Have disabled people been a victim of post-truth?

Over the past week, I have been catching up on what the new term, post-truth, means. My understanding is that post-truth is when an emotional understanding of an issue, especially in politics, supersedes the often complex facts involved, so there is a greater belief in what people want to hear as opposed to the actual evidence available. So rumour and myth become embedded in articles, that embed themselves in further articles and so become an endless exercise of Chinese whispers.

At this point, let us not be fooled to believe only one section of politics are doing this, and that there is a simple line between the good and the bad. Just because Donald Trump is seen as an obvious player of post-truth politics, it does not mean those who oppose his views are not active in post-truth themselves. Social media and the rise of isolationist news sources, where we now can choose the news we wish to read in a way like never before, means post-truth is now more mainstream than we realise.

In terms of people with impairments, the anti-cuts movement has been an expert in using post-truth to win hearts over minds. If you examine my very first few articles in the Huffington Post, they were about challenging the post-truths that were starting to exist in terms of the welfare system. Sadly these post-truths have now been repeated in so many articles and even accepted by the United Nations, it is going to be almost impossible to undo the damage to people with impairments’ place in society caused by the mythological environment people now accept.

As someone motivated by real facts and evidence, I find post-truth hard to swallow as I can see how it enables so many individual voices to be lost, especially the voices of many people with impairments. The truth has too often set me free and it has been a willingness to read and understand the small print that has enabled me to beat the system when it was being unfair to me. I believe systems are mostly fair if they are properly implemented and that the way to challenge a system is to use its own rules against it.

Shouting ‘foul’ every time you disagree with something and then building a whole alternative theory of reality to justify opposing a wrong on an emotional level is not going to help anyone, especially people with impairments. Instead, it is about finding the small truths that may be seen as boring and insignificant and using them to build a mirror for the system’s top brass to see and recognise.

This is what I call activism. But what we have ended up with is a generation of activists on all sides who can only work within the realm of soundbites and popularised headlines. “x% of people with label a are not getting solution k” attempts to justify post-truth because it simplifies and reduces the argument to cause an emotional reaction. Case studies are now carefully crafted in the first voice to only paint half the picture, leaving people like myself full of questions about what is the full picture.

The liberal media are as guilty of post-truth as anyone else, particularly focusing on people with impairments as a part of the new poor only they can protect from ‘Trumpmania’. Post-truth is a central part of the general car crash of politics and society  internationally we are currently witnessing, where people with impairments have particularly become a part of the casualty list.

The Welfare Movement’s 2040 Dystopia

It is 2040 and I have been living in Budapest for over a decade when I escaped from England. I now work as Head of Impairment Inclusion for the Freedom Alliance, under my amazing Chief Executive, Bill Windsor, who started the organisation when his throne was abolished over 15 years ago.

President Corbyn of the Republic of England has now been in power for 20 years, and he has certainly made a lot of changes, none of them for the better. The New Parliament based in Manchester recently celebrated its 10th year since opening in 2029,  3 years after London was nuked ‘accidently’ by Emperor Trump, which Corbyn apologised for, refusing to do anything else.

Unemployment was abolished in 2024 when Socialists England (formally the Labour Party) set up the Work Allocation Service. Everyone who is considered able to work does 20 hours a week and is paid E£1000 a week, the same amount as the basic income of those unrequired to work.

In order to access any public service in England for yourself and your family, you have to be a member of one of the 137 recognised trade unions. In order to be a member of any trade union, you must fill out the standard 280-page application form, asking everything about you and your views. To be successful, you must agree to the 36 principals of neo-socialism. You also must be willing to pay the E£2500 annual fee.

People who are not members of a trade union are referred to by the nationalised media as outcasts. Outcasts are prohibited from working, paid E£100 a week, and allocated accommodation in one of the many welfare housing complexes. The complexes are often former student accommodation that was abandoned after higher education was abolished as ‘unnecessary’ in 2032.

Outcasts may also access food parcels at one of the many Food Allocation Centres, often at former Tesco’s stores after the company abandoned the country in what the rest of the world saw as England’s Great Depression, which Corbyn refers to as the Realignment. All industries are now nationalised and work under very strict government regulation.

