By Raya Al Jadir and John PringLeaving the European Union (EU) would have “harmful” and “dire” consequences for disabled people, according to two of the first leading disabled figures to speak out on June’s referendum.The UK will decide whether to leave the EU in a referendum on 23 June, but almost nothing has been said publicly about the potential impact of this vote on disabled people.A search using the terms “Brexit” (a UK exit from the EU) and “disabled” on two of the most popular internet search engines, Bing and Google, failed to bring up a single reference to how leaving the EU would affect disabled people.Deborah King, co-founder of Disability Politics UK, criticised the campaigns to leave and remain in the EU for failing to spell out “what the impact of Brexit would be on disabled people”.She said: “We need to know the effects on our income – for example, if the economy took a nosedive, would we be facing yet more cuts?“Would there be a rush to also withdraw from the European Convention [on Human Rights] as well? This has underpinned our rights in the bedroom tax cases.“There are many unanswered questions.”One disabled campaigner who has spoken out this week is Miro Griffiths (pictured), a former government adviser and project officer for the European Network on Independent Living, and now a lecturer, researcher and teacher.He said he believed that Britain’s exit from the EU “would have dire consequences for disabled people”. Griffiths said the EU could be criticised on many issues, such as its failure to implement strategies to protect refugees who enter Europe, but “disabled people’s life chances would certainly not improve if we were to leave”.By remaining, he said, disabled people can continue to use existing EU frameworks and directives to “continually challenge our state and the power it exerts”. He suggested that “sustained grassroots pressure” and “diplomatic dialogue” could lead to the EU challenging the damage caused by the UK government’s cuts to disabled people’s support.Griffiths also said he feared that the “fetishism” of some Brexit supporters on the issue of UK “sovereignty” would lead to a post-Brexit UK government “imposing a concept of justice that reinforces and validates their actions, which will continue to oppress many groups”.This could lead, he said, to disabled people becoming “voiceless – with reduced support from our European neighbours”.Griffiths, a member of the British Council’s advisory panel for disability issues, said: “Many will argue that the EU is complacent in tackling the social injustice within many member states and I would agree with their analysis.”But he added: “If we are isolated from our supporters in Europe then our resistance towards the state is merely interpreted as disobedience.” Another prominent disabled figure who has spoken out this week in favour of staying in the EU is the crossbench peer Lord [Colin] Low, who said: “I have no doubt that leaving the EU would be harmful to disabled people’s interests.“There have been many occasions when European legislation has been ahead of the UK’s or what the UK was prepared to deliver.”Many disabled people’s organisations have not had the time or resources to prepare a position on Brexit, although Disability Rights UK has promised to release a statement before June’s referendum.Disability News Service has not yet found a disabled campaigner or user-led organisation in favour of Brexit, but two of the mainstream organisations campaigning to leave the EU commented briefly this week, although neither argued that there were benefits of Brexit that would solely apply to disabled people.Jack Montgomery, a spokesman for Leave.EU, said: “We think that Brexit will be good for everyone in the UK.“It will empower people to hold lawmakers directly to account by restoring the full range of decision-making powers to our elected representatives in parliament, and it will liberate funds currently spent on immoral EU programmes like the Common Agricultural Policy which can be better spent on things like inclusion schemes, research and public services.”Edward Spalton, president of the Campaign for an Independent Britain, said: “Our view is that the UK’s own position on disability rights and practical support for disabled people is ahead of many EU countries. Of course, more can and will be done.“The EU has a policy with similar aims to that of the UK legislation but in many countries its implementation [is] less advanced in practice than in the UK.“So the position for people with disabilities with regard to EU membership is broadly the same as for the whole population.“It is, of course, far easier to obtain improvements from our own parliamentary representatives, whom we elect and can dismiss, than from the remote and unsackable EU Commission. Again, this is true for the whole population, not just for those with disabilities.”DNS is keen to hear from any disabled people or disabled people’s organisations with views on the likely impact on disabled people of leaving the EU
MPs from across the House of Commons have raised fresh concerns about the assessment process for the government’s new disability benefit.Work and pensions secretary Damian Green faced further questioning about the personal independence payment (PIP) system yesterday (Wednesday), following his decision to introduce new regulations that will make it more difficult for people with severe mental distress to secure the mobility-related support they need through PIP.The new measures – which come into force today but could still be overturned by peers or MPs – were brought in to reverse two upper tribunal rulings on PIP, which is gradually replacing disability living allowance for working-age claimants.Green’s decision to reverse the rulings means an estimated 164,000 claimants will not now be eligible for the mobility component of the benefit or will receive a lower level than they would have received.A petition calling on the government to abandon the changes had been signed by nearly 180,000 