The former UK minister for employment Chris Grayling was adamant that he was "unreservedly and implacably opposed to a real world test" when it comes to assessing people with disabilities and serious illnesses in terms of their fitness for work and eligibility for benefits. That position remains unchanged.
Since the Work Capability Assessment fit-for-work test (which in large part determines eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance) was introduced in October 2008, more than 400,000 people with serious illnesses and profound disabilities have appealed against the decision to strip them of state support.
As we report elsewhere today (12 November 2012), the WeAreSpartacus network of disabled people have today published a detailed and compelling 70-page People's Review of the Work Capability Assessment, which has taken some months of hard work under difficult circumstances to research and compile.
The 'We are Spartacus' (http://wearespartacus.org.uk/) network promoting disabled people's views on welfare reform, is launching a major campaign today (Monday 12 November 2012), and aims to make a big social media splash from 8am onwards.
Rachel Mann's passionate and thoughtful new book Dazzling Darkness: gender, sexuality and God, published by the Iona Community's Wild Goose imprint, is being launched at Manchester Cathedral, in the Nave, today (6 November 2012) at 7pm. The bookshop will be provided by St Denys' Manchester, and the launch price is £9.50. Ekklesia sends warmest wishes for the launch.
Supporters have until 10am tomorrow (1 November 2012) to sign an important petition on the 'government direct' website to stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families.