This week I booked my working trip to New York and started preparations for my imminent appearance on Radio 4. Yes, sounds a little slebby. If only, though I am doing all I can to get there. Please help me by donating too. Only kidding. Read my blog, and get me an agent. Please.
Anyway, at present we have a government that would wish disabled people simply went away, we are so damn difficult and ungrateful too. What more do we want? We are Cared For, we are Looked After. We have Special services across the board.
I’m not in the mood for a semantic debate on issues around terminology today. I’m interested in a little extrapolation of the mind-numbing contradictions this coalition is spewing out. I wonder how many of them have actively engaged with politicised disabled people?
Let me spell it out. No one chooses to be the human being they are, to some extent. In my case, I became disabled at two years old. It wasn’t a punishment from gods, to my parents, or to me. It is. A fact. It creates challenges of a certain kind. To be human is to face challenges of one kind or another – everyone one of us.
Mine are – sometimes – because I am disabled and what that means to others and society.
And we all know there’s a lot of shiny heehaw Tory boys (not so many girls) running the country right now. Poor little rich things.
Let’s look at their lives – I’ll speculate with a character I’ve created called Dick Dameregg. After the nannies, the au pairs in infancy, it’s off to posh school with other little posh boys. He had fulsome pocket money from loaded Mummy and Daddy for the tuck shop, but was so soppy care-sharey sometimes they made him cry by calling him a socialist! He got around this by saying there would be a reward system instead and those who could capitalise on his generosity would benefit regularly with more sherbet fountains. Try hard, don’t wimp it, and you will be rewarded.
Yet Dick did observe other people were poor for some reason when he went out in the world. He saw people begging! He saw news stories in the very posh papers about old ladies being mugged and hoodies rampaging the streets. He decided the country needed him and he enters smoothly into politics with all that privileged oiling his smiley way .
But poverty eh? Oh what shall we do with those poor types? Imagine having to work in Macky Ds rather than have shares in it, yeee-ooo. How tragic. If only these kids trained up and tried hard and made it to a lovely Oxbridge university…
And then, Lordy, Dick sees a spaz – oops – no a disabled trying to get into a shop. He wonders why on earth she is out at all – aren’t there special places for these unfortunates? His marrow stiffens. When the day comes, he will make sure the vulnerables and the handicapped and oh, all those with something wrong with them, and the poor, are dealt with properly. In fact, if such people were gently pushed onto the work ladder – so de-incentivised after all – there would be something they could do for a bit of money. A little backbone was all they needed, and then the state would not be so bled dry.
Damn, I’m bored by Dick now. You’ll catch my drift. Bringing the point right up to now, I’ve spent over half my week, not working at the thing I love as a writer/performer, but dealing with incompetency and immobilising bureaucracy coming out of these insulting and ridiculous attitudes. There’s interesting. Forget disability, my so-called impairments. This week it’s been barriers all the way to obtain freedoms your average Jo (and Tory boy) takes for granted.
The banality of getting through any kind of support system without having a stroke! The twists, circumnavigations, reverses and repetitions of form filling and questioning! Computer says no, policy says no, rule says no, man/woman says no. I all says no!
Phone goes into meltdown and so do I. Reach for the tranx.
So one day I am on a high, work is going very well, much in progress, more recognition and profile rising. Next day I am a severely handicapped mentally ill case – down in the doldrums of old style labellng in order to acquire suitable housing.
Another blog is due on the Terry Prattchet documentary and assisted suicide. But hey, for now, what I say is why isn’t there a facility in every town? Make it blue but not Ikea blue. The confusion between cheap modernist flat pack and a poisoned cocktail service would be too much for me. But think, if the crumblies play up, there’s you answer! Sacked, dumped, pissed off, depressed? Hair cut went wrong? It’s OK. Here’s the Die-villa funded by CamClegg Corp. Hopefully, these places won’t have steps. (Note: this is called irony; more anon).
Time for tea and, lip trembling, a read through of a form that supposedly allows me to live my life.