"The CUTS KILL and WE MUST NOT STAY SILENT" says Beth Tichbourne
“The CUTS KILL and WE MUST NOT STAY SILENT” says Beth Tichbourne


New Internationlist Social Justice

‘The cuts can kill and we must not stay silent’ by Bethan Tichborne 

On Thursday 15 March I was found guilty in the Oxford Magistrates’ Court of causing ‘harassment, alarm and distress,’ following a peaceful, and legal, political protest in Witney in December 2012. The judge said ‘I can think of nothing more alarming than the statement that “Cameron has blood on his hands.”’

I will continue to say that British Prime Minister ‘Cameron has blood on his hands’, whenever the opportunity presents itself. Thousands of people in Britain have died after being found ‘fit for work’. Over the long term, as more and more is taken away there will be increasing harm and death.

On the 30 November 2012 David Cameron was booed as he came on stage to turn on the Witney Christmas Lights. You can watch a video of him trying to drown out any criticism by awkwardly getting the crowd to cheer for everyone from themselves to the Queen on YouTube. Kind of funny. Also, kind of not funny.


‘I find it very weird watching the video, because while this was going on I was being beaten up by the police on the other side of the stage.

‘I have never been so scared: my face was being pushed into the ground, I could feel blood coming from my nose, there was someone putting their whole weight on my back while someone else was stamping on my knees, along with various people grabbing and twisting my limbs. And then the officer on my back moved a knee up onto the back of my neck.’

Up until then I’d been shouting:

‘I’m not resisting, I’m cooperating,’

trying to ask them to stop, but from the moment I felt someone pressing their body weight into the back of my neck I gave up trying to communicate anything to them.

I realized the police officers on top of me either couldn’t, or wouldn’t, hear me. Instead I began begging anyone who was nearby to intervene, to tell them to stop.

One of the things Cameron had asked the crowd to cheer was ‘the Paralympics, that was great.’ Well yes, the Paralympics were great, but he should remember that his ministers were booed loudly whenever they appeared at Paralympic ceremonies, and that it had the least popular sponsor possible, Atos.

The British coalition government gave Atos the contract to kick disabled people off benefits they need to survive, and despite some of its staff quitting on grounds of conscience, they’ve done an admirable job of swiping those benefits away.

To rub salt into the wound the government justify their cuts with misleading press releases about what percentage of disabled people they’ve deemed ‘fit for work.’ These are taken up by the press, who spin them still further from reality and stir up public hatred of ‘scroungers’ and ‘shirkers’.

survey by Inclusion London found that the general public believes that between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of disability claims are fraudulent. The reality is that the fraud rate for disability benefits is 0.5 per cent.

Disability hate crime, which ranges from comments in the street through vandalism of motability cars up to imprisonment, torture, rape and murder is growing.

A Comres study found that 66 per cent of disabled people in September 2011 said they experienced aggression, hostility or name calling compared with 41 per cent in May 2011. I’d heard the stories about the people being affected, but I also knew that these stories weren’t being given the front page spreads that ‘scrounger’ stories get.

I think it’s important to show that some of us are refusing to buy the rhetoric that would have us scapegoat disabled people.

So I held up a placard that said ‘Cameron has blood on his hands,’ and I shouted that ‘disabled people are dying because of Cameron’s policies.’ I didn’t expect that to be a big deal.

Since December 2012 there has slowly been more attention paid to the horrific way that this government is treating disabled people. Member of Parliament Michael Meacher told the House of Commons that Cameron has blood on his hands (he didn’t get arrested).

We’ve heard more about how the bedroom tax is going to hit disabled people. But still, there’s very little media coverage of the disability campaigners who are also in court on Thursday 15 March in London, challenging the cut of the Independent Living Fund, which will force people into residential homes.  

The £747 ($1,130) fine and costs I have been given come to more than I earn in a month but, according to the judge, of course I’d have no trouble paying it back.

After rent, travel to work, food and paying off loans I don’t have money left by the time pay day comes, and my salary is going down soon, so I’m not sure what will happen next.

Except that I’m going to keep saying that Cameron has blood on his hands.

We can listen to the voices of the people who know what’s going on, the people on the frontline of the cuts, and share them with our friends. 

Calum’s List, a memorial site for those who have died because of the welfare reforms, is hard reading, but important. It lists the deaths caused directly by welfare reform. Disabled People Against Cuts campaign tirelessly, provide an endless amount of information and analysis, and receive hardly any media coverage, or even the recognition they deserve from the wider anti-cuts movement.

