28 December 2013
Afshin Rattansi goes underground on how Atos treats the disabled, speaking exclusively to veteran Labour MP, Dennis Skinner. It seems the company is trying to fill a quota, as it pushes the most vulnerable in society back into work. And has the government covered up the truth about the miners’ strike at Orgreave? Ian Lavery MP says it’s time we heard the truth about the violent crackdown.
By Luke James in Britain:
Disabled would-be councillor advised ‘don’t bring walking stick’
Wednesday 2nd July 2014
The Unite activist, who wished to remain anonymous, served as a Labour councillor in Lancashire and hoped to represent her new community when she moved to the West Midlands five years ago.
But she found herself frozen out of public life after being left disabled by a car crash.
Patricia Seaman read out her story to Unite delegates yesterday to unmask the “deplorable” attitude of some local Labour parties to disabled candidates.
“I have been trying for five years to get any (council) nomination without success,” the woman’s statement said.
“When I had a mentor during coaching all I was told was do not take your walking stick to the interview.
“Friends have told me that some people feel a candidate with a disability would not get elected as they cannot campaign effectively.”
Her disability does not fit with the “stereotypical image of the perfect candidate,” it added.
West Midlands delegate Paul Birkett also recounted the story of disabled Unite member David Jones who had his ambitions of reaching Parliament dashed.
Mr Birkett said: “Statistically the position of disabled candidates is quite demoralising.”
Both delegates pointed out that just 5 per cent of MPs are disabled compared to 30 per cent of people in Britain.
Unite conference called on Labour to review its selection procedure to ensure disabled people receive support — including shortlists exclusively for disabled people.