people by this morning (Thursday).This week, the government’s benefits advice body, the social security advisory committee (SSAC), raised its own concerns about the new regulations.In a letter to the minister for disabled people, Penny Mordaunt, the committee said it was clear that there was “confusion” about DWP’s original “policy intent” around whether people with severe mental distress should qualify for the mobility element of PIP, and it said the department “must be clearer in its articulation of policy intent in the future”.It also said that there may be some claimants with mental health conditions who have already been awarded higher rates of PIP and will in the future see their PIP reduced as a result of Green’s decision, even though DWP officials had told the committee that this would not happen.The committee said in the letter that it was “particularly concerned that there may be unintended operational and legal consequences arising from the changes to the mobility descriptors in these regulations”.Debbie Abrahams, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, questioned Green in the Commons chamber yesterday about the SSAC letter.She told fellow MPs: “The government’s decision to change the law on PIP is a clear demonstration of the fact that people with mental health conditions are not given equal treatment.”She called for Green to “review the flawed PIP process as a matter of urgency”.And she asked him if he would ensure there was a debate and vote on the new regulations.He said the government would respond to the committee’s letter in due course, but he was unable to confirm whether there would be a debate.He said PIP was “a much better benefit for people with such conditions than its predecessor, disability living allowance”, and that 27 per cent of PIP recipients with a mental health condition receive the enhanced rate mobility component, whereas nine per cent received it under DLA.He added: “It is perfectly clear from the facts that the regulations restore PIP to its original policy intent, and that that policy intent is better for people with mental health conditions than earlier benefits were.”But Labour MP Frank Field, whose work and pensions select committee last week held an urgent evidence session on PIP assessments, partly triggered by an ongoing investigation into dishonest assessment reports by Disability News Service, said that evidence coming to his committee showed that people with non-physical impairments found it difficult to qualify for PIP.Other MPs from Labour, SNP and the Conservatives added their concerns about the PIP process.Labour MP Derek Twigg said: “I just cannot understand why some of the people who come to see me have not been awarded their benefit.“I have had experience of cases such as these over a number of years now, and I have never come across such difficult cases as those I have seen recently.”Tory MP Heidi Allen said the tribunal ruling had “highlighted the fact that there are still flaws in the PIP process and that more can be done for mental health claimants”, and she called for the ruling to be “a catalyst to look at the whole PIP process from the beginning”.Green told her that ministers “need continually to look at improvements, and I think they are done better as part of a coherent process rather than as a result of individual court judgments.“I am sure that she will agree that the improvements in the benefit system need to go hand in hand with the many improvements we are now beginning to see in the health service’s treatment of people with mental health conditions.”Labour’s Angela Eagle said that she was “finding an increasing discrepancy between the way that the secretary of state is describing the PIP benefit and the people who are coming to my advice surgeries in tears having been completely let down by the system”.Green told her: “We all know from our own constituency surgeries that there are individual cases that might need to be taken up, sometimes simply because people disagree with a decision, or if there are delays. I am absolutely aware of that.”Labour MP Clive Efford said he found it “impossible” to understand some of the decisions made on the PIP claims of his constituents and that he believed something was clearly “wrong” with the system.Corri Wilson, the SNP’s spokeswoman on disability, said: “The government continually trot out the line that serious mental ill health should be treated in the same way as any other illness, but their response to these rulings betrays the old attitudes and stigmas towards mental illness.“They cannot keep shifting the goalposts every time they lose a battle at court.“If a person needs help, he or she needs help regardless of the nature of their disability or health condition.“The Scottish Parliament is in the process of taking over responsibility for personal independence payment, and until that time the UK government need to be consistent and stop mucking people about.“So many of the people becoming destitute in our communities, being sanctioned, falling through the safety net, and becoming dependent on food banks, are people with mental health problems.”Labour MP Ian Lucas said he had just received an email from a constituent, which said: “I would be grateful if you would contact PIP and address my complaint about taking PIP off me. I do fear that this has caused me to consider taking my own life.”Lucas said: “Complaints of that type come in to our constituency surgeries on a daily basis.“The system is broken. It needs to be completely revisited and reconstructed. It cannot be mended.”But Green said: “Any benefits system will obviously have difficult individual cases, and decisions have to be made, but to say that the whole system is broken is going much too far.“I can only point out that just three per cent of all PIP claims are overturned on appeal, which suggests that the benefit is largely working for the vast majority of people who receive it, but there will always be individual cases where people disagree with the assessment.”
