The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling which found that the process used to decide whether hundreds of thousands of people are eligible for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) discriminates against people with mental health conditions, learning disabilities and autism.
The original judgment, at an Upper Tribunal hearing in May this year, was the result of a Judicial Review brought by two anonymous claimants with mental health problems. You can read the origins of the challenge and the story here.
This was an action brought by the Mental Health Resistance Network and is a tribute to that member-led group and the hard work that people who use services have put in – with little help from established charities or politicians. That should be said and must be said and I am not going to stop saying it. There is a press release on the issue and today’s announcement on the Rethink site, but I make the point again that the MHRN and the Public Law Project deserve all the credit here. I’ll say it again good and loud and why not – it is the member-led groups like Boycott Workfare on workfare and the work programme, Disabled People Against Cuts on issues like the closure of the Independent Living Fund and the Mental Health Resistance Network on the fight against the work capability assessment that are achieving the results in the fight against this government.
And that is the key point to make about resistance and results in our era. People are fighting a vicious government here and they’re doing it on their own pretty much. Just imagine how much further ahead we’d all be if those who had the resources and the political clout contributed those things to the fight.
Don’t start me.