Category Archives: Opinion

Mandatory Reviews and Targets

By: A.C. For years I have suspected that civil servants were on some kind of instruction, directive or incentive to knock back as many applications, of what used to be called Incapacity Benefit,   which changed to ESA, and other disability benefits … Continue reading

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ATOS Assement Appointment Scheduling and Rescheduling

By: A.C. There was a story over the weekend that caught my eye in the National as I browsed the Scottish News. The headline ran: “DWP tell stroke victim to use food banks after being left with no DLA payments” The article … Continue reading

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PIP changes

By: A.C. I have deliberately kept my computer silent over a longer period than normal. I did this because of the extraordinary changes in politics, that appear to be very right–wing and cares not about people’s rights, subverts court decisions, and … Continue reading

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Long-Term Illness Policy Changes

By: A.C. Usually when a press release is put out in the dead of night, it is probably to catch the newspaper & online media cycle for the morning. If an announcement is made hours before a political party gathering, … Continue reading

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Open Season

By: A.C. We know it is autumn when those who enjoy blasting birds from the sky for fun take to the field, or indeed  when Tesco and others fill their aisles with Christmas biscuits and chocolates, and start to use posters … Continue reading

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‘nil carborundum illegitimi’

By: A.C. Over the years of the present UK Government, I have always had an attitude of ‘nil carborundum illegitimi’. To see what this ‘dog Latin’ means, you can search it on the web. Yesterday, whilst at my local supermarket, I … Continue reading

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What’s Going On With Cuts to Benefits?

By: A.C. Over the last few days, I’ve tried to find out if the recent statements about PIP/DLA being scrapped also included the legislation which was forced through by Ian Duncan Smith after the Lords had sent the legislation back for … Continue reading

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More on IDS Resignation

By: A.C. I usually try to avoid Andrew Marr on a Sunday Morning unless there is a reason for watching.   As I get older, I no longer sit quietly and listen to politicians being interviewed.  I seem to end up uttering … Continue reading

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IDS Resigns

By: A.C. I happened to be online late the other night, when newsrooms started to broadcast the breaking news that Iain Duncan Smith had resigned from the UK Government Cabinet.   I was as puzzled by his resignation as David Cameron was … Continue reading

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Lost Voice Guy

By: S.W. I decided to avoid the usual diet of Ant and Dec and associated stupidity available on a Saturday night to attend a comedy club known as “Breakneck Comedy”. I have only been to the club once before and found … Continue reading

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Dyslexia and Discrimination

By: A.C. I bring to your attention a report that appeared recently,  about a woman who has dyslexia, and has won a Disability Discrimination Act tribunal against her employer Starbucks.     Messeret Kumulchew was a supervisor at a branch of Starbucks … Continue reading

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Human Rights, Europe and the UN

By: A.C. There are 30 Articles in the Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations. Article 25 is one that concerns the disabled and their rights in welfare and social security, and employment. Article 25. (1)Everyone has the right to … Continue reading

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Bus Pass Discrimination

By: A.C. It is no surprise that I read today of woman in Gloucestershire who was refused access to a Stagecoach bus.    The woman presented her bus pass, for a journey she made daily to see her daughter, as she … Continue reading

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PIP and Reality

By: A.C. It was with a wry smile I saw the inevitable but expected review by the UK Government on the definition of what disability is, as regards the qualification for PIP reported in by Frances Ryan in the Guardian. … Continue reading

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ESA changes and Burns

By: A.C. It is ironic that on 25 January, 257 years since the birthday of Robert Burns, when thousands of Scots and others will toast the immortal memory of the Scots’ National Bard, the controversial Work and Welfare Reform Bill … Continue reading

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Immigration, the NHS and Landlords

By: A.C. The Tory Conference this year does seem to have thrown up contradictory statements and promises of swingeing and radical legislation. Unfortunately, Theresa May the Home Secretary does not seem to like people who come from foreign lands and … Continue reading

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Fringe Comments at Conference

By: A.C. The Tory party Conference 2015 did attract some fringe groupings, though one lobby group with lot to say for itself was the Taxpayers Alliance, which at fringe meeting, its Chairman stated an unsettling policy proposal for Hard–Right Tories … Continue reading

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Conference and Universal Credit

By: A.C I try to be apolitical and have never joined a political party. However, I can spot when politicians engage in contradictory lies and hypocrisy, and that is not a hard task, because as the old joke says “you … Continue reading

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False Examples

By: A.C. How many of us were shocked at the recent revelations about the DWP using stock photos and very dodgy stories to illustrate how wonderful – in the view of the DWP – the sanctions system is? The leaflets … Continue reading

