Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Closing the gate after the horse has bolted

For what it is in any relevance of putting it up here..I am putting up the response I got from 'Disability Alliance'.

Before I post the letter, I have to say that I didn't realise it was so late in the day. I thought the Green Paper (including cuts to DLA) was in the consultation process. However, it seems it is going to the House of Lords in October (for rubber stamping). Some tweeking could take place before that..maybe I am looking from a worse case scenario perspective but I can't see any major turnarounds now.

Shame that those of us, and organisations who supposedly represent us, who would have liked to have had a say haven't been provided with that opportunity in any real-time, to do so. Such is life..and I reckon things are only going to get worse. Bleak House here we come!!!

Additional note: I had completed the survey (identified in letter below). If nothing else, you can see where certain hierarchical thinking is. From what I would appear... we are heading towards a de-nationalised health service. That may sound appealing but beware it could well be replaced with a newly nationalised (with a fancy title) and downsized something else.

Dear Ms Lawrence

Disability Alliance supports disability living allowance (DLA) and attendance allowance (AA) - as national, non-means tested benefits paid to disabled people to meet their higher living costs. We - and others - are well aware of the evidence on the higher costs of living disabled people experience. DLA and AA were intended to help with those costs and help tackle the link between disability and poverty. We believe placing either or both of these funds in the pool for Local Authority distribution could cut support and restrict choice and control for many disabled people.

Our position is online - - and we are running a survey to encourage people to respond to the green paper titled 'Shaping the Future of Care Together' and help strengthen our response by telling us your views. Please fill it in if you have time at: The questions are those posed in the green paper - we need people's answers to these, but we have also added a couple of our own. We look forward to reading your response.

It would help in our campaign work if you also write to your MP describing your experience. If you don't know who your MP is you can find out (by using your postcode) at Attached is a sample letter that you might like to consider sending to your MP.

It would also help if you wrote to the Department for Work and Pensions on this issue - but please highlight that you are contacting them about national policy and not your individual case, or they may refer you to another agency. You can find the e-mail address for DWP Ministers on the following webpage at

Disability Alliance works and campaigns at the national level to influence Government plans in this area. We are members of the Disability Benefit Consortium, and our website hosts the DBC at We meet regularly with the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs on a range of benefits related issues.

Thank you for your e-mail.

Yours sincerely
Michele Holland

Disability Alliance
Universal House, 88-94 Wentworth Street
London E1 7SA
Tel: 020 7247 8776
Registered charity number 1063115
Company limited by guarantee number 2056801
Breaking the link between poverty and disability


  1. Sid bloodhound packing bags...13 August 2009 at 23:15

    lobs bomb from sidelines , it rolls right under corporate fat bastards trough , comes to a halt , fizzles and goes out....

  2. Know the feeling Sid

    Meanwhile, the ostriches have their heads in the sand so are completely oblivious to your attempt anyway.

    C'est la Vera... but it isn't stopping me getting word out wherever I can :>)

  3. Before I post the letter, I have to say that I didn't realise it was so late in the day. I thought the Green Paper (including cuts to DLA) was in the consultation process. However, it seems it is going to the House of Lords in October (for rubber stamping).

    That doesn't seem to be right, Mandy. According to the DoH website ( ), the consultation period for 'Shaping the Future of Care Together' continues up to the 13th November. People have still got the best part of three months to make protests and submit comments to be included in the consultation process.

    I think (though i'm not certain) that both the Lords and the Commons will debate the green paper at some point, but only so MPs and peers can make contributions to the consultation process - that's possibly where the October date for the HoL has come from. In any case, a green paper isn't yet a Bill, and so can't be voted into legislation.

    It's worth bearing in mind that there's always a delay of several months (and sometimes a lot longer) between the closing of the consultation period on a green paper and the publication of a Bill. We have to have a general election by May next year, so there just isn't going to be time for this green paper to be turned into law before then. And after the election, we'll very possibly have a different government with their own plans for benefits, and so the whole process may have to start all over again.

    In any case, even if Labour were to win the election, and decided to press ahead with the same plans, it's going to be at least 18 months until this comes to the crunch point of votes on legislation, and potentially a lot longer. There's still plenty of time for us to make nuisances of ourselves. :o)

  4. Hi A

    Apologies. I had been under the impression that things were later in the day than they were.

    I received info from Benefits and Works site saying, November 13 is the cut off point for consultation on the Green Paper and not when new systems will be put in place.

    Sorry to have misled you and anyone else. That is my fault for mis-reading what I was sent :>(

    Thanks for your updates. I will be posting a couple of things I have been sent through on this blog.

  5. Hi again, Mandy,

    Sorry for not replying earlier - i had a basically internet-free day yesterday.

    I really didn't mean to say that you (or anyone else) had been misleading me, or anyone else. It was just a 'this is what i found out' comment, that i thought might be interesting. I'm really sorry that i gave the impression i was criticising you.

    For the record, i think you do a brilliant job with this blog, bringing all sorts of important things to people's attention. A much better job than i do on my blog, and that's a fact. :o)

    Take care,

  6. Thanks A

    I didn't take what you wrote, personally.

    I was, however, becoming aware (through people mailing me) that the consultation process is still going. I was more shocked that it started in July and neither I, nor anyone I know with MH problems, had been informed about it.

    My anger...and there is quite a bit of around charities really. Specific ones in particular who are so busy with their 'work agendas for mentally ill people' that they are missing other things that are important to those who are going to be on the receiving end of decisions that are made.

    I haven't been as active as I could have been...due to personal problems but am trying to do bits here and there.

    Thanks for comments about usefulness of blog. At present, it isn't proving much use to me so am keeping postings to a minimum and focussing on things that affect others as well as me rather than me stuff.