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Scrounger/fraudster propaganda

@RGPLizCrow We need to confront the fraud and scrounger image.

@RGPLizCrow Floor:” It’s a lot to do with public perception and the media will polarise in goodie/baddie rhetoric.”

@ladylyn54 Public think folk on benefit are lazy dole scroungers, that disability is put on.

@RGPLizCrow An article in The Sun told the story of a woman photographed on a rollercoaster, a claimant. She was accused of fraud. I don’t know the truth, nor do I know what she had to do to be able to get on the rollercoaster or how much recovery. I only know she could have been me. Last summer I went on my first horse ride with my daughter I had to prepare/recover but no-one sees that, hence the scrounger rhetoric.

@SoniaPoulton In my lifetime I cannot remember such a savage and brutal attack against working (and sometimes poor) people.

@BADHofbauer It does seem at times of turmoil that groups get picked out to isolate as being a cause and that is what seems to be happening now.

@RGPLizCrow Floor: “This odd government facile pleasantness corresponding with callous actions, setting out to demonise the vulnerable.”

@mmaher70 Hiding and kept from the outside world who names us as scroungers and shirkers for our disability.

@SoniaPoulton Shirker or scrounger, they’re all the same narrative.

@mmaher70 The poisonous rhetoric used to turn people against each other is inhumane.

@Georgenecs The ‘closed curtains’ culture, but no one asks why the curtains are closed.

@FordCarole Or why Osborne chose to embark on this divisive rhetoric.

@BADHofbauer It does genuinely disgust me the rhetoric that is used by the media when discussing disability.

@wildcandytuft The current language surrounding benefits claimants is disgusting. No one should be told they’re a ‘scrounger’ for being in need.

@mmaher70 Is it too much to ask that we are treated with understanding and respect, not vilified as an ideological aim?

@bristolpaul I am waiting to see the academic research which shows the causal relationship between benefits and murder.

@RGPLizCrow Floor: “A tsunami of media hatred.”

@RGPLizCrow Floor: “The government are presenting their agenda as the only choice, yet the cuts are being made where they shouldn’t be.”

@jkhep Even if people don’t earn much, everybody has a right to feel valued. Everyone has a right to be here and live…

@Wheelz_012 The more I read/see, the more I think this is turning into a vendetta against people with disabilities.

@dembones3 It’s so hard not to internalise negative perceptions of disability and become forced into a constant need to justify self.

@RGPLizCrow Disabled people desperately trying to ‘justify’ themselves against propaganda leads to ‘victim’ role.

@dembones3 I have never felt guilt for having disabilities before, but this government and right-wing media make me feel watched and judged.

@Zoompad I think they just want me dead, and that just makes me feel even worse.

@RGPLizCrow Floor: “It feels like a deliberate form of genocide.”

@MyalgicEncephal Is eugenics alive and well?

@edwinmandella Join the dots: the Daily Mail historically appeased and supported Nazis; Daily Mail supports Tory Party!

@JohnLThornton We need the history of the Nazi Aktion T4 programme and its relevance today to be taught in schools:

@Simplicitly It’s not drawing comparisons with Nazis’ it’s the innocuous idea that disability is too expensive

@RGPLizCrow We need to understand how the holocaust began. It didn’t start as genocide, but was a progression. ‘The eight stages of genocide’ set out that progression and the dangers of complacency.

@mallorcasaint Möller’s famous statement “First they came…” was mentioned in this context at a #beddingout conversation First they came for the disabled and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t disabled… Then they made millions unemployed and I didn’t speak out because I had a job…Then they came for the NHS and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t ill … Then they came for me and there was no-one left to speak out for me…

@FordCarole First, Coalition comes for the disabled, then the immigrants… Because we have free speech ignored, the government is in denial at the very least and refuse to have Cumulative Impact Assessment of welfare policies.