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WRAG And The Budget

By: A.C. I watched the Budget on Wednesday 8 July 2015 and found my blood–pressure rising as IDS fist–pumped the air, and mouthed “Fantastic” as George Osborne announced the Welfare Cuts  The relevant, and almost incidental reference by George Osborne … Continue reading

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PIP Court Case

By:A.C Last week Judge Patterson at the High Court in London ruled that “delays of at least nine months for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) for these “most vulnerable” of people were unreasonable. According to a BBC Report, Minister for Disabled … Continue reading

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Human Rights

By: A.C. I do not as a rule, use cynical and satirical humour in the production of these articles. I may hint at my own cynical view of Government and its androids at the DWP who seem devoid of humanity, … Continue reading

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The coming cuts

By: A.C. Ian Duncan Smith has been re-appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Work and Pensions. His smug grin can be seen almost anywhere in the press. There is little I can say that would be printable on this page, or … Continue reading

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‘Shared Space’, Sight-impairment and City Planning

By: A.C. Kirkintilloch is a small town nestling at the foot of The Campsie Hills to the north and east of Glasgow. Kirkintilloch, when I was a youth, was still a ‘dry’ town, meaning that a local referendum could ban … Continue reading

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Are They Still Out To Get Us?

By: A.C. This week has seen a series of articles, reports and warnings about how the delays in payments of Personal Independence Payments, DLA and the obstructive attitude by Jobcentre staff.  Last year about this time I wrote an article … Continue reading

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Terminology and Definitions

By: A.C. Do any of you remember the Monty Python Film, “Life of Brian”? A sketch which showed Brian attending a secret political meeting, and the various characters are arguing about their freedom fighters group title? “Excuse me. Are you … Continue reading

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Interpreters in Hospital

By: A.C. Like many people, I probably take my sight and hearing for granted. As I have got older, my hearing has dulled a little, and my once very sharp vision has become a little out of focus and has … Continue reading

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Buses and Access

By: A.C. I am sure that most of our readership is well aware of the issues surrounding the court case brought by Yorkshire man Tom Paulley against First Bus – which is headquartered in Aberdeen – regarding disabled spaces on … Continue reading

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Maximus and ATOS

By: A.C. There are a quite few creatures in the animal world that can, when threatened, will use camouflage to hide. The animal will change its appearance dramatically, sometimes in seconds, like the squid for example, and the colour change … Continue reading

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Tax Summaries

By: A.C. I am always very suspicious when two apparently disparate stories emerge from Government, from two separate departments, yet both relate to benefits and welfare, in further cuts proposed and what appears to be Government propaganda being published in … Continue reading

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Welfare and Healing

By: A.C. There appear to be various comments and articles over the weekend, which in no uncertain, and sometimes very blunt language, comment about what seems like an undiluted attack on the disabled by the DWP, and in particular those … Continue reading

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Ebola and the 24hour news cycle

By: A.C. I think we have all been well informed of every detail about Ebola Virus in the last few weeks. In some ways the continuous rolling news coverage tends to over-sensitise the viewer to what is happening. It is … Continue reading

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Minimum Wage

By: A.C. Lord Freud is not someone who is immediately recognisable. His name came to the fore today ( 15 October) in an exchange in the House of Commons when Ed Milliband stated that this person had been secretly recorded … Continue reading

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Rights

By: A.C Several libraries could be filled with the opinions, research and ideas of many intellectuals and philosophers, who have tried over the last few hundred years to understand why poverty, social need, disability and welfare is not something that … Continue reading

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West and the Wheelchair User

By: A.C. I have written about “Hidden Disability” on this blog before. A rather nasty incident occurred on the other side of the World which I’ve only just become aware of, probably due to all the news time being centered … Continue reading

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PIP and Reform

By: A.C. On this blog, it is quite clear from my previous articles, that I have tried to highlight the unfairness of the welfare reforms and how that causes continual uncertainty, a feeling of being “ got at” just for … Continue reading

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Mugiemoss

By:A.C. I took a wander down Mugiemoss Road recently, and it is clear that even if this road opens to through traffic, then the whole area will be transformed. From Station Road, where the original Buxburn Station ( as it … Continue reading

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Waiting for an appointment.

By: A.C. Quite a number of years back, my GP was granted the right to take on diabetes care in the community. Now that might seem like a good idea, but always remember that GPs are a private contractor to … Continue reading

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Update on ATOS

By: A.C. I discovered this report in the online magazine ComputerworldUk that ATOS is to be awarded a £10 Million pound contract to continue providing IT information systems to the DWP until 2016. This report is unfortunately what I suspected … Continue reading

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ATOS and the Commonwealth Games

By: A.C. Hopefully, despite the troubling problem of Norovirus “doing the rounds” amongst security staff, all will go smoothly. One Company “Sponsor member” that will be there regardless, despite the Norovirus, is ATOS. Somehow I missed this fact, or perhaps … Continue reading

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Too Much Too Soon?

