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to suggest that silence is passively condoning bigotry?

(75 Posts)
Glitterknickaz Sun 05-Jun-11 00:17:12

Over the past few days I have been posting on a thread about cuts to DLA and services for those who have disabilities and their carers. As a parent carer to three children with disabilities this is extremely relevant to me and something I am very passionate about.

In case anyone is interested, this current government appears determined to decimate benefits and services to those who have disabilities. Many will become homeless and people are committing suicide because of it. Whilst many accepts that some cuts have to happen personally I don't agree that disability benefits should be the first things to go.

As I hold that position, as my family is actually facing poverty, I have stated so on here. A small, yet significant minority has posted some downright disgusting comments towards me, calling me selfish (for wanting to stay on topic), twisting my posts to suit their own agenda and generally being downright vile. There was also the suggestion of eugenics as a solution to the cost of disability benefits (which is a very small portion of the welfare pot).

I gladly gave my personal situation up for scrutiny as I have nothing to hide, yet unfortunately certain posters still felt it was acceptable to post in a particularly disgusting way.

What upsets me is that if comments such as these had been levelled at ethnic minorities, persons of a different religion or sexuality for example posters here would have stepped in. Majorly. What I was met with was largely silence. People avoided the topic and I'm not sure why - perhaps because it wasn't 'naice' or 'right on'.

I just want you to know that by saying nothing you are saying that this kind of posting is acceptable. Yet after the panorama showing people were up in arms - do you not realise that it is people like the people shown in panorama that are going to be directly affected by the policies being driven through now?

It happens all the time with threads where it turns downright disablist. I'm interested in knowing why people condone these kinds of threads with their silence in this way.

Disability could happen to any one of us, at any time. It is not within our control. It is not a case of 'it wouldn't happen to me'. I don't think it's such a terrible thing to ask that you (the collective you) challenge this unacceptable kind of posting.

AIBU to suggest then that this silence makes disablism acceptable on these boards? And AIBU to ask why you keep your silence?

Sqee Sun 05-Jun-11 00:27:41

I have a disabled mother and I am sadly one of the silent people. I have tried on threads but I believe that most posters cannot personalize the subject and tend to bury people under statistics and politics. It always to make me feel quite small so I'm ashamed to say I don't speak up enough.

Glitterknickaz Sun 05-Jun-11 00:29:40

It's not necessary to mention your personal situation though, that's an incredibly difficult thing to do. It's not difficult to say "actually that comment was completely unacceptable" though.

In a way I'm just asking people to do that. It's a few seconds' typing.

BitOfFun Sun 05-Jun-11 00:29:47

I hide those threads because I use MN for light relief, not to read stressy stuff. I have a disabled child, and I don't want to look at threads which i know will upset me. Same reason I hide anything with 'Tax Credits' or 'Cuts' in the title.

I hope that's ok with you.

Glitterknickaz Sun 05-Jun-11 00:30:42

Don't blame you tbh, BoF.
Why should it just be those that are actually in the situation to say "actually that's not on" though, really?

Glitterknickaz Sun 05-Jun-11 00:30:56

actually, actually and all that.... bugger it's late

ApocalypseCheeseToastie Sun 05-Jun-11 00:31:07

Because disabled people cost money, people hate the thought of missing out on something (they should chop their legs off, they might get a free car and everyfink) Therefore many people privately agree or don't really give a shit.

BitOfFun Sun 05-Jun-11 00:31:48

Oh, but if I see wankers, I do call them on it. I just don't feel the need to crusade on here though if I can avoid inflammatory threads. I have all money, health and bereavement sections hidden too.

Sqee Sun 05-Jun-11 00:31:55

(I'm also Bipolar and agoraphobic and am considered disabled but I can honestly say I would be terrified to post it on one of those threads because mental illness is not considered "Disabled enough" for alot of people.)

Glitterknickaz Sun 05-Jun-11 00:32:11

That's a shame really, as plenty of people give a shit about racism, sexism and homophobia.

Glitterknickaz Sun 05-Jun-11 00:33:10

I won't directly crusade, but if I see individuals posting unacceptably then I'll call them on it. I think this is my first 'oi this isn't on' type post though.

BitOfFun Sun 05-Jun-11 00:37:10

I agree that you should call it when you see it. I just try to avoid seeing it.

