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BBC Made Last Minute Changes To Simon Binner Documentary After Samaritans Complaint

February 11, 2016

Samaritans put pressure on the ​BBC to make last minute changes to documentary showing a man taking his own life.

How to Die: Simon’s Choice, which aired on BBC Two last night, followed the final months of Simon Binner, a Cambridge graduate who suffered from motor neurone disease, and his eventual decision to kill himself, on October 19 last year.

An early version of the deeply moving documentary, which was made available to journalists last month, contained scenes in which Mr Binner’s lifeless body was glimpsed lying on a bed. Other footage included a description by a member of staff at the Eternal Spirit clinic, in Basel, of how the anaesthetic used to end Mr Binner’s life affected the human body.

The footage of Mr Binner’s corpse was removed from the final version of the programme, and the scenes involving the drug were edited, although not removed entirely, after an executive from the Samaritans raised concerns that the corporation may fall foul of guidelines that prevent broadcasters from giving detailed guidance about suicide methods.

A BBC source said: “We do not name the drug plus it is clear that the drug used is not one that is accessible by the general public. Therefore we are not showing a detailed demonstration of means and methods that would result in copycat suicides.”

Mr Binner made headlines last year, when he announced on LinkedIn that he planned to kill himself. Care Not Killing, the anti-assisted suicide group, said that the corporation was acting as a “cheerleader for suicide” by showing the documentary, but Rowan Deacon, one of the film-makers, insisted that the programme was “not a campaign film”.

IDS Demands That Benefit Claimants Should Be Removed From The Electoral Register

February 10, 2016

Updated: As we hoped (see below) it’s satire. Reader Steph Miller very helpfully posted this in the comments:

Its not true, the link is to a satire blog which states none of their stories are true: ABOUT NEWS CRASHER
News Crasher is run by a collective of left-leaning bloggers, who aim to poke fun at public figures and satirise current events. None of our stories are true, and any similarities to actual events are purely coincidental.

However, this is why the story will stay published (Bolding mine):

We also want to make a rather more serious point:- The Tories are so incredibly awful that a great many people find our fake news stories all too believable.
For example, would Iain Duncan Smith REALLY try to privatise food banks? Quite a lot of people are ready to believe so…


If this is not satire, as we hope it is but fear it isn’t, it is very worrying. Human beings living in a democracy in the 21st century, of working age, should all have the vote. To remove the vote from any group who are of working age in a democracy, these days, suggests at the very least that the word democracy would lose its meaning.



Iain Duncan Smith has reportedly demanded that those in receipt of benefits be removed from the electoral register, according to a letter leaked to the press today.

The Work and Pensions Secretary justified his request by arguing that it is unfair that people not currently paying into the system, either through working or by being high net wealth individuals, should be allowed to have a say in how public money is spent.

His letter to the Prime Minister went on to suggest that withdrawing the right to vote in this way, would provide a “much needed incentive for the workshy, ill and disabled to find work”, and for those in work to stay “in work and off benefits”. The letter also questioned whether those under the age of 25, who tend to be “more prone to idealism”, ought to be permitted to vote, albeit with a possible exception “for members of the Young Conservatives.”

There is speculation in Westminster that the timing of this letter is related to the upcoming referendum on whether the UK should leave the EU, and a possible snap general election that some are predicting to take place thereafter. In this context, barring  voters who are the least likely to vote for ‘Brexit’ or for the Conservative Party, may be seen by some as a useful measure.

A DWP spokeswoman refused to comment directly on the leaked letter, but told reporters: “Iain Duncan Smith believes that in a perfect world everybody would be able to enjoy a full suite of human rights, but with rights come responsibilities, and some rights should only be granted to those who have paid-in.”

Look what we have here…. The Jobcentre Plus column and here’s my version. 

February 10, 2016

The poor side of life

After a long afternoon campaigning outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre I was in great need of cheering up. It’s cold out there at the moment and some of the claimants stories were particularly hard.

We decided to go for a well earned cuppa. Whilst we were sat having a chat, my comrade reached into his folder and asked me if I had seen this column in our local newspaper.