@RGPLizCrow @PatrickStrud said “Not since Section 28 came in have I felt so acutely that evil is winning.” #NHS #WelfareCuts #BlackApril

@Spoonydoc I was an ‘inspiration’, ‘hardworking’, an ‘achiever’. Then I had a personality transplant and became a benefit scrounger.

@BipolarBlogger What separates ‘hard working families’ from ‘benefit scrounging scum’? One random event. ‘One degree of separation.’

@tiggerbumble Buying into the media’s perception of us: if everyone says it, it must then be true. Dangerous.

@winnielove46 If we lose our DLA, do we (on mass) hand ourselves in to the police as having previously committed fraud?”

@joe90kane Roaring Girl Liz Crow – The Press only want to talk to disabled people who want to die

@sazzlebean That’s bordering persecution on the Daily Fail’s part. But then again they are fans of that #hitlersfanzine.

@thisisamy Yes, I feel like disabled people are being made scapegoats for economic woes. Both by government and by certain media.

@RGPLizCrow ‘Disabled people have never had it so bad’ – on media rhetoric and verbal abuse in public places

@Gary1609 Yes, I take delight in dosing myself up with painkillers, using walking aids and attending occupational therapist just to get disability benefit.

@RGPLizCrow Floor: “My son is on the autistic spectrum. We get treated as scroungers.” (very emotional)

@RGPLizCrow Floor: “You start hiding too quickly because you don’t want to come out any more”.

@lisapeacefrench I earned £45k, worked hard, did all Cameron would approve of. My mistake was to go to work on a bus with a bomb on it on 7/72005.

@criquaer I had to stop using my mobility-scooter because of abuse. None for the five years I lived here prior to Condems!

@tippyscarecrow Sometimes I make a performance out of getting out the car in blue badge space just to avoid abuse from those who can’t see my impairment.

@BADHofbauer My husband thinks I’m being silly but I notice a change in attitude for the worse. A ‘nice’ person commented to me last week about the ‘special treatment’ disabled people should get… We only want the same opportunity for life. It is sad that in this day and age, the ‘other’ is still fighting to be recognised as equal, and that will lead to him being further ostracised.

@tippyscarecrow It turns neighbour on neighbour. I overheard mine saying ‘disabled my arse!’ about me. My response

@dembones3 And remember… kids with disabilities grow up into adults called ‘skivers’ and ‘scroungers.’ It’s your society too!

@dembones3 I don’t want children born with disabilities to be made to feel less valued by society. Counter the evil rhetoric.

[Anon] @RGPLizCrow My mother and I have been verbally attacked for the last two days by a neighbour. The comments are terrible about our disability.

@RGPLizCrow Hate crime has doubled in the last three years.

@berylkingston That is a national disgrace but, sadly, not a surprise given incessant government propaganda.

@paulfcockburn Could also be because people are more willing/able to report it than previously, though media coverage undoubtedly more hostile.

@RGPLIzCrow There’s advice here on how to get help with hate crime.

Please don’t suffer alone.

@thisisamy Collectively, this government and certain media have made me feel that I am at fault for having a disability. That I chose it.

@jamg3916 DWP can have my ‘faking it’ any time they choose. I don’t want it!

@IanJacobs1957 That paper are scum. Almost as bad as the Sun. How are they allowed to print stuff like that!”

@RGPLizCrow There’s been a drip feed of scrounging rhetoric through the media. It’s critical we counter negative and false reporting.

@lisapeacefrench And its mainly untrue! My disabled friends are the most hard working, proud, inspiring and capable people I know.

@Freewheeling4 reminds us of media distortion around the cost of disability to the country. Most of welfare is spent on pensions and low paid work.

@RGPLizCrow ‘Scrounger’ myth causing real suffering to many in society’

@CC_Me_AND_ME Does the current welfare reform feel like a deliberate attack upon the disabled?

@RGPLizCrow There’s nothing accidental in this orchestrated disablist propaganda campaign. We serve an agenda.

@MyalgicEncephal How often do the public realise that when politicians use words they have a different meaning to when they are used by the general public.