My greatest concern is England’s poor record on the opportunities and inclusion of people with impairments as defined by the OIPWI Convention of the International Alliance, which replaced the discredited United Nations in 2028. Since the legalisation of Assisted Suicide in 2021, it is now seen as the preferred solution for anyone who has a Productivity Value Score (PVS) less than 64%, which is 80% of anyone defined as having an impairment in 2018. My PVS is 23% and hence why the Impairment Resistance smuggled me out of the country in 2028.

Unlike Scotland, Wales and New Ireland, who kept progressive thinking governments during the expansion of the Amercian Empire before its recent collapse, England’s answer to the far right was the far left, making it the poorest country in the Modern World after Africa found its oil supplies. The country I grew up in has disappeared completely and it is only the work of organisations like the Freedom Alliance, who try to bring the concept of freedom to the country, which provides hope for many of the country’s ever growing outcast population.

If I could go back to 2020 and explain to the then English and Welsh people the damage electing Jeremy Corbyn would do in the name of welfare, I would. Bill has spent a lot of his own money he earns from his public speaking on Temporal Interactivity research, building a time machine, and there has been some progress on sending emails back in time, but there is still a long way to go. Meanwhile,  the fight against neo-socialism continues.



Impairment-related Assessments should be about removing barriers

It is very easy to complain about how a system is not working but it is much harder to come up with new solutions to replace broken ones. It is also easy to talk about rights but much harder to ensure any system implement rights on an individual level, providing real benefit as oppose to simply political analysis. I believe in looking forward and having a go in coming up with my own ideas on how to do things better.

In this context, I have given a lot of consideration to how I would design an assessment system designed to enable people with impairments to have what they need when they need it. Such a system is always going to be complex because of the many factors involved. My focus would be on removing individual and specific barriers to outcome related activities, as opposed to either being label based or focusing on what someone generically can not do, like having a speech impairment.

This means going through a person’s daily living routine as well as a number of other activities including work and establishing what impairment related barriers they face. Some barriers, like not having a dropped curb at a specific place on their route to work etc, would result in a community solution, benefiting others as well as themselves. Other barriers may be overcome by the awareness of specific mainstream solutions, like online food delivery services.

Many barriers may be overcome by the use of assistive technology large and small from electric wheelchairs to bibs. The final solution to consider is personal care, including the use of personal assistants. The reality must be that because of the long term costs involved in providing personal care, the suitability of other solutions must be considered first because being value for money has to be a goal.

A final set of barriers to overcome is the extra costs of having an impairment in comparison to that of people without impairments in the same social setting. This would include extra washing, extra heating, extra hospital parking costs and so on. The key here must be reasonableness and fairness in comparison to others.

The catch to all this, if you wish to see it in that way, is that removing impairment related barriers is not about having a completely stress-free life. The government’s motivation to remove individual barriers has to be to expect people to contribute to society as much as they are reasonably able to do so. The barriers to opportunities should relate to the opportunities available to them if they did not have an impairment. This means that if someone wants support while they are on holiday, they need to be able to afford the normal costs of that holiday.

I believe meeting individual barriers is the way forward. It will enable an assessment to be transparent as the assessor needs to state how they propose an individual overcomes a specific barrier, even if it is not the solution the individual would have wanted, and many proposed solutions may not require funding from the government directly.

The barrier to this way of assessing people is likely to be the current attitude of those being assessed, especially if they are newly impaired. Their newly found impairment identity is likely to disrupt the process as they demand recognition of their negative feelings towards their impairment, being unable to easily think in terms of overcoming barriers. This would require a more sympathetic dialogue that enables people to realign how they feel about themselves. Without this, my assessment system will quickly become as toxic as the current one, or indeed any further one proposed by others.

My proposed assessment system will require deep changes in the dialogue between state and individual to succeed but if it was properly implemented, it would offer all people with impairments their best hope of full and meaningful inclusion within a good society.

Has the UN failed British Disabled People?

On Monday the UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities released a report of what is generally regarded as the UK government’s grave violation of the convention on the rights of people with disabilities. What the report really represents is a political stunt that shows the prejudices that exist towards people with impairments by the UN.

The report was produced at the request of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), a left-wing organisation involved in civil disobedience. Their actions have included a failed attempt to storm the House of Commons, which would have been regarded as an act of terrorism if any other group had done the same. This group fundamentally believes most people with impairments should be paid a basic income and thrown on the scrapheap, mirroring the bigotry that existed in 1930s Germany.

