Sunday, April 25, 2010

Brown's Latest Brownie

In a campaign speech just now, Gordon Brown called the Disability Discrimination Act as "one of my greatest achievements".

FACT: The Disability Discrimination Act was brought in by William Hague during the Major Government. It was amended and updated in 2005, but the original achievement was under a Conservative government. What a shame Brown failed to acknowledge the Act's creator.

So, Brown tells another Brownie. Perhaps at some stage he might like to acknowledge his mistake. Fat chance.

This remark was made, I gather, during yet another Brown speech to a small group of Labour activists. Does he actually ever meet ordinary voters? Meanwhile, David Cameron was speaking to an open audience in the North East. The contrast is stark.


Soho Politico said...

You would have been well-advised to check this before posting. There was a new, significantly revised and expanded Disability Discrimination Act passed in 2005. Clearly, this is what Brown was referring to. You should amend your post to make this clear, since at present you are falsely accusing Brown of lying (telling a 'Brownie'). Will you acknowledge your mistake?

Irene said...

So many Brownies

But the Tories just let all slip away without any real challenge - I despair.

Moriarty said...

As George Costanza (who resembles Brown in a number of ways) once said: "It's not a lie if YOU believe it."

DespairingLiberal said...

I think Brown has always found it a bit difficult to distinguish truth from fact. The difference now is that we, the voters, see this every day, whereas over the previous 10 years it was kept fairly hidden and only Blair's circle were intimate with it.

What with that and his peculiar, almost sickly smile, I find the prospect of another few years under this most ghastly of PMs almost unbearably disgusting. If we are in hung territory, I for one would be happy to see the LibDems and Cameron team up, if only to avert that. The plus side of this would also be that the LibDems would moderate and thwart some of the headbanger elements in hidden Tory policy and very probably put the Tories back on track in Europe. It would be truly ironic if, forced into a coalition, Cameron could use this as cover to overrule the sillier elements and get back into proper politics with Merkel and Sarkozy! Even those of us who are not Tories would benefit from having such an important party as the Conservatives back on the central path of Europe.

Jimmy said...

You're not by any chance talking about the Bill that Nicholas Scott tried to wreck and had to resign after lying to Parliament about it? Busted by his own daughter as I recall.

You must be so proud.

Hague had to be dragged kicking and screaming to pass even the limited act that he did. The recommendations were only fully implemented under Labour.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Soho Politico is spot on about the 2005 Act differing significantly from the 1995 Act but it would seem sensible to have credited the Tory party for starting the process.

Having said that, both Labour and Conservative parties are making themselves very unpopular with the disabled community. A combination of increasingly harsh, punitive medical tests for benefits with a toothless DDA is not a good one. Neither party seems to be connecting the difficulties of finding employment for those with disabilities/ill health with the lack of access and basic care/facilities for the same people.
As a disabled person my greatest difficulty with both Brown and Cameron is that their personal experience of disability means rightly or wrongly, I expect better from them than other politicians without that personal insight.

Bardirect said...

Soho Politico

"significantly revised and expanded"?

1995 Act - 70 sections, making it unlawful to discriminate against a disabled person in relation to employment, the provision of goods, facilities and services, and the disposal and management of premises, providing for regulations facilitating the accessibility of taxis, public service vehicles and rail vehicles for disabled people.

2005 Act - 20 sections, amending the 1995 Act, the explanatory notes at demonstrate the limited extent of amendments

So Gordon's greatest achievement - as the then Chancellor - is a claim merely to have Amended an earlier Act!

Senn the Cartoonist said...

truth is it was brought in nder john major bt it has had two massive improvements to the DDA ,

its a real criticism of the Welsh assembly that only 2% or so of staff are disabled while the welsh poplation reg. disabled is near 20%, as if the governemtn in Wales is cting like DDA does not apply to them bt everyone else

Anonymous said...

Iain, I'm interested to know why you think that a minority Conservative administration with a 'confidence and supply' agreement with the Lib Dems would "almost guarantee a second election before the end of the year"?

If you look in Scotland, the SNP have been able to successfully operate for coming up three years now with a minority Government. If the party in power acts reasonably, this sort of arrangement can work pretty well.

In any case, I highly doubt the Lib Dems would enter into such an agreement without a guarantee that there wouldn't be an election for a reasonable period of time. And there would be no point in the Tories calling a new election if the result was simply going to be the same (or worse) for them. Plus, the public are unlikely to take a favourable opinion of a government that drags them back to the polls immediately without good reason.

