Suicide over £45 a week?

Following on from my blog yestersday, I want to challenge an assumption the ATOC protestors make about people’s reasons for wanting to committ suicide. When people are deemed fit for work, they do not lose all their benefits but they are taken ESA and returned to Jobseekers Allowance, where I believe the different is £45.

Now we are asked to believe people who have no other mental distress are decided to end their lives because of £45 a week. While I can totally understand the additional stress this can bring until someone is able to find work, are we really saying people lives can be boiled down to this small amount? If this really the difference between happiness and despair?

Rather than supporting people to come to terms with the change in their lives, I believe the ATOS protests are encouraging and celebrating suicide to score points against the government in a way I find sickening. How can these ‘disabled people’ claim an united front when they are prepared to use the suffering of others for their political and financial gain?

Celebrating Suicide is sick

One thing I have found quite concerning about the recent ATOS protests and the language of those who are against ATOS. is the way they are using the suicide of claimants as a reason that justifies their actions and everything they say is wrong with ATOS. 

It is not exacting celebrating suicide but it is using people’s suicide for political point scoring. If someone has felt the need to end their lives, it could be for a combination of a whole range of reasons which will indeed by environmental as well as most likely experiencing mental distressed. 

No one should feel to need to commit suicide and every suicide is a failure of society to support people through emotional crisis and no one’s suicide should be used by anyone to justify their right not to made a contribution to society.

The war against real disabled people

I would like to argue that there is a war against real disabled people, not by ATOS or the government but by the the middle class liberal press and the not so real disabled people. I know this is not the right language because they is not a language for what I am saying but those you know what I mean know what I mean.

The war centres about who has the right to be labelled unfit and so enjoy the benefits of being disabled without much of the disadvantaged. When people say the Work Capability Assessment is flawed, they mean the line between the fit and the unfit is in the wrong place and more people should be deemed unfit. I however believe everyone should be deemed fit for work and the question should be what support do people require to make a meaningful contribution to society.

For me unfit means unworthy incapable burden of society and if people with minor impairments are considered unworthy of the responsibility of citizenship, the real question is what do people think of those with significant and  severe impairments? Well deep down, they probably think we are better off dead. If more money is needed to tickle the fancies of the not-so-real disabled people, someone has to suffer and if real disabled people are considered unworthy of life then clearly they will be targeted to pay for other people’s right not to work.

Those who pity ‘the disabled’ because they were asked a few questions by ATOS are the people who are protecting those who legally scam the benefits system and in the end, it will be people like me who will have to pay in our quality of lives.

Celebrate achievements, desire improvements

One thing which frustrates me is when people, especially disabled people, moan about inaccessible but do nothing about it. Often people find the smallest thing they can find and turn it into the biggest thing because they enjoy the drama on being negative as they enjoy spending their unhappiness to others.

I believe it is firstly important to celebrate the successes and achievements in how much accessibility has improved in the next 20 years before looking to how things can be improved. We must first accept life is not perfect and if things are not fully accessible it is not a part of some conspiracy against disabled people but simply life.

Rather than go to the newspapers with every little rant, the best solution is to approach the people behind the issue and work with them to make things better in the realisms of the world. Most people share the desire to improve things if you give them a chance rather than portraying them as criminals in this new and sad victim culture that exists.

The world will always need improving but it can only be done by being possible, not negative.

Health has always been privatised (Cancer)

I would like to argue that parts of the health system in the UK has always been privatised, but not in the way people realise. I am not talking about BUPA and the other commercial private health providers, but the many charities which claim to act like health services.

if we take cancer, if we take the advertising messages of Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, we are  led to believe they are totally responsible for the treatment of cancer patients  which leaves me wondering what the NHS is doing. And if the NHS is free at the point of delivering, why are cancer patients begging on TV to ‘save lives’? Does that not give the message that we will only get cancer treatments if we make the right donations to the right charities?

And if these charities are funded by the public to find cures. why are the drug companies charging the NHS a fortunate for new drugs to cover the cost of research the public has already paid for? I have never understood it and I think it is time people got an explanation.

Children’s health is another area which is funded by charity which suggested the NHS has such a low opinion of ‘our future generation’, they pass the burden to charities. I know it is not this simple but that is the message we get.

The government should clarify the relationship between charity and the NHS so people can realise where their hard earnt money is really going.

Am I an actor?

As many readers may know I am one of the stars of “I’m Spazticus”, the Channel 4 prank show starring disabled actors making fun on the non-disabled public, which has been widely reported as being given a second series! The pilot was made 7 years ago and if you imagine a year ago, the project was long dead in the water, it is too amazing to comprehend.