The Black Triangle Campaign tells it just how it is, read their page and you get a sense of just how violent the government’s two-pronged attack on disabled people is, and how dangerous it is for the rest of society to stay silent.


Disabled rights protest

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31 thoughts on “

  1. kelpiemare says:

    This country gets more like a police state every day.
    Beth is correct, Cameron DOES have blood on his hands, as does every politician who voted for IDS’ butchering of the disabled, sick and vulnerables’ financial lines to life. Now, there is increasingly less of a lifeline, even a meagre existence is overstating the state “help”.
    Keep going, Beth, please don’t succumb to these criminals and bullies.

    1. wendy says:

      WELL DONE BETH, U DID WHAT MANY WANT TO DO BUT ARENT CAPABLE OF DOING let ppl know when u r going to court to appeal, cus im sure youd get hundreds if not thousands there to show support. sodding morons. those police, the judge and even the jury, if there was one? , all must b in the governments pockets too, just like the FRENCH atos group. surprised there not german n relations to hitler. no disrespect meant to the germans, just the likes of david cameron n his croonies.

  2. Allen Vincent says:

    Well done BETH TICHBOURNE and you MUST appeal. Prime Moron David Cameron DOES have blood on his hands and deep down he must know this. Beth Tichbourne’s treatment at the hands of the Police State has become typical of our neanderthal, corrupt, ignorant, torturing, murdering, lying, discriminating, bullying, victimising Police in England, often covered up by respective Police Professional Standards and the IPCC Independent Police Complaints Commission. District Judge Tim Pattinson seems ignorant, patronising and condescending, why a district judge for a mere public order offence instead of magistrate?

    If you are in any way disabled or have other protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. I hope this link is of help to Beth Tichbourne’s legal team or any others even in here that this might be useful for. All my disabilities are conveniently and unlawfully ignored by the Courts I’ve been taken to http://www.equalitytalk.org.uk/services/incourt.html

    I’ve always struggled to overcome extreme ignorance, discrimination, victimisation & unlawful denial of services as has my 76yo Mum Beryl.
    So many unlawful things happened to my Mum and I since I was unlawfully dismissed from Doncaster Nissan in 2010 when I was formally diagnosed with aspergers syndrome & dyspraxia. Unlawful treatment from Sheffield Employment Tribunal & I appear to be one of the first to dare sue the corrupted discriminating patronising ignorants at the Solicitors Regulation Authority using a deaf communication system that records and prints verbatim telephone calls under the Equality Act 2010 case 1SE06800 which was hushed up.
    Unlawfully arrested AGAIN at my Edlington, Doncaster house on 28.2.2013 by the same awful policewoman who’s on my telly allenvincent489 vids of 13.2.2012 she unlawfully used an enforcer to smash my front door, ripped off my disability sheet that I had printed onto my chest, they put my Mum in hospital for 3 days and 2 nights. I was underfed and tormented at Doncaster Police cell and then they transferred me for first time to Doncaster Marshgate Prison till Monday 11th March 2013. The Police and Courts lied about my Date of birth they put down 25.5.72 and this is NOT my dob and clearly attempt to hide who I really am.
    Extreme violations of PACE, numerous codes of conducts/practices, EC Human Rights, EC Disability Rights, Public Sector Equality Duty, Equality Act 2010.
    I am on autism spectrum, dyspraxia, born deaf, adhd, clinical depression, asthma, pts, my face does not work properly, high stress & anxiety, need glasses, supposed to have a support worker personal assistant.

    http://telly.com/AllenVincent489 Fighting EXTREME Kent Aylesham, DOVER, CANTERBURY, Folkestone, Margate and South Yorkshire Police DONCASTER, Judicial, Solicitor corruption, discrimination, ignorance, victimisation etc.

  3. Bluesky says:

    If they can do this to Bethan Tichborne they will do it to anyone who protests against ‘Ian Duncan Smith and David Cameron’s policies ‘ many of us here could up with a brown envelope summoning them to court. (mmm, when do i get mine). I’m ready, I love nothing better than a legaly trained person thinking they have the case in the bag, then ooops they meet me and oh dear they just realised they lost the case when i put my defence to the court with evidence of case law etc…..it happened some months ago when they tried to get possestion of my friends home,they thought it was an open and shut case untill they came across me, from the start i established common law durisdiction, they lost the case. when it came to costs they didn’t put in for them, becouse they knew if they did and the judge granted them my costs would also have to be given as well…….and my costs would have been far higher than the other sides….


    BILL GUNNYEON, one of Camerons puppets, is the one with most blood on his hands….

