A minister partly responsible for the UK being found guilty of “grave or systematic violations” of the UN disability convention has been branded “highly offensive” after announcing that her government would try to become a “world leader” on disability.Priti Patel (pictured) was employment minister for more than a year while the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) was investigating her government for breaches of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), as a result of its social security reforms.When the UN committee published its report last month, concluding that the UK government had breached disabled people’s human rights across three key parts of the convention, her government dismissed its work, with work and pensions secretary Damian Green describing it as “patronising and offensive”.But Patel has now pledged commitment to the convention in a bid to be seen as a global leader on disability.On Saturday, Patel – now the international development secretary – used the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) to publish plans to “lead a step-change in the world’s efforts to end extreme poverty by pushing disability up the global development agenda”.A new paper published by her department says the UK government will “drive action to improve the lives of people with disabilities”.It says: “By upholding our commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we will ensure people with disabilities are systematically and consistently included in, and benefit from, international aid and humanitarian assistance.”The new paper adds: “We will continue to invest in social protection systems in order to increase their coverage, quality and sustainability.“For too long, decision makers have overlooked people with disabilities – we will work to change this.“We will strengthen our work on disability and establish [the Department for International Development] as the global leader in this neglected and under-prioritised area.”Only last month, CRPD was concluding that the UK government’s social security reforms had “disproportionately affected persons with disabilities and hindered various aspects of their right to live independently and be included in the community”.Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), the grassroots network of disabled people that persuaded the UN to carry out its inquiry, said: “The thought of the Department for International Development led by Priti Patel fighting to improve the rights of disabled people around the world is laughable, given her previous track record as minister for employment.“The thought that someone who was part of a government condemned by the UN for the grave or systematic violation of disabled people’s human rights in the UK having the remotest interest in improving the life chances of any disabled person is highly offensive.”Patel visited the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) as part of her efforts to use IDPD to promote her department’s new paper.Disability News Service asked LCD whether it had any concerns about the UK government being found guilty by CRPD of “grave or systematic violations” of the UNCRPD, and then claiming it wants to be a global leader on disability, but the charity had not commented by noon today (8 December).Meanwhile, Remploy, the formerly government-owned disability employment business, now mostly owned by the scandal-hit US company Maximus, marked IDPD by holding a social media question and answer session… and then blocking disabled activists who tried to take part.Remploy – which the Department for Work and Pensions has given Disability Confident Leader status as part of its newly-relaunched disability employment scheme – advertised the session with four of its disabled “ambassadors” on Twitter with the hashtag #AskUsAnything.But when disabled campaigners took the four ambassadors at their word and started asking questions about Maximus’s links to the government’s welfare reforms – including carrying out work capability assessments (WCAs) – and the deaths of benefit claimants, they were blocked by Remploy.One campaigner, @dinogoldie, was blocked after asking a series of questions including: “Is not a #disability employment service owned by a #disability denial factory a conflict of interest? #wca.”@dinogoldie later added: “I asked @RemployPP some legitimate questions so they blocked me. Not very #DisabilityConfident.”DPAC itself was blocked after asking: “How does it feel to work for a company owned by Maximus who make money from persecuting disabled people? #WCA #AskUsAnything.”Another disabled campaigner, @otivar55, was blocked after asking: “Why did those poor people die during sanctions?”Other than those put by anti-cuts activists, there appear to have been few questions asked of Remploy’s “ambassadors”.A Remploy spokeswoman said that a “small number of people” were blocked on Twitter.She said: “The Twitter Q&A on Friday was led by a group of Remploy disability ambassadors who were keen to share their lived experience on [IDPD], and support employers to create equality in employment opportunities.