If Clegg and Cameron are sensible and reasonable - and make a genuine effort to compromise - they can find plenty of areas of common ground to work on. I'd be annoyed with both parties if they don't make an effort to work together, given they actually already agree on a fair bit.

Martin S said...

Brown did the same thing during the last election! I was covering an 'open public meeting' for the press and I realised that every member of the public was in reality a local Labour Party councillor or activist.

john in cheshire said...

Despairing Liberal - that will be the eternal problem between us conservatives and the Libdems - us conservatives want out of the EU. Whereas the Libdems want us ever further in. That's why I can't bring myself to vote Conservative - which is my natural home. I want us out of the EU because all else that needs to be done to return us to a normal civilised country, flows from this one action.

David Boothroyd said...

The speech was at the Westminster Academy, built by the Labour government in Westbourne ward in Westminster. The majority of the audience were students of the academy and other first time voters.

Hague's Disability Discrimination Act from 1995 was so unbelievably weak that it achieved next to nothing. The Major government squashed a decent private members' bill the previous year. Labour's Act from 2005 is actually workable and effective. So it is a definite achievement.

Henry Wood said...

To "Soho Politico" - If Brown was so "clearly" referring to Labour's extension of the DDA in 2005 why did he not say that? It is not "clear" at all to anyone who has no prior knowledge of the DDA, and I suspect that applies to many able bodied voters who possibly believe yet another Brown claim to fame. I am a disabled voter so know a little bit about this.

The government's own site says in the first line of its description of the DDA:

"The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 aims to end the discrimination that many disabled people face."

1995 geddit? Yes, it also mentions it was "significantly extended" in 2005 but there is absolutely no way Brown created the DDA.

Brown is a liar and you are a charlatan for attempting to defend a Brown untruth using classic Labour spin methods.

jon dee said...

As part of his sociopathic make-up, persistent lying is only one of a number of antisocial symptoms which scar his personality.

One result is, the inability to accept that the majority of the electorate see him for what he is, a liar.

Junior Lawyer said...

The UK had no choice but to pass the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in order to incorporate the European Equal Treatment Framework Directive. Perhaps you should give some credit to the actual creators - The EU. No? Thought not.

DespairingLiberal said...

I'm sure you do (john in cheshire) - but the majority of the British people do not and your view is a minority one, which Cameron himself does not share, although he pays lip service to it, due to the Tory Party membership being a rump of deep right-wingers and most of the centrists having jumped ship some years ago.

In fact, a LibDem - Tory coalition now would most closely resemble past generations of Tory governments before the headbangers took over.

Moriarty said...

Tiny Briefs: "Perhaps you should give some credit to the actual creators - The EU. No? Thought not."

I take it that is addressed to Gordon Brown. Unfortunately he can't hear you. As part of his re-energised election campaign he's on stage this afternoon with Bjorn Again

Mrs Rigby said...

@ David Boothroyd.
Hague's Disability Discrimination Act from 1995 was so unbelievably weak that it achieved next to nothing. The Major government squashed a decent private members' bill the previous year. Labour's Act from 2005 is actually workable and effective.

If, as you say, the 1995 legislation was 'weak', why wasn't it seen as a priority and dealt with in, say, 1997?
Why did they wait until the bill's tenth anniversary?

wild said...

It is more subtle than that "Despairing Liberal". Most Conservatives are anti-Euro Federalist. If the EU reforms itself (which is to say allows itself to be reformed) most Conservatives will be content to stay in the EU.

If it does not seriously reform itself most Conservatives will be content to withdraw.

Neither of these positions have anything to do with the Liberal Democrats.

The UK Independence Party thinks that any chance of reform is about as likely as David Boothroyd voting for the Conservatives and therefore they seek immediate withdrawl from the EU.

Given the size of the British contribution to the EU budget the other members of the EU would be foolish to reject reform.

If they are incapable of reform, and continue in their greed, and incompetence, dominated by the usual Franco-German anti-British alliance, it is only a matter of time (I believe) before there will be a UK referendum on whether we should stay in or out.

Without any reform the outcome of this (in my opinion) would almost certainly be withdrawl.

I personally would never vote for the UKIP in a General Election because it is in effect a vote which strengthens the Euro-Federalists.

I will however continue to vote UKIP (if I decide to continue to vote) during the EUROPEAN elections, because it is the only way to register disgust at the way it is currently run i.e. that it is badly in need of radical reform.

Unsworth said...

@ Soho Politico

Care to put up a reference for Brown's exact phrasing?