Black Triangle comment on this morning’s Westminster Hall debate on Atos ‘Healthcare’ and the Work Capability Assessment

This morning we witnessed some impassioned debate on the DWP/AtoS Work Capability Assessment by MPs in Westminster Hall.

Labour, MPs John McDonnell and Anne Begg spoke with verve and conviction. It was taken as read that there is a very real crisis ongoing and the many deaths and suicides that have already occurred were remembered and spoken of with considerable anger. We may be breaking through.

John praised the work of Black Triangle and our sister organisation Disabled People Against Cuts and demanded a full investigation into the police assault on DPAC member and protester Patrick Lynch at last Friday’s occupation of the DWP at Our Atos Games Closing Ceremony Day of Action.

Thank you once again John for your steadfast solidarity with our movement for justice and respect for our human rights as disabled people. You embody the soul and conscience of the real labour movement within your party. It is high time your star rose within the party.

We are also moved by the passion and conviction with which Anne Begg spoke.

Perhaps if you were Shadow DWP, Anne, disabled people might have at least a little confidence that the opposition at Westminster was at last moving in the right direction.

That cannot be said at present.

Where were the Labour front bench statements? Is Ed even back from his holidays in Greece yet? Has he met with Sonia Poulton?

We also wish to congratulate and send warm wishes of solidarity to the disabled people in the public gallery who, in defiance of the rule of silence from the public galleries, spoke out forcefully with cries of “shame on you” to that despicable pathological liar and industrial psychopath, Chris Grayling.

When people are dying and being persecuted and injustice becomes law; rebellion is indeed a duty. These are not days in which to abide by the niceties of parliamentary protocol. Silence equals death.

So what has been achieved? What has changed subsequent to today’s debate?

Absolutely nothing of substance, for now.

However, we may be increasing our influence and support among the Labour grassroots and among members of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

The fact that John McDonnell’s EDM on AtoS now has 103 signatories is very encouraging.

These members must now unite to lobby the leadership for a complete change in Party policy in line with us and the BMA.

If your local MP is on that list it would be worth sending them an email requesting that they do this to keep pressure and momentum building up to the point that it becomes irresistible to the Party’s leadership. The time has come for a sea-change in policy. They know it’s right and they must insist upon it. They have an urgent job to do.   

For now, it appears that we still have a very long way to go before the Labour Party can be reconciled with, and considered a true friend of, disabled people.

Ed Miliband and Liam Byrne still resolutely refuse to repudiate their stance. They still support the so-called ‘principle’ of the WCA.

But people, take heart!

The fact that this debate took place at all is a testament to all your hard work as grassroots disabled people in consistently raising all the issues and your persistence and dogged determination in denouncing this evil and iniquitous system until we have been finally been heard. Tom Greatrex stated as much in the debating chamber. 

This debate was not prompted by charities who purport to speak for us and act in our best interests all the while allowing themselves to be co-opted  by our mortal enemies and thus been hopelessly compromised and discredited almost beyond redemption.

We have always known that the only thing that will change our future is our continued and ongoing work of agitation, education and organisation in uniting civil society behind us.

We have never expected Labour, or any other organisation or body, to come to our rescue on a white horse. We are not gullible and we are savvy enough to recognise that we are the cavalry.

We have known from the beginning that it is imperative that join together to save our ourselves and work together with others who share our ethical stance and our political and humanitarian objectives.

From the very inception of our respective campaigns, DPAC and Black Triangle have seen ourselves as part of the wider anti-cuts, anti-austerity movement in our country.

We have sought and continue to seek out and build out alliances with the professions, trade unions, faith communities and individuals across the entire swathe of our civil society.

We have now established strong bonds of solidarity with all who are under attack.

In this lies our power and strength.

It is a power that has yet to be revealed in all its might, but revealed it will be.

And soon.

We will never submit to these injustices. 

We are the authentic disabled people’s resistance movement and we will carry on building and consolidating our alliances until a virtual ring of steel surrounds sick and/or disabled people.

When we say “You Shall Not Pass!” to this criminal government we are not engaging in mere empty sloganeering.