“The Remploy disability ambassadors had a really productive, well-engaged discussion and we look forward to continuing to support disabled people to find sustainable employment. “A small number of Twitter users were blocked from our account only because the questions they asked took the focus away from sharing experiences and helping employers create a more inclusive environment. “We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.”Meanwhile, Shaping Our Lives, the national network of service-users, marked IDPD by launching a new “charter for change” it has developed alongside the British Association of Social Workers.The charter – produced following 18 months of discussions – aims to ensure all disabled adults and social workers work together to tackle barriers to independent living and to improve wellbeing.Among its pledges, the charter says that both disabled people and social workers will “act like people, and not just follow mechanistic processes”, and that they will “have conversations rather than being bound by forms and procedures”.And it says: “We will continue to work to overcome power imbalances between disabled adults and social workers leading to equal relationships and co-producing solutions.”There is also reference to the crisis in social care funding, with the charter pledging that both disabled people and social workers will “be aware of the impact of policies across central and local government, and health and other services on disabled adults’ lives”.Ann Nutt, a service-user and co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, said the charter “brings clarity and focuses on the development of a partnership strategy between disabled people and social workers”.Joanna Matthews, chair of the user-led charity Unlimited Oxfordshire, said: “Some of our members have already faced cuts in their budgets or struggled to get a timely assessment.“It really matters to have a good relationship with your social worker, so that in these times of cuts and hardship we can all work together to make a little go a long way.”Another user-led organisation to mark IDPD was the Norfolk-based disabled people’s organisation Equal Lives, which linked with DPAC to hold a protest outside an inaccessible building in Norwich that is used by the government contractor Atos as an assessment centre for disabled people claiming personal independence payments.
The friends in the industry starting gossiping with the bartenders about employment practices at other bars. Their conversation was FINALLY interesting. Honestly, people, get to the good stuff sooner. They named names, specific bars and people, and I’m not going to tell you everything — it wouldn’t be right. But they are living in fear of the way in which even the most high-end bars in the city are slashing the pay of their employees to the lowest level possible, leaving it impossible to make a living as a bartender or server anymore.“You can’t keep a bomb-ass barstaff if that’s what you’re paying, and that’s what everybody’s paying,” the female bartender said. Like artists and monks, bartending in the city is transition from a “job” to become a “calling” for people who will sacrifice everything else in their life to do it right. And they were terrified.Welcome to journalism, I thought. I looked over the menu, and a bartender came over. “Okay,” I said, “I’m intrigued by the Padrino, but … it sounds like a stunt cocktail to me …”“A what?” she said. “A stunt cocktail.” She gave me a look. “You know,” I tried to explain. “A cocktail that exists not so much because it’s actually worth drinking, but because all the pieces are weird and exotic enough that it’s impressive just to say ‘hey, we did this!’ and someone will buy it because it’s weird and exotic … ”“Ah, no,” she said. “We don’t do that.” I think I offended her. “We build our cocktails to be yummy.”“Okay … I was just asking, I mean, it’s a very unusual description …”“It’s great,” she said. “Delicious.”“Do you want one?” the other bartender asked.Sometimes, when you can’t stop digging yourself into a hole, it’s good to have someone toss you a lifeline. “Yeah,” I said. “That’s where I was going with that.”The Padrino is brown sugar and sage scotch, applejack, amaretto, and bitters – stirred. Now that I’d ordered it, I had to ask: What the hell is “brown sugar and sage scotch?” It turned out to be an in-house creation with a Bank Note scotch base. The bartender walked me through the process of how they create it – it’s damn inventive and creates a unique taste that is nicely bounded by the amaretto and bitters. All right, that’s three. I’m calling it: Evil Eye’s got game. I’d much rather Savanna Jazz Club was a viable entity, but since it’s not, this is a bar I can get into. Read more from Benjamin Wachs Email Address Cities build on top of themselves, new layers atop the old. Sometimes that’s literal, which is why the basements of some San Francisco buildings have ships beneath them. Sometimes that’s figurative, which is where you get gentrification. But whereas the literal layering leaves remnants behind for later generations to discover, gentrification often erases all trace of what came before, as though the past were a thought crime.I arrived at the Evil Eye on the Sunday after a big Saturday during which the whole city partied, so the place was nearly