Friday 5 August 2016

Capita employed a Britain First sympathiser to assess disabled people

Under Tory rule the DWP has outsourced the assessment of disabled people to a bunch of private firms like Atos, Capita and Maximus (a move that costs far more in corporate outsourcing fees than will ever be saved in reduced disability benefits payments). 

Capita were put in charge of carrying out assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and it turns out they've been employing a hate-filled Britain First sympathiser to strip disabled people of their benefits.

This extreme-right Capita employee was at it for years before being busted after she wrote a report full of lies about a woman called Sarah Goldstein.

Goldstein suffers from fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s syndrome, chronic migraines, anxiety and depression but was awarded a zero on her claim. She was upset and angry about the lies but had the insight to look into the background of the woman who lied about her. What she found was a Facebook page full of savagely racist and disablist comments stretching back for years, including items from extreme-right hate groups like Britain First and Infidels of Britain.

After Sarah Goldstein reported her findings to Capita they suspended the assessor from her job and the company responded with promises of a re-assessment for Sarah and a load of guff about their supposedly "strict" social media policy.

Capita's social media policy is obviously a very weak and reactive one if they have to be told about their employees extreme-right hatemongering activities by one of the people she falsely denied benefits to. The hatemongering had been going on for years, but Capita obviously does nothing to at all to vet their employees for the kind of extreme-right sympathies that make impartial assessment of disability claims pretty much impossible.

A pro-eugenics Nazi poster complaining that
ordinary citizens are carrying the burden
of looking after the genetically sick
Not only does employing extreme-right sympathisers make bias against ethnic and religious minorities in assessments highly likely, the extreme right also have a long history of supporting eugenics against people with disabilities (see image).

The woman who carried out the dishonest assessment had been working for Capita since early 2014. Just imagine how many people she could have falsely stripped of their disability benefits because of her xenophobic and anti-disability attitudes. Just imagine how many more extreme-right people like her could be still out there, joyously using the already horrific Tory welfare reforms to wage their own warped racist, xenophobic and disablist vendettas.

Of course Capita, and the Tories, and everyone who actively voted for more Tory mistreatment of the disabled at the 2015 General Election will try to wash their hands of this incident and pretend that it's just one "rotten apple" incident, but the whole concept of paying far more to private companies than they can possibly save the taxpayer through stripping disabled people of their benefits is sick enough as it is. Then allowing the private companies to employ hate-filled individuals to use the assessments as an excuse to wage their warped personal vendettas is absolutely disgusting and completely unacceptable.

As British people we should be thoroughly ashamed of the way we have allowed our government, a bunch of mercenary profiteering corporations and their employees to systematically mistreat disabled people. 

We should be up in arms about the appalling treatment of some of the most vulnerable people in society but after 40 years of Thatcherite greed-worship spoon fed to us by the Westminster establishment and the right-wing press, the "I'm alright Jack" crowd are happy to vote for even more abuse of the disabled. They're happy for the systematic abuse to continue as long as they think it means more house price inflation for them to enjoy, more tax-cuts for well off people like them, fewer workers' rights and tenants' rights for the people they got rich on the backs of, and more pulling up of the social mobility ladder so the younger generations are denied the advantages they took for granted.

We live in a sick society, but it's not people who are disabled who are sick, it's the people who abuse the disabled and the people who turn a blind eye to this systematic abuse 
who are the social cancer we're suffering.

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For more information on the Tory vendetta against disabled people check out DPAC and the Disability News Service.

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