Twitter

Emergency on Planet Earth #39

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

***

With thanks to ROFA and John Pring for the following news articles. Anyone wondering about the progress of the #SaveWILG petition should scroll down as I have included a brief update, including footage of the petition being discussed by Welsh politicians.

I have also included a news report from Skwakbox below as I tried to highlight the relevant news of the day whilst struggling to find the time to formulate writing of my own. It is becoming evermore apparent that I am in dire need of my reassessment by ICS. This is part of the deal we struck with the Welsh Government to ensure that those unhappy with their Local Authority assessments could access an independent assessment.

The delays we have been facing due to the Coronavirus Crisis are unfortunate and can not be helped, but having said that I have written countless times to ICS and have to wait long periods without a reply.

I hope to have my reassessment by the end of the month, but I need time to organise such a meeting and I will be writing to ICS yet again on Monday to try to push things forward. The physical and mental strains of not receiving the support I need is exhausting, but in the meantime I you can enjoy the article below that I have managed to cobble together.

***

c7dbf7fa-ddb1-4e42-8006-d2b7f173c1e5

Unite Community are organising a National Day of Action on 15th July to highlight the injustices of Universal Credit.

Unite Community campaigns for a fairer social security system for all, which works to end poverty, and which allows claimants to live with dignity.

The three immediate demands are:

  • End the five-week wait for payment
  • Make the temporary £20 per week extra permanent and give to ALL existing benefit claimants
  • Stop Benefit Sanctions

For more details click here.

***

Government Reintroduces Benefit Sanctions During Pandemic

Disabled campaigners have described the government’s decision to reintroduce benefit sanctions – in the middle of a pandemic – as “barbaric” and “life threatening”.
The decision meant an end to the three-month suspension of benefit sanctions and conditionality* in England, Scotland and Wales, which had been introduced in March as part of the COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Jobcentres will start re-opening this week in England, but not in Scotland and Wales, where claimants will only receive services online and by phone.

This means that some claimants in England will now begin to have face-to-face discussions with work coaches in jobcentres.

For the full story from the Disability News Service click here. 

***

I9S4UveZ

The petition that I originally submitted in October 2017 – to reconsider the closure of the Welsh Independent Living Grant and support disabled people to live independently – was considered again by the Senedd Petitions Committee on Tuesday. The relevant section can be seen from the 48 minute mark via this link.

I am delighted that the Committee have agreed to keep the petition open until everything is finalised. There are still issues that need to be resolved and my determination to see disabled people receiving the support they deserve has only been strengthened by the passing of former WILG recipient and friend Tracy Pritchard…

***

A few years ago, I was very proud to be a member of the Corbyn-led Labour Party and disappointed with the direction Carwyn Jones was taking Welsh Labour. It is funny how things can change as now the exact opposite is true – Mark Drakeford has my full support as First Minister while Keir Starmer seems to be testing my loyalty to the Labour brand.

Video: Unite’s Beckett slams Tories for dumping austerity fall-out of pandemic on working class – and takes Labour to task for weak response

Coronavirus: Welsh pubs and cafes to reopen indoors on 3 August

Emergency on Planet Earth #34

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

***

I am just writing this blog very quickly after First Minister Mark Drakeford announced a series of changes to the lockdown requirements in Wales.

Drakeford remained cautious, but he is probably under huge pressure from the business community to relax many of the rules that are designed to keep us safe. I thought that he juggled the need to protect the vulnerable and provide hope to the private sector, really well.

A full report of the press conference can be found by clicking here. I have also copied a Tweet below which provides footage from this afternoon’s briefing. The most important thing we should all take from this update is that the Coronavirus crisis is not over and that it remains crucial that we all stay local and carry on practising social distancing and hand washing measures.

What l fear will happen is that a great many people will regard this relaxation of the lockdown as a cue to return to the pre-Covid 19 lives. We all want to be free and live our lives to the full, but the sensible ones amongst us will realise that we have to be patient a little while longer…

***

The football season has started again, with several crucial games being played out over the next few weeks.  The fact that the capitalist wheel of production is now back in motion underlies my distaste for the modern game and justifies my decision to relive season 1983/84.

The only good thing about having the prima donna’s back on the football field is that l can now resume my betting habit. This is something that l keep under control by only betting what l can afford to lose.

