Blogging against Disablism… Holding the Media to Account…

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… 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


8 Comments Add yours

  1. tracey says:

    > At the start of January 2011 I got, what i thought was, a stomach bug but after 2 days of being unable to keep food down I went to the local GP out of hours centre, they took a urine sample and said there was an infection which was probably either a urine infection or Kidney stones and admitted me to hospital. I was put on a drip and given anti-sickness medicine and antibiotics, 2 days later they couldn’t decide what was going on so discharged me!
    > That night i was still being sick and was bringing up blood so my partner took me to A & E. This time they decided it was my gallbladder and gave me another fluid drip, more anti-sickness medicine and, as the hospital was full, sent me home.
    > Two days later, and with no improvement, my partner took me to my GP who in turn called for an ambulance. After several more hours in A & E I was sent home again with them saying it was a virus and it would go in time!
    > In the end I had 5 trips to A & E, a gastostrophy and THEN they decided it was an anxiety problem! By this time I was unable to walk, was suffering from major muscle spasms and pain and had not eaten for several weeks!
    > I was then referred to a psychiatrist who put me on diamorphine and arranged daily visits. After several weeks and after adding setraline to my medication I was admitted to hospital – still unable to walk and had lost so much weight I was less that 6 stone. I reckon had I not gone into hospital I probably wouldn’t be here now.
    > In hospital I saw a physiotherapist and with a lot of hard work she got me back on my feet (bless her). By the time I was discharged I could stand, with assistance, but this was after 2 weeks in hospital!
    > They arranged for a physiotherapist to visit me at home a few times a week and after 3 more weeks I could get around the house by using walls for support. My life as I knew it had changed forever.
    > I am still struggling but am no longer taking the diamorphine. The muscle spasms only stopped when I found a product called an Infinity Pro band which has tourmaline in it and gives off negative ions. It has also greatly improved my sleep and although it has not made me 100% better it has improved things to the extent that I can see some light at the end of the tunnel 🙂
    > Hopefully (fingers, toes, arms, kids toes, hubby’s fingers and the next door neighbours eyelashes – crossed) I will some day get better, even if it’s not 100% – anything is better than this!
    > I just thought I’d share my story with you all 🙂
    > Thanks for reading,
    > Tracey x x

    1. ravenswyrd1 says:

      Hi Tracey, So sorry to here about your problems but its important to get our stories out there, I hope you get some relief and a bit more understanding from the world around you… Dxxx

      1. tracey says:

        thanks for the reply, It helps now that I have made some friends who have CFS/ME/FM seems to help hearing others experiences to know you are not alone and get support from others. Hope you get the same. T xx

  2. chris gibson says:

    Keep writing sister!t. This is good and you may be one of the writers you talk about Chris Gibson

    1. ravenswyrd1 says:

      Thanks for thinking so Chris, 🙂 not sure if I have the spoons though… lol Dxxx

  3. I think that you’re definitely an excellent voice for people with disabilities. I’ve been following what’s been going on in Britain with the austerity cuts from here in Canada, and it sickens me, frankly. There’s a lot of disablist rhetoric coming out of the US as well regarding benefits and fraud that is scary. Keep on writing! We need your voice.

    1. ravenswyrd1 says:

      Thank you its very nice of you to say so… I never thought of my self as a writer, just felt so angry and abuse i needed to get that out… Dxxx

  4. lynda richardson says:

    lynda richardson

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