Monday 17 December 2012

Act Now - to fight for your independence

One for all and all for one…Thank you over 1000 People have already emailed their MP

When I listened to Esther McVey make her commons statement with increasing horror my first thought was – Do I have the strength to fight this!

I’m tired, ill and facing another bleak winter in the sure knowledge that I will be bed bound again very soon – Just like every winter.  That knowledge hangs like a black cloud over our house, my husband gently reminds me when I make plans for January – we like to pretend I will be well enough, knowing full well the chances of me making it to the bathroom unaided become the highlight of my day.

BUT – like you I can’t simply lie back on my pillows and hope someone else will fight for me. That’s not fair because I’m asking other sick and disabled people to do it for me.

There are two massive scary things in the new PIP (Personal Independence Payment) proposals
2 people have written about the 20 metre moving around criteria better than I ever could:

Read them here

Secondly the reliably, repeatedly, safely and timely emphasis has not gone into the regulations – which means they are not legally binding and if anyone had to appeal its could not be used as a point of law to show the decision was not fairly made.

The DWP have said it’s inherent and will be in the guidance, but well we know how easy it is to change policy.

The PIP proposals and criteria have to be agreed by parliament – it’s likely to happen in January – so we don’t have much time.

 If you havent read the governments ideas for Personal Independence Payment - that will replace DLA you can read it here PIP Thresholds and asessment criteria

So what can WE do?

We can show our MPs just how short a distance 20 metres is – I bet Esther Mcvey and her DWP cronies are relying on MP’s and the general public not having a clue how short that distance really is and far from promoting independence it will take it away.

Send your MP an E-card before Friday

Make sure the image is embedded in the email - not an attachment - it will have more imact and many MPs wont open attachments

Here’s how

Use one of these images: (right click and press save as )


with the wording -  
Please make my Christmas and do 2 things in January
Don’t vote to take my independence away – Insist the DWP go back to using the threshold criteria:
Cannot walk more than 50 Metres
Can walk 50 metres but no more than 200 Metres
Can walk more than 200 Metres 
*or to use DWP speak stand and move"

Vote to embed the Reliably, Repeatedly, Safely and Timely into the regulations so I’m not left stranded by the whims of future policy

If you have a few spoons and want to make it personal follow these simple instructions to show your MP local places they should know well to highlight just how appallingly bad the 20 metre criteria is
I’m not techy at all if I can do it so can you J

Step 1 – use google map to look up places in your local area
  • Your MP’s constituency office
  • Distance from your house to your car
  • Distance from your house to the nearest bus stop, shop, GPs, Work etc

We need to show our MPs that having a very short distance means we won’t even make it out of our houses to be independent let alone get to important places.

Step 2 – use this link and follow the instructions

Step 3 – Once you have found your house on the map change the google map view to satellite and zoom in til you have a clear picture like this one – make sure you start your measurement from inside your house.

I spend most of my day in the conservatory – which is why I started from the white bit J  - I have blocked out my road but you don’t have to as your MP needs to know you live there in order to reply.

this is what 20 Metres looks like from my house..20.06M to be exact

As you can see – If I reached my car even taking into account of the repeatedly, reliably, safely and timely policy I would FAIL the 20 metre Criteria and therefore would NOT be entitled to enhanced PIP = no access to the Motability Scheme

 Step 4 when you have got the image – press the Print screen button on your keyboard – its is usually on top row of your keyboard says PrtSc

Step 5 open the paint tool and press paste – the image will be there – I cropped the image – save it as a Jpeg and then you can add it to a email

You have both options – of course you could also

Take a photo from your front door and tell your MP 20M wont allow you to have an independent life and to please insist the DWP go back to using the threshold criteria
Cannot walk more than 50 Metres
Can walk more than 50 metres but not more than 200 Metres
Can walk more than 200 metres
*or to use DWP speak "Stand and Move"

Make it personal and the ask is for them to not Vote to take away our independence

We have 3 Days til the MPs break up for Christmas – ACT NOW please don’t just leave it thinking someone else will act for you

You can find your MP here

Thank you 

Thanks to Debbie Sayers and other spoonies for the image ideas and creating them


  1. Brilliant!

    Would just say though that we need the image to be inserted INTO the email, cos many MPs won't click on attachment.

  2. Good Point will update post to say that :) - think i meant it didnt say it doh

  3. Just a thought. If PIP says 20m, won't blue badge and ESA rules be changed to 20m to match?

  4. Oh my life i bloomin hope not - we will have to see. the Blue Badge scheme went out to consultation - it ended in October we dont know what outcome is yet. As for ESA I seriously hope not.

  5. This is bark raving mad! This could pit ambulant disabled people against wheelchair users! I spent 4 years in a wheelchair full-time but couldn't srlf-propel, now I am 'able' to use a rollator but with a good deal of pain and still qualify for the high rate mobility component- without which I wouldn't even be able to get to the supermarket due to where I live! Please don't take this the wrong way but how can they compare being 'able' to walk 20m in pain with being a pain-free wheelchair user (e.g. paraplegic without pain) who can self-propel for hundreds of metres? (Not that I ever want to be back in that wheelchair again!)

  6. I have metal rods in my spine chronic pain on morphine can't sit nor stand for more than an hour I have been told I can attend work with the use of a mobilty scooter or wheelchair I am not eligible for these DLA just been stopped ESA basic rate and on the breadline (I can't work any way) so hyperthetical but how can they offer such ideas with no entitlement?

  7. Hi Beth - thanks for this - have sent an e-mail with google maps pic to my MP - it's more than 20 metres from my front door to get to my car too - ridiculous!! Over 140 metres to the nearest bus stop too. Aaaargh!

