This has been the week some readers may know where my apparent nemesis, Sue Marsh, has made a very big deal about the fact she got thrown off the panel of a Channel 5 live slanging match on benefit reforms, where in her own words, her ‘supporters’, appear to be referring to it as the scandal of the century! I therefore found it interesting that in the midsts of her whirlwind destiny with fame, she had time and felt the need to stick her tongue out at me in a tweet, saying she was more popular than I was.
It is becoming increasingly clearer that Sue and myself are opposite leaders to an ideological and moral compass. While I campaign for inclusion and equality as an experienced disability and inclusion activist on a fundamentally uncompromising belief in the human potential of everyone no matter their situation, she is a medical model welfare campaigner with very little and understanding of disability issues. While I am an experienced consultant in the field with many 1000s of stories guiding me, she is a ’Not in my backyard’ protestor, campaigning for her little community of sick people who have not yet come to terms with their situation.
But the first thing that occurred to me was that from her tweet was who said I wanted to be popular? Surely I am the most unpopular people according to her community? I said what I believe and I do not care who hears it. I have very happy with who I am and what I believe. I have close friends and people who respect what I say, but I do not need continuous reassurances that I am wondering. I have a strong twitter, Facebook and Linkedin following because I am a major player in the disability scene, and I want that recognition, and I am under no illusion that anyone who follows me in automatically my friend. I have been back slapped in the past, to realise those who do it are full of false promises, about maybe Sue will have to find this out herself.
I believe I am a true campaigners because I do not need supporters to keep me focused on my mission, although I welcome the assistance of anyone. Those who make the biggest difference to society are never popular when they are doing it and I have taken that on board.
If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email firstname.lastname@example.org