@RGPLizCrow The government are misinforming public opinion by misinterpreted statistics which is why true stories are so important.

@MyalgicEncephal Governments no longer need to be selective about data they choose to use. They fund studies which will provide the data.

@simonjduffy Liz Crow: “public opinion is being formed through invented statistics and fabrications of what we are…”

@coquopr Here’s a simple example of where an issue lies: a government department pointing at Daily Mail as a source of valid information #BeddingOut

@bluehook ‘Disability welfare cheats undermine US economic recovery’ Same thing on the other side of the pond.

@RGPLizCrow Iain DuncanSmith cites “personal observations” to defend junk statistic

@RGPLizCrow Iain Duncan Smith reckons he’s not cutting welfare. What do you think?!

@RGPLizCrow Disability ruling reveals new depths of political dishonesty.

@seniorchuffy Not helped by @MinisterDisPpl – Esther McVey MP – stirring it up in her drive to fulfil own career ambitions.

@RGPLizCrow Today @EstherMcVey talked as if we were mere numbers and not really the ‘people’ she is paid to represent, #beddingout will be unedited

@RGPLizCrow @EstherMcVey today deliberately lied to thousands in a public broadcast by stating DLA was granted without medical evidence.

@RGPLizCrow Bedside quote: It took me four years to get DLA with tons the medical reports!

@RGPLizCrow Facts @EstherMcVeyMP Truth and Lies about Poverty | Joint Public Issues Team

@carolmbrown Benefit cuts: Monday will be the day that defines this government | Polly Toynbee

@RGPLizCrow Government’s ‘secret plan to strip claimants of DLA’ –

@RGPLizCrow No evidence for Iain Duncan Smith benefit cap claim, says research chief

@MyalgicEncephal MPs could investigate ministers’ misleading use of benefits statistics – investigating their own?

@long2b According to local Kingswood MP in my interview on local BBC radio there are thousands of Disabled People languishing on benefits.

@Spoonydoc If they contradict each other enough they’ll eventually eat each other alive, we need to seize the advantage of this!

@TweetByDiane Can we make the media change the way it depicts disabled people? How could we achieve this?

@MYHeardRadio How do we close the sluicegate of vicious propaganda?

@anonemouse62 Stop current cruel tests and the manipulation of figures so genuinely ill people are not left benefitless. Get wider public to realise they are being fed bullshit and lies by the government; there are very few false claims. Show Iain Duncan Smith for the lying scumbag he is, and get him sacked.


Changing the media narrative

@writetoprotest My biggest worry is the way the media have changed the narrative so quickly (as they did for immigrants). How can we change it?

@MikScarlet Sadly media lost its way late 90s. Since then stereotypes are all the rage. Easy option portrayal. We need more disabled people in the media to get the story out, create personal experience blogs and reportage. Truth will out and media love human interest. Use it.

@BobEllard1 If we can’t always work through the national media, I wonder if working through to local papers might work.

@mattemulsion1 Local media a good source, but tends not to get widespread coverage. Twitter helps.

@MikScarlet Local press is a superb route for personal experience. Local radio stations are best.

@criquaer Tried to get local newspaper interested in stories, but no go. I’ve not tried the smaller locals as yet.

@MikScarlet Get yourself known to local media as expert on an issue. Argue a point and they’ll love you. I am more than up for running media training. Maybe start online training? Sound good?

@RGPLizCrow As we can’t rely on mainstream media, we need to create our own.

@Peckitt Agreed, this is why I blog, Tweet, and YouTube, and try to advance other crip related work through it.

@TweetByDiane I think that answers my question: to change the portrayal of disabled people in the media, we must create it.


Answering back

@RGPLizCrow How can we as disabled people, facing loss of independence, affect the current rhetoric that we are mere statistics, not really human?

@allbigideas Underpinning all benefits is the notion that people are valued differently.

