Letter to the Panorama Team at the BBC, in Response to “Britain on the Fiddle”

4 11 2011

“Hello,

I am writing to you to express my disappointment with your program, specifically it’s portrayal of disabled people. You consistently misrepresent the facts (eg: Lumping together fraud & error statistics to make the former appear larger) and paint disabled people in Britain as nothing more than scrounging parasites. You present participation in sports such as sailing or cycling as scandalous evidence of lack of disablement, which is not only a clear error (which highlights the lack of research done by the program makers), but is also an extremely dangerous one to make, as it actively contributes to the atmosphere of violence which is directed towards disabled people in this time of economic hardship. Your program has severely cut short my own attempts to return to the sports I enjoy, as I worry that if I do so I will be at risk of violence, harrassment and institutional persecution. This is a direct result of the misinformation spread during your program.

I had hoped that a program with such a history of journalistic integrity would strive to live up to it’s heritage. I see now that this hope was ill-founded.”

Anyone who wishes to join me on this can contact the Panorama team at: panorama.reply@bbc.co.uk

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