I have chosen to write this blog on the evening of the start of London 2012 Paralympic Games and in the week when Salford's first directly-elected Mayor shamefully shifts the blame by releasing early information through a press release that he will probably make savage cuts to welfare provided by our Council to some of the most vulnerable in Salford, including those on Employment Support Allowances and people with disabilities by withdrawing the 100 % support many vulnerable people were entitled to previously.
Whilst I accept central government have reduced the support given to Councils to provide this assistance, each local Council can still choose to provide this support to those that need it if they want to.
I pay tremendous credit and they have my enormous respect "Disabled People Against Cuts" on their day of direct action across the country where they are campaigning at the total hypocrisy of the Condem government to pay hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers money to a profit-making company, to implement savage cuts to welfare to people with disabilities and health conditions by abolishing the Disability Living Allowance.
They correctly highlight the thousands of deaths which welfare cuts, it is accepted, have been a significant contributory factor which have included many suicides, estimated so far at over 13,000 in the UK as a result of people being forced off Employment Support Allowance.
ATOS is a profit-making company hired by the government which has targets to meet which results in the reduction of welfare payments to the most vulnerable in society.
Have you ever heard of the saying "Two wrongs don't make a right ?" This week Salford's Mayor in a shameful act tries to justify and shift blame to central government on savage cuts to Council Tax support to the most vulnerable in Salford he is probably going to make from 2013 and almost tries to excuse his responsibilities as a Labour Mayor, surely, a Labour Mayor elected to support the most vulnerable in our city ?
I have said all along whether its a Labour, Condem, Liberal or a Tory - they are all the same ? They implement each others cuts, take their extortionate salaries, allowances, freebies, junkets abroad and continue to fund their pet projects in their millions whilst pretending they care about the real impact of the decisions they make on ordinary peoples lives and then blame each other ?
It is just crocodile tears. Do they care really about their alleged values ?
Salford City Council is paying hundreds of thousands of pounds each and every year to manage an organisation many regard as incompetent. Salford's Mayor only a few weeks ago audaciously accepted his £69,000 PA and within days announces likely cuts to Council Tax support to the most vulnerable in our city. For each recipient, a few pounds a week, the difference between a decent meal or not, for some already suffering with disabilities and other illnesses. The difference between life or death for a very small minority.
Ian Stewart, Salford's first directly-elected Mayor says before he got elected that he stands for the values of Salford people. We since find out he supported the Iraq War which resulted in the death and displacement of millions. He voted against an investigation into the decision to go to war, which many believe was a government cover-up. He took the £69,000 PA offered to him all smiles at Salford Council and was condemned for doing so and catapulted his Labour cronies into all-sorts of Asssistant Mayoral positions after declaring he would work with anyone in the interests of the city.
Ordinary people in our city voted for this Labour Mayor. Many of these people are the very people the Condem government through Atos is attacking and Salfordians expect a Labour Mayor to really support them, not just issue a press release to placate. Two wrongs do not make a right. Stop issuing pathetic press releases Mr Mayor justifying and playing politics with real lives and do spend your time ensuring the most vulnerable in our city are fully supported by our Council. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of their Labour values - but most in the know that the man leading the helm in our city is one of the "new" Labour cohorts - yes sir, yes sir, three bags full sir - I will vote to go to war and tow the party line !
I wish all our paralympians well and Paralympics GB. Unlike the Condem government, whilst I will admire each and every athlete in their pursuit of sporting achievement I wont be using the occasion to justify or promote disability in a way to promote an idealogy of what they can do rather what they cannot do in order to justify savage cuts to disabled peoples welfare payments.
They all ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.