An open letter to Steve Cram, MBE…

The following is my version of the letter posted here

As you can see, I have rewritten it somewhat, partly to correct grammar and punctuation, as well as smoothing out a degree of clunkiness – it’s going out over my name after all – and also to remove a libellous sentence, something to beware of if you decide to opt for the original version. I have also changed the second para to make it a more polite request. Likewise the penultimate para.

As for the libel, to claim, publicly, that “There are many articles throughout the press concerning deaths and suicides caused by this company’s actions,” is to invite a libel writ by return of post. I am not prepared to endanger my blog – or myself – by letting that stand.

The fatal words are, of course, “caused by this company’s actions” and anybody going with that version had bloody well better be willing and able to stand up in court and prove it (simply knowing something is so does not make it true in the eyes of the law – you have to prove it). And even if you win, the court case could still ruin you financially.

I invite  you all copy it** and email it to Steve Cram at info@extramileme.com .

**Omitting my name, of course!

Dear Mr Cram,

With all the charity work you do, I find it very hard to comprehend your association with Atos Origin, in the light of its association with the Paralympic Games.

I would ask you, therefore, to please be good enough to read this article:-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/feb/23/government-reform-disability-benefits

You may well be aware that on Wednesday 11th May there was a demonstration of disabled people in London – the biggest demonstration of disabled people that has ever been held.

They were campaigning against ATOS healthcare, part of ATOS origin, and the barbaric Work Capability Assessment (WCA), tests that they carry out on the chronically sick and disabled, using the notoriously unreliable tick-box LIMA computer system, used by them in ascertaining whether or not people are fit for work. This rather than use doctors (which was the case in the past), whose knowledge and experience would render the process much more fair and flexible.

Why? Simply that we are human beings, with all the variability that this implies – we were not designed, by nature, to fit check-lists and pigeon-holes – and we have the right, given how much hangs on these decisions (like the ability to keep a roof over our heads), to expect our assessments  to be carried out impartially and competently.

Neither seems to be the case right now given the positively obscene decisions being reached. Cancer sufferers still undergoing therapy being adjudged fit for work, for example, and terminally ill people likewise, several of whom have died before their appeals could be heard. Were they assessed impartially and competently? Seriously?

And it may interest you to know that many Charities, Organisations, Medical Professionals, Scholars & Academics, Independent Inquiries & Commissions have made clear in unequivocal public statements that the WCA, as currently implemented, is not only “unfit for purpose” but it still continues continues to be administered by ATOS Healthcare.

There are many articles throughout the press concerning deaths and suicides apparently linked to this company’s actions, and we would ask you, respectfully, to please withdraw your support for them and speak to any organisation, of your choice, representing disabled people, to find out what the disabled community, charities and the CAB think regarding Atos Origin.

It would be excellent news for the chronically sick and disabled community if you would publicly disassociate yourself from Atos Origin, and its association, in any way, with the Paralympic Games.

Thank you for any help you are able to give in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Ronald W. Graves.

One of the Disabled People of Great Britain

 ….

NB: There’s a popular misconception that Steve Cram is representing the Paralympics – he’s not. He is (official title), the Atos Origin UK Ambassador to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. That is, representing the interests of Atos Origin, NOT  the games, in the same way that the United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James represents American interests, not British.  A crucial difference.

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