Sunshine, Cycling and Mental Health

While I have had my new Tomcat Bullet Trike since February, I have been waiting for the weather to turn nice before I started to go out on it. After what has undoubtedly been a long winter, last Thursday (19th April) I finally felt ready to take it around the park for a spin.

Dressed in my customised skinsuit, as looking the part is half the fun, it was great to finally get out and cycle, even if for now it was just around the park. As my confidence builds, as I now plan to cycle more as time and energy allow, I hope to go further afield around my hometown of Coventry, including the War Memorial Park a few miles away.  This would require more confidence using pavements and crossing roads.

The mixture of the sunshine and the effort of cycling is very good for my mental health. Experience has made me very away of my mental health and my moods, and the need to stay in control of my mood. This is made more difficult due to my mild bipolar. As an intelligent and passionate person who sometimes see the world different to others, I often have a build up of emotional energy that needs to be released somehow.

Often it is released by ranting at my computer because news and comments I have read that have frustrated me. While this is better than other possible ways to release this energy, like self-harm, it is still not ideal. And this is where the Trike comes in as I can literally peddle my frustrations away.

As Spring grows into Summer, I plan to use the Trike more for its intended purpose, to help me release emotional energy. The best time to do this is in the mornings before breakfast, when I have the most physical energy. Before my morning shower, I can change into my cycling clothes, skinsuit and tights if cooler, go cycling, come back, shower and dress for the day ready for a hearty breakfast.

Watch out for more pictures, videos and blogs about my cycling adventures.

If you like my blog article, have a look at some of my products;

 

Achieve Support – https://www.simonstevens.com/achievesupp\ort
Having Pride (My Life Story) – http://www.balsy.me
Stevens’ Manifesto – https://www.simonstevens.com/manifesto
Understand Assistance – http://www.understand.tips
Understand Dysability – https://www.simonstevens.com/understanddysability
Understand Inclusion -https://www.simonstevens.com/understandinclusion

or visit my website at http://www.simonstevens.com

Donations are always gratefully received via paypal at https://www.paypal.me/simonstevens74
You can also email me at simon@simonstevens.com
or follow me on Twitter at @simonstevens74

bfxx

 

The problems with PIP Assessments

While Personal Independence Payments have existed for a few years, it has only been since December that I have had direct experience of them as a claimant and therefore any real authority to have an informed opinion about them and the application process. Unlike you can find elsewhere on the internet, especially on Youtube, this is not an anti-Tory rant on how awful and inhumane they are, but a brief review of what problems exist with the assessment.

I will start by confirming that I was appropriately awarded PIP as I previously had DLA, and while I had the worries any kind of assessment may bring, I found the assessment process overall satisfactory.

If we examine the face to face assessment, I did not experience anything that could be remotely seen as inhumane, which is a frankly ridiculous and offensive conclusion to make. I can however now see how if claimants want to feel offended and victimised, how the assessment process does lend itself to that interpretation. This leads us to the first and biggest problem with the assessment.

As soon as PIP was conceived, left wing activists and their associated media had promised to make the new assessment as toxic as possible in the eyes of claimants and others, and they have been extremely successful in doing this. Their endless systematic lies have spread fear and distress across the nation to the point I believe it has even caused suicides.

I have seen on social media intelligent adults who appear to function well in other settings describe a child like irrational fear to PIP assessments. This is because the left has made many people believe the assessments are going to be inhumane and incorrect, often making people come to the assessment with a hostile attitude that does not help their situation as it is likely to work against them. The situation is further not helped by the fact the left teaches people who do not qualify for PIP that it is their divine right to have it, causing more conflict, frustration and disappointment.

My frustration with the assessments was the lack of feedback on the day of the face to face assessment. People often fail to understand that the aim of the assessment is to simply capture a snapshot of the difficulties at that moment of time for someone else to make a decision behind closed doors at a later time. I would prefer if the information produced was more co-produced, so in partnership, you can agree what your difficulties are together and be provided more information on the points your difficulties may equate to.

Those you follow me know in the long term I do not believe PIP is fit for purpose as I do not agree with random passive payments where there are winners and losers. I have already designed a comprehensive replacement to PIP  and other funding streams, including social care, which can be seen in my Achieve Support report.

Overall. the problems with Personal Independence Payments have been caused by left wing ideology of destruction as opposed to anything the government has done.

If you like my blog article, have a look at some of my products;

Achieve Support – https://www.simonstevens.com/achievesupp\ort
Having Pride (My Life Story) – http://www.balsy.me
Stevens’ Manifesto – https://www.simonstevens.com/manifesto
Understand Assistance – http://www.understand.tips
Understand Dysability – https://www.simonstevens.com/understanddysability
Understand Inclusion -https://www.simonstevens.com/understandinclusion

or visit my website at http://www.simonstevens.com

You can also email me at simon@simonstevens.com
or follow me on Twitter at @simonstevens74

My right to be a Disabled Tory

Last year I finally ‘came out’ as a supporter of Conservative Party and identified myself as a ‘disabled Tory’. Previously I had been a New Labour supporter despite my passionate dislike for socialism, but despite my belief and hope Labour might come to its senses, I finally understood the only party that had a positive attitude towards people with impairments was the Tories.

Being a ‘Disabled Tory’ in 2018 comes with a stigma and a hostility from many left wing campaigners and activists that is comparable to antisemitism and other forms of bigotry and discrimination. While I have not been spat at in the street, I certainly had the social media equivalent of it.

Because I identify myself as a Disabled Tory I have received endless abuse and threats from complete strangers on social media, often suggesting I am somehow supporting the mass and deliberate killing of people with impairments. For them, there is no room for debate as they see disabled people as just defects of society and victims for the left to look after. They are not interested in seeing my viewpoint that including people with impairments into society and supporting them to maximise their full potential is a good thing.

You could put this bigotry down to a view ‘pockets’ of people who are merely upset not enough people with impairments are thrown on the scrapheap, but the bigotry I face as a Disabled Tory goes much deeper than this. A Labour councillor in my hometown of Coventry, Rachel Lancaster, directly challenged me on my right to be a disabled Tory because of her dismay at people with impairments being supported into work, in a manner that offered no room for discussion or checking facts. She should have known better but this sadly shows the extent the left now oppose free speech.

I believe everyone has the right to have their own political views and that someone’s identity as a supporter of a political party, any party, should be a protected status under the equality act like race, gender. sexuality and impairment. While I do not agree with the views of most Labour supporters on most issues, I support their right to be Labour supporters as I would with any supporter of any political party.

The problem is, however, the fact that the Left is obsessed with identity politics. In line with a victim making agenda, they regard themselves as a savour of any oppressed minority, like people with impairments, whether they want saving or not. They believe in their idea of the good left versus the evil right and the so-called corrupt capitalist society that I am automatically their property, a toy to use to defend the principles of socialism, and a world they are building where I can lead the rest of my life out free from worries like an injured and so defective donkey.

They fail to understand I am not defective and perfectly capable of making a meaningful contribution to society if I am appropriately supported. The only party currently committed to doing this, as opposed to throwing me on the scrapheap is the Tories. To deny me the right to be a Disabled Tory is not only vile but it shows a hatred for my inclusion into society that is unacceptable.

If you like my blog article, have a look at some of my products;

Achieve Support – https://www.simonstevens.com/achievesupp\ort
Having Pride (My Life Story) – http://www.balsy.me
Stevens’ Manifesto – https://www.simonstevens.com/manifesto
Understand Assistance – http://www.understand.tips
Understand Dysability – https://www.simonstevens.com/understanddysability
Understand Inclusion -https://www.simonstevens.com/understandinclusion

or visit my website at http://www.simonstevens.com

You can also email me at simon@simonstevens.com
or follow me on Twitter at @simonstevens74

Disabled people must accept the rough and tumble of life

One of the biggest lessons I learnt in my life is that life itself is generally unfair, especially for good people, those who really want to make a difference in the world. Once you understand this then you can get on with making the most of life, enjoying every second you can. Accepting life is unfair does not mean you stop campaigning for a better world, but it is about having a more positive attitude to bad situations.

The media is currently hypersensitive to people with impairments, turning everything people with impairments say into news stories, so long as it fits into the victimhood culture. The media represents society current fear of talking properly about impairment issues, allowing the complaints of people with impairments to go unchallenged from the proper debate required. Instead, these complaints are used to keep people with impairments in the role of other and so reinforced their exclusion.

If we take the recent media outrage on broken train toilets and its potential impact on people with impairments, we can see how what looks a valid concern has been used to reinforce notions of other. The reality is these toilets, while accessible, are for all passengers and therefore if there is a systematic problem with them breaking down than it is a wider customer services issue. But life is not perfect and often unfair as I said at the start, and so there are going to be times that regardless of how many policies and practises are in place, a toilet on the train is still going to break down, and it will be no one’s intention or fault.

