BOYCOTT! Black Triangle Comments on ‘International Paralympics Day’ Thursday 8th September 2011

Black Triangle is today calling for a boycott by paralympians and the wider disability rights movement – UK and worldwide

By John McArdle

Thursday 8th September 2011

(‘International Paralympics Day’)

Yesterday was an extremely bad day.

There were two articles that really upset me. Upset me to such a degree that I felt it absolutely necessary to get drunk, such was my sense of outrage at these two pieces of information that put me in a state of turmoil – fulminating with impotent anger and tears of frustration. 

First this:

It was reported that the Government’s so-called ‘independent’ Professor Malcolm Harrington “who is responsible for overhauling the troubled disability benefit assessment process, is “staggered and shocked” at the estimated annual £50m cost of appeals against decisions. He warns that the number of appeals could rise further and admits that the standard of assessments throughout the country remains “patchy”.”

So I take it he knows fine well the absolute living hell people are going through daily trying to subsist on £50 per week ‘reduced rate’ while they appeal their decisions!

I also take it as read that the rotten professor, a quintessential academic ‘poverty pimp’ par excellence, is also well aware of the chaos and anxiety that people experience in the face of this cruelty, and that there have already been numerous cases of self-harm and suicide as a direct result of the WCA régime over the past 12 months, of whom, our patron, Paul Reekie was one!

However, the professor goes on:

“Asked whether the system was now working to an acceptable degree, Harrington’s response is very cautious. “The answer to that question, if I can modify it slightly, is: I think the system will be working to a more satisfactory degree soon. Is it working like that all over the country now? No, it’s patchy. But it will happen. I’m telling the charities, ‘Be patient.’ I think things will get better.”

Some risk assessment, that! He’d be struck off for saying that alone in a proper profession such as medicine!

In my mind’s eye, I can just see him now bought before a Court of Ethical Justice, with the judge saying:

“You THOUGHT the treatment would work to a satisfactory degree ‘soon’? Are you telling us that you were unable to see that it had already resulted in a large number of fatalities, and that to carrying on down such a path would be to entirely fall short of the highest ethical standards which we, as a profession, uphold?” 

Well, in a perfect world…..

The article continued:

“In his first detailed interview since taking on the review, the former professor of occupational health at the University of Birmingham, refuses to be drawn on the wisdom or otherwise of pressing ahead with such a vast project to reassess 1.6 million people at a rate of 11,000 a week, using a flawed process.

“People said to me, ‘Why didn’t you tell the minister to stop and wait until your recommendations go ahead?’ That’s a political decision,” he says. “My view is that the government can decide to do what it likes, in what order it likes. I’ll just monitor the situation to see whether it works.”

I am reminded of this image from a cannon of our western literature :

“When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” (Matt 27:24)

Well, Harrington. How does that feel? Good? You believe that you’re able to retreat in to some fictitious, oak-paneled ‘ivory tower’, free of the bloodstains which have been shed all over your highly-paid government employment contract ??

He continued:

“Might it have been better to pause and get it right? “Not my decision. I deliberately avoided having an opinion on that,” he replies flatly.”

“Maybe we are going in the right direction, we’ll see.”

“You have a massive number of people going through a huge government department, dealing with a big multinational that has got to see a lot of people. It’s bound to take time,” he says.

“The evidence we’ve had so far is that people are still complaining about atrocious behaviour by certain Atos assessors. But who’s going to write in and say, ‘It was wonderful. I enjoyed going through the whole process’?”

“There will be people on the wrong side of the improvement. But you can’t just grind everything to a halt while you fix things.”

I posted on the thread: :

“When the next spate of suicides happen – and when the next group of people die whilst waiting for their appeals to be heard – it will be YOU that we will point to Professor!”

“J’ACCUSE! You are COMPLICIT in this massive injustice! SHAME ON YOU!”

I find his attitude repulsive.
He exhibits the attitude of one who is simply an observer in some great big experiment.


We urge a boycott of the Harrington Reports.

These are sham consultations. The government said that it accepted his recommendations in full. Yet it has yet to implement ANY! 

The government is heading towards a car crash.

And we as a campaign fully intend to be at the forefront of this juggernaut. May they be crushed quickly!

The next article, which led me to go all ‘Krakatoa’ (volcano) was this:

Atos founder Bourigeaud appointed to IPC Governing Board:

Let Bob Williams-Findlay, of our sister organisation Disabled People Against Cuts speak for us here as I am quaking too much with rage to formulate my thoughts:

Bob writes:

If there were any lingering doubts about Harrington; that he was just a naïve academic from an ivory tower who was out-of-his-depth, his pronouncements found within a Guardian article should’ve blown them clean away.

He was supposed to be independent, impartial and seeking a “fair” assessment process – in reality he’s using sticking plaster and perfume to hide the belching sewer designed by Atos for the DWP.

We now know he has no intention of changing his course of action.

Harrington seemed more concerned with the financial cost of appeals which are overturning decisions; nowhere is there any sign that he gives a shit about the lives of those people who are being forced to appeal because the Government and Atos have screwed up their lives.

How dare this man who lives a secure middle class existence casually request that the “charities” be ‘patient’ while he tinkers around?

Nero fiddled whilst Rome burnt; Harrington complacently acts like a complete tosser as people with little or no money live in fear and utter dispair.

He’s a Government puppet and it’s time he was held to account by those who are being oppressed as a result of his duplicitous actions.

The chief agent of people’s oppression currently in the UK is Atos, and whilst I fully understand the outrage over the appointment of Bernard Bourigeaud as a co-opted member of the Governing Board of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), I can’t say I’m surprised.

