A Personal New Year Message from John McArdle (Co-founder of Black Triangle)

"To Defend, Protect and Fight for Humanity in Disability"

Personal New Year Message

John McArdle writes

As always – it is with great difficulty that I begin to write this message. Difficult because of the unrelenting onslaught of attacks on disabled peoples’ welfare, human rights and dignity continue unabated under this jackboot of The Cabinet of Millionaires – and their so-called ‘Liberal Democrat’ collaborators.

A glass of Vichy, ice and a slice, old boy?

We have achieved much this year. We have unrelentingly exposed the lies and propaganda of the coalition in almost every are of welfare reform. Anybody who does not now recognize that fact must be in a coma of some kind. We have won the argument. Yet nothing changes.

We have exposed them in all media – except for the gutter Tory press – and even they seem to be falling down as hundreds of their readers post their disapproval of their lies and propaganda surrounding wefare ‘reform’ and make them face the facts we all know and see to be true all around us.

Everybody knows that the ConDems, and the “Independent” ‘Reviewer’ (or is it ‘Reviser’?) Professor Harrington are so shameless as to actually recommend that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy should be subject to continual Work Capability Assessments.

Everybody knows that disability benefits to children are to be slashed in half.

They all know what’s going on.

Nothing changes because we fail to appreciate that we are in the fight for our lives.

Nothing changes because we must realise that we are in a power struggle and that power concedes nothing without a demand.

The ‘heads of agreement’ deal agreed by Dave Prentis is an act of capitulation.

It is to the grassroots Union membership and all others who are being sold out  that I wish to address this New Year message.

Do not, I beg you, wash your hands of the struggle and refuse to fight together with us! 

Stand FIRM. 

Black Triangle has from the very outset sought to join forces with our allies in the Trade Union Movement (The STUC and the TUC) and has been active in national campaigns such as Right to Work and Coalition of Resistance and we have made common cause with many others across civil society.

We recognize the need for unity in the face of this onslaught against ordinary people- in other words anybody that is not rich. This includes the vast majority of people living in theUKtoday.

We know that our struggle to defend the human rights and dignity of disabled people is doomed without the unity we call upon you – the grassroots of the union movement to defend.

As someone said this year:

“The strength of a political movement is not measured by the force with which it rises up but rather by the unity with which it defends its members who are under sustained attack”.

We, Black Triangle with our sister organization Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and our solid allies from Inclusion Scotland and the Glasgow Disability Alliance among many, many, others marched together with you on March 26th in London and on J30 and N30.

Our support and solidarity with you has been constant, persistent and unwavering.

People with the entire range of impairments, for whom a trip to the local shops presents a formidable barrier, marched with you at the forefront of our joint campaign of resistance.

We have risen up with an almighty force in 2011.

But this is not the measure of who we are as a movement.

The true measure, as already stated, is the UNITY with which we draw together to defend our members who are under sustained attack.

Who are our members who are under attack?

They are, first and foremost, our disabled members.

Disabled workers who are your colleagues, friends and comrades in the workplace whose pensions and livelihood are in jeopardy – and those disabled workers who are unable to work.

Unable to work either as a direct result of their impairments or as a result of the blatant discrimination and barriers to work and full inclusion that Neoliberal politics and economics does absolutely nothing to dismantle and everything to erect.

Secondly – they are our children.

Not only our members’ disabled children who will see their benefits slashed in half and who face a bleak and uncertain future of poverty and hatred fostered by a Tory press that screams “SCROUNGER!” every time it prints the words ‘disability’ ‘asylum seeker’ or ‘unemployed’.

They include ONE MILLION young people denied a future and a hope by this criminal proxy government of high finance and the City.

Yet we have seen this all before in our recent modern past. 

After the war we built the welfare state with the cry of “No return to the 1930’s”.

We must defend it now as never before.

And we should all do well to recognize what is happening and resolve to put a stop to it before more of us are killed. Not by gas this time – but by scapegoating which permits an environment of abuse and neglect of disabled people and abuse of ‘public sector workers’ with their ‘Gold-Plated Pensions’ to thrive.

 The way forward for the Trade Union Movement and our Civil Resistance in 2011

 On November 30th this year, marching for Black Triangle with well over 10,000 comrades from across the Trade Union Movement in Edinburgh, I was lucky enough to see Ron Bickerstaff, former General Secretary of Unison speak.

 Please pause to watch his speech here: Will DAVE PRENTIS please take special note 


 My appeal to you is not to give up.

 Do not go quietly into the dark night.

 Lift up your light for all the world to see.

If I may be permitted to quote from Rabbi Hillel the Elder, someone who inspires me greatly, without being preachy: 

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
And If I am only for myself, then who am I?
And if not NOW, WHEN?”


Please remember – as we prepare together for our next General Strike – we strike not just for our own narrow self-interest but for all humanity. 

Especially ‘Humanity in Disability’

Solidarity and Unity with you all for 2012!

Never Give Up. Never Give In.

The night is always darkest before the light of dawn. Together we will bring light into the dawn of 2012!


John McArdle

31st December 2011

In Memory of Paul Reekie R.I.P.

Disclaimer: I have been asked to contribute this along with other members by our campaign media co-ordinator as an individual member of Black Triangle. My views do not necessarily reflect the official position of our campaign – but may approximate them quite strongly! 


8 thoughts on “A Personal New Year Message from John McArdle (Co-founder of Black Triangle)

  1. Martin Butler on Facebook says:

    I hope one day to tell my future grandchildren I had the pleasure of conversing with the man they are tought about in school, the man who started a campaign for decency and justice, the man who gave a voice to the silenced, John, through your efforts you have given a whole section of society a voice, that voice is no longer a whisper, it is becoming a roar…with respect and admiration….Solidarity.!

  2. John Hargrave says:

    We all need to thank Black Triangle for the work it has been doing over 2011, for once there is a small chink of light at the end of the tunnel, but no one can be complacent, this is a formidable foe, who seem to get away with telling people lie after lie, and the biggest lie of all is Nick Glegg who just relishes his power. But 2012 is now with us, we have to pull together to save the Welfare Stare, the NHS, indeed the very fabric of our society.
    Good luck to you all.

  3. Leon Carter says:

    Wow!! That is one awesome message true and factual in every word. Lets lead where others follow and bring real justice to those that have been so UNFAIRLY treated by a Government that has no respect for disability rights and seems fit to dismantle those rights that are so important to those that need them for protection.

    Onwards and Upwards

  4. Max says:

    Nothing against your cause, in the contrary, but i must say I the (ab)use of the Auschwitz gate with “Arbeit Macht Frei” i find to be of ultimately poor taste. The sign will always remain the ultimate symbol of the holocaust and any other use, however well meant is an insult to surivors of the Shoa and their relatives or descendants.

    Don’t cheapen your otherwise just cause with such poor taste and complete lack of respect for victims of the holocaust.

  5. Dawn Inonme on Facebook says:

    I think “Arbeit Macht Frei” perfectly sums up the Tory/Labour/LibDem gutter propaganda.

    It was us useless eaters that the Nazi’s first honed their mass murder skills on. Same old shite today.

    Thanks for all your hard work, John.

  6. JJ says:

    Max – Duly noted – it has been agreed in discussions to change it to something more appropriate forthwith. Thanks for your input.

  7. Archibald says:

    In reply to Max- perhaps you should direct your comments to the Daily Mail, who appear to agree with the Nazi epithet see-


    The words of pastor Martin Niemöller come to mind-
    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the socialists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me

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