Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack

Over half of disabled Londoners experience hostility, aggression and violence because of their disability according to a new poll reported by the BBC.

In an atmosphere of right-wing media baiting, the disabled are finding themselves the object of a persecution in everyday life. Over half of disabled Londoners have experienced hostility, aggression and even violence from strangers, because of their disability, according to a new poll reported by the BBC.

The BBC writes, on the poll of over 2,000 disabled people, that:

“Disability charity Scope, which commissioned the survey, warned a disability benefit crackdown was increasing prejudice…

“Half of London respondents to the poll said they experienced discrimination on a daily or weekly basis.

“It also found that 63% of people with disabilities in London thought others did not believe they were disabled.”

Obviously the individuals committing this foul behaviour are directly responsible. However, the government and the media shape public debate and perception on any issue, even one of simple humanity.

Many journalists cultivate the perception that if you are on a disability benefit you are either, a drug addict, a cheat, have to be forced into work, or should stop moaning because disability can be good for you. The second to last link, taken from the Mail, has a picture caption reading:

“Feet up: Claimants will lose their disability benefits as the public spending cuts bite (Posed by model).”

For an article about disabled people having their benefits cut we have a completely staged photo of a able-bodied man sitting on a sofa smoking a cigarette.

Or take this headline from The Sun: ‘Cripple’ runs marathon scam. Exactly what are they putting in those quotes. Does it read: a man claiming to be a cripple runs marathons, or a man pretending to be what some people call a ‘cripple’ runs marathons. It’s hard to work out which is more offensive.

Summing all this hate mongering up is an indicative Daily Express editorial. The first lines read:

“Bad systems encourage bad attitudes. Nowhere is that more apparent than in incapacity benefit.”

Except for the systematic reporting on incapacity benefit perhaps. If one person has been abused or suffered violence because of the social impact of this reporting, that is one person too many. It’s time our press realised how cruel, unfair and one-sided their disability coverage has become.

At the same time this government are re-testing disabled people for proof that they can’t work. The fact that 71,600 people have already successfully appealed their tests initial findings, which found them ‘fit for work’, suggests how accurate it is and where its priorities lie.

To put the debate in perspective, only one per cent of benefit is fraudulently claimed and government statistics show  “tax evasion costing the public purse over £15 billion per year and benefit fraud just over £1 billion”.

Do we have constant reports of people evading tax? Are they called ‘cheats’ and ‘parasites’ who worked the international tax haven circuit while claiming to be languishing at home under punitive taxes. No. We get an unhealthy obsession with ‘benefit cheats’ that appears to be tarring those who need societies help.

23 Responses to “Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack”

  1. Michael

    Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack – //j.mp/lVCbBj

  2. J P

    RT @TheRightArticle: Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack – //j.mp/lVCbBj

  3. Pucci Dellanno

    Tabloids share blame for hostility to disabled @BiancaJagger RT @leftfootfwd Aggression is a fact of life //bit.ly/iG4QzH by @dbr1981

  4. Selohesra

    “Do we have constant reports of people evading tax? Are they called ‘cheats’ and ‘parasites’ who worked the international tax haven circuit while claiming to be languishing at home under punitive taxes?”

    Perhaps I’m mistaken but I could have sworn that there has been endless attacks on the likes of Green & Ashcroft (but not The Guardian) for their use of tax mitigation techniques – some of which being made in quite pejorative language.

  5. Mason Dixon, Autistic

    Selohesra, the difference being that those are public individuals. The targets of the tabloids are not; even wrong-doing cheats do not have the resources to fight newspapers that mix truth with speculation and lies about them despite the impact they could have. Nor are individuals just being targeted but large swathes of people, entire demographics of benefit claimants. This is done and then they hide behind the cynical defence that ‘of course the genuine claimants should get unconditional support, we’re not talking about them but the scroungers’. They know the effect their rhetoric has, but they do it anyway and their empty platitudes don’t change that.

  6. Bianca Jagger

    #RespectRightsofDisabled RT @leftfootfwd: Aggression is a fact of life 4 d disabled in London, as d tabloids continue..//t.co/zkXD7CT

  7. Ja ime

    #RespectRightsofDisabled RT @leftfootfwd: Aggression is a fact of life 4 d disabled in London, as d tabloids continue..//t.co/zkXD7CT

  8. Larry Gardiner

    Disability hate crime is a daily hazard for people with disabilities! //fb.me/SSAgmDhJ

  9. Vanessa

    Disability hate crime is a daily hazard for people with disabilities! //fb.me/SSAgmDhJ

  10. jessica mitchell

    #RespectRightsofDisabled RT @leftfootfwd: Aggression is a fact of life 4 d disabled in London, as d tabloids continue..//t.co/zkXD7CT

  11. DavidG

    Further coverage from BBC Radio Kent, //www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00h6qvy/Breakfast_with_John_Warnett_and_Clare_McDonnell_13_06_2011/ see 0:09 I(my experience), 1:07 (Scope) and 2:08 (a professor from UKC). Then an hour long phone in at the start of the Julia George show //www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p009v85c. South East Today also covered it, with Mark Reckless (Con, Rochester and Chatham) responding to my story by asserting people were perfectly entitled to decide disabled people were faking it.

  12. Clive Burgess

    RT @leftfootfwd: Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack //t.co/3mkrPgv

  13. Black Triangle

    Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack | Left F //fb.me/10jaRsQEj

  14. kirst

    Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack | Left F //fb.me/10jaRsQEj

  15. Vegan Panda

    Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack | Left F //fb.me/10jaRsQEj

  16. Penny

    Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack | Left F //fb.me/X71ZyV2d

  17. BendyGirl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack //t.co/n6gY4FK

  18. Mabel Horrocks

    RT @leftfootfwd: Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack //t.co/n6gY4FK

  19. Emma James

    Aggression is a fact of life for the disabled in London, as the tabloids continue to attack //t.co/pHrmyFd

  20. Government’s spin war against disabled continues | Left Foot Forward

    […] abuse and violence. As reported previously on Left Foot Forward, a recent survey for charity Scope  in the capital found that: “Half of London respondents to the poll said they experienced […]

  21. The DWP’s ‘scrounger’ rhetoric is causing real harm | Left Foot Forward

    […] Browne wrote: Many journalists cultivate the perception that if you are on a disability benefit you are either, […]

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