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I'd happily work, if ...

Damon Rose Damon Rose | 14:32 UK time, Wednesday, 15 June 2011

I saw an interesting, succinct and creative post on a blog last night which sums up a lot of fears I've heard voiced by disabled people in recent months.

There is an anxiety that the current program which aims to get people off benefits and back to work, is not intelligent enough to capture the complex circumstances of many disabled people.

At the bottom of a post on Benefit Scrounging Scum's blog, a user called Mary applied some gentle satire and cynicism in her comment:

"... If there is a button-pushing factory in my town (despite offshoring), or a town I could move to (despite lack of accessible housing and the housing benefit caps), and if they're hiring (despite record UK unemployment), and if I can actually get up and washed and dressed in the morning (despite cutbacks to Social Services), and if I can actually get to work (despite inaccessibility of public transport), and if the button-pushing workstation and the route to it is or can be made accessible (despite Access to Work cuts)...

"...and if the bosses and co-workers are happy to accommodate my need for frequent breaks at unpredictable moments (despite the hundreds of other applicants for the button-pushing job who are equally qualified for button-pushing and *don't* need breaks or adjustments), and if I will earn a living wage (despite the messing about with Tax Credits)...

"...and if we can account for the fact that I only have the energy to function for about 10 non-contiguous hours out of every 24 and I must keep three or four hours of that aside for necessary things like eating, medicating, grocery shopping, banking, cleaning and managing my household, and the bureaucratic maze of disability...

"...then I, along with many others, will be right there."

If we'd asked the government to give a comment, which we didn't, we think they'd probably suggest that, on the face of it, this blog commenter isn't the kind of person they intend to target.

Turns out that Mary has her own blog and, once we tracked her down, she gave us permission to post this.


  • Comment number 1.

    """""If we'd asked the government to give a comment, which we didn't,""""""

    Why didn't you ask them to comment ?

    Maybe the BBC is afraid of the answer.

  • Comment number 2.

    Tempted to say a simple too little too late Damon.

    Perhaps had the front page and/or blogs reflected rather than ignored or gave the reverse view of what is on the minds of disabled people as express daily on the Ouch message baords a year ago this blog post would be worthy of kudos but this late in the day, when the impending closure of the boards is fast approcaing without any replies about the substance of our concerns and details of the equalities implications, it is not. :(

  • Comment number 3.

    I think Damon, only you failed to realise that Mary is in fact Batsgirl, one of the Ouch message boards most loved and much respected long time poster, of about 5 years or more.
    if you cant recognise your own posters off your own board then it is probably you who should be job hunting.

  • Comment number 4.

    "There is an anxiety that the current program which aims to get people off benefits and back to work, is not intelligent enough to capture the complex circumstances of many disabled people. "

    Sorry Damon - It's not the system that lacks intelligence it's the people who design it and operate it!

    That from a Crip On benefits! Hell - if crips get the managerial errors in that one just think what we could do for the planet!

    "Mary applied some gentle satire and cynicism.."

    Sorry I can't post what I would say - the response would be so Cynical and Satirical it would make "Frankie" Boyle" look like a Mother Teresa!

    "If we'd asked the government to give a comment, which we didn't, ..."

    And why didn't you? At least you could report they declined to comment! Is it that BBC News Editorial Standards on Fairness - balance and the opportunity to respond aint reached Ouch Upstairs yet?

    Maybe some think that asking on point questions of the government on Disability is not worth doing? But then again - it has to be done to report when BBC News Editorial Guidelines apply!

    "... we think they'd probably suggest that.."

    Bias and error! Your personal views and supposition can not be substituted for a valid political response!

    Please do your homework and rewrite this blog when it conforms to BBC Editorial standards on Political Reporting - Impartiality - and even Common Sense!

    Could you also let us know over on Ouch the contact details for the BBC Human Resources Dept? I hear they are recruiting!

    There's some "gentle satire and cynicism" for you!

  • Comment number 5.

    Damon, you didn't advise David Cameron on the 7000 cancer sufferers in PM's question time by any chance today?? In all seriousness, as the above posters have said, perhaps you should read the boards and look at the anguish being administered by this and the last governments idea "to get people back to work"

    Seriously, I've only been on the board a few months and if you honestly think the stories of hardship, worry, inability to eat, heat and pay bills, due to people being wrongly found capable for work. Then you really don't have a clue my friend.. People like Hossy, Peter, David G, JLRACC and everyone else are doing what the BBC News and Ouch should be doing and speaking up against this reform..

    Seriously, you need to educate yourself.. Perhaps if you had taken notice a while ago, we wouldn't be in this predicament.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm sure you'll agree that Mary's comment was particularly well written and summed up a lot of frustrations. The fact we recognised this, and also read noteworthy blogs, kinda shows at least a mild understanding of the issues, I'd venture but I know I can't win on an open discussion area. I'll leave the final word to someone better than me ...