Glitterknickaz Sun 05-Jun-11 00:43:04

I do completely understand that.

VforViennetta Sun 05-Jun-11 01:54:10

I totally agree with you, I tend to lurk on those type of threads (DLA/benefit bashing/cuts) because they do tend to bring out the loons and tbh I am really not that well informed. I will however take your advice and call out people who make disgusting statements, and I have seen quite a few on MN.

Like you say it's easy just to type "that post was unacceptable" then bugger off, same goes for the "common" and "chav" bashing, it's all very freaking depressing.

Shoesytwoesy Sun 05-Jun-11 08:09:49

yanbu, it always seems to end the same, random nasty posters hi jack the thread and just seem to want to cause hurt, yet nothing changes, by rights they should be shouted down, but there seems no interest, people seem to think it will never happen to them, or that some one else will deal with it.
mn hq seem reluctant to seal with the disablist posters and yes they do delete some posts, but they don't deal with the problem.
I have noticed that disablism and racism against travelers/gypsies seems to be deemed ok on mn.
yet people can speak up if it is about one person, look at what happened with Riven, but if it is about the disabled in general no one seems to care.

cushionyet Sun 05-Jun-11 08:51:30

YANBU. Increasingly, people have been brainwashed into believing that blue collar crime (ie: benefit fraud) seemingly has a much bigger impact on the country's economic affairs than white collar crime (ie: mass tax evasion). It doesn't. There's extensive research on this matter, and this website is just one of many sharing the true costs of such crime:

www.thersa.org/events/audio-and-past-events/2009/the-hidden-cost-of-white-collar-crime

It's much easier to investigate instances of benefit fraud than it is to spend years examining accounts and transactions made by suspected tax evaders. It's also much easier for those in power to protect their own and target the weak. They need the wealthy and powerful on their side.

Unfortunately, most people either don't understand this, or have been too acclimatised to the media's constant barrage of articles talking about evil, scumbag benefit fraudsters. You rarely hear about high crime because it's not in their interest to publish such material.

Added to this, is that so many people are now highly suspicious of anybody claiming benefits, particularly if they're disabled but don't 'look' disabled. I mean, how could we know that they're not lying? Don't you know that most people try and pull a sickie because of a bad back?

OP, please don't think that people who aren't affected directly don't care. I'm not disabled, and the ongoing changes sicken me. I don't want to live in a country where the most vulnerable are seen as an expensive waste of space and are persecuted for their inability to serve capitalism.

I'm not sure what can be done to make more people care. Strange, when everybody is essentially one accident away from needing this help themselves.

MumblingRagDoll Sun 05-Jun-11 09:00:18

OP....I am ignorant of the siuation. Can you tell me about yours? I care....I hate that people who are vulnerabl may suffer. Surely if people cant work due to diability, they will get benefits? What have the government done? Moved the goalposts?

Birdsgottafly Sun 05-Jun-11 09:26:03

I apologise because i do tend to quote the law and human rights. I understand that can put some off posting if they don't know their stuff but i find that those that are nasty get very personal so i stick to facts and logic to argue the case for DLA and other benefits, with the idiots.

Mumbling- Those that were incapable of working used to get incapacity benefit. Now the governement has brought out a new benefit called Employment Support Allowance.

The criteria has changed and it is more difficult to get. This especially affects those with Learning Difficulties (the whole spectrum) and Mental Health problems. At the same time JSA has alot more criteria to it, attending interviews, going on courses, which those that were are Incapacity Benefit, just cannot cope with.

DLA is being reviewed more often , claiments are being turned down and have to go to tribunals, many cannot cope with the stress.

All this is being handled by a private company.

Birdsgottafly Sun 05-Jun-11 09:29:37

I deal with benefits as part of my job (and personal life). I deal with tribunals as part of my voluntary work. I do voluntary in a welfare rights type place. We have at least 20 people a day come in over what the benefit sytem is now trying to do to them. These are the poorest in our society and usually the most vunerable that are being targeted. I have never delbt with a claim that was false, yet people are being turned down and even treated illegally.

beesimo Sun 05-Jun-11 09:29:50

OP

I was initally shocked at the amount of hate and bigotry towards Romany heritage Romanies/Travellers on MN, There is one particular poster a scholteacher who I had initially thought was a good woman (because of some of her posts) who has since written the most cruel and hateful things. Why? because she is a vile creature.I can't say her name as she will have me posted deleted! Aye shes that bad.