The UN did not disappoint DPAC as it delivered exactly what they wanted word for word. Since the request was made almost two years ago, this so-called investigation come dictation has been held in secret with evidence only coming from DPAC’s vast pro-exclusion propaganda machine, with the British government simply forced to justify including people with impairments into society from those who prefer eugenics as the final solution.

The report is surprisingly thin at just 30 pages with no publicly accountable evidence to justify any of its findings. I am sure the committee knew it was unwise to release many of the hate speech documents provided by DPAC full of lies and conspiracies. To justify their bigotry towards people with impairments in the name of rights, there had to make their short statement without evidence, knowing the anti-inclusion movement will ensure no one challenges them.

The report only focused on welfare reforms and changes to social care for people with physical impairments primarily as that is the only issues DPAC cares about. The report assumes every person with an impairment is the same that fits into the new assumption that the only ‘disabled person’ that matters is the fictitious Daniel Blake, where the non-welfare issues of people with significant impairments no longer matter. One leading human rights activist, who defended this undefendable report in the Guardian, implied to me I had to take responsibility to ensure Daniel Blake got his benefits regardless of what he needed before I could be allowed to have my needs met because this activist did not like seeing his idea of poverty.

The most offensive and telling part of the report was that it had found fit for work in quotation marks, This means like the dinner table activists in the UK, a bunch of nameless faceless bureaucrats felt they had the right to overrule a legal assessment to judge people they had never met on whether they were fit for society, or whether they belonged unsupported on the scrapheap in the name of rights. This is like suggesting black people have the right to be slaves but offering them freedom is a grave violation of their rights, as they are inferior beings.

But when most activists and so-called representatives of people with impairments do actually believe we are naturally inferior beings who belong on the scrapheap, of course this piece of hate speech masked as a report is being hailed as a victory, another step forward towards the final eugenic solution to end having to see poverty once and for all.

I am proud to say that work has set me free

In the last few months, a number of welfare activists have linked the term ‘work sets you free’ with the government’s welfare reforms. This term is regarded as sinister because in german the term is translated as ‘arbeit macht frei’, which was painted onto the entrances of Nazi concentration camps.

The inference is that the government desire to support more people with impairments into work is some kind of conspiracy to cause harm and suffering in comparison to the actions of the Nazis. It is somewhat distasteful and disrespectful to the survivors of concentration camps to imply the government’s action in supporting people with impairments is on the same par.

Portraying work is something evil and unobtainable for anyone with any kind of impairment is deeply harmful to people’s place in society as well as their personal identities. In defining work is the activity of helping others in any way, it is simply wrong to assume people with impairments can only be in a position of taking as oppose to giving.

I am very passionate about seeing people with impairments as capable human beings because work is fundamental to my identity and my liberation as someone with significant impairments. As someone who is self-employed, I have struggled to maintain a stability of paid income and so rely on tax credits, although I believe this is because I am offering a glimpse into the future that is very hard to market.

This however does not mean I stop working in one way or another because it is something I really enjoy. This blog is work, with the aim of expressing my viewpoint and further add interest with potential customers. It may be unpaid and indeed voluntary but it is still a form of work!

I personally can not imagine a time where I am not working, balanced of course with holidays and leisure activities. A lot of welfare activists say work is not good in terms of mental health, but I think work is fundamental to my positive mental health, as I am sure it is for many other people. Boredom can only lead to depression and unhappiness.

My self-worth is rewarded by helping others. This has kept me going when I have had periods of significant depression. I know I have always had a level of determination that has given me the courage to take up many opportunities available to me in a manner many other people with impairments may shy away from. But does this somehow make me special? An exception to the rule that people like myself simply can not work?

The welfare activists have set up a self-fulfilling prophecy. If people with impairments are deemed unable to work by mainstream society, then they are going to be less encouraged to work.  It is an interesting paradox that the many hours of campaigning people ‘who can’t work’ do to defend their unemployable status is actually helping them develop skills that shows that by their actions, they are working and capable of working.

I need to work because it is what liberates me from the restraints historic oppression has attempted to place upon me. I am sure I am not alone in this and therefore I remain proud about the benefits that work has provided me. This is why I remain frustrated at those who feel the need to devalue the importance of work for people with impairments with such hostility.