Whenthefunstopsstop-20190805114029471

***

This is the latest spam email that l have received this morning. My heart goes out to those who think this is a genuine email.  They are obviously sadly deluded or are so arrogant and big headed that they can believe such far fetched  stories:

Hey,

I am Jenna and I will be helping you with your account.

Thank you so much for choosing us to help you find beautiful women searching for casual sex encounters. I am also a member of the site and I live really close by.

I am so happy that you were assigned to me, because I think you are very attractive. Additionally, my friend Amber and I think it might be fun if we both got with you at the same time 🙂

We are both twenty seven years old and you can see our nudes and hot videos here [I have deleted the link for your safety – NLD].

I am the one with the huge tits and she is the one with the perfect a-s.

We can totally meet up tonight babe if you are looking to hook up with two really hot chicks at the same time.

There are also three other women that you should check out. They have already told me that they would like to get you in the sack.

Emergency on Planet Earth #29

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

***

I am not a fan of Zoom and all this new technology that is supposed to bring people together during these times of lockdown. As someone who is used to being alone, i do not feel the need to suddenly invite the world and his wife in my front room and have to make sure I have a clean top to wear. I also have issues with my hearing that makes applications such as Zoom less of a positive option than a simple email.

I am not alone in feeling this way as one of my Facebook friends posted the following comment yesterday:

I strongly advise all concerned NOT to use Zoom. It is malware. Several governments have banned its use over security concerns. This is not a joke or conspiracy, Google it. Stop being lemmings following the crowd and use your brains. There are other group chat apps. Try WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Signal – recommended by Edward Snowden.

Having said all that, I will definitely tuning in to Facebook and Twitter live on the 15th of June when my good friend and comrade, Ellen Clifford, will be launching The War on Disabled People. I hope to be able to review this volume in the near future and I look forward to listening to the speakers assembled for this event (listening to people I admire without having to worry about speaking or being on camera is a totally different experience than Zoom).

103316510_3823597297681592_7384072049298627417_n

***

I am constantly searching for members of staff to bulk up my excellent base of staff. This is a particularly difficult time to be looking to recruit as people are concerned about the Coronavirus situation. Nevertheless, the hunt for new recruits continues. In a month’s  time there will be an opportunity to work alongside me as a support worker. It is a hugely unpopular shift on a Saturday night. It starts at 17:30 and turns into a sleep-in from 23:00 until 09:00. There will be an opportunity to work on Sunday morning for as long as you would like. The rate of pay is £9.80 per hour and £83.00 for the sleep-in.

The full job advertisement can be found here.

***

Reasons to leave the Labour Party keep on mounting:

Labour’s worrying record on anti-black racism under its new leadership

***

I think what is needed on a day like today is a little music…

From Wikipedia:

Weezer is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1992. Since 2001, the band has consisted of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards), Patrick Wilson (drums), Brian Bell (guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), and Scott Shriner (bass, backing vocals).

After signing to Geffen Records in 1993, Weezer released its self-titled debut album, also known as the Blue Album, in 1994. Backed by music videos for the singles “Buddy Holly“, “Undone – The Sweater Song“, and “Say It Ain’t So“, the Blue Album became a multiplatinum success. Weezer’s second album, Pinkerton (1996), featuring a darker, more abrasive sound, was a commercial failure and initially received mixed reviews, but achieved cult status and critical acclaim years later. Both the Blue Album and Pinkerton are now frequently cited among the best albums of the 1990s. Following the tour for Pinkerton, bassist Matt Sharp left the band and Weezer went on hiatus.

