Goodbye, former Disability Minister. You did more for this lifelong disabled person as a BBC Radio 2 Disc Jockey than as a politician
This current Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group Secretary once sang to the now former Disability Minister Esther McVey. But that was in the days when she was a BBC Radio 2 disc jockey presenting a Sunday morning show and asking as a phone-in item one post FA Cup Final Sunday in the early 1990s, what audience members got up to on Cup Final Saturday. I told her I had been busking in suport of British Red Cross and singing a Matt McGinn song, 'Why Did I Ever Become a Footba' Referee?', and she helped 'warm me up' further to singing a few verses and choruses before I was timed out by the news.
But that was before she left the BBC to become a Tory Party candidate in Merseyside, in line with her accent by about the time of the 1997 General Election. Over ten years later and into a new Government, when she became new Disability Minister, she could hardly have been worse than her predecessor, Maria Miller, who was the first of the Con-Dems' Disability Ministers.
And now, in the promotion of women through ministerial office (which is not the same as promoting women's equality), Esther McVey is now the Employment Minister, and she has been replaced as Disability Minister by Mike Penning.
What will he do for disabled people, and what will Esther McVey do for workers' and jobseekers' rights while zero hours contract culture has already began to hurt many people, young people are being consigned by benefit changes to what might effectively become slavery through an emerging career of debt and 'work for your benefits' regulations and balance of bargaining power — never very strong for people on out of work benefits — becomes truly shafted.
Blogpost by Swheatie