"The European Disability Forum (EDF), the voice of 80 million persons with disabilities and their families in Europe, calls on all the Governments of the European Union to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities and their families are taken into account all the way through economic, political and social policies."
"But before we get the champagne corks popping, it's worth spelling out the following:-
The Treasury has budgeted for the cut in the benefit, worth £160m a year. This money will have to be found from somewhere and there is a significant danger that it will be found from disabled people's pockets. The government is already planning to replace DLA with the less generous personal independence payment and it could be that the £160m is found from making that reform even less generous (apart from for people in residential care)."
"among developed countries, UK growth has been far behind most of our competitors. Among this morning’s output from the OECD was an estimate of British growth for 2011 of a meagre 0.9%. The only European countries that produced less growth according to the organisation than the UK are so-called PIGS – Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain:"
"It's a sad fact that some people think we're faking it when we say we have fibromyalgia. Sometimes they say it's because they can't see it, but really, that's about the lamest excuse I've ever heard - can you see cancer, or HIV, or diabetes? Can you see Alzheimer's or heart disease? No. At least, not without sophisticated medical equipment. And do those fibro-doubters demand to see scans and test results from people with those illnesses? Of course not. They simply believe them."
"There has been an increase in both the total and proportion of articles that discuss benefit fraud and the 'undeserving' poor. The article attributes this to greater support for the current Coalition government among the tabloid press than was felt for the previous government."
"“For years when people talked about fat European women you would automatically picture an elderly Greek women celebrating a family wedding, or an Italian family matriarch berating her grandchildren – but now you can legitimately picture British women walking up the High Street in shell suits.”"
"….scientists are finding that the ability to detect sarcasm really is useful. For the past 20 years, researchers from linguists to psychologists to neurologists have been studying our ability to perceive snarky remarks and gaining new insights into how the mind works. Studies have shown that exposure to sarcasm enhances creative problem solving, for instance. Children understand and use sarcasm by the time they get to kindergarten. An inability to understand sarcasm may be an early warning sign of brain disease."
"The first step toward acceptance of a chronic illness is admitting that I’m powerless to make that illness go away, or to force my life back to the way it used to be. If I deny that I’m ill, or refuse to admit and adjust to my new limitations, I eliminate possibilities from my life."
"Why on earth is our coalition government so opposed to the introduction of a Tobin or 'Robin Hood' tax on transactions made in the world of high finance? Not of course that Cameron, Osborne and Cable are honest enough to admit that they are. Oh no, they say, we're all in favour of such a tax at a global level. But anything less than global - across Europe, say? No, no, no - quite out of the question. So we are invited to believe that they are in favour of the tax - as long as no serious attempt is made to introduce it. "
"What it all boils down to is a committee deciding who lives and who dies.
In an ideal world, everyone who needs a life-saving treatment would get it, but we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world with limited resources, and a profit-driven society that is controlled by people, institutions, and corporations that care only about making more and more money."
"The levels of unemployment we see today are not the result of laziness, or a welfare system that is too comfortable to live on, it is the result of 30 years of neo-liberal policies that are directed towards big business and economic focus on inflation and interest rates, rather than full employment."
"A giant Christmas card has been organised by the Hardest Hit campaign group (DBC (Disability Benefits Consortium). The famous cartoonist and illustrator, Gerald Scarfe, is illustrating the card. We have 2 weeks (deadline 6 December) to gather 10,000 signatures before the card is presented to the Government in early December. "
"Egyptians protesting against military rule have begun wondering whether democracy is all it’s cracked up to be after UK voters highlighted that it can still leave you with a government that absolutely no-one voted for."
"What is absurd about this approach is that, as was supposed to have been learnt from the Wall Street sub-prime crash, the lowest paid quarter of the population cannot, given their poor pay and intermittent unemployment, afford home ownership. But the neoliberal capitalists never learn, like the Bourbons. So the Tories are having yet another try."
"The government's drive to cut Britain's multibillion-pound welfare bill by moving long-term unemployed people off sickness benefit and into work is at risk of descending into chaos, according to a Channel 4 news investigation."
"We are told there is a deficit crisis in the UK. We are told that we are spending beyond our means. We are told that the solution to this deficit crisis is to cut public spending. Public spending is an investment, not a debt. "
"On Tuesday 22nd November we need you to come to Parliament and add your voice to many others calling for a rethink of the Government’s crazy FITs proposals. The more people there are, the more chance we have of buying the time the industry needs to adjust, and the better our chances of getting a FITs scheme that gives us a sustainable, growing industry for the future."