In 2001, Weezer returned with the Green Album, with new bassist Mikey Welsh. With a more pop sound, and promoted by singles “Hash Pipe” and “Island in the Sun“, the album was a commercial success and received mostly positive reviews. After the Green Album tour, Welsh left the band and was replaced by current bassist Scott Shriner. Weezer’s fourth album, Maladroit (2002), achieved mostly positive reviews, but weaker sales. Make Believe (2005) received mixed reviews, but its single “Beverly Hills” became Weezer’s first single to top the US Modern Rock Tracks chart and the first to reach the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2008, Weezer released the Red Album, featuring “TR-808s, synths, Southern rap, and baroque counterpoint”.[1] Its lead single, “Pork and Beans“, became the third Weezer song to top the Modern Rock Tracks chart, backed by a Grammy-winning YouTube music video. Raditude (2009) and Hurley (2010) featured more “modern pop production”[2] and songs co-written with other artists, achieved further mixed reviews and moderate sales. The band’s ninth and tenth albums, Everything Will Be Alright in the End (2014) and the White Album (2016), returned to a rock style and achieved more positive reviews. Their eleventh album, Pacific Daydream (2017), featured a more mainstream pop sound.[3] In 2019, Weezer released an album of covers, the Teal Album, followed by the Black Album.[4] Weezer has sold 10.2 million albums in the US and over 35 million worldwide.[5]

 

Emergency on Planet Earth #28

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society. 

***

download

Below, I have copied a letter from the DPAC Steering Group to Jonathan Reynolds MP – the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. It refers to comments from Reynolds relating to welfare payments. 

It is deeply troubling that so early in to the Keir Starmer regime, our social democratic party seems to be reversing at full pelt back to the dark days of Blair.

I am still a member of the Labour Party because of the work being done by Mark Drakeford in Wales, and it is sad to see the party in Westminster drifting back towards the centre-right. The fact that this is happening at a time when the Conservative Party are making such a hash of the Coronavirus crisis, is agonising.

It will be extremely interesting to see how Jonathan Reynolds replies to the letter below. Only a complete backtrack will suffice in this case, or my membership of the party will be in serious doubt.

I wish I could only be a member of Welsh Labour. I will remain a member of the party while Mark Drakeford is First Minister. He has earned my loyalty. It will be interesting to see which way Starmer steers his ship in the next few weeks and months.

***

 
Dear Mr Reynolds

 

Regarding your statement that “Welfare should reflect ‘what you put in’ to tackle public mistrust”

In a comment to the Morning Star, our spokesperson described your comments as “Toxic idiocy”.

Toxic, because, as (too few) wise and responsible senior politicians are well aware, we live in a dangerously fractured, highly unequal society.

They are aware that making statements that will only increase those fault lines and set social group against social group (“them and us”) is highly irresponsible, can only lead to further social division and stoke hate, which at worst can lead to hate crime against “them”, and that includes disabled people.

As you have seem so keen to demonstrate, you are neither a wise nor responsible politician

Idiotic, because you only need to spend a moment considering the implications of your statement to see that it is palpably idiotic.

If you take your statement to its conclusions in terms of policy, these are the outcomes that you get:

1) Higher Rate Taxpayers should have higher benefit entitlements

2) Women, who, as is well established, not only earn less (“the Gender Pay Gap”), but through their caring responsibilities both for children and family members save the government many millions of pounds. In simplistic terms therefore they pay less tax, so should have lower benefit entitlements.

3) BAME people, who earn less (“the BAME Pay Gap”), and therefore pay less tax, should have lower benefit entitlements

4) Young adults who have had less time to accrue tax payments, and therefore should have even lower benefit entitlements than they do already

5) Disabled people who face huge barriers in terms of discrimination and lack of access, who have great difficulty in accessing any work at all (“the Disability Employment Gap”) , and therefore pay much less tax, should receive much lower benefit entitlements

6) Disabled People who, due to their impairments, do not have the capacity for paid work ( however much they want to work, they simply can’t), and who pay very little tax should receive no benefit entitlements

Please would you confirm that the 6 statements above are the logical results of your statement to the  House of Commons, and could you  please let us know if you intend them to become Labour Policy

If you do not intend for these to be Labour’s benefit policies, could you please tell us, why you made that statement, and please tell us, precisely what your policies will be in the light of your comments

We have long been used to toxic and dangerously idiotic statements from the Tory Party, and have lowered our expectations accordingly. Now it seems we need to lower our expectations of Labour.

You should be under no illusion that this will also lower our intentions to engage positively with the  Labour Party, and will certainly lower disabled peoples’ motivation to vote for Labour at election time.

As is our normal practice, we are publishing our letter to you on our website, and will publish your response to us (or state that there has been no response on our site) in order to give you a public right of reply.

