Warrington Disability Partnership

More hate from Hammond

Disabled people unproductive ?

It really should not come as a massive surprise that a Government Minister, Secretary of State even, has decide d to scapegoat disabled people for an apparent reduction in productivity performance. Phillip Hammond thinks that disabled people in the workforce equals low productivity. His shamefully ignorant remarks have been greeted with dismay by many who understand that in today’s sound byte world a few words can become a viral sensation in minutes, grasped by the equally ignorant and instantly translated into baseless ‘fact’.

Hammond is a Tory Minister who is part of a government where scapegoating is an everyday tactic as it’s a wonderful way to deflect from your huge list of failures and u-turns. Blaming disabled people for, well, pretty much anything, is right up there at the top of the list of tools and approaches to be used when you need to change the headlines. Those on benefits of any kind, those with a disability, nurses, other workers in the public sector etc were all held responsible for the crash of 2008 rather than the greed ridden criminals in parts of the world’s Financial sectors whose unregulated unprofessional and reckless irresponsibility caused misery for billions of people and still blights millions of lives in our country today.

For one of our ‘leaders’ to talk in such ignorant and crass terms is unforgivable. Just unforgivable. But he won’t be sacked as he should be. He is part of a government that sees only power and wealth as important. He remains part of the reason why communities are being starved of crucial health resources, older people left cold in their homes and yes, disabled Hate Crime increasing at a frightening rate.

Is this ‘reaction’ over the top ? Are we being unfair to the leader who, along with others, is tasked with ruining the futures of several decades of young people as Brexit is ground out amidst the most horrendous Government disarray and panic ? I think it’s kind that he’s been allowed to remain post ten minutes after uttering his disgusting falsehoods about a part of our workforce who, contrary to sound bytes, have better sickness records than most, remain amongst the most loyal and dependable employees and overcome barriers to independence and work that derail many so called ‘able-bodied’ people. There is no evidence of any kind to support Hammonds throw away remarks. But he’s hoping that the ignorant will gather up his comments and repeat it on the bus home or in the pub, no doubt whilst also blaming Polish people for nicking their homes and their jobs, and somehow not notice the destruction of our manufacturing base, our local social care and NHS provision and a rise in crime that leaves some scared to leave their homes.

OTT ? Honestly I don’t think so. Disabled people everywhere will be sickened by Hammonds crass comments but frankly it really isn’t a surprise and it is not an isolated thought process in the minds of those who lead our country. They recognize only wealth and good health and if you think that’s Tory bashing then please take a look at your local community and how huge numbers of people are struggling to pay the price of ongoing ‘austerity’ whilst we get ready to pay £40billion, £50billion or even more as our Brexit price. Disabled people are as productive and effective as any comparable employees anywhere. Attacking them for your failures to manage an economy in deep trouble whilst paying billions to the DUP to keep you in power is a new low but there will be more to come like this and it’s up to all of us to speak out and counter the hate.

About the author

Mark Wilson was a trustee on the WDP Board for five years, and a social media management lead until 1st May 2017. Mark's personal blogging website, The Blue Badge Blog, covers a wide range of disability issues, particularly accessible travel.

7th December 2017