist Students day of action

triangleNorth London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleSocialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

Food:

triangleTories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

triangleNews in brief

trianglePlastic waste ignored

Benefits:

triangle1,600 less benefits if your job goes - while super-rich splash cash

triangleBenefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

Socialist Party:

triangleWhy I joined - Covid changed my outlook

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