In the days and months to come we are going to escalate our acts of peaceful resistance and consolidate our collective non-cooperation with the implementation of policies and systems which breach our fundamental human rights as disabled people.

If the ConDems think they hold all the cards, but they have another thing coming.

We have shown some of what we can do already.

We have shown we are able to fight back – and fight back hard at that.

In us, the ConDems have met their match. We are their nemesis. Their Achillies Heel.

The days we live in are dark but our dawn will arrive; may that day come soon.

So Cameron, Osborne, IDS and Grayling:

Go ahead and do your worst: OUR BEST IS YET TO COME!



15 thoughts on “Black Triangle comment on this morning’s Westminster Hall debate on Atos ‘Healthcare’ and the Work Capability Assessment

  1. Sean hinchliffe says:

    We need our human rights protecting, we also need proper justice. If these attacks were on other minority groups this country would have a civil war on it’s hands.

  2. kathryn thomson says:

    thank you black triangle. i am disabled and unable to work i have a 13 yr old daughter as a carer. even so since finding you and other groups on here, and with her support i will not become a victim . i could starve next year and be homeless but i cant allow myself to be bullied into doing work i know i simply cant do .i hate this gov, especially cameron, with a vengence. and so angry and his vindictive treatment of the disabled,made worse as he had a disabled son and took full advantage of the very benefits he is stopping despite being a millionaire. he is a disgrace to government, to the country and to Humanity.

  3. Terry Craven says:

    It is an absolute disgrace that the Labour Party is allowing the CONDEMS to get away with MURDER literally. The disabled in the UK ARE BEING ETHN CLEANSED. The more that die the more Hitler Cameron, Himmler Osborne,Hess Grayling and heinrig Clegg will be able to give to their rich friends.
    Let us get income tax down to 10p stop all benefits including old age pension and live happily ever after we have eradicated poverty by eliminatingb all the scrounging undeserving ill, sick disabled and poor from the face of the UK.

  4. JJ says:

    John McDonnell’s words from the opposition day debate on disability benefits and
    social care in which he stated his support for DPAC, Black Triangle and the Remploy
    workers warned:

    …the Government should not think that this issue or these people are going
    to go away because they are not: these people are mobilising. We now have
    a disability movement of which we have not seen the equal of before…these
    people are not going to go away. They will be in our face-and rightly so’

  5. Findlow says:

    Well said, Black Triangle, and encouraging. It’s so hard not to feel totally overwhelmed by the viciousness of the ConDem onslaught.
    Sincere thanks to Tom Greatrex MP for raising the debate, and especial thanks to John McDonnell MP and Ann Begg MP. Also to the brave hecklers!

  6. steve davies says:

    sorry chaps only words and rhetoric will not stop this assault upon the disabled. Maybe animal rights guys could advise upon strategy. Well done for all your efforts so far , no one else seems to be doing anything for us

  7. Tomaz.jay says:

    The way that this government and their out of control Rottweiler ATOS and the rubber stamping Decision Makers treat people (Sorry out of work disabled workless and all that c**p) is a fundamental attack not just the disabled but anyone who may become ill in the future.
    In the name of government economies, physical abuse and mental torture are now inflicted daily on anyone who dares to become ill. The number of people who choose to leave the human race because of unjust and woefully wrong decisions about their conditions are a national disgrace that is hidden or just ignored at the at the highest level.
    Psychiatric injury’s inflicted by Governments flawed ideology on the disabled and mentally ill’, leave psychological scars that cannot be seen and are near impossible to remove. Deliberately injuring ill people further by making flawed and heavenly weighted decisions in favour denial of benefit that are unjust and on appeal are overturned makes no sense economically or morally. They therefore can only be seen as an unusual and cruel form of punishment for daring to become ill or disabled.

    When faced with the DWP decision many feel that they aren’t believed and that’s the thing that hurts most. With the well-worn platitudes of Cameron and the rest of the condemn party ringing in their ears take the decision that I believe this morally bankrupt government and its eugenic agenda have wanted all along.

