Words try to hide government’s callous views on disability equality

Words give news, they give views, they tell the truth – but they can also hide the truth and deceive people.

As examples, take a look at these:

  •  “The government agrees …”
  • “The government recognises …”
  • “The government notes …”
  • “The government agrees …”

These led not to acceptance but dismissal of most of a list of recommendations designed to benefit people with disabilities.

Sajid Javid MP.

In fact, these phrases were used in the government’s response to the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee report ‘Building for Equality: Disability and the Built Environment’.

Presented to Parliament by the secretary of state for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, the response rejected the vast majority of the 23 recommendations made by the committee.

Such words were designed to make it appear that those recommendations were carefully and thoroughly considered. But, in reality, it is far more likely that they have been used in an attempt to deceive us. To put it plainly, I believe that the government rejected 20 of those recommendations outright. It then tried to hide its callous decisions behind intentionally deceptive words.

The full list of recommendations, together with the government responses, can be viewed here.

Equality response ‘very disappointing’

Disability Rights UK deputy chief executive Sue Bott told Disability News Service: “The government response is very disappointing.”


Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK.

She said there was “little to cheer about”, except the government’s decision [although this was not in response to a recommendation of the committee]to commence long-awaited measures in the Equality Act 2010 that will impose a duty on landlords to allow reasonable access improvements to be made to the common parts of blocks of flats, such as entrances and stairs (see separate story).  

She added: “It seems that access to the built environment is anyone and everyone’s responsibility except the government’s.”

The women and equalities committee said it was too early to comment on the government’s response.

Asked why the government had rejected so many recommendations, an MHCLG spokesman agreed that the government had accepted just three of the report’s recommendations.

But he said: “We fully recognise the importance of accessibility and inclusion when making decisions relating to the built environment.

Mere words again. The government may recognize the importance, but its words don’t equal action. Then, as far as disability is concerned, this government general takes negative action – or no action at all.  Positive action that would benefit the disabled remains an anathema to it.

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is for your general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues. Also, consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely my own unless otherwise stated.

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