|by Alice Nunn with poems by Andrew Mackirdy
In 2006 there were 2.7 million people on Incapacity Benefit in the UK
and Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, decided that 1
million of these should be taken off and made to work. Andrew had
spent 35 years on this benefit, after time in a mental hospital in his
early 20s. The small amount of financial support enabled him to live a
quiet contained life, caring for his 90-year-old mother. He was a good
cook, hated jazz, voted for the Labour Party and wrote poetry.
But none of that saved him. The government was determined the
figures would come down. And that Andrew would be one of them.