Hi Folks, It’s blogging against Disablism Day! So today I decided to think about…

Holding the Media to Account…

When I think of the thing, that for me, has probably been, one of the most marked changes, in the UK, other than the obvious benefit changes, that have wreaked havoc among the sick and disabled communities, It has been the way in which disabled people have been portrayed by the media.

It is interesting that where once upon a time the media’s attitude towards disabled people, was one of considering us  something that at best, they had a duty to protect and at worst, something to be pitied, has now changed to consider us something to revile…

Week after week we are now subjected to a torrent of abuse, about how we are a drain on society, how every single claimant of sickness and disability benefits, are accused, by simply applying, or being awarded disability benefit ,of cheating, society and the government, elevating the ‘law abiding,’ ‘Tax Payer’, to the point where they seem to think they are better than us… Because disabled people aren’t ‘Tax Payers’ are they?

Not only does this really annoy me and make me mad but it also infringes on our human rights… Branding 3.2 million people as something less than honest, should be sending warning signals all over the world. Not that I doubt, that there are benefit cheats among us, the 0.5% fraud rate of disability benefits prove that there are. But this new hounding of any one that has the temerity to step out side their front door and god forbid have any kind of fun, is going beyond inclusion and smacks of disablism…

But our media are clever, they never actually come out and say it, but use headlines such as 37% of all Incapacity Claimants ‘fit for work’ the inference being that all these people where somehow cheating the system to gain money they had no right to. When in fact the assessment criteria has been changed to exclude people, so consequently people are being excluded.  I wont repeat figures here that I have already given in my previous post but we know that this figure does not include the percentage of successful appeals, which will reduce the ‘fit for work’ figures dramatically…

Alongside this, we have to put up with articles written by such ’eminent’ journalists (ok I was trying to be funny) as Ron Liddle and his now infamous article entitled ‘Pretend disabled really are sick’ which started with the statement My New Year’s resolution for 2012 was to become disabled. Nothing too serious, maybe just a bit of a bad back or one of those newly invented illnesses which make you a bit peaky for decades – fibromyalgia, or M.E.” which as a Fibro sufferer made me really… cross.

And they simply retract any statement or article that gets to hot, like that makes it all better, rather than facing the full extent of the law, for inciting hate against disabled people…

So what do we do about this how do we start to try to stem the tide…

Do we stand like King Canute and shake our fists at the coming waves? Demonstrating our impotence in the face of such an onslaught or do we beat them, at there own game? Of all the Bloggers who blogg about health, disability and sickness their must be a few whose words could reach the masses, we need to grow a literary voice, that goes beyond the internet, we need to create more good journalists from with in our ranks to stand, with journalists like Sonia Poulton, among others,who has been fighting alongside disability campaigners to get the truth about what is happening to the benefits system,out there, with articles like, ‘This  is not wartime Nazi Germany and Cameron’s attacks on the vulnerable and needy must be stopped…http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2102484/This-wartime-Nazi-Germany-Camerons-attacks-vulnerable-needy-stopped.html a comment on Workfare for the sick and disabled. I’m not saying that there aren’t any good disabled or disability writers, just that there aren’t enough…

We need to fight this war on the media front… Because if we can’t convince the public that we are not the scroungers we have been portrayed as, we will never win the war…

But events like today’s Blogg against Disablism proves there is a need, and shows us where some of those writers may be found…. Dxxx

Blogging Against Disablism http://blobolobolob.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/blogging-against-disablism-day-2012.html

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