Stupid, Stupid Labels, Needless, Needless Deaths
Stupid, Stupid Labels
I had to digest a few pieces of news I felt were unpalatable today. First was that in beef burgers you could now get horse and pig within the meat (am sure that the Jewish and Muslim populations are overjoyed at this). Second was that during Prime Minister’s Question Time today, PM Cameron actually said that the NHS had improved since the Coalition took power and plunged us into chaos. Finally I heard that the cold weather related deaths were over 24,000 in the winter of 2011 to 2012. Needless to say I was disgusted and upset that people, apparently mainly over 75, died of the cold in this country of ours which is one of the richest in the world, regardless of recession. Shocking, I don’t have the words to describe how awful this is. 24,000 individuals, many if not all were suffering the negative effects of aging and many of who had a disability of some sort – died from hyperthermia needlessly. I say needlessly as the Government has the ability to make sure every person in need has adequate warmth and nutrition, but no doubt the political elite will say how terrible it is and that they could do nothing to prevent it. Year after year thousands die from hyperthermia in the UK – IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!
Or do they (the Coalition), view pensioners who cannot afford heating as the “non-strivers”, or those that are disabled as “capable of working harder”. We must cast aside the negative branding that is being generated by all the main political parties, all wanting to be seen to be tough on benefit users. I agree we should be tough on benefit fraudsters but this negative labelling is being used against all people needing health and social care Government funded support. We are all being branded as “idle”, “non-strivers”, “tax users not payers”, “drain on the nation” and so on. People generally don’t look to differentiate. They see someone in a wheelchair and the negative branding in politics and the media sticks. The negative effect is getting worse and has to stop. How many of those 24,000 died as they did not want to or did not feel comfortable enough to ask for help?!?!
Yes many people with disabilities or the negative effects of ageing do use some services funded by the Government, but that does not then give people the right to stereotype everyone as fraudsters of benefits. Being disabled does not mean we can be used as easy targets for quick political sound-bites in the attempt to win votes. The more Politicians manoeuvre to be tough on benefit users the more they build resentment from 10 million disabled people in this country. You carry on with this negative labelling at your peril because the more you label the more you bond the disabled groups against you. You may think we are easy targets but you are warned that this is a potentially powerful voting block to alienate, frustrate, annoy or label.
There is a wave building of frustrated and media victimised disabled and ageing population, a population that are linking together like I have never experienced before. This is a growing tsunami which I and many others are pushing for as we feel targeted just because of disability or the negative effects of ageing, by the very people that are supposed to represent us. And one wonders how 24,000 people can freeze to death in this country? It’s because it’s easier to target vulnerable people than to support them, and with Government’s continued cuts to Local Governments this is only going to get worse. More deaths, less support, less services, less care, less basic needs being met, more poverty, more fuel poverty, more disenfranchisement. But the tide is turning!
They, the Government, have been so anachronistic with regards to how they are portraying people/groups needing support, but I will predict that the electorate will have their say at the ballot box. The traditional middle ground players of the Liberal Democrats are going to be slaughtered at the next general election, as they have supported the attack on disabled and ageing people by their silence, their failure to speak out against this labelling, about the increasing poverty, increasing unmet needs of the most vulnerable. They had the opportunity over the last two years or so to be the champions of the disabled population, of the ageing population, but they just sat there in parliament holding hands with the Conservatives, enjoying their power, pretending that hanging the labels and blame on these groups was not happening.
It is not the fault of disabled people that they need support, nor is it the fault of people that are ageing and feeling the effects. It is not the fault of the disabled that the bill for ‘welfare’ expenditure is increasing, as most benefits are used by working families. It is not the fault of the disabled population that the NHS is over stretched and under resourced. It is not the fault of disabled people that the flipping Government have forgotten the principles of the Welfare State, The Beverage Report and the Social Model of Disability. Do they really think the majority of benefit users relish the chance to make a claim, look forwarded to Social-Care funded Carers coming in to wipe their arses? There are literally only a few people in Parliament that genuinely understand the negative effects of disability out of an MP population of 650. No wonder they feel free to use derogatory labelling, negative imagery, smearing us with the Country’s problems of too much expenditure.
I refer to my blog (https://disabilityinbusiness.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/able-capable-the-legacy/ & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x48CUzFKeG8) and campaign to make every Paralympian Gold Medallist a member of the House of Lords, and then perhaps the needed balance will be achieved and for once our democracy will see the 10 million people in the UK with disabilities as PEOPLE and not economic parasites. Stop the slagging-off of people having to live with the effects of disabilities before they amalgamate and vote you out of your privileged positions. Target benefit fraudsters but support people needing the care of a compassionate society and make death of thousands by hypothermia a thing of the past. You have it within your powers to stop our Elders dying for the want of heating. It’s totally and utterly unforgiveable to ignore deaths in such numbers. Perhaps getting the big six power companies to use some of their profits to reduce the cost of heating might be a start. Just do something to stop the deaths!
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