On the recent Labour-led motion being defeated: “The vote last week was a procedural motion, a business motion to, as we said, book a slot on the parliamentary agenda but the last time we voted just on the question ‘Does parliament approve or not approve a no deal Brexit?’ there was a huge defeat for a no deal Brexit.”On how to block no deal: “I think there are one or two other options using the parliamentary rule book… But, look, if it comes down to it and the House of Commons votes to pass a motion to say ‘this House does not agree to the United Kingdom leaving the EU without an agreement’, is it seriously being argued by whoever becomes Prime Minister that they are going to say to MPs ‘I’m going to ignore what you have just said’? I don’t think that is a politically or indeed a constitutionally sustainable position.”On the idea that the next Prime Minister could suspend parliament: “It would be scandalous to use that to try to, in effect, shut the doors of the House of Commons so that MPs can’t meet and express a view.”Ian, The MP for Leeds Central also discussed the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.On Jeremy Corbyn’s reaction to the attacks, calling for credible evidence: “We need to see the evidence and therefore we need an international investigation.” So you don’t believe the Foreign Office? “I don’t know, the honest answer is I don’t know and nor do you and nor does anybody else.”On next steps: “Now as the evidence is gathered, then people can make their judgement and I think the United Nations is the right place to do that. The second thing I would do is, if these attacks continue, then the international community ought to take steps to protect vessels that are passing through the Straits of Hormuz… Thirdly, we have to address the cause of the tension with Iran, which was the United States decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.” ‘It would be scandalous to prorogue parliament’ – Hilary Benn says he doesn’t think the Government will be able to ‘shut the doors of the House of Commons’. #RidgeFollow live political reaction here: https://t.co/YjBs9UGtw8 pic.twitter.com/CDpHQEsTdh— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) June 16, 2019The Andrew Marr ShowAndy Burnham talked about “closing the North-South divide” and his record as mayor of Greater Manchester.On the divide: “Continued austerity means we’re still having to cut essential services. So unless the incoming prime minister makes a firm commitment to the Northern Powerhouse, it’s in danger of fizzling out.”On Jeremy Corbyn’s social mobility speech and Tony Blair’s video reacting to it: “I just kind of find it odd that the energy is going into constantly raking over the past when we have a Conservative government that is really damaging people’s lives here.”On homelessness in Manchester: “I have introduced a scheme called A Bed Every Night, where we are giving every rough sleeper here somewhere to go every night. There are 300 people in our hostels every night. That isn’t happening in any other UK city.”On buses: “It costs £4 here for a single bus journey, capped at £1.50 in London. How can that possibly be fair? […] We need the same level of subsidy.”On climate change: “I have prioritised cycling and walking. I’ve proposed a ban on fracking across Greater Manchester. We are moving forward with a Greater Manchester-wide clean air zone.” Ridge on SundayHilary Benn outlined his reasons for opposing a no deal Brexit. “I find it odd that the energy is going into constantly raking over the past”Mayor of Greater Manchester and former cabinet minister Andy Burnham talks about the row between Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn on the last Labour government’s record#Marr https://t.co/swqy1AVYzQ pic.twitter.com/EmsNROpYwk— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 16, 2019Pienaar’s PoliticsThere were no Labour Party representatives on the BBC’s Pienaar’s Politics this week. But comments from Amber Rudd will likely make opposition members more optimistic about the chances of an early general election.Speaking to Katy Balls, Amber Rudd confirmed it would be “a step too far” for her to help bring down a government in favour of no deal.However, she said: “There are a number of colleagues who have gone public saying that they would consider doing that, and there are a number I know of privately who say that.”Asked by John Pienaar whether she believed the numbers were there to bring down the government, the current Work and Pensions Secretary replied: “I believe they are, yes.”Audio Playerhttps://labourlist.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/PienaarsPolitics-20190616-GovernmentNoConfidenceVote.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Tags:Andy Burnham /Labour /Hilary Benn /Brexit /Sunday shows /Sunday shows round-up /
JAMIE Foster rescued a point for Saints with a last gasp penalty at Hull KR.With the hooter and the home support ringing in his ears he kept his cool to slot over from 30 metres after the excellent Gary Wheeler had been taken high.Up until then Saints were 36-34 down in a thriller and staring down the barrel.And with less than 10 minutes remaining they were still waiting for Francis Meli’s second.The first half brought 44 points and not a whole lot of great defence from both sides.Saints raced into a 14 point lead in as many minutes as tries from Sia Soliola, Michael Shenton and James Roby gave them a solid platform.Hull KR then hit back to lead 18-14 before Saints forged ahead once again heading into the final stages of the half.But another try from a kick – Rovers’ third in their four of the opening 40 – gave the homesters a half time advantage.In the second half, Francis Meli drew Saints level after Jon Wilkin’s excellent work before Lance Hohaia’s great handling saw Paul Wellens go in for his 190th in the red vee.But Con Mika got his second and Kris Welham punished poor discipline to make it 36-30.And that’s how the game looked to be finishing until Meli popped up for his second and Foster landed home from an acute angle.Most people wouldn’t have predicted such a tight clash with Saints being near full strength and KR missing their two starting halves.Paul Wellens, Michael Shenton and Jamie Foster returned whilst Anthony Laffranchi and Tony Puletua paired up in the front row. On the bench were Andy Dixon and Gary Wheeler.Rhys Lovegrove formed a partnership with Scott Murrell to make up for those missing half-backs for the home side.After two strong sets Saints forced an error as some ferocious tackling dislodged the ball right in Hull KR’s territory.From there Laffranchi made some good yards, Hohaia went close and the ball was shifted wide through Jonny Lomax and James Roby to Sia Soliola.There was a hint of a knock on as the big man put the ball down but Ben Thaler gave it the nod.Foster missing the conversion.And it got better as Hull KR gave away a penalty on their next set. After Foster kept the ball in play on the left, it was scooped right through Lomax and Wellens for Shenton to pop up on his return.Thirteen minutes in and more points as Roby backed himself and went over from 30 metres on the last tackle; Foster converting.Although Robes took the plaudits, the move started in Saints’ own half and they moved away from their own line with some great passing and flair.Scott Murrell chipped forward for David Hodgson to reply almost immediately; goaled by Craig Hall off the touchline.And moments later Hull KR took advantage of a