@RGPLizCrow Very important to understand values driving benefits cuts. The idea that some people are of less value infects *all* cuts and all of the groups targeted. It’s essential not only to fight details of changes, but to unite all groups for a collective voice.

@RGPLizCrow Fraud matters, and needs to be dealt with, but the facts are not what is reported.

@TenPercent Fraud in the benefits system is not a big problem yet everyone is treated like a criminal.

@RGPLizCrow What’s the answer to the person who says ‘Well, there is a lot of welfare fraud, you know…’?

@RGPLizCrow 75% of people are faking it is a peddled myth it’s actually 0.3% but press latch onto big figure. It’s easy to latch on to ‘good guy/bad guy’ to sell newspapers.

@RGPLizCrow What do we say to person who says to disabled people affected by welfare reform ‘Well, we are in a time of austerity…?

@lisbethguthe Try to explain how a lot of people struggle to get by, to live on minimum income year after year.

@coquopr Inform them of the manipulation of numbers by the media and ask them to read this report

@tippyscarecrow Stop reading the Mail?

@Chelz65 Send them this to read. The Truth about Welfare from @OurWelfareWorks”

@Simplicitly The Minister ‘for’ Disabled People quoting ‘The Deficit’ as the reason we can’t afford social security, neatly sidesteps the issue of banks.

@flowerpotman2 Why doesn’t the great British primeminsterial/MP public relations machine, the BBC, ever mention these things???

@WOWpetitionchat Because “they” don’t want people to be informed.

@cynicalkind Like most things, it’s always more complicated than the headline. There’s a need for a balanced view.

@CllrPaul4Cowick And if the headline perpetrates an unsubstantiated myth or claim, it needs to be challenged.

AMylegalforum We must also more vigorously challenge DWP on all the factual rubbish they are putting out in the media. This is crucial to the argument.

@LonAitewalker Giving people facts is called rhetoric. Give them stories, it’s emotive. Give them reports, they don’t read them.

@stevethehydra a) statistics (, b) however much it is it’s nothing compared to spending on military, royals, banks…

@jmcefalas I’d say this! @meaglemp The DLA was the least abused benefit in UK when I was Minister for disabled people. Shame on Tory Minister…

@ian_beckett Try this: “A little note about the true cost of benefit in this country.”

@mannaznieba Does any one knows what is a cost of Atos ?The cost of appeals? What is the amount actually saved?

@AtosStories Contract costs £100 million a year, appeals cost £50million

@AtosStories According to audit office the contract doesn’t offer value for money (this one says appeal costs £15million)

@Dr_vole Get the human stories out there. With a bit of analysis woven indelibly in.

@Onlyfluffyone People need to see the real side of our lives… Let’s stop them making us statistics and start making us human… Real… Visual.

@RGPLizCrow This is what it’s about: real stories, true stories, not splash headlines.

@MyalgicEncephal Statistics have votes and more people are aware that their Governments view them as merely statistics.

@doginasink Mine is usually “and how will these changes stop fraud?””

@Onlyfluffyone Fraud is wrong… but the intimidation sick and disabled people are suffering is criminal… and Atos and DWP are legal.

@RGPLizCrow Every time there is a fake statement about welfare benefits we need to counter that with fact.

@BarnacleBum People who support the cuts need to know these fears. We need to counter propaganda that blames us for the inhumanity of others, ie government/press.

@RGPLizCrow So much is really already happening to counter misinformation. There are a lot of campaigns. We need to band together.

@CC_Me_AND_ME Anastasia Richardson: Who Are the People on Benefits?

@RGPLizCrow Ten lies we’re told about welfare “to justify latest stage of attack on the welfare state”

@RGPLizCrow One thing I think we could do is address the people who say they know someone committing benefit fraud. We need to have a conversation with them, and address the untruths that are out there and tell a different kind of story. The government places great store in public opinion, and it’s currently with them [the government]. We need to try and challenge this collectively.

@RGPLizCrow The government keeps mentioning public opinion and how most people agree with their programme of welfare ‘reform’. We need to become the ones shaping public opinion.

