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Friday, 17 February 2017

Behind the 'Improving Lives' smokescreen of the Dept of Health and the DWP

The 'Improving Lives: work, health and disability' Green Paper 'consultation' closes today.(1)

The UK Parliament website says of 'Green Papers':
Green Papers are consultation documents produced by the Government. The aim of this document is to allow people both inside and outside Parliament to  give the department feedback on its policy or legislative proposals.
Copies of consultation documents such as Green Papers are available on the related departmental websites.(2)
The 'Improving Lives' Green Paper is put out jointly by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Health (DH). The ordering and content of the questions asked in 'Improving Lives' help reveal that this document is apparently aimed far more at 'deliverers of services' than disabled people as experts by personal experience witnesses themselves.

Chapter 1: Tackling a significant inequality [Questions start on p 88 of the printed document, which is p 91 of the online document]

  • What innovative and evidence-based support are you already delivering to improve health and employment outcomes for people in your community which you think could be replicated at scale?
    What evidence gaps have you identified in your local area in relation to supporting disabled people or people with long-term health conditions? Are there particular gaps that a Challenge Fund approach could most successfully respond to?
  • How should we develop, structure and communicate the evidence base to influence commissioning decisions?(3)
Given that kind of line of questioning, do not expect the answers to really help sick and disabled people find true support in improving their own lives on their own terms!

For far more incisive reading, Disability News Service reports:

Spartacus exposes work and health green paper 'smoke screen'

Campaigners have published a withering 237-page attack on the government’s work, health and disability green paper, accusing ministers of creating a “smokescreen” to disguise their intention to cut support and force sick and disabled people into inappropriate work....(4)
In short, 'Improving Lives' is not really about empowerment of disadvantaged people, but about more firmly establishing sick and disabled people as commodities by which parasitic corporations obtain money from the public purse. It is about stripping us of our rights rather than helping us to enforce them.

Blogpost posted by Dude Swheatie of Kwug

Reference links

  1. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/564038/work-and-health-green-paper-improving-lives.pdf
  2. http://www.parliament.uk/site-information/glossary/green-papers/ 
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/564038/work-and-health-green-paper-improving-lives.pdf 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

'I, Daniel Blake' for 21st Century enlightenment

The 'branding strapline of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is '21st Century enlightenment'.

Thus it is highly appropriate that the RSA will be screening the Ken Loach film 'I, Daniel Blake', and has tagged the promotional blog about the screening: employment, public services, social justice.(1)

RSA Screens: I, Daniel Blake

Tuesday 21st February 2017 at 18:00 - 20:15
Great Room Auditorium, RSA House
For further details go to https://www.thersa.org/events/2017/02/rsa-screens-i-daniel-blake

Reference link

  1. https://www.thersa.org/events/2017/02/rsa-screens-i-daniel-blake