We are sure that DPAC’s supporters will await your response with great interest

Yours

The DPAC Steering Group

***

PA Position Available

There is an advert doing the rounds on TV at the moment about recruitment in adult social care. I can’t find it anywhere online, so I have had to use the following video by Hampshire County Council to illustrate the positive aspects of a career as a support worker.

To work in social care, you need to be highly skilled in a number of areas, but sadly the current coronavirus crisis is highlighting the lack of support that is available. The advertisement mentioned above, is calling for people to apply through their respective local authority. However, I can assure you that there is better pay and conditions available through working for recipients of Direct Payments. I am one of these people, and I urge anyone willing to work on the front-line during these testing times, to read the advertisement below and consider building a new career.

***

Something needs to change, and it needs to happen now. I could be talking about a multitude of things that are in urgent need of society’s attention, though the tired old attitudes that I face from interviewees hoping to land a job in my professional organisation is getting ridiculous. I keep having to replicate the following job advert as it is attracting totally the wrong type of person who are trapped in a medical model of disability that patronises  and undermines the independent living model that I am determined to create.

Having said all that, I think I can safely say – without blowing my own trumpet – that I am a good boss to work for. I enjoy a busy working/social life and often spend time out of the house, whether this is at the library, museum, meetings, conferences, concerts, meals out or enjoying time with friends. There are a vast array of other activities going on in my world and the PA that I am looking to employ would enjoy helping me to realise my independent ambitions in life.

***

I am STILL in search of new staff to work alongside me as a personal assistant. This is a fulfilling role that gives you the chance to make a difference to someone else’s life. I am looking for someone who is punctual, reliable, a team player and can be flexible. Word processing skills and a full driving licence are ABSOLUTELY essential to help me get the most out of my life. 

There are between 16-30 hours available, though there is the potential for more hours to cover holidays and sickness. This is an ideal opportunity for a student looking to gain experience in social care sector or any empathetic individual who wants to put their time to good use.

If you are interested in this opportunity, or know someone who may be, please get in touch via the Contact page, Facebook or Twitter. Good luck.

***

Rate of Pay: Flat Rate: £9.80 per hour  – Weekly Hours: To be discussed at interview.

About the employer:

I am a sociable 43-year-old man living in the Wrexham area. I use a wheelchair and live with Friedreich’s Ataxia which does not affect my intellect. Subsequently, I require support to remain independent. I am an author and disabled activist with a good sense of humour. I remain ambitious and adventurous. I enjoy company and I like to go out socialising.

Summary of duties:

To provide support to access various social and recreational activities. You must therefore have a clean driving license. You will need to support with personal care, including toileting, washing, dressing and preparing meals. I am a very creative individual and require support to develop my ideas. Due to my poor dexterity I struggle to type quickly – as a writer this is most frustrating – therefore you should have good word-processing skills.A full driving license is also required as I often attend meetings throughout the North Wales and North West area.

Support with gardening and household tasks.

The post will include 5.6 weeks paid annual leave (pro-rata)

Police records check funded by the employer will be required.

The person I am looking for:

The ideal person will have a good sense of humour and should also display plenty of energy, initiative and enthusiasm. In addition, applicants should be patient and trustworthy with a flexible and empathetic attitude. A positive attitude and clear understanding of confidentiality is essential. Promoting my independence will be the main focus for any support. You must be reliable, friendly, flexible and punctual.

Times Required:

There are specific hours available to be discussed at interview.

Holiday and Sickness Cover is also available regularly, so variable hours will be on offer.

Job Opportunity Awaits…

According to the Guardian, the number of people out of work and claiming work-related benefits in the UK jumped 23% to 2.8 million last month as the coronavirus crisis forced thousands of businesses to close. As a result, you would have thought people would be queuing at my door to land a job as my personal assistant.

3500

I am STILL in search of new staff to work alongside me as a personal assistant. This is a fulfilling role that gives you the chance to make a difference to someone else’s life. I am looking for someone who is punctual, reliable, a team player and can be flexible. Word processing skills and a full driving licence are ABSOLUTELY essential to help me get the most out of my life. 

There are plenty of shifts available during the weekends, and I am in urgent need of someone to fill the Monday morning shift from 08:30 – 15:00. Because I operate with a relatively small team of staff, I am often trying to cover holidays  and sickness – there are  a whole host of hours available for the right person. This is an ideal opportunity for a student looking to gain experience in social care sector or any empathetic individual who wants to put their time to good use.

