Archive for December, 2011

I think we may be making our point

I’m feeling a little bit reflective today, I starteed thinking about just where the rights fight is. The journey towards true equality is long, those fighting today are probably not going tosee it end.  What we are definitely seeing is a change.  Its slow, relatively small, and we have to keep fighting,but its there. 

Some national newspapers are starting to write positive stories about us, not the usual ahh factor stuff, but articles that question why we are being treated as we are, and give us a voice.  Its not a straight run, there are still  negative stories too many,  and some are unlikely to change their stance in a hurry, but as themedia tide turn gathers momentum,then their view will become more and more out of step, and hopefully noticed as such.  

Grassroots activists people who have quietly fought the fight for years are suddenly being noticed,and asked their views.  Its less of asking organisations what disabled people think, more of communicating with disabled people directly.  Ordinary activists, yes we are real people, are being   listened to, quoted, and having their views placed in the public domain.  We have been shouting for  years, now at last we are starting to be heard.

There are still those  who want to stop us, there always will be, its the nature of the  fight. On the bright side it means we are having an effect, making a difference.  If not, it wouldn’t be worth the effort of hindering us.  They can keep trying, but we will keep fighting. We know it happens because at the time of campaigns, the same  things happen to many, too many to be random.

We have the first glimpses of a real opportunity to drive change, the very first chink of light at the end of what is still a very long tunnel. The fight is not over, but now it has truely started, we cannot waste our best chance yet to win our rights,  Our fight goes on, Solidartity!

December 13, 2011 at 11:13 am 3 comments

DPAC Letter against the loss of the ILF

The Independant  Living Funds provides severely disabled people with funding for caresothatthey can live more independantly,  The fund no longer accepts new users, and those currentlybeing helped if the scheme closes as planned.

Disabled People Against Cuts has written a letter to the Government protesting  against the plans.  Details oftheleter  and how to add your signature can be found here

December 13, 2011 at 9:55 am 2 comments

Rights Not Charity

I will start bysaying I am not against charities, and I recognise the valuable vital woek they do, I’ve worked with several.  However there was one item on  ITVs Text Santa last night that left me fuming.

Prime Ministter David  Cameron pledged £25oK  of Government money to the appeal.  Yes it was a good thing to do,and yes its what most people would want, but lets just think for a minute.  The country is in financial straits, services are being  cut and many people are feeling the effects. I know that charities,  and those involved are good ones,  help the vunerable. The cuts  though are falling hardest on the most vunerable, the very people who need the help of the charities, even more so because of the cuts. 

What many people, ie those not affected don’t understand, is that the cuts don’t just affect the most needy financially.  The cuts to services affect rights, changes to benefits,  support provision, and general public services such as transport, all alter how those who rely on them, and its not just disabled people, can participate in society.  The cuts are taking away not just money but people’s ability to be a full citizen, their choices and rights.

I really hope that Mr ‘call me Dave’ Cameron and his cabinet monsters enjoyed their  ‘nice guy’ moment, its probably the last  they will get for a  while.  In my mind the gesture showed them up for what they are, rights thieves, who think that ‘stealing’ from us can be forgotten, by shoving a few quid at us in charity handouts, they couldn’t be more wrong. We want rights, not charity, but  because our rights are being ‘stolen’ by  the Government, many will be forced to rely on charity handouts instead, just to survive.

December 12, 2011 at 9:19 am 6 comments

Act to stop ESA time limiting

Time litmied ESA, that is stopping contribution based ESA after a year for any claimant deemed to be capable of some work at some point is a key part of the Governments Welfare Reform. If it goes ahead it will place many disabled people at serious financial disadvantage.

Fellow activist and  blogger Sue Marsh explains the policy and how you can help.

 

December 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm Leave a comment

Petition: Make malicious reporting of benefit fraud illegal

With Crimestoppers now being used  as a weapon against benefit claimants, it is now more important than ever that we seek protection under the law.  As the law stands people reporting benefit fraud, have anonimity, and can not be held accountable, even if they made the report out of malice.  This petition  seeks a change in the law so that those who knowingly accuse the innocent can be made to answer for their actions.

December 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm 10 comments

Disability Hate Murder Sentences Doubled

Murders fuelled by disability hate will now get sentenced to up to 30 years.  Along with those against transgendered people, it now brings it into line with other hate murders. I welcome any change that takes crimes against  disabled people seriously,  I still worry that less serious hate crime  is being ignored, and in some cases endorsed.

Most disabled people won’t get murdered, but less serious hate crimes and incidents  are commonplace, and very few people will escape it completely.  Being screamed at in the street, some types of discrimination, and threats among others can all count.  Try reporting these though and you don’t always  get the response you deserve.  I have heard of many situations where blamedon the victims, along the lines that they misunderstood the situation, and are somehowin need of protection, and not able to cope.  Whilst additional support would genuinely help some, it is very wrong to ‘blame’ the victim, and excuse the criminal.  Support needs to be in place ifor victims, whilst crimesaredealt with appropriately.

We live in difficult times and right now disabled people seem to be the target for society’s anger and frustration.  We are the ‘burden’ the country can’t handle, and it seems like we are to blame for anything from the banking crisis to global warming.  The result is that we have become objects of hate, and hate crime incidents are increasing.  This is not, in my opinion, just happening, in many cases, the ‘gun’ is being loaded by the Government and media, for the general public to fire.  The daily diet  of stories of benefit fraud, and the Government stance of persistent’ relience on state handouts, by those who could work. aimed us, enforce the idea that we are here only to put in our place. There are too many people in this country, only too happy to teach us a lesson.  These hate crimes however are nottaken seriously, we are just expected to accept that they are part of our life.

I repeat any progress is welcome, but all hate crime must be taken, and dealt with seriously.  Above all the Government and media must stop fuelling the hate, and must play their part in stopping it.  Fiona Pilkington and her daughter did not die as a result of hate murder, however their deaths were as a result of hate crime. Further the authorities failed them, neglected their duty. It must never be  allowed to happen again, but it will, many times, if it hasn’t already, unless all hate incidents/crime, and the effects on victims  are taken seriously.

December 11, 2011 at 8:37 am 1 comment

CEA Card

The Cinema Exhibitors Association Card allows qualifying disabled people to have a free ticket for a carer when attending the cinema.  You must be on DLA or AA or registered blind, it costs £5.50 and lasts a year.  You usually have to pay a booking fee for the free ticket.

Ifyou have an ‘obvious’ disability it may be worth checking with your local cinema, some will allow you the free ticket without the CEA Card.  This saves the yearly charge and booking fee.  In all cases the carer does not have to be  a paid carer, it can be anyone going with you, who can support you as needed.

December 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm 1 comment

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