General Election

The Dirty War on the NHS – This Tuesday on ITV

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Due to the election last week, ITV felt obliged by the rules of the television regulator to embargo all basic publicity for John Pilger’s landmark film, The Dirty War on the NHS. The question arises: What exactly is the impartial role of the regulator, OFCOM?

The subject of the film – the privatisation of the NHS — was a major, critical issue in the election campaign; and whilst people could see Pilger’s film in the cinema, they were denied the opportunity to see it at a time when the NHS and its growing privatisation were brought to the forefront of British politics.

The issue now is this. The election is over, but what now for the National Health Service? Who will restore it? Who will protect it? If you watch nothing else this week, please watch this important film. It affects all of you.

The text above was taken from John Pilger’s website. The original article can be accessed by clicking here.

 

Hang Your Heads

According to Wikipedia, Tanka (短歌, “short poem”) is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature.

A Tanka consists of 5 lines and 31 syllables. Each line has a set number of syllables see below:

Line 1 – 5 syllables
Line 2 – 7 syllables
Line 3 – 5 syllables
Line 4 – 7 syllables
Line 5 – 7 syllables

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have put together a collection of poems to reflect the struggles of disabled people in 21st century Britain. These poems were published in a collection titled Dancing on Thin Ice in November 2019.

I recently wrote another Tanka following the General Election, which stirred up a range of emotions for most people. Mine are reflected in the poem below:

Fucking idiots

Swallowed lies, rejected hope

To get Brexit done

Condemning those that suffer

To five more years of struggle

 

#GE2019: Select Tweets

As we get ever closer to the General Election on Thursday, December 12th, I will be sharing a number of Labour Party  tweets in this blog post, to encourage any undecided voters to #VOTELABOUR and end the suffering that so many of us have experienced under Tory mismanagement . We need a government that will look after the many, as opposed to the select few.

Without further ado…

ENIL Busts Myths on EU Funds and Independent Living

I am taking precious time out of my campaigning for the General Election to share the following email from the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), concerning independent living with my readers on International Human Rights Day. 

I do not fail to see the heartbreaking irony of posting the following email that concentrates on EU funding for independent living at a time when certain sections of the UK seem obsessed with Brexit, never mind the consequences. 

I won’t go into the rights and wrongs of Brexit at this point, but I just wanted to share the following email as a show of solidarity to my European brothers and sisters. 

 #VoteLabour2019 #JC4PM2019 

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In Brussels, 10 December 2019 – To mark the International Human Rights Day, the European Network on Independent Living – ENIL is launching its second Myth Buster, this time on “EU Funds and Independent Living”. Illustrated by our European Solidarity Corps volunteer, Hatiye Garip, and published as part of the “EU Funds for Our Rights” Campaign, the booklet challenges the most common misconceptions about how EU taxpayers’ money is used with regard to disabled people. It is aimed at all those advocating for EU Funds to be used to support disabled people’s right to live independently and to be included in the community.

Despite ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Member States and the European Commission continue investing in institutions for disabled children and adults. “Those people have nowhere to go and no one to take care of them”, “Small group homes are just a transitional measure”, “Not all EU funded projects are 100% perfect” are among the excuses that Independent Living advocates hear. The result is continuing human rights violations against disabled people, funded by the European Union – as witnessed by Al Jazeera in last week’s hard hitting documentary.

EU Funds have great potential to improve the quality of life of disabled people when used well. They can contribute to the closure of institutions and improve access to community-based services, including personal assistance, early intervention services, housing, education, employment, health care and transport. On the other hand, when misused, EU funds can further delay the process of deinstitutionalisation and lead to segregated facilities being in use for years to come.

It is time for the Member States and the European Commission to take their human rights obligations seriously. We hope that this Myth Buster will serve as a useful tool to all those human rights defenders working to make Governments and the European Union accountable for their actions.

Download the Myth Buster here

Suddenly

**MUSICAL INTERLUDE**

No wonder Mr Anderson is angry, so would you be if you had his dentist.