penalty with Mika’s plunge over from close distance.Craig Hall kicking his second to make it a two-point game.Then Hull KR were ahead and there was a great deal of luck about it. A chip over the top from 50 metres had the Saints defence on their heels and Shannon McDonnell touched down.There was a hint of controversy about it though as he didn’t seem to get the ball down before the dead ball line.Hall making it 14-18.But Saints hit back as Lance Hohaia bamboozled the defence with a flat pass for Chris Flannery to stroll in.Foster with his second of the afternoon to nudge Saints ahead.The lead was short-lived as a simple chip through again saw the easiest of tries for Josh Hodgson.Hall four from four with the boot.That was Rovers’ third try from four from the boot and something Royce Simmons’ charges needed to address at the break.Saints hit the second half strong with a repeat set and immediately profited when Wilkin recycled the ball well and Meli did the rest.Saints forced another drop out on their next set and after Andrew Dixon produced a great run, Hohaia showed sleight of hand for Wellens to cut back inside and get over under pressure.Foster with the conversion.Mika bagged his second almost immediately, goaled by Hall, before the game hit a slight lull as both sides kicked early to gain territorial advantage.Kris Welham then benefitted from a penalty to make it 36-30 to the home side.Saints huffed and puffed in the final ten minutes as Paul Wellens went close – but lost the ball over the line.But they did get the score they craved – the ball moving right through Lomax and Wheeler at pace and Meli was therefore unstoppable.And in the last minute the excellent Wheeler was taken high giving Foster the chance to grab Saints a point – and he duly did from 30 metres out at an acute angle.A point gained for sure.Match Summary:Hull KR:Tries: D. Hodgson, Mika (2), McDonnell, J. Hodgson, WelhamGoals: Hall (6 from 6)Saints:Tries: Soliola, Shenton, Roby, Flannery, Meli (2), WellensGoals: Foster (4 from 8)Penalties:Hull KR: 6Saints: 2HT: 20-24FT: 36-36REF: Ben ThalerATT: 7610Teams:Hull KR:1. Shannon McDonnell; 2. Craig Hall, 3. Kris Welham, 4. Jake Webster, 5. David Hodgson; 13. Rhys Lovegrove, 19. Scott Murrell; 8. Joel Clinton, 14. Lincoln Withers, 23. Mickey Paea, 11. Constantine Mika, 18. Graeme Horne, 15. Liam Watts.Subs: 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Scott Taylor, 20. Jordan Cox, 22. Scott Wheeldon.Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Michael Shenton, 5. Francis Meli, 22. Jamie Foster; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 11. Tony Puletua, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 13. Chris Flannery, 4. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin.Subs: 8. Josh Perry, 10. Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook, 17. Gary Wheeler, 19. Andrew Dixon.A short audio match report of this game can be downloaded here.This is available for all radio and online radio stations to download
THE latest edition of the Saintsrlfc.com Podcast is now available to download.Mike Rush, Ade Gardner, Josh Perry and Paul Wellens are all featured as we preview this week’s derby and look back on a memorable win over Warrington.To download click here or search for St Helens RFC on iTunes.Remember if you want a question answering on the Podcast drop us a line @saints1890 on twitter or email [email protected] with Podcast in the subject line.
Dom Peyroux got us off to a flyer, before Fouad Yaha levelled the game up. Tommy Makinson put us back in front with a trademark finish, but Sam Tomkins sent the sides in level at the break. Saints dominated much of the second half, but a Tomkins penalty and a late Tony Gigot try won the game for the Dragons.
