Left Unity disabled people

We have been feeling excited and proud of how well Left Unity has done up ’til now in bringing in disabled people, but there is so much to be done. That is why we have set up a disabled people’s caucus within Left Unity.  To us, the severity of the current government’s assault on us and the growing solidarity between different disability groups in response, make the importance of our having a strong voice within Left Unity absolutely vital. It will make Left Unity stand out from all other parties if we can be seen to be a powerhouse within it from as early as possible.
Please let us know if you’re interested and pass this on to anyone you know who might also be. Contact us at  ludisabledpeople@lists.riseup.net
Merry Cross, Eleanor Firman, Jane Kelly, Mike Marqusee, Micheline Mason, Susan Pashkoff, Liz Silver, Bob Williams-Findlay, Christine Wilson


14 responses to “Left Unity disabled people”

  1. Paul Johnson says:

    Finally. Great news, the right thing to do and hopefully a strong voice for the wrongs being done by conservative and lib dem to vulnerable adults and families effected by the cuts in funding. Hear bloody hear.

    • Kathrine Brannan says:

      I agree. In my mind this is more than a good thing to do. The creation of a ‘sub-human’ caste by the media and the government is the tip of the iceberg for what is to come–preparing the way for the perception of other ‘useless eaters’ like the elderly ( already one conservative proposes retired people should work for their pensions) and for the ‘unfit’ youth, the NEETs who must do workfare for free. Fighting alongside the disabled is to fight for all society, which is why I will sign up.

  2. Knarky Badger says:

    Good. Hopefully it will be a success! Avoiding the good v bad disabled debate the government the media love to have.

  3. Joanne Hughes says:

    Great news as a member of the disabled community I feel completely betrayed by the three main parties, deeply concerned now that the gagging Bill has passed its third reading and we are on the brink of losing all of our human rights. Left Unity and the Disability Action Groups are the only thing keeping me sane at the moment.

  4. Terree Selby says:

    Am very pleased at this initiative. We are pretty much all under attack from this vile government but they seem to have singled out us, meaning disabled people, as scapegoats. We may not be able to fight them on our own but by working alongside other activists gives me a lot more confidence. Let’s go get ’em!

  5. Merry Cross says:

    I’m really happy with these responses. We’ll be able to support each other, develop policy to feed in to the Equalities Commission and also keep Left Unity on track to be a major force for good for our communities.

  6. Bob Williams-Findlay says:

    This is a very unique opportunity for disabled people to influence and shape the future political agenda both inside and outside Left Unity. I fully endorse the approach offered by Terry and Merry.

    Listening to Penning (new Minister for Disabled People) and Kendall (Shadow spokesperson) outlining their ‘visions’ for disabled people brought home to me how little has changed politically for disabled people over the forty years. I totally agree with Joanne, the three major parties have shown utter contempt for the disabled community – our lived experience, our knowledge and our right to self-determination. All three parties display ignorance, arrogance and a commitment to ideologies that oppress our people. It is time to break the mould and together help fashion a better destiny.

    • terry conway says:

      Its great to hear from other disabled people – we have grown the caucus from 10-14 in 2 days – and while I dont think that rate of growth can possibly continue its exciting. We have a discussion list at ludisabledpeople@lists.riseup.net which is our main way of talking to each other – its more accessible than a discussion forum here which is difficult to navigate to. We are clear that we are open to people who self-define as disabled and include visible and non-visible disabilities.

  7. Pete b says:

    I was wondering what position left unity are taking on disabled access to left unity meetings branches as well as national meetings. Can we encorage venues to achieve disabled access when they dont have it and work with disability groups to establish a list of accessable venues. I think this is in a smsll way would help us to make ourselves relevant to activists fighting discrimination. Excellent work for left unity to have this caucus. All organisations should do this. Lets try and make this a new tradition of the left. Pete b

    • Chris Marsh says:

      I agree wholeheartedly about LU taking action over the practical aspects of disability. I have concerns though about disability as an identity or ‘caucus’ – a bit like AA where you have to stand and say ‘I am an alcoholic’; maybe I should (sit and) say ‘I am disabled’. I’m resisting that, I didn’t ‘tick the box’ to get special treatment when at uni doing my doctorate because I’d ‘confessed’ and accepted help earlier when doing my BA and MA with the OU and felt uncomfortable with the label. Not so incidentally, I did raise the matter of LU doing something practical to help people over the expense of travelling to London…

      • Bob Williams-Findlay says:


        Within Left Unity there are people who make a firm distinction between the label, which has been employed to both define and exclude people with impairments via dominant oppressive ideologies and practice, and the political identity we have come to embrace through seeing disability as an external social situation where people with impairments are subjected to unequal and differential treatment.

        Within this context, the caucus has the function of bringing into Left Unity the lessons learnt within the Disabled People’s Movement over the last forty years, our own personal/political/social/cultural experiences as disabled people to feed into creating a better understanding of intersectional issues and, of course, to influence the policies and practice of Left Unity itself.

  8. Pete b says:

    2I agree chris I think that those wishing to attend such a caucus should attenf / participate there shouldnt be any barriers. But initially branch meetings will be the first committment so I think accessability and having discussion on “disability” would be a start.
    I think thatt

    The Care Bill is in the House of Lords for consideration at present ,the Government & Media BS are on a propaganda exercise of Elderly Care-they are trying to brain wash us that the Elderly are better off staying with a relative and how lonely they are.So you can guarantee when passed the Bill will release the Government of their Duty of Care they have at present and the onus of cost and care put on the Recipient and their Families.
    This is the last piece of the jigsaw in Dismantling Welfare as we know it .The Liverpool Care Pathway became Public too early where they were legally starving elderly people to death only supplying their bodies by a driver syringe containing diamorphine, midazolam and cyclizine.to “give them a dignified end” so it was terminated so we are told.
    People don’t realise that is all Hitler did was put a plan into operation without Public Knowledge and nobody was any the wiser until it was too late it had become the ‘norm’ by then.
    We give £12 Billion in Foreign Aid.£54 million to the EU daily but they want another £4 Billion the Media & Cameron have kept quiet on that ,so will they get it.
    “Could we be spending £40 to £80 billion on things that would be of more benefit to the economy, I’m pretty sure the answer is yes.” That was a comment from Henry Overman, professor in Economic Geography at the London School of Economics concerning the New proposed Rail Line.Even academics nothing to do with Welfare Economics feel that Government priorities are wrong.

  10. Heather Downs says:

    have we already seen the SAD code? It looks useful


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