Web Links 1: Professional

Introduction

These pages will identify a vast selection of significant web links providing further evidence of the consequences of the neoliberal political choices, which created the suffering now experienced in the UK by the chronically ill and disabled community for the great crime of being unfit to work. Influenced by corporate America, successive UK governments since 1992 have gradually adopted social policies that enforced the theory that the majority of the sick and disabled community are fit to work, regardless of diagnosis or medical opinion. Since 2010 when the Coalition government added austerity measures to the ongoing welfare reforms, the human consequences have been profound and often fatal, as the UK government successfully conduct crimes without punishment as they manipulate the British public when aided by the tabloid press. Prepare to be shocked, stunned and amazed at the relentless ideological attack against those least able to protest, as the welfare state is progressively demolished and American style private healthcare insurance is encouraged, adopted and ultimately enforced in the UK.

There is a vast amount of evidence available demonstrating the catastrophic impact on the lives of chronically ill and disabled people by the ongoing reforms to social policies and welfare benefits when dominated by neoloberal politics. Cash Not Care is easily identified as greed not need, as demonstrated by welfare reforms created by right wing ideology not necessity. Although initiated in October 2008 by the New Labour government with the introduction of the Employment and Support Allowance, which replaced Incapacity Benefit, since 2010 successive right-leaning UK governments have worked to transform the British welfare state into a replica of an American state; as first suggested by Margaret Thatcher in 1982. Private health insurance is now being recommended by the government, to be funded via wages, and the National Health Service is under threat. Significant web links are listed on the following pages prepared by the disabled community and journalists, and by academics whose work is listed either via academic journals and books or via The Conversation, where academics communicate without the limitations of being tied to any publication.

Over the past nine years this researcher has produced a lot of evidence written for different audiences, including research reports and articles. To separate my work from the other web links on these pages, two PDFs are provided. One is a PDF of the various book reviews of ‘Cash Not Care’ and the other is a research resource identifying the published research reports and articles by MS from 2010 to the present day.

The Influence of UnumProvident Insurance

UnumProvident Insurance are a notorious American corporate healthcare insurance giant who have been involved with the UK government, and have influenced future UK welfare policies, since 1992. Banned from fifteen American states and six countries worldwide until 2008, and identified in 2008 by the American Association of Justice as the second worst insurance company in America, the question remains as to why this corporate giant is permitted to influence UK welfare reform policies if not to help to demolish the welfare state? Detailed information in two memorandums written by the company for the Work and Pensions Select Committee in 2002 and 2006 demonstrate their future plans and future influence with the UK welfare state, which is being gradually demolished over time without the mandate of the British people. From 2010 when austerity measures were introduced to increase the ongoing welfare reforms, many sick and disabled claimants of disability benefit(s) were destined to suffer, and many have died, when linked to the influence of this company with the Department of Work and Pensions. The 2005 DWP commissioned research, which justified the use of the biopsychosocial model of assessment for future benefit claimants has been totally discredited by academic excellence, and was funded for the first five years at the then named ‘UnumProvident Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research’ with £1.6 million by UnumProvident Insurance. The company published regular ‘newsletters’ to celebrate their corporate influence: “The thinking behind this work has been influential in dictating the shape of the government’s recent programme of welfare reform and is an indication of the regard in which this unit is held.” (2012 Newsletter 1)

Debbie Jolly

Debbie Jolly was the co-founder of the disabled people’s national network known as Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC). Her unexpected death following a short illness in November 2016 left the disabled community stunned and grief stricken, and many in DPAC fight on in her memory. Debbie was a natural leader, an inspiration to many and a fine colleague, who supported my research efforts as we shared research references with each other over the years. She was a long-term board member of the European Network on Independent Living, and had worked for at least two decades at local, national and European levels to further the cause of disability rights. Debbie was a tireless campaigner for disabled people’s human rights, and to those she valued she was endlessly supportive, for which I am eternally grateful. Her uncompromising commitment to the social model of disability inspired many. Debbie was also a significant researcher herself and below are links to some of her reports, as published online via the Disability Studies Archive at the University of Leeds. Gone but never forgotten. RIP my friend.

Bernadette Meaden

Bernadette Meaden is an Ekklesia associate and regular contributor to the Ekklesia Christian political think-tank blog, which offers a much needed return to moral and ethical reasoning, which have been abandoned in recent years by successive UK governments following the adoption of neoliberal politics, welfare reforms and additional austerity measures. Ekklesia advocate transformative ideas and solutions to societal challenges rooted in a strong commitment to social justice. A remarkable lady who does not enjoy the best of health, Bernadette provides a very welcome voice of reason during very difficult times, when extreme and dangerous right-wing politics have created guaranteed human suffering for vast numbers of people, which have been described as a social policy disaster. Below is a small selection of Bernadette’s very welcome words of wisdom.

Frances Ryan

Frances Ryan is a political journalist, writing and talking about most things to do with inequality. She writes a weekly column for the Guardian: ‘Hardworking Britain’ and has a recurring disability column in the Society section of the Guardian. Frances has written for the New Statesman and the Independent and contributes to TV and radio discussions when commenting on political stories. Frances has a doctorate in politics, and demonstrates with ease the many atrocities committed by successive UK governments with severe consequences for the sick and disabled community. It was my enormous pleasure to meet Francis when we both spoke at the National Union of Disabled Students’ Conference in 2017. Francis never fails to impress but caution is advised. Her writing is always powerful, and should raise cause for concerns regarding the political tyranny now imposed on those in greatest need. MS

Disability News Service

Disability News Service (DNS) is the country’s only news agency dedicated to news impacting on the disabled community in the UK. John Pring is the Editor of the DNS and is a valued and trusted journalist. He has identified the ongoing negative impact created by successive UK governments, whose policies have caused preventable harm to chronically ill and disabled people who are least able to protest. John’s work gives a voice to the disabled community and, to date, he’s the only journalist to expose the influence of Unum Insurance with British social policies since 1992. He identifies the ongoing activities of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), as the UK welfare state moves ever closer to being totally demolished, which fulfils the ‘Thatcher Legacy’. Below is a small sample of John’s very significant work.

Linda Nee

Centre for Welfare Reform

Miscellaneous