  8. Hi

    This is a great idea - have just contacted my MP Frank Dobson - hope we get a result


  9. Great idea Beth glad i could help... and thanks for the google mesure info would never have worked that out... Dxxx

  10. Just done and sent away.I think my MP is getting fed up with letters from me. He must think im stalking him.Public transport in Cornwall is pants. However i failed at my tribunal.I was told to get out of my wheelchair,walk everywhere,join a gym and get a job.

    1. Thank you lovely, It never ceases to amaze me the lack of understanding if only it were so simple as go to the gym!

  11. People don't realise how much pain we are in, morphine only takes the edge off if now,have I gone past my sell by date, already, Oh! it's because we still have to keep the rest of the world,isn't it,we are only a small country....

    1. I know they dont - its hard to really understand sometimes but i find if i do sometihng i feel a bit more like i am worth something

  12. Done - sadly, I couldn't figure out how to send as inline images in gmail (although the email looked ok, when I click to check the sent it loses the format) - luckily I posted direct links as well...

    1. Fab thank you - I had a reply from my MP today, plus copy of letter he sent to IDS etc - that was quick - im a firm beleiver if enough of us fill thier post bags and in boxes they get twitchy

      hmmm i never quite get my head round all the email formats either :)

  13. No email set up at the moment as have recently changed provider and have no clue how to set it up in Outlook - der! My MP is Claire Perry, so unlikely to make much difference anyway :(

  14. All done - with some examples I used googlemaps directions and with others zoomed in to the level with a 20 metre ruler and got the ruler next to the trip I was trying to describe. This is what I sent her with pictures and my local locations removed:

    I am a constituent of yours writing about the proposed maximum limit of 20 metres that someone is unable to walk before becoming eligible for enhanced mobility. One consequence of this is that anyone able to walk above 20 metres will not be entitled to use the Motability scheme.

    I believe that this is far too short a distance, as almost every journey requires a walk of above 20 metres at some stage. I am not disabled but, like everyone, I could become so in the future and it is right that a fair system is in place. Here are some pictoral examples of what would be denied me if I could not walk more than 20 metres and was denied extra help.

    I would be unable to get from the end of my drive to the nearest bus stop (76 metres)

    I would be unable to get from the taxi drop-off point by Derby Market Place to the Quad, bars or Assembly Rooms (37 metres):

    I would be unable to get from either train platform to your constituency office:

    I would be unable to get from the nearest bus stop to the polling station; in fact it is more than 20 metres from the street to the polling station entrance.

    I ask you to insist that the DWP returns to a maximum limit of at least 50 metres when the regulations are voted upon in January, to allow people with severe mobility issues to continue to live independent lives. I also ask that all decisions over capability look at what an individual can do reliably, repeatedly, safely and in a timely fashion - not just once at an assessment centre.

    Thank you for your time; I am happy to answer any questions you might have.

    Yours etc.

  15. Thats a fantastic letter thank you - and as you say anyone could become disabled at any time :) many people will be heartened at your support, as often for them it feels a lonely struggle :)

  16. Sent email to Aidan Burley , will not get a reply or any empathy from that nazi lover but at least it helps fill his email box. Have also made Davjd Winnick aware, a neighbouring labour MP who has consistently argued against the WRB and I know will be vocal about it. Thanks for doing this :)

  17. I have emailed my MP, Jason McCarthy. Thank you.

  18. Have we missed this now? Have only just seen the blog!

    1. Nope it hasnt come back to the house of commons think its early next week, still time to email your MP

  19. I keep having fantasies of designing a "pain suit" along the lines of the pregnancy suit - to give not yet disabled or chronically ill people feel what it might be like to be in constant pain and for every step to be agony but have to do it regardless. I'm taking 50mg tramadol plus various other pain medications & random other specific drugs for my ailments _every_two_hours_. I'd be on morphine but it gives me migraines.

    This pain suit would have to include tight shoes with internal spikes that are different lengths; some sort of tight/hobbled leggings, maybe with something that forced each knee to knock the other or for the knees and hips to be canted oddly to create muscle and joint aches; working all the way up the body in a similar fashion to a headband that is too tight and gives the wearer a constant headache. They'd have to wear it for a week and can't take it off even for bed, shower or sex... cope with that you bastards.

    Er... them "you" not you "you", you know that, right?

    I'm in a vicious mood, just finished drafting yet another useless letter to my MP - if I don't get a reply, my husband will change it and resend it... just to see if I was right before and she's ignoring letters/emails from me, but answers ones from hime.

  20. just signed up to sparticus,i'm disabled and find it very painful,not just walking a few metres,but sitting in one position for any length of time.what this government is doing to the old and disabled is nothing short of inhumane and disgusting.both parties got power on a coalition of lies and broken promises,this recession was caused by greedy bankers who took enormous risks with the publics give all the bosses a huge bonus and cut the meagre amount begrudgingly given to those of us who would be so happy if they could spend just one day in your painfree,wealthy,polished designer shoes.

  21. I'm so depressed right now I want to die . the only bit of freedom i get is going to and thro the school in my car and now cameron wants to take that away from me why must he pick on us, the ones that need it most. having a pain free day to me is like winning the lottery i feel so happy but soon a pain free day will be just a distant memory as soon I'll have to crawl when i've reached the distance my legs allow.He's already taken my sickness benifit thanks to ATOS and now my independance.

    1. I am so sorry to see this have you got any support? if you come back and read this and need to talk or get some help leave a message


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