That nice Mr Liddle in today’s ‘Sun’ viewspaper, 26 January 2012

January 26, 2012


From ‘The Sun', 26 January 2012 (words by Rod Liddle).

‘Pretend disabled' really ARE sick

My New Year's resolution for 2012 was to become disabled.

Nothing too serious, maybe just a bit of bad luck or one of those newly invented illnesses which make you a bit peaky for decades – fibromyalgia, or M.E.

There's lots of money to be made from being disabled – your money, taxpayers' money, as it happens.

And it is far easier to be disabled these days than ever was the case.

Also, I am nothing if not a creature of fashion, a cool and with-it hipster, daddy-o, who is always up to date with the latest trends.

And being disabled is incredibly fashionable. The number of people who claim to be disabled has doubled in the past ten years.

And who can blame them? Not only do you get money from the Government and don't have to go to work – but if you play your cards right you might get one of those badges which let you park wherever you want. Right in front of the cashpoint, for example. And you can use those enormous toilets with levers and handgrips and emergency buzzers they have in all public places, without feeling too guilty about it.

The latest figures regarding incapacity allowance came out this week. It is now estimated that 80 per cent of people who are claiming sickness benefit are actually fit to work. What's more, almost a million people have been on Invalidity Benefit for more than a decade.

When you suggest that this is a public scandal, the disability charities get very cross and accuse you of victimising the infirm.

But I'm not, I'm victimising the people who are pretending to be inform in order to claim money from the state.

Our at least, I'm trying to: I don't suppose it will have much effect. Just water off their supposedly bad backs.

Then the Left-wingers will say – hang on a minute, you fat old fascist, more money is lost to the country as a result of tax avoidance by the very rich than is wasted through sickness benefits.

Well, maybe it is. And the Government should deal with that with a bit more vigour than they do right now.

But it still doesn't make fraudulently claiming sickness benefits OK, does it?

That's like saying we shouldn't get worked up about crimes such as rape because murder is worse.

It's a silly argument.

More than anything, though the people fraudulently claiming sickness benefit are doing a disservice to those who really deserve it. The people who are truly disabled or ill. It has become easier to claim those benefits, partly as a consequence of the disablement charities who, out of their own self-interest, insist that an ever-greater proportion of the population is disabled.

I think we should all pretend to be disabled for a month or so, claim benefits and hope this persuades the authorities to sort out the mess.

19 thoughts on “That nice Mr Liddle in today’s ‘Sun’ viewspaper, 26 January 2012”

  1. Can someone please make a complaint to the PCC about this article on behalf of all fibromyalgia and ME patients?

    I would do it myself with pleasure but I am too ill to cope with doing it.

    Discrimination, defamatory, innaccurate and misleading.

    1. Disgusting. We cannot allow this hate speech to continue.

      Please write to The Sun here: letters@the-sun.co.uk

      and write or phone the Press Complaints Commission here:

      PCC Helpline: 0845 600 2757 (a local rate call charge)

      PCC Scottish Helpline: 0131 220 6652 (a local rate call charge for those based in Scotland)

      PCC Welsh Helpline: 029 2039 5570 (a local rate call charge for those based in Wales)

      Switchboard: 020 7831 0022

      Textphone: 020 7831 0123

      Facsimile: 020 7831 0025

      E-mail: complaints@pcc.org.uk

    2. here here, I suffer with FMS and work (with great difficulty) I try not to let it beat me. However, when you get uninformed and bigoted remarks from the likes of Mr Liddle, it does nothing to reduce discrimination and help awareness of these terrible illnesses. I am not saying that there aren’t people who feign illnesses but he shouldn’t tar everyone with the same brush. He should spend a day ‘walking in our shoes’ I’m here for this to be made an official complaint.

  2. Please could the MEA refer this article to the PCC? It is offensive in the extreme but to actually name two illnesses ME and Fibromyalgia is unacceptable. It is the ignorance of the 1980’s all over again and sadly so prevalent in our Media last year.
    I do hope he gets his wish – no half measures; severely affected in every way for years on end and to see your life disintegrate around you. I always said I wouldn’t wish this illness on my worst enemy but I’d make an exception here. Does the British Press have no standards not to mention any compassion?