In the show I act very much as myself and that is the beauty of it. And that leads me to the question of whether I am an actor in the true sense? I know from experience I am not good at reading from scripts, often because I need to say what I can say and not what I want to or need to say. But clearly with my Lightwriter, that is not a problem.

But maybe I am an actor because I can be the part and I shine at what I do and maybe that is all that matters. As a self employed person I have to turn my hand to whatever comes my way and adapt accordingly. I also enjoyed my experience filming I’m Spazticus and I got paid, so maybe I leave this question for others to judge.

If they were Asian (ATOS Protests)

In looking at the new dubbed ‘ATOS Protests’, we have seen how a minority of people claiming to be disabled have destroyed the pathway of inclusion for real disabled people by destroying a social model understand in preference for medical model pity simply for a bit of cold hard cash and the right to be economic burdens of society, refusing to make any meaningful contribution to society.

While they talk about peaceful protest, they have made a public commitment to “hound and harass” ATOS. They continue to make incredible claims based of ignorant and act in ways with I feel borders on terrorism. If an asian group had declared war on a government function, the government, the police and liberal middle class media would be outraged and mass arrests would be demanded and made under the terrorism act.

But because society pities ‘the disabled’ as worthless second class unemployable objects of pity, their immoral and illegal actions are tolerated and even celebrated by the liberal media. The charities sit back and watch with glee because it promotes their exclusion agenda as they profit from the dependency demanded and creates by these protesters. It is also interesting how the leaders of the protest groups act like mini-gods, enjoying the emotional dependency their followers have for them who worship them just like any religious cult.

The real victims are real disabled people who have lost their voice to ‘disabled people’ who are often freshly impaired and full of the non-disabled prejudice for disabled people they had as they seek pity, not inclusion. 

I hope this government gets a backbone and treat these protestors and their scandalous lies in the way all criminals should be treated and made them accountable for the harassment they spread as they accuse the government of murder.

Feeding Dependency

The big problem I have with disability charities, user-led charities and indeed protest groups in that they are dependent on the dependency of disabled people for their existence. By dependency I mean a state where someone sees themselves as a victim and unable to make decisions for themselves without the physical or emotional support of a charity.

The charities prefer to keep them dependent on them by teaching them to have goals which they can help with and ensuring the goals are never perceived as achieved like independent living and human rights. Alcohol Anonymous is a perfect example of an organisation that profits from dependency. It teaches people doubt as they label someone as recovering, never recovered and teaches people they need lifelong therapy to make a single decision of not drinking. We don’t talk about recovering smokers!

As independent living, as the inclusion of disabled people into society, becomes a reality and the ‘job’ of the charities comes to an end, they need to put new obstacles in the way. They flocked human rights into a meaningless pulp as it has became an excuse to be dependency, and so all they have now is hate crime. Hate crime is a bogeyman to halt the path of inclusion and for some charities an excuse to lock disabled people away for their protection.

We need to see the damage these charities are doing and demand their closure so disabled people can have the independence their deserve.

My Younger Peers

When I was younger, I did not have someone older with my level of impairment and my level of intelligent to look up to, or at least someone specifically. I think it is important to have role models, people who inspire, and so I have already tried to be one to others.

Now, I do have younger peers who respect me in different ways including a few who feel the need to challenge and insult me as a way to develop their understanding of themselves. Many do not understand my level of confident and my acceptance of myself as people with cp, warts and all. 

The fact I celebrate my impairment uneases some of my younger peers because they have not yet reached yet point and also looking at me is for them like looking in the mirror and they can find it uneasy.

I like to friends with anyone I can but I won’t compromise myself. I understand people needs to develop themselves and how I may help them, whether I want to or not, but I will not tolerate offensive behaviour as everyone needs to learn responsibility one way or another.

Personal Development is so important and I am always glad to help others find themselves and understand their story as they follow their journey if they wish to do so.

Reclaiming the term ‘Spaz’

Spaz is slang for spastic and can be seen as a derogatory term in by major of cases but for some people with cerebral palsy, including myself, it can be a term to be reclaimed as a part of our identity.

I often called me a proud spaz or the Proud Spaz because it embraces the freak side of my nature and how society sees me. By using the term I am making it clear I know I make some people uncomfortable and that I am taking control of the situation in the way black people use nigger and gay people use queer. I am not saying it is a publicly acceptable term but that it is a term I use and take responsibility for, as I expect a reaction.

I believe this is what Ian Dury wanted when he wrote the song “I’m Spazticus”, a reaction to make people think. And this is what the comedy of the same name also wanted, for tv shock value more than anything else. Those ‘disabled people’ who find Spaz inappropriate are most likely those who do not relate to it as language is a personal choice.