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  • New Statesman – Dr. Frances Ryan
    equal autonomous beings with the right to control their own bodies or they are not and as such should at the least be judged for their choices or at the most have their right to make them withdrawn Choosing to have an abortion is either to fetishise selfishness and individualism or a complicated personal decision Personal meaning both that the decision is yours alone and that your decision is only for you For anti choicers it s a point that s routinely missed That you reacted to an ultrasound with a smile and tear does not mean that others don t react with fear and sickness That you have the money and a partner to feel financially and emotionally secure does not mean that others don t sit pregnant in poverty alone That the picture on the ultrasound screen is to you a loved baby stretched and sleeping does not mean that to others it isn t an unwanted collection of cells It s the same as the women who having regretted an abortion go on to campaign to take other women s right to have one One person s experience does not define someone else s And it shouldn t dictate it To be progressive you have to accept that There is I m afraid no choice on that one Twitter storms sexism and the relevance of novelty feminism January 3 2012 December 2 2012 francesryan18 Leave a comment The New Statesman taught us two things last week women are capable of being angry or ANGRY about more than one thing at once and ranting on Twitter about it won t actually solve anything Depending on whether you re in the Lewis or the Ball corner that means you either woke up on New Year resolving to make 2012 the year you would become less outraged or vowed to make it the year that you would become outraged about absolutely everything In highlighting the way online anger fests like Pandagate are essentially futile James Ball had a point The structural sexism that displays itself in multiple forms and affects at least half of the people on the planet will not be solved by ensuring that next year the BBC makes everyone on their Faces of the Year Women list a human I imagine few thought it would It isn t just the thinking of those expressing anger that matters though but those they hope are listening Even being generous enough to believe women capable of tweeting about a panda and lobbying for better representation in Parliament it s a genuine worry that it s the trivial point that will get noticed Whether it is actually being said louder or not it s a reality that the superficial or novelty feminism is easiest to hear It s time we questioned this sense of constant competition both in what feminists are permitted to care about and what we want others to If it s insulting to claim women can t be

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/new-statesman/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Paralympics – Dr. Frances Ryan
    rather than David Beckham is the face of Sainsbury s Paralympic adverts And one where Royal Mail was always planning to celebrate Paralympics winners in the same way as Olympians rather than changing its mind to produce a stamp for each individual or team ParalympicsGB gold medal win in response to public demand The problem was never Sainsbury s then but the society that makes a company feel it is necessary to lean on non disabled celebrity to make a disabled event sellable In this society disability is other and marginalised It isn t pretty or successful and it s not a lifestyle the customer is thought to want to buy What Sainsbury s did wasn t a sign of prejudice or willful exclusion It was a reflection of the society they are working within Similar can be said for Royal Mail though I have considerably less sympathy here Rightly or wrongly the original decision to celebrate Paralympians less than Olympians was made because a company thought this appropriate They thought excuses of logistical and practical impossibility in printing a large number of stamps would satisfy the public and symbolic and literal inequality would be accepted It wasn t and they u turned suitably I applaud Sainsbury s efforts to make Paralympic sport more mainstream I share Mr King s pleasure that more children are participating and perhaps more their parents are understanding the importance But it does no one any good to cite this as evidence of a vast shift in perception or to ignore the fact a non disabled face isn t just part of an ensemble but out in front Could Sainsbury s have scrapped David Beckham and focused purely on disabled athletes Yes Would this have had the same economic or commercial success No If this is ever going to change considerable measures need to be taken The first as they say is admitting you ve got a problem Inaccessibility pushes disabled people further on to the edges July 12 2012 December 2 2012 francesryan18 2 Comments When it was announced that London would host the 2012 Paralympics I imagine that behind the officials smiles there was nervous laughter Our Paralympics will bring athletes to a city that many of them would not normally be able to get around and will celebrate the strengths of people with disabilities in surroundings that exclude and weaken them Sub standard provision for disabled people is widespread a global condition that makes any country hosting the Games seem unfit Beijing faced not only the barrier of inaccessible transport but a prevailing ignorant attitude to disability Coming after a country whose public widely view disabled people as abnormal Britain may be tempted to be smug as this year s host But against a backdrop of welfare cuts and rising disability hate crime to position ourselves as the civilised alternative is difficult Yet position ourselves we have a commitment to deliver the most accessible Games ever was central to Britain s bid

