Disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) and disability charities should come together and “show a united front” by joining a proposed boycott of engagement with the UK government, according to the head of a user-led organisation.
Iggy Patel, chair of Lincolnshire Independent Living (LIL), spoke out following the conclusions of the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD), which warned last month that independent living in the UK was “going backwards” and that government cuts to disabled people’s support had caused a “human catastrophe”.
Last week, Disability News Service (DNS) reported that a delegation of DPOs that attended the UN public examination in Geneva that led to these comments were considering boycotting engagement with the UK government until it could be trusted not to misrepresent the views of disabled people and their organisations.
Patel has backed such a boycott, and has now written to his members to suggest that LIL follows the lead set by the Geneva DPO delegation and boycotts all engagement with both national and local government.
LIL has taken part – with no funding – in more than 30 consultations locally and for the UK government since April this year.
But he told DNS: “This whole farce of talking and consulting has gone on long enough.”
In a blog published this week, Patel says: “We can’t keep talking if no one’s listening. Worse still pretending that everything is OK and that this country is still a leader in disability rights when it is far from such.