"Yesterday I looked at my life and this is what I found: our schools are owned by corporations, our government officials are slaves to corporations, our children are taught to worship the celebrity cults manufactured by billionaires. There is no democracy left, there are only holograms, reflections, emptiness, resonance that takes us to our spiritual death."
"New research identifies the brain chemicals and circuits involved in mental illnesses like schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, giving potential new directions to their treatment. In addition, research with children shows that early-life depression and anxiety changes the structure of the developing brain."
"At least 12 million Britons now suffer from allergies caused by dust mites, The Independent has today reported. The newspaper says that a report by the charity Allergy UK has revealed an epidemic of “home fever”, a range of symptoms caused by dust mites and other triggers around the home."
"For decades, the medical community has debated whether fibromyalgia always involves psychological disorders. Now, a new study suggests that 2 distinct subsets exist; type I does not involve psychological disorders, while type II does."
"Strange. The government trusts GPs to run the NHS but not to decide who is too sick to work. Yet they trust Atos and Group 4 who have a proven record of ignoring evidence and making wrong decisions. I wonder which company the government will outsource this "independent" assessment service to?"
"Artificial sweeteners especially aspartame has gotten a bad rap over the years, most likely due to studies showing they cause cancer. But not to worry Ajinomoto the company that makes Aspartame has changed the name to AminoSweet. It has the same toxic ingredients but a nice new sounding name."
"Telephone-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy and an exercise program, both separately and combined, are associated with short-term positive outcomes for patients with chronic widespread pain, and may offer benefits for patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals."
"The event is to highlight the ongoing scandal of food waste in the UK. Despite the rising price of food, the average British households still bins £5o worth of food every month. Add together the food wasted by households, supermarkets, or rejected by retailers at the farm gate, and we throw away around half of the country’s food. In a world with a billion hungry people, it’s a crazy situation to be in."
"The Scottish government commissioned the Scottish Public Health Network to undertake an assessment of services for those with ME and CFS. The end result is that ME be separated from CFS, with ME sufferers being diagnosed using the Canadian Consensus Criteria and those with CFS diagnosed using the NICE Guidelines. This is what ME advocates have screamed out for and is a major shift within the government-medical establishment."
"The Government's contract with Atos Healthcare requires that doctors are used to assess claimants with conditions that are likely to have complex central nervous system examination findings.
The majority of claimants with CFS/ME do not exhibit such signs and therefore CFS/ME is not on the list of conditions that are required to be assessed by a doctor. However, if a claimant with CFS/ME has neurological signs, they will be passed to a healthcare professional with the requisite expertise."
"Disabled people make up 58% of those who receive legal aid for welfare benefits cases, Scope said. This translates to over 78,000 disabled people each year who will be denied specialist legal advice if these measures go through."
"The current recession combined with the perception that property is cheaper overseas and job prospects better collectively accounted for nearly a third of all reasons for emigrating, according to a survey by Skyscanner. "
"Disgraced former Conservative minister Edwina Currie continues to insist that no one in the UK is ever starving, even after spending three hours last night in a food bank in Birmingham being told just that."
"George Osborne’s grand theory that the public sector was crowding out private sector growth and that an aggressive deficit reduction programme would spark stronger growth has been exposed as the biggest mistake in British fiscal policy since the austerity Budgets of the 1930s."
"Around 825,000 expats have cancelled their plans to return to the UK in last 12 months and 69% say they will stay abroad indefinitely, an increase of 13% in a year, the research from Lloyds TSB International also found."
"The trouble is, they are blighted with the distinction of being yuppie flu sufferers-people who swing the lead. They are not: this is more and more often now being proven to be a physical disease with mental side effects, as cancer and MS and a whole lot of other chronic diseases are. It is time the inequality of treatment for people with ME-CFS was obliterated."
"How dare the Mail suggest that we “just” fill out a form! That form and notes comprise 55 pages – 38 of which have to be completed by the claimant. This involves a lot of writing, and having to be able to think straight and focus over a long period of time. It can require a huge effort, particularly if you have disabilities which affect communication, or your physical ability to write or type. Also, as the form focuses on activities which you can no longer manage, or need help to achieve, it is a depressing process – making you realise how disabled you really are. It can be soul destroying. "
"... pressuring the Government to introduce a non-means tested state pension of around £174 a week – which they say is the minimum income required to keep a pensioner out of poverty – and to bring its spend on pensions more in line with other European countries."