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/paralympics/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Tanni Grey-Thompson – Dr. Frances Ryan
    voice in opposition being amongst a group of peers and campaigners who signed a letter to the Telegraph stating their concern that it would see vulnerable disabled elderly people treated as if their lives are worth less than those of everyone else For New Statesman I spoke to her about life in the Lords disability and conversations about death The L word Paralympics one year on August 20 2013 August 25 2013 francesryan18 Leave a comment This month sees the first anniversary of London s Paralympics and an inevitable need to ask one year on from a burst of optimism around disability rights where are we now In my column for The Guardian I argued that in light of the benefit changes that have disproportionately hit disabled people this year the legacy of the Games is in fact cuts cuts cuts For New Statesman I spoke to Tanni Grey Thompson Sophie Christiansen triple Gold medalist at 2012 Dame Anne Begg MP Anne McGuire MP Shadow Minister for Disabled People campaigners and benefit recipients The aim was to build a picture of disability in Britain in 2013 One year on from the Paralympics for many it appears things are getting worse About Frances Frances Ryan is a freelance journalist She writes The Guardian s austerity column Hardworking Britain She appears on television and radio shows from BBC s Sunday Politics to Radio 4 s Woman s Hour and speaks at political events around the country She has a doctorate in politics covering inequality in opportunity in education She detests speaking in the third person Follow me on Twitter My Tweets Subscribe Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts Recent Posts Now Britain needs clothes banks too What sort of society are we living in How the battle

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/tanni-grey-thompson/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Disability – Page 3 – Dr. Frances Ryan
    action Access to Work AtW is the shiny coin in the coalition s bigger disability and employment parcel According to latest DWP figures more than a quarter of a million more people with disabilities were in mainstream work in 2014 compared with the year before What it won t tell you is that almost twice as many fell out of work in 2012 or that the disabled pay gap has doubled since the government came to power Neither does it mention that as of this month almost half of the 1 500 or so staff at former Remploy factories still haven t found new jobs We are back in the smoke and mirrors coming out of Iain Duncan Smith s department If you listen to legal teams opposing the AtW changes aspects of it are inconsistent unlawful and opaque Talk to disabled people actually experiencing it and they report payment delays incompetent administration and a climate of suspicion around their claims Advisers have guidance on what AtW now does and doesn t cover but because the changes haven t been published all we can put our hands on is that limits have been imposed on the amount of support worker hours that are permitted and major restructuring in how AtW is being delivered has led to delays in people s money Deaf people who need sign language interpreters have been particularly penalised with the cuts to support workers hours Jenny Sealey who runs a disabled led theatre company that employs 80 deaf and disabled people every year has gone from co directing the Paralympic 2012 opening ceremony to being left in fear for her career after her support was cut by half It gives some insight into the mindset of those with their hands on the controls that they can promote the need to get disabled people into work while enacting measures that make it impossible The DWP has a fetish for setting standards that can t be met Jobseekers sanctioned for missing an appointment they didn t know they had ESA applicants with degenerative conditions told they are fit for work and now disabled workers expected to be another stat in the employment figures while having their support cut changed and delayed This is the same short term rationale that is leading to the closure of the Independent Living Fund and cuts to Personal Independence Payments and one measure can t be separated from the other Barely midway into office the coalition declared that 500 000 disabled people would have their care or mobility allowance stopped with apparent ignorance that this would lose the exchequer 278m in lost national insurance and income tax as well as 178m in unemployment benefits to pay out when people could no longer physically get to work It does not take advanced economics to grasp that if you tamper with the support disabled people rely on being in the office with a personal assistant soon becomes being trapped at home staring at the kitchen walls If we are going to reduce people to profit we can at least get the maths right Read the full column at The Guardian here