Dear Baroness Murphy
We are writing to you regarding the recent comments you have made on the Lords of the Blog site, about the Government’s welfare reform agenda and the Black Triangle Anti Defamation Campaign.
Black Triangle (BT) is a grassroots organisation, run by disabled people, for disabled people. Its administrators are all volunteers who have first-hand experience of both the benefits system and disability discrimination.
You may find some of the comments and posts on the BT website and Facebook page make uncomfortable reading but we can assure you that Black Triangle has gained a well deserved reputation amongst disabled people for honesty and ‘telling it like it is’. Dissent from ‘mainstream’ opinion is not yet a crime and Black Triangle is a valued voice of a cohort of disabled people which is seldom heard by politicians who prefer to listen to people like themselves.
We find it extremely disappointing that you have used your position to attack Black Triangle without any evidence to support your assertions that it is deliberately frightening disabled people for some unspecified but presumably sinister reason.
We are also offended at your insinuation that we, disabled people, are easily duped and ‘taken in’ by people who seek to manipulate us. We can assure you that this is far from the truth and if we are frightened by the prospect of the Welfare Reform Act, then we are frightened with good reason.
Whilst we welcome your recognition of the flawed nature of the Work Capability Assessment we are dismayed that you do not appear to understand the depths of justified anxiety being experienced already by disabled people. Despite what you seem to be saying, for many of us welfare reform is already ‘up and running’; it is not on some distant horizon.
We find it extraordinary that having made these assertions you have stated that you will no longer respond to comments on this issue. We would therefore like to invite you to debate the welfare reform agenda with us in a positive, non-confrontational way. It is easy to hide behind the anonymity of a blog or Facebook page and so we are asking you to step out of your comfort zone and meet with us face to face. If we are brave enough to extend this invitation to you, then we hope you will be brave enough to accept.
You can contact us through the contact form of this website so we can arrange a mutually convenient time and location for this debate and you are welcome to invite any of your colleagues who would like to attend too.
Sasha Callaghan – Inspired by Atos Origin
Philip Lockwood – Black Triangle
George Lamb – Black Triangle
John McArdle – Black Triangle
Matthew Wheatley – Black Triangle
Brett Johnson – DWPExamination Forum
could anybody who would like to be a signatory to this invite to Baroness Murphy to debate the issue of welfare reform face to face with us please add their names and organisation, (if any), below and if she agrees to it we will attempt to arrange it so that as many as possible of you can attend.