    With the backing of his nefarious crew at the DWP, BILLS CIRCUS OF DEATH AND DESPAIR have been taking lives on a daily basis….

    Gunnyeon is the master plotter, who,using UNUM CORPORATIONS twisted software wreaked havoc on the disabled……..

    A modern day Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death…….

    He hides behind his title of senior medical officer for the government, whilst his policies continue to fill cemeteries….

    Meanwhile he is abusing his position to kowtow to the HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES , the origins of the disability denial mantra……..

    Feuhrer Camerons henchman…

  5. Purplewheels says:

    This action against Bethan Tichborne is morally reprehensible. Bethan spoke the truth Cameron DOES have blood on his hands and we all need to keep on saying so. It is shocking the the general public have allowed themselves to be duped by the lies and rhetoric of IDS and Cameron, being drawn to the conclusion that 60-70% of claimants of disability benefits are lying, cheating scroungers.

    I desperately need a new wheelchair and so I asked to be referred to our local wheelchair service where I was told because I didn’t have a permanent ramp, I did not qualify for a new chair, in spite of the fact that I bought my last 2 with my own money.
    It was arranged for someone to come and assess me to see if I qualified for a ramp. The woman who came was from a private company and she treated me like s**t. She told me to sell my home and buy something more suitable. She agreed that I should have a stairlift but NOT a ramp.
    When the woman from the council came to sign off the stairlift I told her what had happened with my assessment and she was outraged, she arranged for someone from the council to assess me for the ramp and hey ho! I got one, so now I have a new ramp and all I need to do is to get reassessed for the wheelchair. I am grateful for it but this whole thing has been so stressful! If I get turned down for a wheelchair I don’t know what I am going to do.

  6. hugosmum70 says:

    i have seen with my own eyes how so called friends are turning on a disabled man. he has known them years but recently one in particular has been calling this disabled man names on Facebook and stirring up other so called friends of this man.he has lost a number of friends now because of this one man. the last i heard was he had upset 2 children by calling them foreigners and telling them they didn’t belong here even though born here and have a British father and grandmother..because their mother and grandfather is south African born, the kids own father was party to that too apparently through something he had said to this vicious tongued man.,.

  7. wildthing666 says:

    ‘harassment, alarm and distress,’ couldn’t the same thing be said about this corrupt government who are attacking all but their rich pals

  8. Serenity says:

    “Two lots of Cameron’s undercover police grabbed me but then when I was turned over to Thames Valley police they just put me face down on the ground and beat me up quite badly. I was really scared, it felt like there were at least three or four, someone kneeling on my back, someone stamping on my knees.

    “My nose was bleeding, my glasses had come off, I had no idea what was going on. I got really scared when one of them who was on my back moved up and put their knee with quite a lot of weight on the back of my neck. I started thinking: ‘Oh God I can see the headlines.’ I thought they were going to do real damage.”

    The court hearing was told that a children’s choir standing at the side of the stage, waiting to perform, were terrified and that their shocked teacher heard Tichborne swear before trying to climb over the waist-high barrier.

    A police officer told the court that Tichborne’s demeanour was “angry, fixated, aggressive and very focused on her intentions”.

    The children’s choir weren’t terrified seeing someone getting beaten up by the police though, did anyone tell the court about the police and Cameron’s undercover crew’s demeanor or is it acceptable behavior for them to use excessive force.

  9. Martin says:

    “The British coalition government gave Atos the contract to kick disabled people off benefits they need to survive, and despite some of its staff quitting on grounds of conscience, they’ve done an admirable job of swiping those benefits away.”

    ATOS were brought in by Labour in 2005 (not 2008) to kick people off benefits, whether or not they were disabled or not and Labour knew all about the process and the LiMA system to have awarded the contract to them. I started raising the issues to do with ATOS in 2007 but the left/Labour weren’t talking about how disgraceful these so-called medicals were for the five years Labour were in government…

  10. Humanity2012 says:

    Get the Con Dem Regime Out of Office Now Not Never and Make them Account
    for their Wrecking of Public Services

  11. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Judge Tim Pattinson is the guy that condemned the RSPCA recently for spending an enormous amount of money pursuing action against the Heythrop Hunt.

    Say no more, an extension of a twisted government…….

  12. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    When Cameron switched the Christmas lights on at Witney there should have been faulty wiring and the shithouse fried……

  13. Mike Caics says:

    Perhaps you should petition the European Court of Human Rights? I am fairly sure that this falls within their remit. Certainly there is a case to be answered about ‘freedom of speech’ and the ‘right to lawful protest’.. It seems that the UK is being turned into either a Fascist or Communist State.. Perhaps it is time we organized some HUGE PROTESTS.. rather than the ones which are being ignored by the Press and Media.. What do you think? Is it time to step things up: to get serious?

