Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Letter to the potential PM

Sonia's most recent letter to Edward Miliband. It speaks for itself.

Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband MP
September 24, 2012

Dear Ed,

As the Labour Party conference approaches, I ask that you consider the following.

I have now sent to you three letters via e-mail. I have appealed on behalf of thousands of sick and disabled people – and their loved ones – in our country.

You have responded to one letter but not the following two. This is troubling and, not least, because the last e-mail contained information that alarmed me. It was a reader's comment sent care of the Daily Mail website.

To the many who have now seen this comment, there was no doubt that here was a clear intention to commit suicide. And for the author, a mother, to kill her autistic child at the same time. Her desperation shrieked from the page. Many were left devastated by reading it - and, primarily, because we know this is far from an isolated case.

I understand that you are extremely busy, as indeed am I, but how does that not warrant a response from a future potential PM? I can't fathom that, I'm sorry.

I would more likely understand you not responding if I contacted you purely in my role as a journalist. But I am not. I am also appealing to you on behalf of over 6,000 people who counter-signed the original letter – as well as the millions in need of your help around our country.

I appreciate that you have suggested a meet with Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire – and I have contacted Anne's office about this and will do so again having not heard anything back – but how much can she really do if the Leader of the Labour Party is not fully in support of our most vulnerable citizens?

This is not an attack on you, Ed. This is an appeal for you to do what needs to be done and that is oppose, and very strongly, the Coalition's treatment of those who require our support.

The message is clear. The Working Capability Assessment (WCA) - administered by ATOS and sanctioned by the DWP - is a dangerous and costly exercise. I have a great deal of source material to back up these assertions and I will gladly share it all with you.

As it stands, I am in no doubt that the situation is now untenable regarding the well-being of sick and disabled people – and their carers – and must be addressed and rectified without further delay.

It's that serious, Ed. Some people don't have the luxury of time or money to ponder it. I can't say it more plainly than that.

Best wishes

Sonia Poulton

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