Yes people can starve in benefit sanctions Britain December 12 2014 francesryan18 2 Comments Hunger stalks this country is the finding of a church funded report by an all party group of MPs and peers released today Lady Jenkin a Conservative used its launch to declare the main cause of this national crisis was poor people who do not know how to cook Jenkin is symbolic of a climate of denial privilege and power that dismisses food poverty as a symptom of the idiot poor The desperation of men women and children detailed in the report may be worth a few minutes pause from our leaders and officials the unemployed woman from Birkenhead who was taken to hospital with malnutrition after not eating for five days because she had no money to buy food the heavily pregnant woman and her partner found living without food in a child s tent near a church in a wealthy Berkshire town in the middle of winter a Wirral man crushed to death after a lorry picked up the bin in which he was scavenging for food He had not funnily enough lost a recipe or failed to work the oven The jobcentre had suspended his benefits and he had received no money for 17 weeks Social security cuts in the form largely of what the report terms these heavy handed benefit sanctions play a crucial role in this widespread hunger Almost 2 million people have had their benefits stopped through the sanctions regime over the past two years If it can get more grotesque that includes a 580 rise against chronically ill and disabled people in the 12 months to March 2014 Benefit sanctions are being handed out with such ease at this point we may as well be kicking the unemployed into the gutter and removing the scraps of food from their hands For The Guardian this week I wrote about the link between food poverty and government led benefit sanctions and the latest damning report You can read the full column here Starving disabled children are symbol of a cuts agenda with no conscience November 27 2014 November 27 2014 francesryan18 1 Comment Lorna Jamison is selling things from her home in Haverhill Suffolk to buy her two sons winter coats Family photo frames ornaments and toys whatever she can get her hands on and will get some money quickly She s full time carer to Ellis who is six and has Asperger syndrome and the benefits the family gets aren t enough to pay for basics like food and gas The bedroom tax took 20 a week Lorna appealed to the council owing to Ellis s disability and won but still hasn t been given back what was overpaid Lorna has taken out three payday loans and two further high interest loans in the

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/category/disability-2/page/3/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Disability Living Allowance – Dr. Frances Ryan
    Payment PIP have had their claim decided DWP figures revealed this month Meanwhile almost two out of three people who apply for PIP are receiving nothing at all unless they are terminally ill They re the first figures to be released since the PIP s rollout began to replace Disability Living Allowance DLA the outgoing benefit to help people with mobility or care problems and present an initial picture of widespread delays backlogs and rejections I reported for New Statesman on the people stroke victims people with almost total hearing loss and school leavers with severe mental health problems who are being rejected for the new benefit or waiting ten months to even have an assessment The system just isn t working Ken a carer for his ex partner told me No one s following the rules or their own guidance DWP blame Atos Atos blame DWP legal aid cuts mean people can t challenge the system you end up going round in circles I m at my wits end 5 benefit changes the government don t want you to know about November 29 2013 November 30 2013 francesryan18 Leave a comment It used to be that when politicians wanted to bury bad news they d orchestrate its release to time with a distracting event Seeing Iain Duncan Smith publicly criticized for wasting at least 140 million of public money over Universal Credit at the start of this month it struck me how we ve slowly reached another level Unmitigated disaster Alarmingly weak These words were used to describe Universal Credit but could easily have been levelled at a number of largely unreported changes to the benefit system Nowadays bad news is buried by even worse news The sheer volume of inefficient and unethical changes to social security this Government has enacted means some of it doesn t even get noticed Which for a set of politicians hacking at vulnerable people s support systems is worryingly convenient So with that in mind for New Statesman this week I picked out some recent changes that have gone largely unnoticed From unjustifiably sanctioning disabled people s benefits to permanently stopping support for some long term sick here s five benefit changes the government don t want you to know about Bedroom tax and DHPs when the help promised to the disabled fails July 22 2013 September 3 2013 francesryan18 Leave a comment Back before the bedroom tax was introduced when it was just emerging that two thirds of the people affected would be disabled or long term sick the Government routinely heralded Discretionary Housing Payments DHPs as the solution This always seemed unlikely considering the deficit between the size of the fund and the number of people needing help The past week has seen the first confirmation of what was feared Carers are facing debt and eviction after having to pay the bedroom tax according to a study by Carers UK 1 in 3 disabled people applying for emergency rent help are

