Jeremy Corbyn, Paul Rutherford and Debbie Abrahams at the Roadshow in Manchester
The Labour party would like to invite you to attend the Disability Equality Roadshow, an event asking disabled people, their carers and service providers, which policies Labour should develop to best defend and extend their rights.
The events are free and the next one is to be held in the North East in Newcastle on 3 December. You can register to attend here.
Regardless of your personal party affiliations, I think as many of us as possible need to attend these events and have a positive input into policy because we need political parties to recognise disabled people’s needs, especially given the past six years of harrowing and disproportionately targeted austerity cuts and systematic violation of disabled people’s human rights.
I don’t support the Liberal Democrats, but nonetheless have permitted the party to use some of my work on disabled people’s rights and the impact of austerity on their site, because our needs and views ought to matter to every political party. Something as fundamental as the recognition and observation of human rights should be a collaborative and collective cross-party endeavour – a cooperative effort in a democratic, inclusive society.
Human rights should not be a party political issue, but it’s a fact that they are. The Conservatives want to repeal our Human Rights Act, and that must not happen. The government have already demonstrated clearly that they will not observe the rights of disabled people. Without a robust legal framework in place, we would have absolutely no access to justice and redress, and no protection from the brutality and disregard of an increasingly authoritarian government .
Debbie Abrahams has organised and launched the Roadshow, which is an important opportunity for us to have a democratic say in political decision-making and shape future policies.
The Labour party are using the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People as a framework to help develop policies not just on social security but on education, health and social care, justice and more. It was the last Labour government that signed the UK up to the Convention.
The Roadshow will be going across the country to every region and to every nation state.
Debbie is the Member of Parliament for Oldham East and Saddleworth and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. She has represented the constituency since her by-election victory in January 2011.
Debbie was a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee from June 2011-March 2015, where she led the call for an independent inquiry into the Government’s punitive New Sanctions Regime. She was re-elected as a member of the Work and Pensions Committee in July 2015 until her appointment as Shadow Minister for Disabled People in September 2015. In June 2016 she was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Debbie is passionate about tackling inequalities and has campaigned extensively for a fairer society, setting up the Oldham Fairness Commission to deliver this in her own constituency.
The Labour party assure us that the next Labour government will ensure that the UK upholds its obligations under the UN convention on persons with disabilities. They say their “commitment to people-powered politics means that they believe that future social security policy should be co-produced with deaf and disabled people, carers and service providers”. That is our democratic right. The party want to transform our social security system, based on the principles of dignity, independence and support.
The Labour party say they will listen to our views on improving social security, removing the punitive elements such as sanctions, the work capability assessment and the bedroom tax, to ensure it is fit for purpose; ensuring fair and equal access to employment for people who can and want to work; suitable housing and education; improving the provision of care and best supporting carers.
If you have any additional access needs please email Huma on firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 1st December.
Hope to see you there.
DATE AND TIME: Sat 3 December 2016, 10:45 – 13:45 GMT
LOCATION: Unite the union
John Dobson Street
Newcastle upon Tyne