deserted. That wasn’t an accident: I wanted to see it in slow motion. In some ways it looks almost like a twitter hashtag: #ThingsSFhipstersLike. Two pinball machines sat in the front, leading quickly to a long bar, which opens up into a faux Edwardian parlor with leathery couches, low-key lighting, art on the walls (sorry: “art” on the walls), and a photo booth. A fucking photo booth, in the middle of all that. There’s also a TV above the bar, but it was turned off, thank God. That would have broken all the affectation that the photo booth already hadn’t. Seriously, why is that TV even here, hanging over the bar like the sword of Damocles? The space in which Evil Eye operates on Mission Street used to be the Savannah Jazz Club, but you could never tell by looking at it. I really liked the Savannah Jazz Club: I am a remnant it left behind when it closed four years ago. Which makes me predisposed to dislike Evil Eye. I really don’t know if that’s fair or not. Maybe fair has nothing to do with it. But … but … Evil Eye isn’t the first business to move into that spot after the jazz club closed, and … gotta be honest here … I never saw the jazz club crowded, except when the occasional busload of French tourists walked in. Other than that, it was almost always deserted. Even desolate, despite musicians bleeding for their art on stage. I’m angry that Savannah Jazz Club left us, even as I have no idea how it stayed open that long. But it mattered to me that I see Evil Eye on a slow night. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter And slow it was. There were two bartenders (and man and a woman) and five customers, including me. Two of the customers appeared to be friends of the bartenders, who were talking about food a mutual acquaintance made. It was not good eavesdropping. The couple sitting to my left were talking in a language I didn’t recognize. I was on my own.The cocktail list is divided into “shaken,” “stirred,” “punch bowls” and “classic,” along with a small beer and wine list. The food menu is divided into “snacks,” “protein,” “produce,” and “sweets.”I asked the bartender what he recommended, and he steered me towards a Velvet Fog (rye, shiso brandy, concord grape shrub, lemon, egg white, absinthe — shaken). It’s lovely. The absinthe balances the sweet and savory elements. Score one for Evil Eye. I followed it up with an order of chicken biscuits (from the “protein” section), which the bartender approved of enthusiastically. As I waited for them to arrive, the friends-of-the-bartender started talking about bringing special bottles of spirits back from a foreign trip, and I realized that they’re all in the industry. The conversation, alas, was still wanting. Instead I talked to the male bartender about the Savannah Jazz Club. I’d wondered if this would be a sore point, or an irritant, but it turned out he remembers it as fondly as I do. “It was really great to have here,” he told me. “But … honestly, I have no idea how they stayed open as long as they did. My buddy’s band used to play it, and it was always empty and nobody showing up for the music ever bought more than one drink.”“What is wrong with this city?” I asked him.“I don’t know.”The chicken biscuits arrived (really, chicken sandwiches on biscuits) and they were utterly delicious. The honey chicken was just sweet enough to be perfectly rounded out by the sour pickles and the fluffy bread. Score two for Evil Eye. Damn it, I was liking this place in spite of myself.
ROYCE Simmons bemoaned Saints’ attitude and lack of enthusiasm following his side’s 27-16 reverse against Harlequins RL on Friday night.He said he warned the team they needed to be competitive and have an aggressive attitude, but it was clearly unheeded.He also shouldered some of the responsibility for not re-iterating this before the match.“It was a very ordinary performance. The first half was very disappointing. We virtually had one session during the week because of England call-ups and I said despite this we needed to turn up with the right attitude and be aggressive because I knew we had to have both to beat a side that has had a good start to the season.“But we didn’t compete and in the first 40 we were very poor. They turned up with lot of energy and desire and it’s my job to make sure they [Saints] have it… but they didn’t so we didn’t play too well and I didn’t coach it too well obviously.“When you give 18 points away you need a lot of things to go in your favour… once we scored and got on top they got an intercept and that was the end of the game. You can’t consistently win games from 18 down.“Their half backs turned us around as they were going 60 metres with their sets. We ran one up the middle and gave ourselves no field position particularly in the first half.“It was a little better in the second – we had chances but hit lead runners who ran into heavy traffic and we would then try to pass the ball over heads. We needed someone to get hold of the ball and go round the back more then we could have scored a few more tries.“But it really is as simple as this. They ran harder, played the ball quicker, tackled harder and were just too enthusiastic for us.“We need to have a long hard think about what we are doing.”
