United Response: Campaigning for a fair society – House Of Lords manifesto launch

Campaigning for a fair society – House Of Lords manifesto launch

by Jaime Gill, Head of Press and Public Affairs, United Response

Yesterday afternoon United Response was among more than a 100 present at the launch of a new manifesto by the Campaign For A Fair Society in the House Of Lords. Two people we support joined us to hear first hand the eight positive principles Campaign For A Fair Society believe could create a better future for all of us in the UK.

Baroness Hollins, the host, welcomed the Campaign For A Fair Society’s “attempt to build consensus” on a way forward that is fair for all, and argued that in a time of spending cuts it is crucial for all of us “to keep a watchful eye” on how they affect vulnerable people.

Simon Duffy, representing the Campaign, spoke about the eight proposals the manifesto puts forward, including a stronger focus on human rights, a clearer and fairer benefits system and social care provision which offers people who require support far more choice and control over their own lives.

Kaliya Franklin speaks out at Campaign For A Fair Society manifesto launch

Disability activist Kaliya Franklin made an impassioned speech about disabled people’s fears for the future, and argued that 40 years of progress could be reversed if spending cuts continue to fall disproportionately on disabled people at the same time as rhetoric about “benefit scroungers” is ramped up in some parts of the media. She also argued that the general public was compassionate at heart: “if the general public understood what was happening, they would be up in arms.”

At the same time as the manifesto was launched, Community Care ran a thoughtful blog on the Campaign.

“The reason this is interesting is that one often sees the personalisation agenda and the anti-cuts agenda as being in tension. One reason is that the former is endorsed by the government and the latter is firmly anti-government. Another is that the cuts to disabled people’s services and benefits is sometimes couched by government and its supporters as attacking a dependency culture that is in opposition to the pro-independence ethos of personalisation.

But this manifesto makes the point that the two agendas are one; that independent living for disabled people requires financial security and choice and control over the services you receive.”

The manifesto is only a starting point, however, and is intended to be a living document which will evolve as more and more people sign up to the Campaign and add their voices to ours. To sign up for a better future click here.


This piece was first published by United Response, and can be viewed here