Ideally, I will eventually be able to build a team of bank staff, to ease the burden on my contracted staff. If you are interested in either of these positions, or know someone who may be, please get in touch via the Contact page, Facebook or Twitter. Good luck.

***

Rate of Pay: Flat Rate: £9.80 per hour  – Weekly Hours: To be discussed at interview.

About the employer:

I am a sociable 43-year-old man living in the Wrexham area. I use a wheelchair and live with Friedreich’s Ataxia which does not affect my intellect. Subsequently, I require support to remain independent. I am an author and disabled activist with a good sense of humour. I remain ambitious and adventurous. I enjoy company and I like to go out socialising.

Summary of duties:

To provide support to access various social and recreational activities. You must therefore have a clean driving license. You will need to support with personal care, including toileting, washing, dressing and preparing meals. I am a very creative individual and require support to develop my ideas. Due to my poor dexterity I struggle to type quickly – as a writer this is most frustrating – therefore you should have good word-processing skills.A full driving license is also required as I often attend meetings throughout the North Wales and North West area.Support with gardening and household tasks.

The post will include 5.6 weeks paid annual leave (pro-rata)

Police records check funded by the employer will be required.

The person I am looking for:

The ideal person will have a good sense of humour and should also display plenty of energy, initiative and enthusiasm. In addition, applicants should be patient and trustworthy with a flexible and empathetic attitude. A positive attitude and clear understanding of confidentiality is essential. Promoting my independence will be the main focus for any support. You must be reliable, friendly, flexible and punctual.

 

Emergency on Planet Earth #16

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society. 

***

***

The big news relating to Wrexham AFC is that Lindsay Jones has been appointed as interim secretary. Someone with more passion and knowledge about the workings of our club would be impossible to find and I am an admirer of what he has achieved with the club over the years.

I am not going to comment any further…

STATEMENT | Lindsay Jones appointed as interim secretary

The Wrexham Supporters Trust Board can confirm the appointment of Lindsay Jones as interim secretary. Independent secretary Josh Williams has had to temporarily step down from his role and, with the Annual General Meeting imminent, the Trust Board felt it necessary to act as swiftly as possible.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has resulted in an unforeseen increase in Josh’s personal workload meaning he has had to temporarily step down.

It was the Board’s belief that, with the process for the Supporters Trust AGM needing to begin imminently, appointing a former secretary with experience of overseeing previous AGM processes was an ideal solution.

As a former secretary, Lindsay has this experience and will act as the interim secretary until Josh can return to his duties.

Consequently, Lindsay will be overseeing the Annual General Meeting process. Details for any proposed resolutions and nominations for candidates for the Trust Board will be announced very soon.

Given the unprecedented global circumstances, the AGM process is being looked at with the help of the Football Supporters Association (FSA). We are looking into the best way to deliver a fair, thorough and accessible AGM process.

Please note, the WST is also aware of the tweet posted from the Trust’s account at the weekend. We are looking into the matter and a further statement will follow.

***

Coronavirus: ‘Traffic light’ system to lift lockdown in Wales

 

Emergency on Planet Earth #15

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society. 

***

***

Lockdown is sending me a bit more nerdy than usual. This afternoon I welcomed a new member to my gnome family: Baggie Bird who has flown all the way from West Bromwich Albion.

Full marks to the West Midlands Club who included a WBA lollipop along with the mascot gnome, which was a nice touch that made me smile. It also ensures that I will always have a soft spot for the Baggies from now on.

***

The article below has been taken from the Disabled People Against Cuts website and can be found in its original format by clicking here.

 Someone we know is working with a couple of lawyers to get the visitor policy if admitted to hospital challenged.

They need statements from people saying “This would affect me because…”  This need only be a short statement saying why you need extra help from someone who knows you and ideally what that help is.

It would be particularly useful if someone who uses a communication aid, or BSL or Makaton could highlight how they would be affected by being unable to communicate with masked medics.

Also, people whose physical needs are not usually safely met in a hospital (inpatient and outpatient) please.

And any other groups not mentioned but who also need to be included.

Please email details to us at mail@dpac.uk.net and we will forward these on for use in a witness statement and to show that many disabled people do need to have someone accompany and support them in hospital.

