09 September 2012

Hack Journalist recommences war on the vulnerable

The greatest Paralympic games ever are all over bar tonight's closing ceremony.For all the fine words expressed it proably won't be long before the hacks are back to providing distorted and inaccurate stries about disability fraud.

It looks like one particularly unpleasant hack, Leo McKinstry,restarted the war ahead of schedule. in an Express article on 5 Septebmer titled THE PARALYMPICS SHOW UP A CORRUPT BENEFITS SYSTEM McKinstry starts off with praising the games and the participants to teh high heavens:

"The Paralympic games have shown the human spirit at its most inspirational. In every arena, we have witnessed astonishing feats of endeavour, skill and determination from competitors who refuse to be held back by their physical disabilities...  Just like in the Olympics last month, the British parlympic team has performed magnificently over recent days, reaching second place in the medal table.And our country can also take great pride in how superbly these Games have been organised and supported.
The crowds at the venues have been at capacity. Such enthusiasm reflects well on our enlightened attitude towards disability....."

But then the tone changes:

Yet some have refused to join the celebrations. Throughout the Paralympics, there has been a constant soundtrack of grievance from welfare rights campaigners who complain that coalition government’s support for the Games is in graphic contrast to their policy of social security reform... The anger of the welfare rights lobby over the Paralympics is just part of an increasingly hysterical campaign against the Government over benefits reform....

What ministers are trying to do is reform the welfare system so that it no longer rewards fraudsters and scroungers, but instead targets its funds at those most in deed... Claims have rocketed in recent decades because the system is so lax. In fact, the definition of incapacity has been remorselessly expanded to widen the scope for dependency.

No fewer than 77,000 drug addicts and alcoholics receive Disability Living Allowance because of their self-inflicted conditions, while claims for incapacity benefit are dominated, not by the physically disabled, but by those with mental health problems like depression, stress and behavioural disorders. ..  
The bill for all forms of disability and incapacity welfare now reaches over £25 billion.

Can't speak for the number of alcoholics and drug addicts on such benefits but his sneering tone about depression, stress and behavioural disorders are a disgrace. Perhaps it should be pointed out that mental health problems can't be sorted out by shouting at a person to snap out of it.persones with psychiatric

AND the anti-reform campaigners are in denial about the extent of this costly failure. They are fond of telling us that fraud represents just 0.5 per cent of disability claims, but that is a completely bogus figure.

But this is the Government's OWN  assessment of Disability Living Allowance fraud. More money is paid out in error by the Department of Work and Pension than due to fraud. Clearly McKinstry does not consider the government's own figures to be reliable.Perhaps because they don't back up his worldview.

In the courts there is a constant parade of cases involving serious benefits fraud, like the conviction last week of serial cheat Barry Brooks, who grabbed £1.8 million from the taxpayer by pretending to be confined to a wheelchair.

Brooks did not cheat on benefit ut he set up a fraudulent company which claimed that amount in bogus disability access grant. He is a fraud but not a benefits scrounger. It is a bad example of benefits fraud

In addition, the assessments carried out by the muchmaligned ATOS have helped to expose the widespread levels of abuse.  More than half of those examined have proved fit for work...

And yet  39% 0f appeals against DLA assessments are upheld. Not exactly a good statistic.

The "reality"painted by lazy hacks like McKinstry serves only to demonise the vulnerable but then that is what bullies do.


Syncopated Eyeball said...

I'm so tired of the stigma attached to mental illness. I will continue to admit to my depression and anxiety and the way in which it disables me. I receive a disability pension from the Australian governmemt.
It was difficult to come by. I am very grateful for it, though I'm aware that even saying that will set me up for ridicule in the eyes of some.
I understand that depression is difficult to understand if one has never experienced it. However, there is a mass of scientific information available for any one who believes it to be malingering or simple sadness or that it involves no physical symptoms.
So much more to say but today I can't concentrate very well - another waxing and waning of my condition.

Syncopated Eyeball said...

I meant 'another waxing and waning SYMPTOM of my condition.

Heh! Well I did say I can't concentrate today. :)

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Lazy hacks are akin to flies: you swat one and two come to replace it.

jams o donnell said...

Agreed it is people like this fuckwit McKinstnstry that perpetuate the myth that mental illness cant be disabling/Bastard

Ach Snoopy that's true