""There's a huge need in our country at the moment. "We have people who are going without food in order to feed their children sometimes for days, for all sorts of different reasons, but fundamentally because their incomes are too low to support their basic needs of housing, clothing and food. "
"What is happening to our country is not economically necessary in many respects. It is, rather, a vicious exploitation of the banker-caused and privately owned recession of the very richest people – used as an excuse to entrench the same ideology that got them into trouble in the first place while ruthlessly landing us with the bill. It’s very lucrative and risk-free for them, this ‘socialising the debt’. They are intentionally destroying much of what is left of our civil societies, the better to monopolise our wealth and resources in future. The recessions they create are also their gold and silver-lined clouds of opportunity. I read about that in an IMF document: it said the crises they cause are a chance to push through ‘reforms’ they couldn’t get away with at other times, under the guise of pretending they are unavoidable. It was down there in black and white, I tell you."
"In total, the paper argues that the 17% excess suicide attributable to Conservative governments is equivalent to 35,000 extra suicides over the past century. Or, to put it more bluntly, 2 suicides for each day that the Tories are in power."
"Workfare is exploitative and unfair to everybody who is forced to do it. For disabled people it has added layers of unfairness, which have the potential to leave, yet again, the most vulnerable abandoned without financial support."
"Yet again, chronic fatigue has been confused with the chronic fatigue syndrome. This Daily Telegraph article conveys harmful misinformation because the two are not the same; however, such confusion seems to serve the purpose of those who wish to conflate the two disorders and who insist that chronic fatigue is the same as chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)."
"Given the choice between acting in the interests of those upon whom their existence depends and acting in the interests of the financial elite, they have chosen to follow the latter course. Indeed, they do not appear to have even considered any other strategy."
"Could chronic fatigue syndrome be an autoimmune disorder? The Fluge/Mella Rituximab study was effective in at least temporarily reducing the symptoms of about 60% of the chronic fatigue syndrome patients in the study – a fact that no doubt shocked many who considered CFS purely a neuropsychiatric disorder."
"The official campaign for the next Spanish elections began last Thursday night with many looking at Catalonia, which is set to be a crucial battlefield. On November 20th Spaniards will elect the new Spanish Parliament, which will then elect the new President of the Spanish Government, equivalent to Prime Minister. All polls indicate that the People’s Party (PP) will win the elections in Spain, and will very likely get an absolute majority. In addition, the same polls indicate that the Socialist Party (PSOE), the party currently running the Spanish Government, might face its worst defeat ever. The votes from Catalonia, on one hand, are essential to guarantee the PP’s absolute majority. "
"8. Never, ever, compare my pain and illness to those of others. My illness is mine, and mine alone. I’m completely entitled to feel everything–emotions, symptoms, and otherwise–that results from living with my illness. (I’m entitled to feel everything, that is, except shame.)"
"When someone in the house has fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, it's something everyone in the family has to help manage. Whether that means helping with laundry, taking care of the bills, giving you quiet time when you need it, or following some house rules like "no startling" and "nothing spider-like," it's necessary for everyone. After all, if you're incapacitated on the couch, it's harder for them."
"Then, last night, we had Panorama – Britain on the Fiddle, in which pretty much the only true words were Good evening and welcome to Panorama… a cavalcade of lies, distortions, and disinformation from beginning to end."
"To anyone who accuses a patient of "faking" for the financial benefits, get out the calculator to see how much those "munificent" sums we receive from Disability REALLY cost us in the long run, and then tell us we're "doing it for the money"."
"The FT has learnt that Mr Osborne has asked officials to provide models for a range of alternatives models, including raising benefits in line with average earnings growth of about 2.5 per cent or even freezing some payments altogether."
"The psychological and emotional traumas experienced over a lifetime--such as the death of a loved one, divorce, natural disaster, house fire or car accident, physical or mental abuse -- may contribute to adult irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to the results of a study unveiled at the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 76th Annual Scientific meeting in Washington, DC."
"The nature of disability can be such that it makes it hard to complete benefit application forms. People can have memory problems or find it hard to concentrate. They may have physical problems with writing or typing, or they may not be able to construct clear sentences. I know that when I am struggling with pain I find it harder to think, and this affects my ability to write coherently – it is clear to see when I review letters I’ve written, I can easily tell which were done on a “good pain day” and which on a “bad pain day”. But some people don’t get good days, only bad ones – and yet through this they are expected to complete long booklets explaining why they are entitled to benefits."
"We already have one of the toughest welfare systems in the developed world with the toughest sanctions and among the lowest rates of fraud. But you will never hear that from these documentaries. You almost certainly won't believe it now, but it's true. Pesky evidence."
"This is the reason why the Welfare State doesn’t “work”. Benefits are supposed to be there to provide workers with a safety net; they were never meant to compensate for low wages simply because employers cannot be bothered to pay more."