Emergency on Planet Earth #11

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

***

Wednesday 15th April

I received the following open letter to all Wrexham AFC supporters, via email yesterday. I am afraid that it was met with indifference from me. I still value the friendships that I have made through association with the club, but I am afraid I have much more important things to worry about at the moment, rather than the long-term future of an institution that has spent the last two seasons actively discouraging inclusion of disabled fans within a once community-minded club.

The email I received read as follows:

An open letter to all Wrexham AFC supporters,

Understandably given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, football is low on a lot of people’s priority lists.

However, the Wrexham Supporters Trust and Wrexham AFC Board must also look at how to protect the future of our football club – and for this we need your help.

As outlined in the club statement, when the decision was taken to furlough all Wrexham AFC employees, the pandemic represents a serious threat to the financial health of the club.

Wrexham AFC are not alone in this regard, of course, and we are fully aware supporters – including ourselves personally – have been seriously impacted, be it from a health, financial or social standpoint.

This is not the time for us to ‘get the begging bowls out’ – and nor would this be feasible in the current climate – but there are other ways supporters can help.

We are proud to be a supporter-owned football club, and it is in times like this we need the involvement of as many of our supporters as possible.

The Wrexham Supporters Trust are keen for fresh ideas to help navigate the club through this unprecedented time and we want to hear from you.

Any ideas or comments you have, please feel free to get in touch – you can email ideas to membership@wst.org.uk.

We are fully aware there are a number of supporters unhappy with the football club and the current ownership model, and we are certainly not beyond reproach or criticism.

While, honestly, we feel some of the criticism has been unjustified, we also understand the main measure of a club’s success is on the pitch – and frankly, this season has been disappointing for all of us.

Wrexham AFC should never be measuring their success on just surviving in the National League, so however the current season concludes it has been one of the most disappointing in the club’s history.

For this, we all take responsibility and, when football resumes, we accept we will all have serious questions to answer.

More immediately, however, we have a responsibility to ensure that – whenever football resumes – we still have a Football Club to support (and not just one that exists, but one that is capable of the success we all crave).

This is why we are calling on all supporters to get involved, regardless of your current views of the club.

The time to pursue changes will come – and we have systems in place to ensure ALL members can have their voices heard.

For now, however, we urge all supporters to come together in the common interest of protecting the future of Wrexham AFC.

We continue to welcome Trust membership too, of course, though we understand this is a difficult time to take on new financial commitments.

For those who can afford it, however, it remains from just £1 a month to be a Trust member and every bit helps – big or small. Trust membership also allows you to vote at AGMs.

To join, or re-join, please see the WST website – details on membership can be found here.

Ultimately, we all want the same thing – success on the pitch, and promotion back into the Football League – and the future of the Football Club depends on us uniting towards this shared goal.

Finally, this is an unprecedented and difficult time for all of us. We would like to take this opportunity to thank every single member of the Wrexham AFC community for playing their part in helping the country overcome the pandemic. From the key workers on the front line, to community volunteers and to those staying home and following government guidelines, we all still have a role to play.

Isolation and social distancing can take a heavy toll on mental well-being, and we urge everybody to check in on each other. If you need to talk, please pick up the phone.

Stay safe, look after those around you, and we look forward to welcoming you all back to the Racecourse.

The Board of the Wrexham Supporters Trust

***

Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs Statement:

In light of the recent revelations about senior officials undermining the 2017 GE campaign, we, as members of the socialist campaign group of Labour MPs, making the following demands

1. The report should be published in full by the Labour Party

2. An emergency NEC meeting should be convened to discuss its contents

3. That NEC Meeting must establish a transparent process to investigate the conduct alleged in the leaked document, with the terms of reference set by the NEC officers.

4. This process must produce a report, that is publicly available, which restores faith among Labour members in the practices of our party.

We understand the disappointment and frustration that many Labour members will feel with the details revealed in this report. It contents revelations of senior officials undermining the 2017 general election campaign and suggests there are cases to answer on bullying, harassment, sexism and racism.

We express our solidarity with Labour volunteers who give up their spare time to fight for a better society and to get a Labour government.

We believe people must stay and fight for a Labour government, organise to defend our socialist manifesto and push for action.