I wish I could stop watching TOTP 1988 on BBC Four. I was watching it last night and watched Angry Anderson perform his one and only hit, propelled by the popularity of an Australian soap opera.

I always had the subtitles on when watching classic Top of the Pops, so that I can enjoy the lyrics being sung. I usually end up catching on to one particular line from a song and correlating it to my own life. I don’t know why I am admitting this, but I am. Last night, I found myself  wishing that somebody would read my Open Letter and “suddenly see me, just the way I am”.

It was with this profound thought that I finally fell to sleep, but not before I found out who was keeping Anderson off the top spot. Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan were at number 2 with Especially For You but I should never have stayed up to see who was on top of the charts. As soon as Caron Keating announced that week’s biggest seller I began to grab for my remote to switch the TV off. Unfortunately, my fumble fingers are too slow to react so I had to endure thirty seconds of the awful earworm that is Mistletoe and Wine by Cliff Richard.

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I know this was back in 1988, but my worry is that I have never trusted the British public whatsoever as I always seem to disagree with their opinions. This is particularly concerning ahead of the most important General Election in a generation.

It is difficult to gauge what exactly is going to happen on Thursday, as it is impossible to trust the nonsense that is being peddled by the mass media. I am preparing myself for the worse possible scenario, but at the same time I have faith and belief in Jeremy Corbyn and his Cabinet.

I am growing ever more anxious as we edge ever closer to the General Election. I am doing all I can to get the Labour message out there, but due to my disability this is largely confined to sharing stories on my blog and social media. I have also got Labour posters in my window. This would have more of an impact if I didn’t live on a cul-de-sac, but it is a bit late in the day to be moving house to a more prime location. If I could do more, I would, but circumstances dictate.

My friends and neighbours who receive Xmas cards before Thursday will be reminded on the envelope to Vote Labour while I am also giving a poetry reading at Glyndwr University on Tuesday, dressed in a Vote Labour t-shirt. Every little helps…

#VoteLabour2019 #JC4PM2019

 

THE SKWAWKBOX: VIDEO: TORY PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE SAYS DISABLED SHOULD BE PAID LESS AS ‘THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND MONEY’

The following blog is from the excellent SKWAWKBOX blog  that is a rare bright left-wing light shining through a sinister mainstream media.

I will be sharing random posts from SKWAWKBOX as we edge ever closer to the General Election as I attempt to get the Labour message out there. I am doing all I can, but due to my disability this is largely confined to sharing stories on my blog and social media. If I could do more, I would, but circumstances dictate.

Anyway, please read and digest the following blog. Even if you just watch the video, it may help make up your mind to #VOTELABOUR on  December 12th.

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Staggering arrogance and condescension

Tory candidate for Hastings and Rye Sally Ann Heart has provoked outrage by defending the idea that disabled people should be paid less than able-bodied workers for the same work.

Heart claimed that the article was ‘in support of employing people with learning disabilities’ – to the loud anger of the audience at a constituency hustings:

Sally Ann Heart is hardly a one-off among Tories. Tory MP Philip Davies caused a huge public outcry by saying in 2011 that disabled people should be paid less than the minimum wage.

Twitter user ‘James B’ commented:

James B@piercepenniless

When the Tories tell you who they are – and by god is one of them doing that here – believe them. https://twitter.com/Rknepper_/status/1202686219546742793 

Rosie Clarke@Rknepper_

Conservative candidate Sally Ann Heart defending her view that Disabled people / those with learning disabilities should be paid less as they ‘Don’t understand money’! Actually unbelievable. Audience do not agree… #GeneralElection19 #tory #jc4pm

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Hastings and Rye was until this election the seat of Amber Rudd, who as Home Secretary was complicit in the Windrush racism scandal and as DWP secretary defended the Tories’ despicably cruel Universal Credit system that blights the lives of millions of vulnerable people, including the disabled.

Rudd came within a whisker of losing her seat in 2017. Let’s make sure her replacement gets nowhere near it.

Skwawkbox view:

With every second that passes, it seems the Tories reveal more of what and who they really are, in spite of their best efforts.

James B is absolutely right.

Vote Labour.