By: G.F. In an attempt to understand social deprivation Ian Duncan Smith (IDS) visited Easterhouse in Glasgow some time ago. One can only imagine it was part of a bigger strategy to tackle U.K. long term unemployment (reduce the welfare … Continue reading

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The Perfect Storm?

By: A.C. It is always the case that Charities have a fine line to tread when they have to speak out about the cause they represent. Someone will brand any communication they make as “political”. This was the case in … Continue reading

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Pointless

By: A.C. I am most likely not alone in receiving those brown envelopes from the DWP, with the intimidating letter inside which silently causes confusion and bafflement as one tries to decrypt the coded message therein. We have all used … Continue reading

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The hierarchy of disability

<Editor’s note: Aberdeen Action on Disability regard all of our service users as equals. If we can help, we will help, regardless of who you are or the severity or cause of your condition.> By:A.C. How disabled people see themselves, … Continue reading

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Hate Crime

By:A.C. In researching this article about ‘hate crime’ against the disabled, I was faced with a barrage of statistics and conflicting reasons for what is legislated here. “Hate crime involves any criminal offence motivated by malice and ill-will towards a … Continue reading

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PIP, Mobility and Road Accidents

By:A.C. Police Scotland have announced a new Road Traffic Campaign. The quotes copied below are from the press release. This campaign is aimed at drivers in Aberdeen and Moray, because 8 more fatal crashes have been identified over the last … Continue reading

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Welfare Reform & Charity

By:A.C. Earlier this year our Facebook page had links about the rise of Food-banks and the secret advice given to Civil Servants. It is reported that Senior Civil Servant Neil Couling, from the DWP attended the Holyrood Welfare reform Committee … Continue reading

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Universal Credit?

By:G.F. Have you ever wondered what universal credit means? There are plans to introduce a new means of supporting people who receive state benefits. One large organisation which is a U.S.P. (universal service provider) is the Royal Mail (R.M.) I … Continue reading

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Discrimination and Language

By: A.C. This week saw the Mayor of Swindon stand up in his Council Chamber and use offensive terminology about Downs Syndrome that I thought went out in the 1960’s. His defence was that he grew up in a society … Continue reading

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Expenses and Hypocrisy

<Editor’s Note: This is an opinion piece, and represents no more or less than one person’s view. It has been published with starting a conversation in mind.> By: A.C. I tend to give political matters on this blog a bit … Continue reading

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ATOS Quits

By: A.C. It has been reported today Thursday 27 March 2014 -that ATOS has quit its contract with the Department of Work and Pensions early.  ATOS were hated by all who were subjected unfairly to its cavalier approach to people’s … Continue reading

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The Paralympics and the Crimea question.

<editor’s note: This is an opinion piece which presents one opinion on the Sochi Paraylmpics situation, there are of course many others. Do you agree? Disagree? Should sport and politics mix? The comment section is open at the bottom of … Continue reading

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Flooding and Disability

By: A.C. With regard to the present flooding disaster in the south of England, our thoughts have to be well-wishing and hope that their plight ends soon. Those farmers and rural workers produce food, and that land, which is normally … Continue reading

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Update on Taxis

<Editor’s note: For the original article please click here.> By: A.C. It would appear that Boro Taxis in Teeside, have been halted in their threatened discriminatory actions against the disabled, by enforcement of the Equality Act 2010. Apparently, Boro Taxis … Continue reading

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Taxis and Discrimination

<Editor’s note: This article was written before the issue in Teeside was resolved, but we felt that it was still worth publishing. A follow up article about the resolution can be found here.> By: A.C Some of you may remember … Continue reading

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Are “They” out to get us?

By: A.C. The Government have announced yet another ’crackdown’ on benefit cheats. In selected areas of the country, they will try different methods of reminding claimants that they have to report changes in circumstances. these are usually things like obtaining … Continue reading

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Yet More Cuts Ahead

By A.C. It was with a heavy cynical and weary sigh, when I heard George Osborne announce further austerity cuts of £25 Billion following the next election. He specifically mentioned that almost half of these would come from further cuts … Continue reading

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Gene-testing questions.

By A.C. I have a personal interest in my genetic code. My daughter died from breast cancer, and I wanted to know why. So I carefully worked back through the family history records, and began to realise that the problem … Continue reading

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