  3. A pretend reporter writing in a pretend paper.
    I don’t understand why anyone buys it.
    No-one is more angry at those working the system than those of us about to lose contribution based ESA and have DLA messed about with. Yes, Mr Liddle could do with a bit of this ‘pretend’ disability and see how it is to lose your income when you’ve worked for everything you have and then have people regard you as a fraud and a scrounger too.

  4. If their reaction to MEA’s complaint about the Max Pemberton article in the Telegraph August29 2011 is anything to go by, the PCC is a pretty toothless body. However, I guess it’s worth a try…Dr Shepherd, are you up for it? Liddle is a bloody idiot, but he can’t get away with such damaging rubbish, even in a rubbishy newspaper. It could certainly be construed as encouraging further disability hate-crime, which as we know, has escalated greatly since the unrelenting government and press attacks on sick and disabled people.
    I’m generally quite a kind person, but frankly at the moment I would very happily wish Rod Liddle to spend the rest of his days coping with ME, and then see if he changed his tune.

  5. hi this guy is extremely disgusting and clearly hasnt got a clue how this terrible illness works and why we cant clearly work.he should live just one in our shoes and then he would no how we feel with constant prejudiced and being made to feel lazy and constantly being told we can work when we cant/?
    me and my partner wanna work but we spend alot of the time sleeping and in enormous amounts of pain?

  6. Go on – try it. Claim ESA and DLA, go through the forms and the medicals and see how you get on. You’ll need longer than a month though, there is a minimum 3 month qualification period before you get DLA and that will rise to 6 months when PIP is introduced. So, come on my cheerful friend, make haste to join our happy throng.

  7. I wrote a complaint to the PCC..

    PCC: Please explain how you believe the Code of Practice has been breached

    The article is clearly political propaganda which is geared toward inciting hatred toward the disabled as ‘scroungers’ and for minority groups who are often not able to defend themselves against this tidal wave: specifically, but not exclusively, those with M.E. and fibromyalgia – a group to which I belong and am severely disabled by it. To quote:

    “Pretend disabled’ really ARE sick

    My New Year’s resolution for 2012 was to become disabled.

    Nothing too serious, maybe just a bit of bad luck or one of those newly invented illnesses which make you a bit peaky for decades – fibromyalgia, or M.E.

    There’s lots of money to be made from being disabled – your money, taxpayers’ money, as it happens.

    And it is far easier to be disabled these days than ever was the case.

    Also, I am nothing if not a creature of fashion, a cool and with-it hipster, daddy-o, who is always up to date with the latest trends.

    And being disabled is incredibly fashionable. The number of people who claim to be disabled has doubled in the past ten years.

    And who can blame them? Not only do you get money from the Government and don’t have to go to work – but if you play your cards right you might get one of those badges which let you park wherever you want. Right in front of the cashpoint, for example. And you can use those enormous toilets with levers and handgrips and emergency buzzers they have in all public places, without feeling too guilty about it.”

    Firstly, M.E. and fibromyalgia are not ‘new’ illnesses, any more than they are made up, as attested to by the World Health Organisation which defines it as a neurological illness (i.e. not mental, or imaginary) The journalist attempts with some arrogance to make assersions that he is unqualified to make and presents them as fact, which fans the flames of vicitmisation, discrimination, and bigotry which is already a problem for these groups.

    Liddle is targeting people with protected characteristics under the Equalities Act 2010 and should also be prosecuted for it.

    It seems that now that the Press have found it harder to target the celebrity sector they are now using vulnerable people who are often the target of violent hate crimes, to stir up controversy and fulfill an obvious political agenda.
    This is extremely damaging to myself and others like me who have been the victim of abuse and neglect by a disbelieving system in the past. I am appalled that this obvious aim to denigrate some minority groups which are constantly fighting for recognition and respect, is permitted to be published.

  8. Can this man be reported to the proper authorities for this libellous rant.

    libel —is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image.