IN great spirits from the previous evening’s victory the players were rewarded with an early morning recovery session in the outdoor swimming pool, writes Neil Kilshaw.It was a nice 7.30am start and thus our preparations for Penrith on Saturday began!Whilst the players were refreshed from a full night’s sleep the same couldn’t be said of the staff.Tommy’s sleep talking has intensified from nonsense words through to violently kicking at walls, and last night he dragged his half back partner Dek Hardman into an argument over who should answer the door.Needless to say neither of them remembered anything!The party then spent the day wakeboarding and straightaway the daft questions began:Chris Worrall: “Will it be sunny in the lake?”Connor Smith: “What’s the difference between the medium and large board?”Liam Cooper: “What does the V mean by the rump steak? Is it a vegetarian meal?”As for the wakeboarding… Danny Abram and Danny Richardson were the masters and negotiated the jumps and platforms.Ricky Bailey also managed one jump, but I’m sure it was a fluke…Bobby and my good self tried to get ‘some air’ but with painful consequences due to head first crash landings!Admirable mention also goes to physio Dave Weldon. God loves a trier and poor old Dave certainly tried (unsuccessfully) … for six hours.Tomorrow the squad will be up and out for training at 8am as all our focus shifts to the mighty challenge of Penrith.For the latest on the Academy Tour, click here.
SAINTS take on Leeds Rhinos in the Fifth Round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup this Saturday with another tight and titanic game expected.Both sides have dished up some classics over recent seasons with last minute wins the order of the day.Saints edged the first meeting this season with a late Tommy Makinson try securing a 14-10 victory.“Every time we play Leeds it is a close game,” Nathan Brown said. “Since I have been at Saints we have won a couple and they’ve done the same. Every game has been a good game of footy and this one will be no different.“The respect from club to club is high. Our away support has been brilliant and they will travel in numbers again. It is a big tie at a great place, on a great field and I have no doubt the winner would fancy themselves to push through and have a genuine chance of going to Wembley.”Saints will welcome back a number of players on Saturday with Jonny Lomax, Luke Walsh, James Roby and Alex Walmsley all expected to return.Anthony Laffranchi, Willie Manu and Gary Wheeler aren’t available though and Kyle Amor is rated as 50:50.“We played two games of very different significance last weekend,” Brown continued. “We played a very good Wigan team and there wasn’t a great deal in game. It was three tries apiece in the first half and it was a good half to watch.“They were a little bit better than us and that showed in the second half. They scored a nice try from a kick and a nice shift try too then it was pretty even after that. We weren’t far away but we weren’t good enough to beat a side of Wigan’s quality.“On Monday we had 12 or 13 blokes out of the top 25 not playing and it was always going to be a tough game. It was one I would have liked us to do better in but there were a lot of positives. The young kids did well. The likes of Luke Thompson, Joe Greenwood and Andre Savelio really put their hands up and others contributed too.“That is great for the squad moving forward and hopefully we will see the benefit down the line. A fresh Roby, Lomax and Walsh is a good thing for us and the time off will do them well.”He continued: “Leeds are a good side who I predicted would be one of the teams to beat at the beginning of the season. They are in good form too.“Over the weekend they bumped into a Bradford side who aren’t where they would like to be. Salford have a new coach and a talented squad so what Leeds did to them showed the quality they have.”Tickets for the match remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.
THE Saints Superstore is the ideal place to find that perfect gift for the Saints fan in your life.Opening Hours:DateSaints SuperstoreTicket OfficeSaturday Jan 2CLOSEDCLOSEDSunday Jan 3CLOSEDCLOSEDMonday Jan 49am-5pm9am-5pmYou can order your gifts online at the Saints Superstore.
