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End this vile war on the disabled

Atos is vicious, incompetent and is making vast profits from causing misery and suffering

Let's not mince words - Atos is a killer company. It has the deaths of more than 10,000 disabled people on its hands. It is vicious, incompetent and is making vast profits from causing misery and suffering.

In any sanely run society the company would be disbanded, its assets seized to compensate its victims and its directors given the prison sentences expected for mass murder.

Sacking Atos from running the hated work capability assessments is the absolute bare minimum we should expect from the government.

And given the company's proven incompetence it shouldn't take nationwide demonstrations to make this happen.

If the Tories and Lib Dems really were serious about cutting waste they would drop Atos like a stone - since it's costing us upwards of £50 million a year just in appeals against its flawed decisions, never mind the £100m a year it is being handed to carry out its vicious persecution.
But they have lied and lied and lied about their real motivation, which is to shred the safety net of social security, condemn hundreds of thousands to fear, poverty and starvation, and make sure their big-business backers make a fat profit in the process.

Those thousands and thousands of deaths aren't a side-effect. They're part of the point - a dire warning to all of us.

Work till you drop. Accept the crumbs you're thrown. Don't get ill. Don't get old. Don't be born with a disability. Don't suffer one at work. Don't expect the tiniest token of help from society if any of these happen to you.

That is the vicious, callous Victorian world into which the Con-Dems are leading us at breakneck speed.

And they'll carry on doing so whether or not Atos is part of their plan. So we have to boot them out in 2015. But what then?

Labour has promised to axe Atos - a move which can't come a moment too soon for its victims past, present and future.

But it was Labour that introduced the work capability assessments and it continues to defend them despite the mounting evidence of their terrible human cost.

It is not enough to talk vaguely of "reform" or to simply replace Atos with another profiteering mega-corporation.

The whole hated, failing system has to go. It has to be replaced with one designed to support and protect the needy and vulnerable, not persecute them for profit.

Labour has to be made to remember where its roots lie, to realise what its voters want, to turn back to its founding values of solidarity and socialism.

It's vital that demonstrations like yesterday's keep the crimes of Atos squarely in the public eye.

But we also have to pile pressure on Labour to sweep not just Atos but the whole rotten system into the dustbin of history.

It's time for Ed Miliband and his party to stand up and declare which side they're really on.

The tax-dodgers, benefit-cutters, the merchants of pain and death? Or the workers, the workless, the poor and ill and vulnerable Labour was founded to defend?


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