The reason I’m not surprised by the IPC decision to invite another fat cat capitalist to join their gravy train is because they have a similiar culture to the IOC and FIFA.

Bourigeaud was founder and former chair of Atos Origin – which is an IPC worldwide partner. And whilst western capitalist states may be slashing their welfare budgets, global corporations such as Atos, continue to exploit the potential markets surrounding medicine, ill health and disability.

Money buys power – power makes yet more

We as grassroots disability rights activists find it utterly unacceptable and an affront to our fundamental human dignity that these two individuals, oppressors of disabled people, complicit in this pogrom against the sick and disabled are able to thrive in our corrupt and subverted sham of a ‘democracy’!

On the one side we see Harrington, a completely apathetic, amoral, bystander.

On the other, Bourgiraud, a perpetrator.

 On January 27, 1998, Yehuda Bauer, professor of Holocaust studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, delivered a speech to the German Bundestag.

“I come from a people who gave the Ten Commandments to the world. Time has come to strengthen them by three additional ones, which we ought to adopt and commit ourselves to: thou shall not be a perpetrator; thou shall not be a victim; and thou shall never, but never, be a bystander.”

Harrington is the bystander. Bourgiraud a perpetrator.



Today, the charity SCOPE released this on their website:

“As London marks International Paralympics Day (Thursday 8 September) and the tickets for the 2012 events go on sale (Friday 9 September), the survey also asked disabled people, their families and carers about the role the Paralympics could play in improving attitudes towards disabled people.

  • More than half (57%) of disabled people asked said they were going to watch some of the Paralympics.
  • Some 64% of all respondents see the Paralympics as an opportunity for disabled people. If you take just parents of disabled children that number rises to 74%.
  • Some 40% of disabled people feel either excited, included or see the games as empowering.
  • 39% of people thought the games would have a positive impact on either attitudes towards disabled people generally, disabled people’s participation in sport, job opportunities or transport for disabled people.
“64% of all respondents see the Paralympics as an opportunity for disabled people.”
It is. It is an opportunity for the grassroots disabled people and disabled people’s organisations to UNITE TOGETHER and say with one voice:
B – O – Y – C – O – T – T!”
Boycott this disgraceful event which is being sponsored by the oppressors of disabled people ATOS ORIGIN ‘HEALTHCARE’ LTD. and their founder Bernard Bourigeaud.
Yes – there are jokes to be made here. “He was disqualified – Atos declared him no longer disabled etc.”
Sadly, I’m finding it impossible to laugh today.
Not for the first time.
To the Charities and the Medical, Nursing and allied professions we also say: The time for talking is over. Now it the time to ACT!

10 thoughts on “BOYCOTT! Black Triangle Comments on ‘International Paralympics Day’ Thursday 8th September 2011

  1. Action_T4 says:

    “But who’s going to write in and say, ‘It was wonderful. I enjoyed going through the whole process’?”

    I though that was exactly what Atos claimed was the case as they inform us that regular surveys show more than 90% of customers are satisfied with the service they receive.

    Oh but they have to say that as itsis a requirement of the contract isn’t it? The contract we are not allowed to see, the contract that also requires financial penalties to be imposed on Atos for their failings, which are simply ignored. The contract that we are not allowed to examine, like the – computer says no – software we are also not allowed to examine.

  2. Wendy kennnett says:

    I made a comment on fb about seeing the image of Teflon Dave & Boris playing wheelchair-tennis; what’s wrong with this picture?!To be fair I’m not as bothered by Boris it wouldve been worse if it was Clegg or Duncan-Smith !
    Then I said to my Carer was bothers me is to Them & to many people now Paralympians are Good Disabled People! WE, on the other hand are BAD Disabled People because we can’t work!
    For a while now I have been Dismayed by how many prominent current & former Paralympians haven’t spoken out about what is happening to many Disabled People who because of their conditions cannot achieve the fitness these people have . This is not through sloth it is not from a lack of trying.
    The world has a hierarcheal system & so it seems has Disability!
    I am immensely proud of our Paralympians but since these events I haven’t seen or heard any press interviews where they have spoken out.
    although I could have missed them, admittedly!
    Then I read about ATOS being sponsors & my blood boiled!
    Has this EVEN been in the Papers? The Tennis was Hypocrasy but this! All those Paralympians should be out there with the rest of us! They could be us & ALL the Medals in the world wouldn’t help them then-unless….they melt it down!

  3. Bonica says:

    John McArdle. I can’t express my own rage better than your good self & Bob Williams- Findlay have already done. Suffice to say I stand with you all in boycotting the Paralympics.

  4. George Berger says:

    John McArdle. (not sure my first post was sent). ATOS is more than it seems. I’m a Dutch Citizen and have learned the following. 1. ATOS acquired the UK and Dutch (NL) divisions of KPMG, a consultancy firm. 2. KPMG NL began the privatisation of Dutch care sometime before 2006, by replacing the staff of a civil servants’ refund provision. 3. On 1 Jan 2006 the entire Dutch system was turned into one run by private insurers+government (although private insurance had long been required for many). The quality of care and coverage have decreased. I can describe several ways. 4. In 2007 the incapacity law and system (already subjected to inhumane changes since 91) was abolished and replaced by a new one (I know nothing about it). 5. Some of the staff of KPMG NL and UK are now employed by the expanded firm. 6. The acquisition of KPMG UK and NL by ATOS is described here: . I hope this will help your organisation.

  5. George Berger says:

    PS. Re my point 2 above. A few years after the replacement, the value of the refund was reduced year by year. Then the entire provision was abolished.

  6. John says:

    Thank you very much for the information George! We will study it carefully and publicise it. Solidarity with our Dutch brothers and sisters in the movement! All the best to you and yours, John

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