    I truly believe that that this unelected government will be in years to come will be seen as among the worst purveyors of eugenics will be brought to account for their hate crimes. Bringing the question of lawful euthanasia to the high court has opened the debate on what or how the disabled see themselves and what rights they have over their own existence. Has government decided this is the way forward and is this “The final solution” for all disabled? I see this as overt encouragement to “Do the right thing” for the betterment of. (Yawn) “Hard working employed, economically active families” and check out of this hell hole that this country and disembowel health and welfare services has become.

    Assessing the disabled fit for work or work related activity when they have well documented mental or physical conditions, on the say so of an ATOS computer programme heavily weighted against a just and proper decision, then rubber stamped by a so called Decision Maker is the worst of Orwellian nightmares imaginable beginning to come true.

    Come on Cameron, IDS and the rest you well healed public school boys, Get out the pens start legislating for the next logical step. The letting of the contract for Atos to provide termination chambers on a street corner near you for the disabled and unemployed to “Do the right thing”.

    Start the task and publicity now and maybe you can continue to pit even more people against each other with your eugenic ideology. You can be proud of what you have achieved so far it’s certainly working well with disability hate crimes and suicide numbers increasing day by day.

    But remember when you get to hell as this is certainly where this government heading Remember to tell Hitler and the rest of the world scum that more or less had the same ideology that it was “The right thing to do”

    Tomaz Jay

    Ashamed To Be Born Into This Unjust And Putrid Land That Long Ago Used To Belong To The Good And The Free.

  8. ToggleUK says:

    This just crossposted from another activist on the FB ‘Legal Action against the WCA’ page…for your info..

    now no one will ever know.

    In late autumn 2012, there will be fundamental changes in Jobcentre Plus handling of employer vacancies and services in support of job search. This means that existing National Statistics on Jobcentre Plus vacancies will cease and there will be no further releases on Nomis. Statistics will be made available from the new job-search service. However, definitions will not be consistent with the existing series. DWP have opened a consultation with users of the statistics on 15 August 2012. This will run for 13 weeks until 14 November 2012. The consultation can be found in the Focus On… article on page 4 of the DWP Quarterly Statistical Summary.

  9. Pink Parrot says:

    Well done BT, thank you to everyone who spoke up for us in the HoC – we won’t forget! The treatment of disabled herei s being witnessed by so many people around the world…I just looked at the Map of Visitors – if the ConDems think they are secretly getting away with their intended cull of the chronically sick and disabled, they are very much mistaken! It is a tiring fight, but what else are we to do? Carry on of course. I for one REFUSE to be intimidated by these inhuman creeps, excuses for human beings. If such injustice were being done in a country far away, there would be an outcry here. I no longer feel that Britain in a civilised country but would be happy to be proved wrong.

  10. jefflph says:

    well the more to the right these people go more likly they will be out governments come from the centre its only a matter of time before they make a big mistake and get slopy.jeff

  11. TiddK says:

    Keep right on to the end of the road, and beyond. I’m a child of the 60s, so I’m singing
    “We shall overcome,
    we shall overcome,
    we shall overcome some day
    Here in our hearts
    we do believe
    that we shall overcome some day”

  12. ODIN says:

    Amen to all you have said, and thanks to the brave MP’s who stand for what is just and right even if it’s against their party’s manifesto. This evil government must not be allowed to continue with their barbaric acts. This right wing evil must not happen again as it did in Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s, the people of Britain must be reminded of this very often until they open their eyes and see that it will not end with the disabled, they will be next.

    If new Labour has not the guts for a fight and why would they they are the one’s who brought in ESA and the WCA in the first place, then so be it. Please can we have the old Labour party back, the Labour party that fought for the rights of the people of this land, not this weak bunch of neo Tories (and I do not include any of the Labour MP’s who are backing Labour MP’s John McDonnell and Anne Begg in that statement, they are true Labour party MP’s) Victory to the just people of this land.

  13. DAVID A SHAW says:


  14. Jen Russell says:

    Thankyou for the people who have helped with all this so far. I really hope we can change things because the circumstances are dyer. The.worst feeling when being too ill for work, is being told you are, and if you still cant then your ‘lazy, scrounging, benefit thief’ it discusts me the way we are treated. well done for keeping fighting!

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