Influences and Consequences
Author: Mo Stewart
The Conclusion to the Preventable Harm Project 2009-2019
From the Foreword by Professor Peter Beresford OBE, FAcSS, FRSA at the School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex:
We must hope that this is the last report Mo Stewart has to write about the welfare reforms that have disfigured UK social policy and attacked the lives of disabled people for too many years. We appear to be at a watershed in UK politics and public policy, where there seems to be agreement among all major political parties that ‘austerity’ should be a thing of the past and that the arbitrary cutting of public spending must end and instead public services, including welfare state services, must be revitalized and renewed.
If so the research work of Mo has been one key brick in the wall that has helped make this possible. If this is Mo’s last report, then we should remember that all along this painful road of financial, political and media attacks on disabled people, she has been there, offering the evidence to show the lies and conspiracies underpinning this new anti-social policy. Mo was never just another researcher trying to get to the truth of a problem to find sustainable solutions. She was that too, but much more, she was part of a broader movement of disabled people fighting back for decency, respect, honesty and social justice in a period when these have been more politically vulnerable values than we might want to admit to ourselves. In the past research finding trickled down and hopefully sometimes informed good change. Mo is part of a new movement where research findings are pumped upwards to force the agents of change, policymakers and media to do something.
I am proud to have been able both to support Mo on her journey and more important to learn much from her work so that I, like other academics and activists, can put it to good use challenging the bad politics that have got us to this place and bringing them and their dubious origins into the light. At a time when there have been increasing worries that the extreme neo-liberal politics of President Trump may have an existential impact on our own much-loved National Health Service, and other public policies, Mo traces the entryism of US corporations into UK welfare services over a much longer period. She has not made herself popular by doing this. Speaking truth to power may be encouraged rhetorically, but even institutions and media we might assume were more progressive are not necessarily keen on being part of such a process when inbalances of power are so huge as here, and powerholders’ lawyers themselves so powerful!
This detailed research report should be read in conjunction with Mo’s book, Cash Not Care. I ask the reader to judge both on their merits, but not to make assumptions, like ‘Surely that can’t be true’. All her evidence is lodged in the public domain. Sadly more and more we have found that in politics and public policy, developments we could once have written off as conspiracy theory, are now too often hidden realities. As she concludes here,‘Quite simply, the adoption of dangerous social policies was always destined to cause death, despair and preventable harm to some of those in greatest need.’
We have much to thank Mo and her publisher, the Centre for Welfare Reform for, for publishing this report. I just hope that she won’t have to use her pc that’s enjoying a well-earned rest to write a next one.
Read and download the free pdf in your browser here.
The publisher is the Centre for Welfare Reform.
Influences and Consequences: The Conclusion to the Preventable Harm Project 2009-2019 © Mo Stewart 2019.
All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.
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