If you are part of a easily identifiable minority you will always be a target for people we have a darkness in their souls a empty space that they fill with hatred and spite. It is not about you it is about them.

It is worse for disabled people than us because you are beholden to the state as they provide your food and shelter and then rotten people can screech its me taxes thats paying for yous and you are a bunch of sham fakers.

BUT OP don't be disheartened by whats on here be glad the bitches have shown their true colours because now you knows the level they are thinking at. Know thy enemy OP and you can take action and prepare.

All this caring/sharing/oh we would never be UNFAIR is sometimes a sliverlid covering a cesspool lift the lid and the cesspools still there!

Birdsgottafly Sun 05-Jun-11 09:35:33

If a claiment is put on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) they are told to come in on a certain date and time, very rarely is this written down for people. If they get it wrong and don't turn up then their money is 'sanctioned' that can mean that they lose up to a weeks money (£97.50), also their HB and CT benefit stops, so does any weekly arrangements that they have coming out for their bills. In other words they end up in a mess, which can spiral quickly.

On top CAB's and even my place are closing or having hours reduced, people can be put in a position to either shoplift or get into debt for food. Often people with MH problems have lost family support, if they had it in the first place. I could write you a book, but if you have direct questions i will answer you.

Glitterknickaz Sun 05-Jun-11 09:38:51

MumblingRagDoll, Birdsgottafly has nailed it. Oh and BGF there's nothing wrong in quoting the law etc wink

The private company that will be reviewing PIP (the benefit to replace DLA) are called ATOS. This company were employed by Labour (so this isn't about Party Politics as some posters have tried to accuse me of) to review ESA (the replacement for Incapacity Benefit). Not only are the ATOS staff not medically trained, with very little knowledge of complex medical conditions, they have already assessed a vast swathe of ESA claimants. At tribunal 40% of ATOS rejections have been overturned, they are making the wrong decision in nearly half of all claims because they have been given a target by the government to get rid of claimants.

People are committing suicide because of the reforms. I've heard of one man with multiple complex conditions including a very weak heart dying the night before his ATOS appointment because he couldn't handle the stress.

One of the proposed reforms is that if you are able to mobilise (ie you have a wheelchair) then you will no longer be entitled to any help. Yet having a wheelchair does not remove some of the additional costs incurred in having a disability. They are also proposing that mental health conditions (ie Autism) no longer qualify as disabilities.

My own personal situation was on the previous thread, but in short I am parent carer to three children with multiple complex needs. My husband is also their carer. They have conditions with varying degrees of severity including Autism, Hypermobility, a rare genetic condition that causes deafness and kidney problems, cardiac issues, visual issues, ADHD, tourettes is being tested for. None can wash or dress themselves, two can't feed themselves, there are continence issues and they're not very worldly wise (ie don't understand action/consequence). If my children lose their DLA we lose everything as DLA is the bedrock for our carers allowance and other money that we have to support our existence. It's not a fortune but we can just about survive on it.

Bearing in mind that it costs £3500 a week per person to put people into institutions as seen on panorama, parent carers are a complete bargain. Unpaid carers save this country £119 billion per year. I know for a fact that if I was to put my kids into resi it would cost over half a million pounds a year based on that panorama rate.

Glitterknickaz Sun 05-Jun-11 09:41:34

Oh, and the government are also proposing to scrap the Equalities Bill (which doesn't just affect the disabled, it's also to protect from sexism, racism and homophobia) and also the right to appeal benefits decisions. So those 40% that ATOS got it wrong with won't be allowed to appeal the decision, it stands and those with no chance of helping themselves out will be left in the gutter.

crazynanna Sun 05-Jun-11 09:41:54

When unemployed,I was sanctioned by a fucking bitch difficult DWP employee.
If it happens,and it is unfair,(as in my case),there is a charity called Zaccheus 2000 who were brilliant and got me my money back,,and an apology (pah)

They also have Mackenzie Friends

ScousyFogarty Sun 05-Jun-11 09:43:51

famous saying, the greatest lies are told in silence Some truth in it. we should all be telling callous cameron he is treating the disable shockingly. 22 millionaire cabinet does not give a monkeys toss

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