The films shown at the festival are both amateur and professional surf films from around the globe. In the spirit of giving back, the festival benefits Surfer’s Healing, a nonprofit that seeks to bring surfing into the lives of kids with special needs, specifically those with autism. CSFF also raises awareness for and Surfrider Foundation.Tickets are $5 for kids, $10 for a Friday pass, $12.50 for a Saturday pass and $30 for a Trident Pass – which includes entry into both nights of the festival, a t-shirt, 4 raffle tickets per night and goodie bag.The first night of the film fest will be held inside the brewery’s private banquet room and limited to the first 110 Trident Passes sold.Related Article: Wilmington business provides free designs to local companiesSaturday’s festivities will include family friendly events, local vendors, surfboard shapers, a raffle, and food and beverages from Watermans Brewing Company.Doors open at 6 p.m. on Friday with films starting at 7 p.m. On Saturday, doors open at 5 p.m. with films starting at 7 p.m. as well.Click here to buy tickets online.To learn more about Carolina Surf Film Fest, follow them on Facebook or visit their website.For more information on Watermans Brewing Company, visit their Facebook page or website. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Surfing and film collide this weekend in the Port City.Carolina Surf Film Fest is happening Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14 at Watermans Brewing Company in Wilmington (1610 Pavilion Place).- Advertisement –
Upon arrival, officers found Percy Woods, 40, who was then transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.Woods later died as a result of his injuries.The Wilmington Police Department is investigating and treating the case as a homicide.Related Article: Troopers crack down on teen driving safety during statewide operationAnyone with information is asked to contact WPD or use Text a Tip. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department has identified the man shot and killed on Saturday afternoon.According to Wilmington Police spokeswoman Jennifer Dandron, officers responded to a report of a man shot at South 6th Street and Castle Street around 2:40 p.m.- Advertisement –
Lewis, who has been a judge for nearly 25 years has received strong support from dozens of friends and colleagues, who have organized prayer sessions outside the courthouse. The latest gathering took place Monday afternoon.“It gives a chance for everybody that loves and cares for Ola to come and pray,” priest, William Eberle said. “And I had this idea that maybe if we did something at the court house people could take a short time off of work and allow most people to come.”Attorney James Payne visited Lewis Monday in Minnesota and said she is in high spirits.Related Article: Voter ID implementing bill finalized, heads to governor“Well those who know Judge Lewis care very deeply about her. And so you have a mixture of concern for her, love for her, and respect for her,” Payne said. “The outpouring of support for her has been nothing less than phenomenal. We have people who are lined up waiting to take their turn to come up here and help take care of her.”Payne is among many of the folks traveling to the Mayo Clinic to keep Lewis company during her treatments. He and others are making sure she knows she is loved and cared for in the greatest time of need.“I love you Ola. That’s what I’d say. Thank you Jesus for Ola,” Eberle said.“Of course I miss my family, my friends and the community I so love!” Lewis’s statement continued. “I sincerely appreciate the outpouring of prayers and well wishes. I walk this walk like every other in my life… with my hand in the Hand of the Man who calms the waters.”Lewis was the youngest judge in state history when she was elected in 1993. She was also the first woman and first African-American elected to the bench in the 13th judicial district.Last month Attorney General Josh Stein honored Lewis for her work in helping battle the opioid crisis. Lewis has been a driving force behind the Brunswick County Opioid Addiction Task Force. Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick Co.) accepted the award on behalf of Judge Lewis.Friends have organized a fundraiser to help cover expenses for Lewis. It’s scheduled for Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. at Oliver’s on the Cape Fear in Southport. For more information call (910) 620-9892.Read Judge Lewis’s full statement:I arrived in Rochester, Minnesota on November 13, 2017, with the diagnosis of a rare liver cancer. Upon consultation with my doctors, my husband, Reggie, and I decided the best course of action for my health and well-being is to remain in Rochester for the duration of my treatment. The treatment is expected to last six months.Of course I miss my family, my friends and the community I so love! I sincerely appreciate the outpouring of prayers and well wishes. I walk this walk like every other in my life….with my hand in the Hand of the Man who calms the waters.Please know I am firm in my faith, trusting God at every turn. My spirit is bright and upbeat and I look forward to returning home wiser, healthier and full of energy ready to serve.By His Grace I am #OlaStrong BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A familiar face has been missing for the last several weeks from the bench in her courtroom in Brunswick County. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis is out of state getting treatment for cancer and will be gone for several more months she said.“I arrived in Rochester, Minnesota, on November 13 with the diagnosis of a rare liver cancer,” Judge Lewis said in a statement e-mailed to WWAY. “Upon consultation with my doctors, my husband Reggie and I decided the best course of action for my health and well-being is to remain in Rochester for the duration of my treatment. The treatment is expected to last six months.”- Advertisement –
SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — If you live in Surf City or are vacationing there this week, you may notice a change in your water this morning.The Surf City Police Department posted on Facebook early this morning that water service had been unexpectedly interrupted for the island portion of Surf City.- Advertisement – The Surf City Police Chief said water has been restored, but there is a 48-hour boil water advisory in effect, because the water system lost pressure last night.