The TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, speaking at this year’s annual TUC disabled workers online conference about the government and their appalling record of a complete disregard of disabled people during the current pandemic, told conference:
“There was all that talk about herd immunity, survival of the fittest is what that says to me, and I think again we have to be honest, in this conference of all conferences, that the shadow of eugenics hangs over the whole debate, that some lives are cheaper than others … it is ugly and it is obscene, and I think it needs calling out, because never again should we be in this position where people’s lives are put on the line because of their disability.”
Speaker after speaker at the conference spoke out about how government decisions during the course of the pandemic have exposed entrenched discrimination and blatant abuse of disabled people.
Natasha Hirst, from the National Union of Journalists Disabled Member’s Council (NUJDMC), told conference: “Our exclusion is driven by political and social attitudes. We are not valued. When governments de-prioritise us, so do employers and service-providers, and everybody else. We have experienced how easily in a crisis our human rights are discarded … they are not our rights if they are snatched away when we need them most.”
Read the full report of the conference in Disability News Service (DNS).