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/disability-living-allowance/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Personal Independence Payments – Dr. Frances Ryan
    work Last year it seems that the government started quietly cutting the amount of support available resulting in payment delays and fewer hours of help But as the changes were never publicly announced even the people using the scheme are in the dark The Department for Work and Pensions only just agreed to publish the guidance that shows who is eligible for support and that was after campaigners threatened legal action Access to Work AtW is the shiny coin in the coalition s bigger disability and employment parcel According to latest DWP figures more than a quarter of a million more people with disabilities were in mainstream work in 2014 compared with the year before What it won t tell you is that almost twice as many fell out of work in 2012 or that the disabled pay gap has doubled since the government came to power Neither does it mention that as of this month almost half of the 1 500 or so staff at former Remploy factories still haven t found new jobs We are back in the smoke and mirrors coming out of Iain Duncan Smith s department If you listen to legal teams opposing the AtW changes aspects of it are inconsistent unlawful and opaque Talk to disabled people actually experiencing it and they report payment delays incompetent administration and a climate of suspicion around their claims Advisers have guidance on what AtW now does and doesn t cover but because the changes haven t been published all we can put our hands on is that limits have been imposed on the amount of support worker hours that are permitted and major restructuring in how AtW is being delivered has led to delays in people s money Deaf people who need sign language interpreters have been particularly penalised with the cuts to support workers hours Jenny Sealey who runs a disabled led theatre company that employs 80 deaf and disabled people every year has gone from co directing the Paralympic 2012 opening ceremony to being left in fear for her career after her support was cut by half It gives some insight into the mindset of those with their hands on the controls that they can promote the need to get disabled people into work while enacting measures that make it impossible The DWP has a fetish for setting standards that can t be met Jobseekers sanctioned for missing an appointment they didn t know they had ESA applicants with degenerative conditions told they are fit for work and now disabled workers expected to be another stat in the employment figures while having their support cut changed and delayed This is the same short term rationale that is leading to the closure of the Independent Living Fund and cuts to Personal Independence Payments and one measure can t be separated from the other Barely midway into office the coalition declared that 500 000 disabled people would have their care or mobility allowance stopped with apparent ignorance that this would lose the exchequer 278m in lost national insurance and income tax as well as 178m in unemployment benefits to pay out when people could no longer physically get to work It does not take advanced economics to grasp that if you tamper with the support disabled people rely on being in the office with a personal assistant soon becomes being trapped at home staring at the kitchen walls If we are going to reduce people to profit we can at least get the maths right Read the full column at The Guardian here Benefit sanctions an inhumane system that s out of control September 9 2014 September 10 2014 francesryan18 1 Comment The coroner said that when David Clapson died he had no food in his stomach Clapson s benefits had been stopped as a result of missing one meeting at the jobcentre He was diabetic and without the 71 70 a week from his jobseeker s allowance he couldn t afford to eat or put credit on his electricity card to keep the fridge where he kept his insulin working Three weeks later Clapson died from diabetic ketoacidosis caused by a severe lack of insulin A pile of CVs was found next to his body I ll resist calling Clapson s death a tragedy Tragedy suggests a one off incident a rarity that couldn t be prevented What was done to Clapson and it was done not something that simply happened is a particularly horrific example of what has almost silently turned into a widespread crisis More than a million people in this country have had their benefits stopped over the past year Sanctions against chronically ill and disabled people have risen by 580 in a year This is a system out of control A petition for an inquiry into benefit sanctions started by Clapson s sister Gill Thompson is now on the verge of its 200 000th signature This Thursday there will be a day of action against benefit sanctions across the country If inspiration is required you need look no further than the latest Department for Work and Pensions pilot scheme launched last week The unemployed are set to have their benefits stopped if they don t sign in at a jobcentre in the morning and spend the whole day there every day Breach the rules once and you ll lose four weeks worth of benefits twice and you won t be able to feed your kids for three months Yes some reasons for sanctions are almost laughable going to a job interview rather than a meeting at the jobcentre that it clashes with not completing an assessment because you had a heart attack during it But let s not convince ourselves the rest are credible punishment sensibly bestowed on the scrounging unemployed A government that deems it a success to stop the money someone needs to eat is a government of the grotesque Sanctions are a product of an attitude towards benefit claimants

