I used to think that there were few things that could really shock me. That was, until Malcolm Bruce voted for social security reform to go forward without it even being softened and made fairer by Lords amendments. What made me particularly aghast and disappointed was the context:
Mr Bruce has a Deaf daughter; he is a former trustee and current Vice President of Action on Hearing Loss. He heads the All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness. He used to appear on See Hear and was involved with the Deaf community in all sorts of different ways. This seems to be a person who will do everything in his power to defend and protect Deaf people and the best interests of Deaf people. Yet what he has done seems to be completely at variance with this:
Let’s be clear about just what Mr Bruce has supported. He has supported more impoverishment, stress and humiliation of Deaf people. This at a time when disabled people already suffer a lot, if not the most impoverishment, stress and humiliation. So Mr Bruce attacks the very people whom he makes out that he supports.
He voted for the Bedroom tax, to abolish DLA, to cut disabled child credits in half, limit ESA to one year for those who had made NI contributions, to abolish the premium for disabled people living alone and many other things in the Welfare Reform Act. This is the safety net that catches Deaf people who have been let down by the education system and shunned by employers.
Is this the ultimate betrayal of Deaf people? I would say it comes very close.