I hadn’t, I don’t buy the newspaper but sometimes you can get a free copy. So I had a look. I was that incensed that I actually spilt my cuppa.

I do believe that Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre are trying to promote themselves and their schemes as being helpful. No mention of the heartache and desperation that they cause to claimants everyday. I wasn’t surprised though. Our protest has been continuous every Thursday for 15 months now, and as a result…

View original post 148 more words

Bus Driver To Woman In Wheelchair: For F*** Sake Can’t You Get The Next One?

February 10, 2016

A bus driver left a disabled woman in tears after allegedly shouting and swearing at her boyfriend when he asked for the ramp to be lowered to help her get on board.

Robert Greenwood, the partner of wheelchair-bound Karen McDonald, claimed that the 289 driver in Croydon, South, London, told them: ‘For f**** sake, can’t you get the next one?’

Mr Greenwood, 49, said that he had told the driver he was going to report him, before he got out of his booth and screamed at the couple.

The father-of-two said: ‘My partner was discriminated against just because of her disability. We travel on buses all the time and the staff are usually fantastic with us – we’ve never experienced anything like this before.

‘When I asked for the ramp to be lowered for me to wheel her on, he muttered “for f***’s sake, can’t you get the next one?”

‘Once we were in our seats, I went up to the driver’s booth and told him “I’m not happy with you, and I want your badge number so I can report you”.

‘He then pulled the bus over, got out of his seat and became aggressive with me – he was in a rage. He was extremely intimidating and my partner was shaken up by this.’

Mr Greenwood, who was a bus driver himself for 12 years before becoming a full-time carer for Miss McDonald, said they were originally taking the bus to an Ikea store – but needed to get the same one back to get home.

However, the couple were so fearful of coming face-to-face with the same driver that they took a taxi home – which cost them more than £30.

Mr Greenwood, who also cares for his autistic son, added: ‘It was probably him knowing that I was a former bus driver which gave him the hump. Even his driving showed that he was in a temper.

Even his driving showed that he was in a temper. We were so glad to get off the bus and Karen was crying
Robert Greenwood

‘We were so glad to get off the bus and Karen was crying. We would usually get the 289 back to Croydon but got a cab home instead because we didn’t want to get on the same bus with the same driver. It cost us £32. 

‘My wife suffers from fibromyalgia and she has fractures in her spine, as well. She can barely walk so why couldn’t he just press a button to accommodate her like a normal person would?’

Tony Akers, Transport for London’s head of bus operations, said: ‘We are concerned to hear of this incident and are investigating it with Arriva, the operator of the 289 bus route. We expect the highest standard of public service from bus drivers.’

Motability Car Losses Under PIP: Meet Denise

February 10, 2016


And last week, she was interviewed on the BBC.

Twitter Announces Trust And Safety Council

February 10, 2016

Twitter have announced their Trust And Safety Council- 40 organisations which will work to help them “ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter.”

The list includes LGBT Rights organisations and domestic violence helplines, as well as an Australian mental health organisation, Beyond Blue.

Anything that improves Internet safety for anyone is a very positive thing in this 21st century where the Internet controls everything most people do. These days, Twitter is taken more seriously than most mainstream media organisations. So Same Difference welcomes the introduction of their Trust and Safety Council, as a whole.

However, while we are pleased to see Beyond Blue included, we are slightly disappointed that there does not appear to be any specific Disability Rights organisation on the Council as yet.

It is to be hoped that the Council will be a success and continue to grow. In future, Same Difference would welcome the addition of an organisation like Disability Rights UK, Sense or Scope.

In particular, given the problems faced on Twitter by Autism campaigner Kevin Healey, it is to be hoped that the Council will grow to include an organisation specific to Autism, such as the UK’s National Autistic Society or American organisation ASAN.

Twitter notes in its own blog post that it has 320 million users. That number includes a large and universal community of disabled people who have their own specific needs.

Many of them cannot leave their homes. Many of them have very limited interaction with people offline. So for many of them, Twitter is a library and Facebook is a pub.

Same Difference will try hard to follow the progress of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council and will keep readers updated as we become aware that it has grown.

Manchester Airport Dismisses Need For Hoists

February 9, 2016


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