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/personal-independence-payments/ (2016-02-16)
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  • society security – Dr. Frances Ryan
    appears to be an alarming ease in accepting what would be a fundamental redefinition of the right to disability support Universal disability benefits by definition are a provision to pay for the extra costs of disability a personal assistant in order to be able to wash or a wheelchair in order to move Life costs an astounding 550 more a month on average if you are disabled In this delusion a disabled person living on barely 11 000 a year is in luxury with spare money left over for tax Keep that in mind when the government suggests that a tax on this support is acceptable because it would exempt any disabled person earning less than the personal income tax allowance currently 10 600 In this delusion a disabled person living on barely 11 000 a year is in luxury with spare money left over for tax As The Spectator claimed recently taxing the disabled would simply mean taxing the sharp elbowed middle classes For my latest In Plain View column for The Guardian I argue why taxing disability benefits is a cut by another name About Frances Frances Ryan is a freelance journalist She writes The Guardian s austerity column Hardworking Britain She appears on television and radio shows from BBC s Sunday Politics to Radio 4 s Woman s Hour and speaks at political events around the country She has a doctorate in politics covering inequality in opportunity in education She detests speaking in the third person Follow me on Twitter My Tweets Subscribe Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts Recent Posts Now Britain needs clothes banks too What sort of society are we living in How the battle to save Lincolnshire s libraries became a full time job Luke Loy had a

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/society-security/ (2016-02-16)
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  • domestic violence – Dr. Frances Ryan
    cap forcing the Government into a judicial review at the High Court Others are women like Rachel and Sarah who have fled domestic violence and due to high London rents and an arbitrary cap on benefits are struggling to feed their children and stay safe This week for New Statesman I looked at the human impact of the benefit cap and the women taking the Government on Domestic violence and Disability October 22 2013 francesryan18 Leave a comment Safiya is in a cellar She s ten years old and is deaf and mute It s cold and damp and she can t hear who s coming An elderly man slaps her She is raped The man and his wife make her serve them She cooks the meals and cleans the house She washes their car and is told to do the same for their friends He beats her It s ten years later and the only way she can speak is through facial gestures She s ordered to sleep on a sheet on the concrete floor The bones in her back are sore He rapes her and in her head where she has a voice she calls him the bad old man Safiya s story is an extreme instance one of slavery trafficking and concrete basements But it brings to light an issue that goes on behind more doors than we imagine One of easy abuse and easy cover ups I looked at the issue of domestic violence and Deaf victims for New Statesman today inspired by the horrific case of a young Deaf Pakistani girl whose abusers are due to be sentenced this week For a wider report on disability and domestic piece here s a previous piece I wrote for The Guardian Domestic violence and disability November 25 2012 December 4 2012 francesryan18 4 Comments According to research by Women s Aid one in four women experience domestic violence For women with a disability this figure doubles Be it at the hands of their partner family or carer almost one in two disabled women will be abused in their lifetime Some of their experiences fit within traditional definitions of domestic violence Some do not For a disabled woman domestic violence can take on unique complex forms often specifically related to their disability such as having medicine withheld being physically assaulted or deliberately not assisted to go to the toilet A woman s impairment can be used in the abuse says Dr Jackie Barron from Women s Aid We ve heard cases where a woman s wheelchair was removed just as she was about to sit down or a hearing aid thrown to the other side of the room leaving the victim unable to communicate Today marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the beginning of 16 days of action to end gender based abuse around the world In this country in 2012 an incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every 60

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/domestic-violence/ (2016-02-16)
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