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Saturday, December 29, 2012

BBC World Service, Disability Rights & A Great Place for a Seizure

Above is the link to a program I did on the BBC World Service.  I was on a panel for "The Forum" and they invite three unrelated guests, in this case, a writer (me), an evolutionary historian from Sweden, and an Oxford academic who specializes in dance rituals in Senegal.  They throw topics at as and we talk.

I was given the chance to make it a platform for disability rights by talking about epilepsy and being the one assigned the topic: "A 60 second idea to change the world".  I suggested that the world would be far different if everyone could experience a disability for one month.  In short, "...what if presidents, queens, CEOs and celebrities knew they would be disabled for a month..." and then we all talked about it and a bit about epilepsy.

I hope you find it interesting.


Terry Tracy

Note from Samuel: See also and Tracy's book on

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Prayer for Sue Marsh, British Disability Campaigner (@suey2y on Twitter)

May the One who was a source of blessing for our ancestors, bring blessings of healing upon Sue Marsh, a healing of body and a healing of spirit. May those in whose care she is entrusted, be gifted with wisdom and skill, and those who surround her, be gifted with love and trust, openness and support in her care. And may she be healed along with all those who are in need. Blessed are You, Source of healing. Amen.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Medical Tyranny

Dear Mr McCartney
I understand that you are the MP representing ex-serviceman Mr Smith, as featured in this disturbing press article:
Like many others, I have been concerned by this report in the Atos Victims Group News, following exposure in This Is Lincolnshire, regarding the plight of ex-serviceman 'Mr Smith' who lives with a potentially fatal condition, and I am speaking as a retired cardiac care specialist and a disabled female veteran.
Please send my best wishes to Mr Smith and advise him that this disabled veteran is fighting for people like him.
There remains considerable confusion within the general public - and the DWP too - regarding the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), as conducted by Atos Healthcare, with people still presuming that they 'failed' the Atos test when, in reality, it is the totally unqualified DWP 'Decision Maker' that makes the decision regarding benefit entitlement who, by their own admission, are totally incapable of deciphering medical opinion from Consultants or anyone else.  Hence the tendancy, by their own admission, to 'rubber stamp' the Atos findings etc.  Professor Harrington exposed this unhappy reality in his first assessment.  Nothing has improved.
The significant debate in Westminster Hall will better inform you: where you will learn that Atos are employing some doctors who are 'not allowed' to assess patients but are permitted to work for Atos.....  That should tell you a lot .... and it will ring alarm bells to anyone who is medically qualified.
The WCA is not just seriously flawed but is a threat to our most vulnerable people, is totally unaccountable to the General Medical Council and it is based on an unacceptable concept.  A simple 'snap-shot' into a day in the life of a claimant is totally inadequate as any form of so called 'medical assessment' using a computer tick box instead of taking a full & detailed medical history.  Past medical evidence is ignored until Appeal.
The WCA is an occupational health assessment yet the one group of healthcare workers that Atos never recruit are Occupational Therapists..... 
The WCA is a dangerous assessment using the highly discredited Bio-Psychosocial (BPS) model of disability model, as promoted by the private health insurance industry and Unum Insurance, acknowledged by the New York Attorney General as the 2nd worst in the US, were government 'advisers' when setting up the WCA. (See attached research.)
Please be further advised that the BPS model of assessment is identified as being totally unfit for purpose.
Please see: (COMPARE to Experiences of British people with WCA.... audio recordings.....etc, etc)
I have researched the links between Atos Healthcare, Unum Insurance and the DWP for three years, and reports are now attached as welcomed by 9 Professors in 7 different universities, as well as a multitude of national frontline charities, welfare agencies and a variety of specialists.
Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, a recognised BPS 'expert' recently confirmed that the BPS model of disability was "unsatisfactory"  and that it "... no longer addresses the real needs of disabled people..."  yet this significant news has yet to be widely reported, ?? why....  because the WCA uses the BPS moel to reduce the welfare budget :
The constant failure of the DWP to accept the crisis now faced by the most vulnerable in this country, dismissed by claiming that anyone who isn't happy with the Atos assessment, or the WCA decision, can simply make an appeal is so callous. 
The DWP's own figures demonstrate that 1100 people, passed fit for work, had died before their appeal date which can now take as long as 12 months to be heard and appeals using an advocate are running at 70% success and not the often reported 40%. 
Other MPs such as Nick Debois tries to limit this nightmare by demonstrating how many assessments are going through the system without it seems comprehending the many thousands who are unable to consider dealing with an appeal, that may now take as long as 12 months to achieve, and there are others who do without their benfits rather than subject themselves to this gvt funded medical tyranny.
Clearly, the DWP totally UNQUALIFIED 'Decision Makers' administration staff, and especially the medically unqualified DWP Ministers, all fail to comprehend the extreme levels of stress these dangerously absurd decisions place on our sick and disabled people, who often have the most profound of health conditions, and prolonged and increased stress is a killer.
My research evidence is attached FYI in the hope that your colleagues at the DWP may finally accept the American style medical tyranny they have unleashed in this country.  Claiming that Labour introduced the WCA is now falling on deaf ears due to the significant changes under this government that are increasing the death rates dramatically.
I hope this information is helpful especially when helping your constituent.
Mo Stewart
Mo Stewart
Disability researcher
Disabled veteran (WRAF)
Retired healthcare professional
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FAILURE of ESA confirmed.pdfFAILURE of ESA confirmed.pdf
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BBC NEWS transcript - UNUM.pdfBBC NEWS transcript - UNUM.pdf
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THE TRUTH BEHIND WELFARE REFORMS - research summary  - Jan 2012.pdfTHE TRUTH BEHIND WELFARE REFORMS - research summary - Jan 2012.pdf
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John Pring - links to Unum articles.pdfJohn Pring - links to Unum articles.pdf
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Friday, December 14, 2012

