Vulnerable? Let me get my violin out!
LAST week saw a protest at the Pier Head by members of the public and public sector workers about the way the government's contractor, Atos, assesses the fitness to work of disabled people on Merseyside.
Mr Brocklebank's colleagues in the press have many times highlighted cases of where people who have scored 'nil points' and been told they are now capable of doing a job.
But Freedom of Information requests revealed a third of those who were told there was nothing stopping them from working for a living had Atos's decisions overturned on appeal.
Some of those who have had to take the 15-point test (which includes being able to pick up a coin from the floor - which is more than you'll ever have to do if you're on the coalition's Work Programme, on which you don't get paid anyway!) have told Mr B that they believe the entire set up is designed to make sure the disabled person in question fails the test.
For one thing, the person up for review must walk yards and yards across the floor of the Port of Liverpool building to register at the front desk (which is one of the fitness-for-work tests unwittingly passed already, even if they've gone blue in the face and are ready for collapse by the time they get there).
Mr B recalls the case of one truck driver who, suffering a brain tumour that was rapidly taking away his sight, was told he was fit for work.
It's no wonder those who have had the unfortunate experience of having to undergo this gruelling and demeaning experience call Mann Island - with typical plucky Scouse humour - 'The Lourdes of the North'!
REACTIONARY Tory buffoon Aiden Burley couldn't resist tweeting during the opening ceremony of the Olympics, in which some fine Merseysiders took part, that the show was a load of 'lefty' nonsense.
He comments were of course 'taken out of context', and he remained silent on the opening of the Paralympics.
Which must have been hard for him: given that his party is enthusiastically letting Atos cast the disabled onto the unemployment scrapheap rather than provide them with incapacity benefit, it wouldn't surprise Mr B if Burley and co didn't really believe the Paralympians were actually disabled in the first place.
AT LEAST Liverpool council is making sure the vulnerable are protected from swingeing cuts.
For the council is set to approve £2m towards the refurbishment of the hard-up Philharmonic Hall.
To be fair to the council, some of the money will be spent on new lifts for the disabled - but with £709,000 taken away from Age Concern, charging the disabled for transport to day centres (£100,000) and a cut of £200,000 from child and adult mental health services - can it really be claimed the vulnerable are that protected from the cuts?
And wasn't it Nietzsche who said, "We have art in order not to die of the truth"?