By Yvonne Roberts in The Guardian.
Two years ago the United Nations released the findings of a secret inquiry into state-level violations of the human rights of disabled people. Its conclusion was that a “human catastrophe” was under way. In every sphere, including employment, housing, education and social security, disabled people are hugely disadvantaged. Shamefully, that country is Britain.
In Crippled: Austerity and the Demonisation of Disabled People, Frances Ryan, a fine journalist, broadcaster and campaigner for disability rights, robustly stacks up the evidence that ought to put politicians – especially chancellors – in the dock. There, they could be tried and found guilty of the destruction of the rights, dignity, independence and mental health of too many of Britain’s14 million disabled citizens.
Ryan argues cogently that in order to distract from the extent of the impact of these inhuman measures, to reduce the allegedly “bloated welfare bill”, disabled people have been demonised as “not really disabled”. Meanwhile, the welfare state has become an instrument of punishment.
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