Politics ‘V’ Political… Blogging Against Disableism 2013

Hi folks wow where did that year go? 🙂

Today is blogging against disableism day, this time last year I did a piece about how the media had whole heartedly embraced the scrounger  rhetoric condemning thousands of us to derision and hate from the general public.

Has much changed in that time?

Yes and No…

We still have a constant barrage of offensive and inaccurate reporting, that would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. We still appear to be at logger heads with our current government with regards to benefit reform, and those on welfare in general…Here’ just a Couple of examples… The Sun, The Daily Mail,

But, there have been some subtle changes, changes that have been hard-won… We are seeing more articles, about how the welfare reforms are not well thought out, more articles that question the statistics that are coming out of the DWP, articles that wholly disagree with some of the changes that have been introduced since April such as the Bedroom Tax, Universal Credit, and PIP… some even questioning whether the changes are even possible… here are some more examples… The Guardian, The IndependentThe Huffington Post

So the bias has subtly shifted but still is a long way from the kind of treatment any minority would expect in the twenty-first century.

This year I’ve become  aware of another form of disableism, least I think of it as disableism…

I keep having the same conversation with people… People who think disability campaigning is about politics… Which seems to be something the disabled should not be involved in… least not vocally… According to a few… Now I don’t deny that there is an element of working in the political arena that goes with disability campaigning, but the reason we do it, is not because of politics as such.

Disability campaigners have really one goal in mind, we want to see a society that is inclusive, we want to see a society that doesn’t marginalised, exclude or make us sicker by its very existence…  after decades of disability movements and some extraordinary campaigners, we still have people who think that lobbying an MP to improve a service, or try to get Ministers to tell the truth is about policies is politics… it isn’t…

It’s always about identifying areas that continue to need improvement,and fighting for that improvement… weather its Social Care or Benefits… and regardless of which political party happens to be in office.

If the transport system for example needs improvement, as disabled people how do we go about getting those improvements? We can lobby the companies to get them to one at a time change their policy or we can campaign via our MPs, we can petition or lobby the government to get the law changed so that all the travel company’s have an obligation in law to put changes in place to improve things…

Several times in recent weeks I have lost FB group members and friends because i refuse to be a good disabled person and sit quietly on the side lines and let someone else decide how the welfare system can help me, how social services can help me and how society will consider me…

Many think its wrong to stand up and say this is not right, we need you to include us in the process, you need to understand that We as disabled people want to be involved, to have a say, about how we challenge society, to finally get politicians and the public to grab the bull by the horns and accept us fully, as real meaningful members of society…

Being political is different to party politics. Whether we like it or not politics is everywhere, and if we want the right to be free to live how we choose, we have the responsibility to do something about it. It is time to move away from, “As long as Im ok then its someone else’s problem”… To one that says, “Are We ok as a society?”

Some people may choose to bury their heads and claim that “I’m too sick for this” or “I’m too disabled, and I have my own battles”.  But the only way to get what you need is to ask for it… the old ‘ those who ask dont get’ mentality will not help us in this fight, we need to not only ask, but to demand that equality becomes a reality… Before any more back peddling on our rites can happen. As the well-known disability rally cry states…

‘Nothing About Us With Out Us’

So Say We All… Dxxx

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Seems like it may be a good plan to hit back with a tidal wave of “things that have been achieved by disabled people”. In fact, in view of Mr. Duncan Smith’s increasingly obvious descent into Mental Health Issues, we could start with Universal Cred … then again, perhaps not. Stephen Hawkins, Paralympians, Soldiers in wheelchairs may be better bets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s