A leaked government report has revealed secret coalition plans to treat deaf and disabled people “like actual human beings” just in time for the next election in 2015.
The report, leaked by Wikileaks-inspired disability site Disileaks, outlines concerns at the highest level of government that while the coalition has been lucky to get away with what they call ‘scroungerganda’ so far, the rhetoric that has been used to justify sweeping welfare cuts for deaf and disabled people will eventually turn the electorate against them.
One specific concern raised in the report by a senior minister is: “what happens when [the general public] realise that only 0.5% of disability benefits claims are fraudulent, a far lower proportion, for example, than the number of MPs, like me, found to be abusing the expenses system?”
“Menwhile we’ve got Iain Duncan Smith deciding the best people to weed out fraudulent benefits claimants are readers of The Sun. Let’s face it,” he continues, “the biggest scroungers of all are the bankers we bailed out for tens of billions of pounds. They’re currently drinking Cristal in the City while we make the parents of disabled children beg for more free nappies.”
“We’re acting as though there’s a guy on every street corner claiming disability benefits then ditching his crutches to go out to play five a side football with his mates,” the minster says in his introductory notes. “The reality – that the general public are oblivious to, thank Christ – is that the guy on the corner is more likely to actually be disabled, but not claiming the benefits he is entitled to.”
“By 2015, we’ll have we’ve got what we wanted,” he continues. “We’ll have given our pals their tax cut, with the media helping us justify huge welfare cuts on the strength of a few extreme cases. That’s when we need to remember that nearly all voters will personally know of someone with a disability who is suffering because of the cuts.”
The report features advanced plans to “soften” the labels MPs use to describe disabled people in order to “humanise” them, once the majority of the cuts have gone through. “Instead of using the term ‘scrounger,’ we should be calling them simply ‘disabled people’ again,” the minister says.
The government will also run what is described as “a few small awareness campaigns with key organisations, to give the impression we care just before the polls open.” They plan to “give disability charities and individuals a symbolic role in legislation… an improvement on treating them like a bad smell, as we have done so far.”
The report also reveals plans to get Paralympians on board as government advisers. “With our gold-medal wearing ‘Supercrips’ on board, we can bring public opinion swinging back our way.” In exchange disabled althletes will be “given honours: a few CBEs and maybe we’ll make a Lord of one or two if they really toe the line.”
The report’s final words state: “even though deaf and disabled people are not, clearly, quite like the rest of us, we need to remember, and this is key, that some of our voters think they are. So we need to act a bit like they are too. Just not quite yet.”
Read the full report by clicking here.
By Charlie Swinbourne, Editor
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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