This ain’t going away


Mid Feb. And no action about the Mazars review. Extraordinary. I watched a documentary last night from 1981. Silent Minority. By a filmmaker called Nigel Evans. (He died recently but there are several of his documentaries on youtube and I recommend dipping in. A remarkable archive.)

Earlier today someone asked me if I thought anything will happen with the Mazars review. A question I think we never thought would be asked, back in the summer of 2015, when early findings were shared with the review panel.  The findings evidenced a barbaric disregard for the human rights of certain people that could only be a matter of national importance. The leaking of the Mazars review, and subsequent debate in the House of Commons on December 10, supported this.

And then tumbleweed.  A cynically timed ‘offical’ publication date just before crimbo and crap all meaningful action by NHS England, Sloven, Monitor, CQC and Jeremy Hunt since has generated serious despair in the Justice shed.

This negativity was reinforced last week after listening to an update about the Learning Disability Mortality Review programme (LeDeR) based at Bristol University last week. A watered down version of a national mortality review board because the government (previous and current) thought premature deaths of learning disabled people weren’t worth proper funding.  A piecemeal programme with little independent scrutiny and rigour (and unfunded public involvement).


Strangely, I started feel more positive today. Helped, in part, by various tweets, emails, facebook posts highlighting the obvious lack of fit between ‘official’ talk and people’s lives. And regular emails/messages relaying sometimes small changes and shifts. Unlike in 1981, social media allows a diverse range of different people to collectively come together, contribute, support and do stuff. #JusticeforLB is increasingly known about in a way we never imagined. In March a short play by Edana Minghella about LB will feature in Twelve Angry Women in Brighton. The Justice quilt will be on display at the Kings Fund next week. Plans are underway for a late evening choral event alongside the quilt in the Warwick University Arts Centre in the summer. 

The Mazars review clearly highlighted eugenic practices embedded within the structure and processes of at least part of the NHS and social care. This ain’t going away. And the non action by those who should be acting is starkly visible. The atrocities highlighted by Nigel Evans (among others) which continue today in different versions remain beyond wrong. We have options he could only have dreamed of back in the day when the content of his documentary was challenged. That his work is freely available on YouTube underlines the potential for social media to render these happenings visible and ensure they remain so.

[Photos are from the recent extraordinary Sloven Board meeting. Thanks to Saskia Baron for the Nigel Evans link]

Postscript: Bizarrely, just a few hours after posting this, Rob Greig published this article in Community Care, saying similar.

8 thoughts on “This ain’t going away

  1. It is a travesty that no one in power seems able to do the right thing here. Don;t they know that there is not a carpet big enough to sweep this dirt under?

    • I think they know it is the exact opposite. A small pile of dirt that matters to people with very little power to affect them.

      It is still necessary to bang on about it – and Sara, you are an example to all of us. What we need is powerful allies and endless persistence. Change is possible – but it will come from the bottom up, not the top down I think.

  2. I can’t help but think one big push could be for collective action to increase the number of leafing disabled people registering to vote and then casting their ballot.
    Voters count and a collective make your vote count and people who are part of or follow #JusticeforLB make it an issue at the polls.

    Until recently I was unable to be vocal due yo a role I held, but there are ways to apply local pressure that adds up to a national action.
    I’d be happy to help if you would welcome that.

  3. Some time ago I commented on a book where it described the central role
    of thousands of women who administrated the holocaust and the running on time to the gas chambers, and the hundreds of ‘good’ nurses who believed the social dogma and held the children down to be injected to death by doctors. Thousands of ‘good’ ‘ordinary’ links in a ‘barbaric’ chain. All powerful essential links just doing their own simple job.

    Now, the kind care manager who spends our hours just ticking the box; filling in an empty carer assessment, or cutting to the core care, already reduced to mean and miserable. All just doing their simple job.

    A P/power chain. Links of ‘good’ from top to bottom, all doing the job and taking the pay.

    All of the barbarity behind the grief and injustice so resiliently, eloquently and movingly described by Sara has been known for decades. By NDT, CQC, NHS, LA’s, Mencap et al, etc etc etc and every support worker, manager clinician and profession/al in the care and support book. And all saying ‘not me gov’, ‘am just doing my job’. Take the shilling and keep on doing not quite enough to change things.

    Everyone up and down this sordid (as the pyramid moves to it’s point increasingly well paid) ‘barbaric’ abuse of Power chain needs to ask themselves ‘is it me’, ‘am I culpable’. ‘Do I collude in this just to keep my job’ .

    Stop leaving it to us.

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