@criquaer I’m sure there was some research that showed public opinion was not so much with the government when they were shown real facts rather than mainstream media spin! [This refers to TUC poll]

@RGPLizCrow Let’s make it our business to tell true stories about disability to counteract the lies being spread by @10downingstreet

@RGPLizCrow If we say ‘nothing we say makes a difference’ then we’ve lost the battle. We must fight propaganda collectively with facts.

@ladylyn54 How can we get public aware of real facts, not lies?

@RGPLizCrow We are collating these Twitter conversations so that people can use them in schools, community settings, publications, etc.

@RGPLizCrow We have two new hashtags #true facts and #truestories [subsequently replaced by #inactualfact] – we will be using them and hope twitter folks will too.

@RGPLizCrow We have created the #inactualfact counter-propaganda website to allow people to spread facts to counter the distorted figures

@long2b These actual facts are brilliant to throw in the face of the Government spin that we (Disabled People) are being submitted to.

@RGPLizCrow Wouldn’t it be great if we could get everyone to challenge three people with real facts about where welfare budget is spent?

@RGPLizCrow #beddingout is recommending a #FF @Dis_PPL_Protest,  @pplsassembly, @WOWpetition and @AtosStories – these guys representing actual facts.


When will the persecution stop?

@Onlyfluffyone: When will the persecution of the sick and disabled stop? Who decided we are the bad guys? Where is the compassion?

@Onlyfluffyone Why are we treated with such contempt?

@Onlyfluffyone I think compassion has been replaced by cost implications…. What is our life worth??

@Onlyfluffyone The UK considers itself a compassionate nation, yet there’s little directed towards the disabled or disenfranchised. Why?

@bluemac79 How can you hate on someone because they are disabled? It’s the absolute opposite to humanity.

@Wheelz_012 Superiority complex I suppose.

@Pussinska The breadth of the legal definition is a factor. But also some disabilities have been instinctively feared for centuries.

@RGPLizCrow It’s a process that can be ‘helped’ along. Take a look at 8 stages of genocide:

@RGPLizCrow Floor: “It’s urgent we do something, there will always be scapegoats, we need to look back at the 1930s.”

@RGPLizCrow The holocaust did not come from nowhere. Need to act and counteract propaganda now.

@SoniaPoulton If we don’t see people as people then it’s easier to kick them.

@RGPLizCrow I don’t know what to say, aspects of this are so hard… x I think difference is one of the most exciting things about humanity. So often our abilities get held back by circumstances beyond ourselves. It’s so important to stay valuing our differences and those of others

@RGPLizCrow It’s a huge question with no simple answer. In recent times we have been seen to serve a purpose: that the government has an ideological agenda and we fit. The onslaught of the propaganda has turned public opinion against us and takes a serious toll. We need to fight against it, but we need to hold onto the fact there are good compassionate people out there. They are with us, but not speaking out, or misled by lies, but we need to connect with them and make them our allies.

@RGPLizCrow Floor: “It’s because the rich people are running the country, it’s as simple as that!”

@RGPLizCrow @SoniaPoulton says: “It’s all about control. We shouldn’t be complacent.”

@SoniaPoulton Despite BMA, the government was determined to get these measures through by hook or by crook.

@SoniaPoulton It is political, Thatcher was instrumental, and the fact she died on the day PIP was implemented was very symbolic.

@RGPLizCrow There’s little hope in the current coalition or opposition government and so we need to mobilise. People’s Assembly was launched to coordinate action on a lot of fronts.

@RGPLizCrow How the People’s Assembly can challenge our suffocating political consensus – and why it’s vital we do.–and-why-its-vital-that-we-do-8547507.html

@RGPLizCrow People’s Assembly could create a united voice.

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To cite this page: Roaring Girl Productions (2012) Propaganda, Roaring Girl Productions [online] [Available at:] [Accessed 14/07/2024]