***

***

VIDEO: TORY SOCIAL CARE MINISTER SQUIRMS AS INTERVIEWER KEEPS ASKING WHY SHE VOTED AGAINST PAY RISE FOR NURSES

***

‘DON’T LEAVE, ORGANISE’ – LEFT ORGANISATIONS IN NEW INITIATIVE TO CALL LEFT TO UNITED ACTION

 

 

Disability News Service: CV-19 – Anger over ‘terrifying and discriminating’ intensive care guidance

The following article was taken from the excellent Disability News Service website, and written by John Pring. The original article can be viewed by clicking on this link. I recommend this site to all disabled people during the coronavirus crisis and beyond, as a dependable source of information. 

***

New guidance for the NHS on which coronavirus patients should receive intensive care treatment has heightened fears among activists that many disabled people will be refused lifesaving treatment if they are admitted to hospital.

The guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says that all adult COVID19 patients should be assessed for “frailty” when admitted to hospital, and that “comorbidities and underlying health conditions” should be taken into account.

Following alarm and outrage from disabled people and allies, the government body announced late yesterday (Wednesday) that it had produced an updated guideline.

But the new version has not eased all those concerns, with one disability campaigner warning that disabled people who need support would still be less likely to receive critical care if the guideline was followed and one grassroots group of disabled people saying that it was “not reassured” by the amendments.

It was the use of the CFS “frailty” scoring system that caused most alarm, with the guideline suggesting that those with a score as low as five – those seen as “mildly frail”, who often need help with transportation, heavy housework and medication (nine represents someone who is terminally ill) – might not be considered appropriate for critical care and might be steered towards end-of-life care instead if their condition deteriorated.

The guideline said that decisions to admit patients for “critical care” should be based on how likely they were to recover.

Among those raising concerns about the original version of the new guidance was disabled actor and activist Liz Carr.

She said on Twitter that the guideline suggested she and many other disabled people would be “pretty much denied [the] same access to ventilation/critical care support as non-disabled people based on the fact we require some assistance in our daily life, because we’re disabled”.

She said this was “terrifying and discriminating”.

When NICE said it was “very aware of the concerns of some patient groups about access to critical care” and that it understood “how difficult this feels”, another disabled activist, Dennis Queen, told the organisation: “It’s not about how we feel –you are denying our human rights.

“We pay [the] same taxes for this disgraceful unequal treatment.”

Another disabled campaigner, Angela Kennedy, said on Twitter: “It’s more than ‘difficult’: it’s justified concern that discrimination against disabled people – because we need support, assistance and reasonable adjustment to live with our disablement – will drive unlawful decisions to refuse us a right to life. Your guidelines caused that.”

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People told Disability News Service (DNS) last night (Wednesday) that it was “alarmed that the government – via the NICE guidance has confirmed that, when there’s competition for beds, the NHS will ration ICU care, so that many disabled people (especially elders) will be denied treatment, based on a scoring system.

“It’s also a much bigger group than those of us being told to protectively self-isolate.”

Mike Steel, from Bristol Reclaiming Independent Living (BRIL), said his grassroots group of disabled people was “highly concerned” about the NICE guideline, and the manner of its admission that the original version was flawed.

He said: “We have been shown with stark clarity the ease with which denying our most fundamental human right – the right to life –is normalised and reduced to being part of a ‘discussion’.

“We are not reassured by the amendment made to say that younger people and people with ‘stable long-term disabilities’ should not be assessed using the CFS, yet others can be.

“Categorising and dividing disabled and chronically ill people by age or personal care needs in order to decide who gets critical care is ableist and dangerous.

“The reality is, as a direct consequence of years of drastic cuts and a failure to plan by central government, frontline health staff will be put under immense and unfair pressure to make decisions about care.”

He said the guideline appeared to have been drawn up without the input of disabled people, and he added: “When we are excluded from decisions about our lives, not only are mistakes made, our very being is devalued.”

The concerns over the guideline came as more than 60 UN human rights experts, including Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the UN’s special rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, warned in a statement* that action taken to cope with the COVID-19 crisis must address human rights issues and could not only be solved through public health and emergency measures.

They said: “Everyone, without exception, has the right to life-saving interventions and this responsibility lies with the government.