SAINTS Superstore’s opening hours for the festive season are:DateSaints SuperstoreTicket OfficeSunday January 1CLOSEDCLOSEDMonday January 2CLOSEDCLOSEDTuesday January 39am – 5pm9am – 5pmPlease note opening hours are subject to change – keep an eye on this page and @saints1890 on Twitter for any alterations.
THE players have been working hard ahead of this Friday’s big match against Warrington.After securing their second win of the season on Saturday in Catalan, the boys are keen to keep up the intensity ahead of the crucial clash at the Totally Wicked Stadium.They’ve also continued their work with Nisha Srivastava to ensure they are ready for the rigours of rugby league.She said: “A professional rugby player goes through intense training physically and mentally. The nature of the sport is competitive, sympathetically driven (fight or flight), fast and highly demanding. The importance of having a movement practitioner working with any pro team is essential for a player’s longevity.“When working with the Saints I focus on subtle movement patterns using a variety of methods from Pilates, yoga to infant development. This is what we call balancing the Yin and Yang. This balancing aids recovery, rebuilding of connective tissues, breathing, right hemisphere work and mindfulness.“Every injury or pain symptom is multi factorial. The gravitational pull on the body is 9.8 m/s², add additional loads such as physical and mental stress and thus balance becomes more important. Keeping the spine supple is essential for mental clarity and the pump of cerebral fluid.“I have been taking the squad down from primal movement patterns (squat, bend, lunge, push, pull, twist and gait) to infant development moves.”Tickets for Friday’s game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.Our official snapper Bernard Platt captured the team in action on the training field and in the gym this week.
St Helens: The Great & The Good, by Brian Leyland, is a celebration of the heritage of the town of St Helens and in particular the people that hailed from it.It profiles 100 people who were either born, raised or educated in the town and who have gone on to make their mark on a national or international stage. It includes both historical and contemporary figures and concludes that the town has long punched above its weight.It has been written in a light-hearted manner but with a serious undertone, posing the question whether or not this prolific production line will survive into the future.It is a “must read” for anyone with an interest in the town’s history and will no doubt inspire the next generation.Brian grew up in St Helens and attended St Austin’s and St Teresa’s Primary Schools followed by West Park Grammar School. He graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Modern History with Economics and went on to become a partner at Price Waterhouse (now PwC) working in Liverpool, Düsseldorf, Manchester and London before his retirement in 2010.He is now a director of Hometown Plus Limited, a business which helps restore community and commercial prosperity mainly to towns which have been left behind in the post-industrial era. St Helens: The Great & The Good is his first publication.Priced at £14.99 the book is available in the Saints Superstore at the Totally Wicked Stadium. It will also be available at our online store shortly.
The 28-year-old Grand Final winner has put pen to paper on a three-year contract and will link up with his new teammates in the off-season.“My family and I are really excited to be moving to England,” Lachlan said. “It is a great opportunity to play for such a proud and successful club and I’m really looking forward to settling in and kicking off the 2019 season.”Coote comes to the Totally Wicked Stadium with bags of experience and a winning mentality that has been proven in the NRL.The Scottish international has played 166 times in the NRL after making his debut for Penrith in 2008.He went on to make 83 appearances for the Panthers before he signed for Cowboys in 2014.It was there that his skills and big game experience came to the fore.He played a massive part in North Queensland’s run to the 2015 Grand Final and was integral in back-stopping them to a heart-stopping 17-16 Golden Point win over Brisbane Broncos.The following year the Cowboys became World Champions and Coote scored in the 38-4 win over Leeds at Headingley.“I’m really excited to have such a quality player coming to our club,” Saints Head Coach Justin Holbrook said. “He is an exciting player with a good kicking game and vision.“He will suit our club perfectly.”Coote played City Origin in 2012 and lined up for the Prime Minister’s XIII in their end-of-season match against Papua New Guinea.He has also featured three times for Scotland.Saints Chairman Eamonn McManus added: “Lachlan is a proven top class full back or half back with a great all round game. He’s performed for years at the highest level and will also provide experience and leadership within an already strong Saints squad next season and beyond.“We are all looking forward to welcoming him to the Club.”