Conservative conference: Cameron criticised for using disabled relatives in speech

By John Pring, Disability News Service

David Cameron has been heavily criticised for appearing to use his disabled son and father in his main party conference speech in a bid to justify cuts to disability benefits.

Cameron spent part of his speech to the annual Conservative party conference in Birmingham trying to explain the need for another £10 billion in cuts to welfare spending, announced earlier in the week by his chancellor, George Osborne.

He also spoke of how he used to push his own son, Ivan, around in his wheelchair, but “always thought that some people saw the wheelchair, not the boy”, and suggested that the success of the Paralympics meant that now “more people would see the boy and not the wheelchair”.

He described later in his speech how his disabled father, Ian, had worked hard “from the moment he left school”, although he failed to mention that his dad was born into a wealthy family, and was educated at Eton, before being fast-tracked into a partnership in the family stockbroking business.

Only two days before the speech, Osborne had been accused of risking further hostility to disabled people on out-of-work benefits by describing a “shift-worker” who leaves for work and “looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits”.

John McArdle, a founding member of the grassroots disabled people’s organisation Black Triangle, said he and other members were furious at how Cameron had used his disabled son and father – both of whom were now dead – to try to whip up support for cuts to disability benefits.

He pointed to the thousands of disabled children who would lose support as a result of government cuts.



10 thoughts on “Conservative conference: Cameron criticised for using disabled relatives in speech

  1. jed goodright says:

    The real measure of what we, disabled people, are up against is the total silence of the Labour Party, the TUC, the Establishment, the Media and the people of the UK – apart from those idiot contributors to right wing propaganda machines who very clearly make their views known.

    The levels of abuse of disabled people are increasing. The levels of death of disabled people following changes to benefits are increasing. Disabled people are living in a fear not of their own making rather one that is created by government and media for their own purposes. The processes of abuse and neglect by the authorities in the Hillsborough disaster mirror those in the abuse and neglect of the authorities in the Jimmy Savile case, unfolding before our eyes at present. It is these same forces that are allowing disabled people to die in the UK as we speak.

    There is something very rotten at the heart of the British Establishment. Days of empire are long over but there is no doubt in my mind that there are those in this country who would differ and have an agenda that misuses our resources in ways of war and tyranny. Cameron is ideally placed to enable these things to continue. His Etonian and background of privilege ensure that this process continues. Where has all of OUR MONEY GONE? We are talking corruption of a global scale. So disabled people and the poor and even working people now are expendable as the privileged fight to maintain their position. This is what we are up against. Miliband knows he will not challenge this rather ‘fight’ for the status quo. Miliband has never worked in his life, is privileged and ideally placed to succeed Cameron. Don’t trust politicians or the political system – they have ways of achieving what they want even by appearing to be supporting the essentiasls of our country. They have to give this appearance otherwise they coud not ‘claim’ our consent.

    Disabled people are the collateral damage in the WAR ON WEALTH & POWER

  2. jed goodright says:

    I say all of this because I have a good understanding of socio/political matters. My 30 years of work in different professions has enabled me to describe and communicate well. However, I am ill. My recent life has changed beyond any recognition. I don’t need the enormous stress I am under. Don’t need the abuse that comes in my direction and the direction of others. I despise the hatred that seems to abound. I despise the government and all its establishment friends. I don’t need the last 3 years of unmitigated harrassment from the DWP and HMRC. I don’t need the inhuman input of my MP and his constituency office. They are fucking bastards.
    Every day lately I just want to die. I don’t need the shit anymore. Even this week, despite increasing mobility problems over the years my local county council have seen fit to not renew my blue badge. They are deliberately denying me the access I once had. Their reason – not permanent or serious enough. Since when is fucking osteoarthritis not permanent? The quality of my life, apart from the odd blip, is appalling. I have had enough and DO NOT DESERVE WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME> I WANT TO DIE> There is no compassion. There is no way out. I see no alternatives.

    1. ODIN says:

      Jed there is an alternative, fight the Bastards and keep fighting until your last breath, better to die on your feet than to live on your knees. Never give up NEVER. Things are going to get worse, but maybe then more people will be affected then they will do something about this truly evil dark government, although I use the word government very loosely owing to the fact they were not elected.

  3. Serenity says:

    Don’t forget the Murdoch Leveson white wash Jed! What do you expect of a man willing too use the recent death of his own child for self-serving gain, a child he was only too willing to claim his share of benefits for, a multi-millionaire who with his rich mates are still miking us dry by bailing out their mates who pay no taxes and making obscene pay awards for themselves.

  4. jeffery davies says:

    how the other half lives they didnt get up 4in morning they didnt pick up heavy items they didnt do manual work only sat on their backsides cooking the books and to say his father worked hard is a staement to far as we now they lie about everything and to get the truth off any of them is a task that needs help but dont hold one breath as money talks and its this they sell their grannies down the river if need be and that is our torys and a lot of our mps also ,so how do we get decent politicians in the great house who will do the right thing jeff3

  5. Andrew Healey says:

    If I manage to get to the supermarket or any shop which these days is a rare occurrence, I speak to people, in the isles, on the tills, in the queues waiting to pay, all you have to do is mention the price of something and within seconds you can get onto the subject of the government and their agenda. The older generation, pensioners, young couples with children. I’ve spoken to Tory’s of all ages and you would be surprised how many of them are aware and disgusted at what their party is doing, not just to the sick and or disabled but to the low paid and our N.H.S, the EU, just about everything that is sick and disgusting in our country today. You shouldn’t give up, we are a nation of fighters, we are the ones who the rich and privileged call upon to fight their battles for them. We are the ones who win. I can’t throw a punch anymore but there is nothing wrong with my mind and I do know right from wrong. Over the last two years I have helped a friend who stood in the local elections, he is also disabled, both times he has come third in our area as an independent, but has taken the majority of votes on the estate where we live. I help by printing his flyers, thousands of them. I do them on a cheap printer with refillable cartridges in total a cost of about £15.00. At the moment I am toying with the idea of printing some of my own about the injustices of the massive corruptions with AtoS, the establishment, all of it I’m not stuck for ideas, just how to get it all down on paper so it will capture the peoples attention. I would then along with some friends hand them out in the town centre, outside supermarkets, just about anywhere where crowds are. I am disabled and getting worse by the day as the temperature drops, I’ve increased my morphine almost 75% just trying to cope with the pain, but my mind will not let me stop fighting, DO NOT GIVE IN it’s what these fascist bastards want. We all need to fight this massive corruption, do not be brainwashed by the shit that is fed to us every night on the goggle box, you know the mind numbing drivel, Jeremy Kyle, X Factor, Big Brother, the list is endless. Write to the local papers, send stories to magazines, but never give in I know I wont…

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