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Election Fever – like Ebola but more fatal / 18 May 2015

sepia portrait of writer Richard Butchins

Portrait of Richard Butchins by Paula Rae Gibson

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So, we recently had an election, in case anybody missed it, and I nearly did. The result was mind numbingly predictable the Tories won in England and the SNP in Scotland and nobody has any idea what happened in Wales.  

I see much moaning and wailing about the outcome and what it means for disabled people; the thing is it doesn’t mean much.  It will be business as usual under a Tory government. Labour espoused much the same welfare and arts policies as the Tories (not to mention the fab “Controls on Immigration” mugs – what was that about???). One must remember that it was a Labour administration that invited the disabled community to the ATOS / ESA tea party and didn’t we have fun!

We have a brand new Minister for Disabled People – whose name I can’t recall and a lovely new philistine as Minister of Culture Media and Sport – a grey suited man called…called…er…well, anyway it doesn’t matter because both of these posts are not real Ministerial roles they are only viewed by the incumbents as a stepping stone to a real job. The Minister of Cripples doesn’t even sit in the cabinet. 

Whittingdale – the Minister for Culture etc. etc. (I looked it up okay…) is in the cabinet but will be so busy spanking the BBC with his kipper tie that we shan’t even get a whiff of his anti everything in the liberal arts ire. I had the misfortune to once meet Jeremy Hunt when he was in that role at a shindig for the Paralympics TV coverage at Channel 4.  He was as slick and sincere as a fox in a hen coup I declined to be introduced to him. 

Esther McVey was there as well in her roll as then Minister of Cripples – she said “hello” - as I had interviewed her a few days previously for a Dispatches I was making. I didn’t answer. The politician’s slimy politicking didn’t surprise me – that’s what they do. But I was somewhat ashamed of the rim jobs that most of the disabled ‘artists’ present (ok they were TV people – not real artists), were giving them.  

We can expect both the new ministers to be gone inside of a year and hopefully after a lot of infighting the Tories slim majority will implode and they will explode but, and this is the real problem, what the hell is there to replace them with..?

Blue Labour? I don’t think so…. They are as much use as a blind lollipop lady on a motorway. I suppose we best all go off and make some art about it, as a protest.

Keywords: culture,cuts to services,disabled artist,election 2015,identity



30 May 2015

Call me crazy (it's nothing new, I've been called worse) but if I were God and I had a plan for humanity. Well, considering the present situation, if I were God my plan would be for all minority groups who would all be gathered together through social and political injustices throughout the world and did the most amazing and unexpected thing ever and would surprise all those who blatantly discriminate against the members of its society. If we all, as undeserving and as crippled as we are, but if WE attained the impossible together and did those things that large wealthy and highly even technically advanced organizations couldn't manage to do. And I can't ignore governmental departments mortally inclined to turn a blind eye to the damage and injustices created by those in office. But I don't know who is wors,e? the defendants or government. ? Anyway, my point to this story is that what if all us undeserving and crippled people of society could do what others couldn't? What if we worked together and not only empowered ourselves but advanced the seemingly cunning and witty intelligent human rights abusers. What if we could achieve this in reality? The Lord would then have his people and they would never be calleda a minority but a kingdom of righteousness were equality would be the rule of laws and not injustice.ECT ect. Imagine how empowered groups of minority's could really advance in society and through education, innovation and fair and equal treatmen. And the lord would always protect and keep safe in his power which he governs firstly as we are governed "powerless" he understands this. But in his power we would be safe from abuses of power. All the minorities, poor, lost,, displaced ect would amount to one big family. If am not talking in a manner of reveng or bitterness but of a real revolution. What I'm trying to say is we could really set the hands of time towards a society that was fair and just. If you were GOd and living in this present day and age, what would your plan be for humanity? I'd really like to hear your story of "if I were God my plan would be to..?" Intrigued.

Colin Hambrook

20 May 2015

I think the real problem is that without a substantial and united disabled voice knocking on politicians doors, there is no disabled lobby and there is no reason for any politician to need to regard what disabled people have to say with any seriousness. We are an easy group to target; fragmented, divided, I could go on... everything that we've been working to achieve in the last 30 years is being swept away with a just a few brave voices trying to make themselves heard in a thunderstorm.

Inclusion London are attempting to create a lobby through their campaign Operation Disabled Vote. ODV follows similar principles to Operation Black Vote, which has had degrees of success since the 1990s in forcing politicians to address issues around racism. Being rude to or about politicians really makes no dent. It's only through collectively making a noise that any fight for equality has a chance.

Robert King

19 May 2015

You may sound postmodernishly (sic) cynical Richard, but you're not. You are completely correct. I wonder how many times the minister for cripples (whoever that is) washes hands in a day - presuming that he/she does so after shaking hands with her responsibilities.