  9. An investment banker, a Sun reader (other tabloids are available) and a benefit recipient are sitting around a plate with 12 biscuits on it. The banker takes 11 biscuits, then turns to the Sun reader and says ‘watch out-that scrounger is after your biscuit.’

  10. Come on then Mr Liddle – take a month off work, spend 20 hrs in bed a day only able to sleep or just lay there, live on micromeals because you can’t cook, when you do get up you are only move about (slowly) for a maximum of 15 mins an hour in those 4 hrs, you can only have a bath and hair wash once every 5 days, clean teeth every 2 to 3 days, about once a fortnight you can go out for 2 hrs but have to travel by taxi and whatever you choose to do you have to sit for the majority of the time but allow for this time to be used for a doc, hospital or blood test appointment approx every 6 weeks, don’t wash or iron your clothes, no gardening, you can’t walk to the end of your street let alone go on holiday, watch your home getting messier and dirtier, no reading, no intelligent interaction, no career progression, no pets, spend your time alone seeing about 1 maybe 2 people a week for a no longer than an hour, let correspondence and bills go unactioned, no personal grooming, not dentist visits, only able to have 2 phone calls a day, no decorating, no hobbies, no romance, basically no life and don’t forget to do it all on the basic ESA as that’s all you get as 16 months after applying for DLA you are still waiting for them to sort it out. Of course, your 15 mins will have to be used chasing them up – a standard letter will take about 2 hours of your energy. Still sound like fun!! Go on, I challenge you to try it. Write it up for your paper (but not till the month is over). See what it is like and, at least, you get to do it without all the pain, brain fog, frustration of a life not lived, worry about the future, despair of there not being any treatment or cure and crying because of comments like yours. I have had ME for 15 years. Thankfully!?, it was the type that improved albeit very slowly, I was able to go back to work for 6 hrs a week after 3 months of being ill. Increasing hours as possible, I was able to build up to get back to full time work at about year 11 even though because of the illness it could no longer be in such a demanding job and I could not start until after 11 a.m. and, for the most part, I had to forego any social life. Terribly and devastatingly (and, luckily, unusually), I relapsed about 16 months ago and now have the type of ME that is not improving at all. Investigations into other causes are continuing but almost exhausted (bit like me) but I am still hoping that it is something other than ME. Being disabled is not fun, jolly, a rest, a holiday or profitable. Any money that is awarded is needed for the things you can no longer do for yourself and I expect for the majority of disabled people it is not enough. Remember, we have paid for these benefits throughout our working lives. My illness has cost me over £250,000 just in lost wages without all the added expense of adapting to this life. I don’t have fibromyalgia but people with that illness cannot bear to be touched – what price are you going to put on that. Come on Mr Liddle, find out what life as a disabled person is like. Find out something about ME – go to the ME Association website, go to You tube and look at the clips from suffers and their families, look at all the comments following Channel 5’s Wright Stuff programme. Genuine claimants should not be confused with those who falsely claim or exaggerate their disability. No one wants the money going to the wrong people but neither should we want those entitled to the benefits to suffer because of the fraudulent claimant. ME seems to be indiscriminate as are a lot of other illnesses. Tomorrow, your friends, children, parents or spouse could be affected by ME. It may even be you – be careful what you wish for.

  11. Thank you Paula for doing what I couldn’t.

    I think as well as the PCC there must be others we can report this to? Maybe get it on the national news and brought to the attention of the MP’s via the countess of Mar?

  12. With the availability of knowledge out there, it saddens me to see something like this in the press. If it was done to bring about attention, then it has done its job and if anything even more people will be educated on the diseases of Fibromyalgia and ME. So I guess I should be thanking you for your ignorance and lack of education in this.

  13. This chap obviously has no insight into how crippling FMS is and desite me saying on many occassions I would not wish it to be suffered by my worst enemy, i have changed my mind. Mr Liddle should slowly develop FMS like I did and know the agony, confusion (as you have no idea what is happening to you) and emotional torture it provides.
    So Mr Liddle how do you feel after doing a normal days work? On your knees, feel like you’ve been run over by a tractor, with it’s trailer full of manure, followed by a steam roller yet?
    Get your facts right before dissing FMS suffers.

Comments are closed.

Shopping Cart