  14. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Beth Tichbourne did nothing wrong. Admiration should be shown for her resolve.

    You can shoot a brazillian in cold blood and walk away free, kill a newspaper seller by whacking him to the ground with a metal asp baton, and yet be fined for stating what most of the electorate think………..

    Double standards of a corrupt government.

    How can anyone have a fair trial speaking against anything to do with the WELFARE REFORMS, when the woman with a million bedrooms spare, gave her royal assent to it in the first instance………

    The courts are classed as “HER MAJESTYS COURTS AND TRIBUNALS”, therefore fairness, impartiality and independence is a joke…………

    The right to speak out is now an offence, whilst the murder of disabled is acceptable……

  15. jeffery davies says:

    well whot do you expect from this lot nah blood on their hand its thousands and thousands they killing with their abuse for us cant a judge do the right thing and state the tatement the woman had spoken was true and should have been given a good citizen award nah its our politicians all go blood on their hands for allowing this to happen jeff3

  16. Humanity2012 says:

    I would Add Our Freedom of Speech and Quality of Life is More Important than the Con Dem Regime

    No More Nazi Style Suppression of Political Dissent and Victimisation of the Poor
    and Vulnerable

  17. michael says:

    Well done Beth and great applause and appreciation for voicing your opinion in this ‘free’ country. Cameron never discusses the devastation and misery his policies are causing. Labour brought this to us all but Cameron was only elected because he wasn’t Labour. Lib dems cause people who didn’t have any idea of what they were like the last time they were in power 9decades ago) thought lets give em a go. As for the police as an ex copper I know thatyour conviction has been orchestrated and manufactured to prove a point politically. I propose that everyone in the country affected by these draconian policies send just 10p to people like you Beth to help pay your fine and at least let those who are in no fit physical or mental state of health know that we are not alone. Godbless you.

    1. hugosmum70 says:

      Michael …your message to Beth warmed my heart. if you as an ex copper can feel like that there’s hope for this country yet.when so many coppers seem to be getting more brutal in these attacks on people who are only trying to get what is rightfully theirs. for 5 years i worked in welfare rights and we spent hours on the streets talking to people telling them that the benefits were theirs as a right. that thy had worked for them/paid in for them etc. now it seems that there is no rights anymore and that part of my life was just a waste..

  18. K Peake says:

    It is extremely difficult to have mental health problems in such an insane climate. All mental health teams need to deliver courses in surviving state persecution, it’s rather a tricky thing you know.

    1. Jacqui Lovell says:

      I totally agree and learning about your Human Rights is a good starting point as ALL organisations performing public functions HAVE to abide by it BY LAW, so you have an excellent case for challenging them inj using it as protection! See the BIHR website for links to some excellent publications which outline how it can be used by people for whom the environment is disabling and if yu can’t find them drop me an email and i will send you one as an attachment,
      bless u jacx

  19. Duncan Simons says:

    what happened to free speech I guess George Orwell was right welcome to the land of Big Brother .

  20. Jacqui Lovell says:

    Recent Court Case from the European Courts who are ABOVE the UK Courts, so a ruling has been set and you feel free to yell all you want!!!! You might want to give a copy of this to your solicitor Beth, here is direct quote from the judgement, “Instead, the Court took the view that Mr Eon’s criticisms had been political in nature, noting that the Court of Appeal had established a link between his political stance and the very nature of the phrase he had used. There was therefore little scope under Article 10 for restrictions on freedom of
    expression in the political sphere. The Court reiterated that politicians inevitably and knowingly laid themselves open to close public scrutiny of their words and deeds and consequently had to display a greater degree of tolerance towards criticism directed at them.

    So Y’all Feel Free to Insult, Cameron, Clegg, the Queen, Pope Francis et al

    Conviction of political activist for insulting the French President infringed his freedom of expression In Chamber judgment in the case of Eon v. France (application no. 26118/10), which is not final, the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that there had been: a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

    The case concerned the applicant’s conviction for insulting the President of France. During a visit by the President to the département of Mayenne, the applicant had waved a placard reading “Casse toi pov’con” (“Get lost, you sad prick”), a phrase uttered by the President himself several months previously.

    The Court held that criminal penalties for conduct such as that displayed by the applicant were likely to have a chilling effect on satirical contributions to discussion of matters of public interest, such discussion being fundamental to a democratic society.

    Keep fighting sister!!!! jacx

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