“The scarcity of resources… should never be a justification to discriminate against certain groups of patients.

“Everybody has the right to health.”

A disabled mother, who tweets at @Whovian242, told NICE on Twitter after the publication of the first version of its guideline: “This morning I read that according to these guidelines if I am assessed based on my care needs I won’t be eligible for critical care.

“With respect your comment ‘we understand how difficult this feels’ feels incredibly dismissive.”

Wheelchair dancer and consultant Shay Erlich added: “You have instituted a widespread tool and unleashed it for clinicians who will be making split second decisions in an overloaded system.

“Saying you have to take this advice in context in these circumstances only assures it won’t be.”

NICE said on Twitter that it accepted that the frailty scoring system was “not perfect” and so it recommended that doctors should “take any decisions about care in conjunction with patients and their carers where possible”.

It also said it welcomed clarification by the NHS Specialist Clinical Frailty Network (SCFN) that the frailty scoring system should not be used to assess certain groups, which it later said were “younger people, people with stable long-term disabilities, learning disabilities, autism or cerebral palsy”.

After publishing the updated guideline last night – following an update on using the CFS by SCFN – NICE said its new version included these clarifications and “the need to consider additional patient factors when interpreting the CFS score”.

The European Disability Forum (EDF), an umbrella organisation of disabled people across Europe, spoke out this week about reports of discriminatory medical guidance for the COVID-19 pandemic.

EDF said it was “extremely worried” about such reports coming from “some countries”.

It later told DNS that it had spoken out due to concerns raised by activists in the UK and other countries, including Sweden and Ireland.

It added: “In countries where healthcare professionals will not be able to provide the same level of care to everyone due to lack of equipment and underfunding of the healthcare sector, medical guidelines need to be non-discriminatory and follow international law and existing ethics guidelines for care in the event of disaster and emergencies.

“These are clear: persons with disabilities cannot be discriminated against.”

An EDF spokesperson added: “We believe that countries need to involve persons with disabilities and their organisations when writing these guidelines.”

Maureen Piggot, a member of EDF’s executive committee, said last night: “I welcome the clarification of the NICE guidelines, but it does not go far enough.

“The UK needs to follow the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabilities and explicitly ensure that there is no discrimination against persons with disabilities – this includes healthcare guidelines that provide equal access to life saving support.”

The Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) said this week that it was “deeply concerned” about the “eugenicist rhetoric that has been used to suggest that disabled people will have less access to medical treatment and equipment if they fall ill due to or during the pandemic”.

ROFA – whose members are all disabled people’s organisations and include Inclusion LondonDisabled People Against CutsThe Alliance for Inclusive EducationPeople First (Self Advocacy)Sisters of Frida and Equal Lives- called on the government to “ensure that disabled people are not discriminated against in the response to COVID-19”.

The NICE guidance added to concerns raised by last week’s DNS report about an NHS consultant who appeared to suggest in an open letter that he and his colleagues would not attempt to resuscitate many older and disabled people if they became seriously ill with coronavirus.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, which runs the hospital where the consultant works, has again refused to clarify his comments.

Instead, it issued a statement in which it said that every individual patient was different and that care plans “will depend on their individual circumstances where the most appropriate treatment will be offered based on their needs”, while it said the letter “was written to show the compassion and care NHS staff can offer during such a difficult period”.

*Here is the first part of the UN statement: “Everyone, without exception, has the right to life-saving interventions and this responsibility lies with the government. The scarcity of resources or the use of public or private insurance schemes should never be a justification to discriminate against certain groups of patients.

“Everybody has the right to health. People with disabilities, older persons, minority communities, indigenous peoples, internally displaced people, people affected by extreme poverty and living in overcrowded settings, people who live in residential institutions, people in detention, homeless people, migrants and refugees, people who use drugs, LGBT and gender diverse persons – these and other groups need to receive support from governments.

“Advances in biomedical sciences are very important to realize the right to health. But equally important are all human rights. The principles of non-discrimination, participation, empowerment and accountability need to be applied to all health-related policies.”

**Sources of information and support during the coronavirus pandemic include the following:

The Department of Health and Social Care

National Survivor User Network

Spinal Injuries Association

COVID Mutual Aid UK

Disability North

Disability Wales

Citizens Advice