Sunday, 7 February 2016
MY LETTER TO COUNCILLOR WHITAKER 5TH FEB
This is another response to Sue Whitaker's statement in an interview last week by BBC's About Anglia. She said: "Our primary function is not to provide people's social life." So I wrote:
Hello Councillor Whitaker.
I speak as a disabled person and as a fellow member of the Labour Party.
I was dismayed and frankly astonished at the comments in your recent television interview in connection with Equal Lives’ referral of Norfolk County Council to the CQC. I still can’t credit a Labour Councillor and “Labour Group Spokesperson for Adult Social Care" stating, in effect, that disabled people are not entitled to help and assistance under the Care Act 2015 to socialise. I won’t disrespect you by quoting the Care Act as I’m sure that by now you must know it inside out - making your statement even more puzzling.
Instead, I’m looking at it from another angle, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which is ratified by the UK government. What I’d like to bring to your attention is:
From the Preamble, the Convention states: (they are) c/ "Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and the need for persons with disabilities to be guaranteed their full enjoyment without discrimination…”
Article 9 - Accessibility to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas…
Article 10 - Right to life States Parties reaffirm that every human being has the inherent right to life and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.
Apart from the undoubted formal and legal importance of the UNCRPD, there are the just human qualities of compassion, understanding and care to take into account. It seems you fail in both elements.
Mike Llywelyn Cox