I was quite disturbed when a broken train toilet hit the headlines as a ‘disability discrimination’ issue with accusations of a deliberate attack by the train companies upon people with impairments. However unfortunate a specific incident may have been on a personal level, it is a part of the rough and tumble of life. There should have been a complaint and an apology, but at the same time, everyone needs to be prepared for things to go wrong and have a plan b, c, d and so on.

While the politically correct will hail highlighting the issue was a step forward to society’s acceptance of people with impairments, I will argue that it actually did the complete opposite and part of the trend of the subtle bigotry in the media since 2010 and the coalition government’s commitment to the meaningful inclusion of people with impairments, which so many activists and organisations oppose.

By abnormalising the toileting needs of people with impairments as something different and special to the rest of the population, the media has reinforced the notion we are other, freaks and not a part of the mainstream society. While this could be argued the same for changing places, that is a campaign for a specific accessibility solution. Train toilets are mainstream toilets used by everyone.

If people with impairments really want equality, then they need to accept like for everyone else, they need to take the rough and tumble of life, understanding life is not perfect and mostly unfair. But we now live in an era where universal human rights have been translated into ‘whats in it for me’. Disability is now regarded as a desirable label when people can demand benefits and treatment that is not provided to the rest of the population, and this is personally something I am quite ashamed of.

If you like my blog article, have a look at some of my products;

Achieve Support – https://www.simonstevens.com/achievesupport
Having Pride (My Life Story) – http://www.balsy.me
Stevens’ Manifesto – https://www.simonstevens.com/manifesto
Understand Accessibility – Coming soon
Understand Assistance – http://www.understand.tips
Understand Dysability – Coming soon

or visit my website at http://www.simonstevens.com

You can also email me at simon@simonstevens.com
or follow me on Twitter at @simonstevens74

Is this the end of the Huffington Post revolution?

It is incredible to believe it has been five years since I was blogging for the Huffington Post on a weekly and even twice weekly basis on the topics I wanted to talk about. The way the Huffington Post allowed so many people with different viewpoints on so many different issues to have voice felt like a revolution in free speech and citizen based democracy.

My blogs were almost as controversial as they are now and many other ‘disabled’ activists were outraged the Huffington Post gave me a voice, there was even a small petition demanding I was banned from their website. But I was just one of many views on impairment-related issues the site allowed. If people were capable, they could write their own articles to be published challenging the views I had.

I believe it was about two years ago that my relationship with the Huffington Post began to change in two ways. I was becoming more confident in my viewpoints as well as my political understanding. My awareness that I was an independent and honest activist meant that I wanted to be able to say what I really meant and the Huffington Post would reject posts that it found uncomfortable.

On my own blog, I could publish whatever I wanted as I indeed did. I now had my own large twitter base and I was considering what exactly was the Huffington Post offering me at this stage of my development, the answer was nothing. If I was truly independent, it was time for me to blog as an independent and honest activist on my own blog.

At the same time, the Huffington Post was recognising its growth and standing, and felt the need to better organise itself, shifting it into the central-left liberal competitor to the Guardian it is today. This included taking a tighter control of its material related to people with impairments stories, going for safe and comfortable feel good stories that offered no room for the intellectual challenges I offered.

The new look Huffington Post was one that called for all people with impairments to accept their role as victims of society, wonder that is victims of welfare forms, and people who have failed to have the perfect middle class lifestyle they feel they deserve. A classless significantly impaired independent and honest activist like myself, with a level of intelligence and confidence comparable to Sherlock Holmes, certainly did not fit into the direction of the Huffington Post,  and hence our silent divorce was only a matter of time.

The Huffington Post like the Guardian and BBC have shown how liberalism and political correctness has been turned into a veil and vile acceptance of the ideology of the left. In terms of people with impairments, this means accepting people with impairments are second-class citizens although wrapping it up as human rights, equality, compassion and fairness. The Huffington Post has moved from a platform of free speech, to a typical left wing puppet designed to keep people with impairments disempowered for the benefit of the industries that profit from this.

Maybe the Huffington Post experiment on true free speech was too successful or maybe the will of advertisers and executives took priority, the fact is still that the revolution of free speech promised by the Huffington Post is over as it takes its role as a direct competitor to the Guardian and a traitor to the meaningful inclusion of people with impairments.