After posting my piece highlighting the House of Lords’ debate on the “Right to Control” part of the Welfare Reform Bill, I received a circular e mail (from Debbie Roberts, one of the goodies, and Programme Manager from the Eastern Development Centre) about a consultation document (title below - comical in itself) on the “Right to Control” from the Office for Disability Issues.
“MAKING CHOICE AND CONTROL A REALITY FOR DISABLED PEOPLE.”
You have to laugh because this document is all about the government, the Office for Disability Issues and all the public authorities it addresses CONTROLLING the “Right to Control.” As is the fashion these days the pertinent government department has solidly decided the direction the consultation is to go in and which particular aspects of consultation it wants control of, so it herds the consultees into its predetermined framework, lulled by the waves-on-the-shore swish swish of its oceans of sweet nothing words.
It then goes further and offers a ‘toolkit’ for those public authorities, worded as “Service providers could use the toolkit to engage with service users.” telling them this is the way to control the prescription of the “Right to Control” to those helpless disabled people down there.
And the laugh reaches the belly when we see that one of those predetermined aspects of consultation, “Consultation question 8,” in the main document is “Is there any legislation or are there any rules about how support if provided which might get in the way of the Right to Control,...”
Uhhhmmm. Well yes there is. Its called the Welfare Reform Bill, which is the legislation setting up the “Right to Control” and Baroness Jane Campbell has been trying to amend the bill to stop it getting in the way. This particular clause 31, inexplicably, excludes community care services from the “Right to Control.” Jane Cambell says: “ I am naturally disappointed that health and social care funding was actively excluded from the legal framework for a right to control in the Bill.” (Hansard 2nd July 09) and in this last debate of the committee stage in the Lords her amendment failed.
The government explains the exclusion of health and social care from the legislation for the “Right to Control” by saying health and social care has much other legislation. Jane Campbell is trying to put the point that none of this other legislation provides the “Right to Control” but it seems to be bouncing off chipboard eardrums.
I think this is yet another instance of the government’s determination to retain control of the “Right to Control” chimera. What about you?