  • Comment number 7.

    Blimey! Some folks don't know when to stop!

    First it's "If we'd asked the government to give a comment, which we didn't, we think they'd probably suggest..."

    You haven't explained why the question was not put to the right people!

    Now it's "I'm sure you'll agree that Mary's comment was particularly well written and summed up a lot of frustrations. "

    First it's telling us what you think the Governments view is - rather than asking them!

    Then it's telling readers what their opinions will be!!

    Does He Take Sugar?

  • Comment number 8.

    ahh one blog and all is forgiven. Is that how it is?

  • Comment number 9.

    But these are the questions that people have been attempting, despite limited time, energy and opportunity, to put forward for months. Why were the BBC not asking these questions and raising these issues months ago? I know it is much nicer to have a rose tinted belief that everything will be fine, but it clearly isn't for far too many people! Eight thousand people with disabilities marched against the cuts and many more campaigned online, yet this was barely mentioned by the BBC at all. Sorry Damon, but you missed the boat here. The government have a wonderful excuse that we misinterpret things because you post what you feel the government intends without ever asking.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think the cry of labour about 7,000 Cancer patients losing £96 a week is pathetic, it was they that forced the cancer patients to go through these medicals in the first place, Miliband said he did not, but we have seen people with cancer being told to work by that great socialist company ATOS.

    This has nothing to do with work and everything on cutting benefits, because none of the Parties have done anything to force companies to employ people like myself.

    I'd love to return to work for 20 hours a week, but the fact is after 1000 job applications I had four replies and everyone of them was negative.

    The Job center asked me to do a trial and not put down any disability issues on my applications and I did ten, and had nine replies.

    Labour and the Tories with Blair and brown they spent to long discussing welfare with the Tories and the Liberals.

    Not the best way to run a country.

  • Comment number 11.

    There are dozens of people who know better than you.
    If you are going to write blogs, then you are going to fail.
    Look at the competition Damon, you even wrote this blog on the back of two very good bloggers.
    You can't compare your efforts, or your understanding of the issues that are important to disabled people, to those of people like David Gillon, Mary (Batsgirl) or Kaliya (Bendygirl) Franklin.
    If this site is only going to have blogs, then I suggest you start polishing your CV, as your blogs are not going to be able to compete against the established, educated, aware and talented disability bloggers out there in internet land.

  • Comment number 12.

    Damon, thank you for praising batsgirl - but we already know how well batsgirl writes - she has been delighting us for years on here.

    Did you know that she got married very recently. Did you go along with her traumas on trying to get a disability-suited venue and suitable bridal clothes for a wheelchair user. Those would have made enlightening blogs for the government to read.

    And did you congratulate her afterwards and look at the wedding pics? I thought not. Because you do not read the posts you are not as up-to-date with the other posters as the rest of us are.

    I'm really sorry that all your disability blog is made up of a quote from batsgirl. If she had been made to feel more comfortable on Ouch a few years ago I am pretty sure she would have loved to have contributed to this site. But, unfortunately, your team have never been open to comments and suggestions from the posters, have you.

    Infact, to be truthful, you have patronised me and made me feel as though my views do not matter one bit. I do not know if other posters feel the same but I stopped trying to contact the Ouch team a long time ago. No acknowledgement to an email makes it seem that noone is listening, so why should I put myself out to give you my considered opinion.

    Many of us had very good jobs, management training and experience and years of practise at dealing with difficult situations before we became disabled, let alone counting all the training up to post-graduate level in many diverse subjects. That never goes away. and you have ignored us / me. Sadly this sort of treatment does not engender loyalty.

    I hope that things go better in your new job.

  • Comment number 13.

    Oops Damon - i think you have upturned the already-rocking boat. Why dont you do the decent thing and get on our side??
    Why dont you do the RIGHT thing , and fight alongside us to keep our message board open?? Im sure its not a big deal to you, but blogging/facebook/twitter just doesnt cut it. So will you PLEASE respond to us, and not just sit there counting the days until the board has gone, and we all go away, and you consider it no longer a problem. You cant sweep me under the carpet (my wheelchair gives the game away), so please, if you cant be bothered to respond, then find someone who will.

  • Comment number 14.

    Wonderful. The government is promoting a Jihad against the disabled 'scroungers'. ATOS heard of them ? Interrogating disabled, people have break downs and committing suicide. What does the BBC do - pull this modest provision. Nice to see as usual the BBC has it's finger on the pulse. So much for your priorities Graham Norton ??
    Yeah put it on other sites- pathetic
    Twitter Facebook forget it.

  • Comment number 15.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?


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