A Christmas Poem by Hossylass

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the House
MP’s were feasting on subsidised grouse
Their expenses were listed and nobody cared
That the cries of disabled were going unheard

The Members soon nestled in tax funded beds
While visions of riches danced in their heads
And a subservient underclass doffing its cap
Settled their brains for a long winter nap

When out in the streets there came such a clatter
They crawled from their beds to see what was the matter
Drapes cast asunder, it was clear in a flash
That the strivers were clearing the Ministerial trash

The cleaners had trudged in through 8 inches of snow
To buff and to polish the offices below
No living wage at the end of the day
Just tax payer subsidised minimum pay

And out in the doorways of numerous places
The homeless and helpless shielded their faces
Their hopes and their dreams had drifted away
Replaced by despair at another new day.

But this year at Christmas a miracle appears
An army of deviant kind volunteers
Disability Ninjas armed with the facts
Savaging proposals with a symbolic axe

And along the blade the words burn bright
“You will not destroy us, we will turn and fight”
To speak for those who’s voices are small
Voices ignored, if heard at all

Churches and Unions stood up to fight
To demand what is reasonable, and what is right

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land
Tears are shed at what is planned
By the people who with enormous wealth
Are happy to endanger the very health
Of the people who quietly every day
Keep the country ticking away

NHS nurses and other health workers
In danger of becoming next weeks “shirkers”
But the Charities, activists and Unions united
Now they will help the lives of the blighted
The poor, the rejected, the lost in despair
We will reach out and comfort and show that we care

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the lands
The sword of truth awakens in our own hands
And when it seems too heavy to swing
Remember the miracles that Christmas can bring.

Scots Nurse Joyce Drummond, Who Made Heartfelt Apology To Atos Assessment Victims, Is Reporting Problems With Her Tribunal Appeal

I have a correspondence with Joyce Drummond, the Scots nurse who was the subject of this recent article:

Nurse makes heartfelt apology after Atos forced her to trick disabled people out of benefits


See also:

Joyce e-mailed me the following a few hours ago:

I have received my tribunal appeal papers, including an ESA85A form, which states that my friend was holding an Iphone throughout my "interview" -(note not assessment.)
HCP states that she asked him to put phone away and advised him of breach of privacy - this is a lie, it did not happen!
She further states that while examining me she caught my friend reading computer screen, but my friend denied it. Again this just never happened.
She states" Unpleasant interview due to obvious taping of "conversation" (again not assessment) and reading computer notes"
This is an official document! It is also dated 4/6/12. My assessment was 1/6/12.
Seems paranoia is rife at Atos!