Thursday, 16 October 2014

We need to do a lot more than oust Lord Freud to truly help people with disabilities in the UK

Readers, you may be aware of the awful, ableist comments Conservative peer Lord Freud (real name David Freud) has made, claiming it is okay to pay people with disabilities only £2 per hour for work, less than a third of the legal minimum wage of £6.50 per hour.

As a person with autism, whose job involves helping people with disabilities, I will say that it is absolutely not okay to underpay people just because they have a disability.

Not only do we need a living wage, this living wage needs to apply to all who work-regardless of whether they have a disability or not.

Also, so many people with a disability have given important contributions to British society, like former athelete and crossbench peer Tanni Grey-Thompson. Quite a few notable MPs past and present have had disabilities as well.

Therefore, we are right to call for the sacking of Lord Freud as Welfare Minister, a role he has held for far too long. If you have not already signed a petition calling for David Freud's sacking, then please do so as soon as possible.

Sadly, as peerages are for life, David Freud will still be able to claim a £300 per day allowance he does not deserve (nor does Olly Grender, on a related note!) and does not need anyway-being the great-grandson of famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, and with several Freuds having been prominent in British society (Lucian Freud was a well renowned painter, and Clement Freud was a long-serving Liberal MP and one of the first celebrity television chefs) he inherited considerable wealth from his relatives, giving him an easy life without the peerage.

What we need to call for also is the total abolition of the House of Lords, the scrapping of all work capability assessments, which harm people with disabilities whoever administers them, and for the media to be stopped from inciting disability hate crime. I also believe we as a country all need to develop a better understanding of disability issues overall, so that we can truly appreciate and respect diversity and difference. I may have a disability, but nonetheless, in spite of the challenges I face in my daily life, I have been able to make useful contributions to my community and also to the Green Party.  

Alan.

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