Thursday, 2 August 2012

Guest blog - There's One Barnet for them and One Barnet for the rest of us, Part II by John Sullivan

By John Sullivan,

My name is John Sullivan I am a Barnet resident and along with my wife  Ida a carer for our nearly 49 year old disabled daughter Susan, I am not a member of any political party or trade union. However I am so grateful that trade unionists exist and have a great deal to be grateful to them for, they have cared for Susan and her peers  for more than 40 years. They are special people, they are caring people, they are the rock on which we and so many other Barnet families  have relied  for so many years. They are not the ogres the right wing press or local Tory councillors choose to blacken their names with, they are just like you and me, many are  Barnet residents and hard working human beings, with rights, opinions, feelings and genuine concerns.

I am a founder member of a group called CADDSS , Campaign Against Destruction of Disability Support Services run under the umbrella of Baps. Which caters for all folk with a disability or an injury or age related illness that rely on public services for support, and have seen those support services decimated in the name of austerity cuts, and profit margins. Which is an integral part of the One Barnet Programme, that is aimed at maximising profits whilst minimising support services and staff employment rights. 

I am also chair of a small group called TSG , a group that acts on behalf of Adults with a learning disability. Both these groups have sadly had to take a back seat in recent weeks due to so many things to do, so we need your help.In the past 2 years elderly people and those with a disability and or an injury or age related illness  coupled with many that have been medically retired from work due to ill health, have been transformed by the Coalition and our local Tory councillors from being poor dears to scrounging bastards. This group have been put in the same pigeon hole as the minority of layabouts scrounging on the system , the fact that so many of them are incapable of working or fending for themselves through no fault of their own, is ignored in the most callous fashion.
Cameron & Clegg have broken the promise they made in the run up to the general election , to protect the NHS & front line services for the weak the vulnerable and the disabled. They  have supported huge sums being taken  away from these vulnerable folk in benefit cuts, coupled with recently introduced  "excessive "support service charges by Cllr Cornelius and his crew,  whilst supporting  millionaires  getting a tax cut. Cllr Cornelius chooses to mislead the people of Barnet about the benefits of the One Barnet Billion Pound Gamble, he dishonestly claims there is no alternative, and laughably if it were not so serious "no loss of democratic control ". This smiling assassin who smiles to your face whilst sticking a knife in your back has the gall to use the word democracy, when he leads the most undemocratic council in the history of Barnet. A council that denies Barnet residents the right of lawful assembly in a public park that their taxes help to upkeep and maintain, even the smiling bullies can be unseated, we did it with Coleman and we will do it with Cornelius and the rest of his motley crew and return true democracy to Barnet politics. We all know, had we applied for permission for our rally 5 months ago never mind five days ago, the answer would have been the same.
 When adult services go the way of  commissioning  of public services  which I am convinced is the long term plan if the One Barnet programme is voted through, the freedom of information act does not apply, so we will have no idea what is happening to our loved ones and no democratic means of finding out the real truth for at least ten years. Unlike right now ,when these services are up to a point and in the most dodgy and questionable of circumstances still kept in house and still to a degree the responsibility of our local councillors, and not some big corporation . The full commissioning of public services affords us little or no transparency, and denies us the democratic right of challenge for change and improvements that still in a very small way we enjoy now, and is just one reason  why we have to stop this One Barnet madness.
My final  word on Barnet councillors is "Contempt". Barnet councillors have shown a complete and utter contempt for Democracy, for the dignity, self respect and opinions of the weak and the vulnerable , along with  their parents , carers and all  in house staff. With their ongoing farcical charades and box ticking exercises they dishonestly refer to as consultations, when the truth is there has been " no meaningful or democratic  consultation " on any outsourcing issue to date.

Finally a poem sent anonymously to the Sunday Mirror newspaper recently, that speaks for so many of the folk that are being with such evil relish,trampled underfoot by  both local and national government we at CADDSS & TSG under the umbrella of Baps try to represent and protect from this evil.

The net is slowly closing in, for us there's no escape, 
they take our care and dignity and wrap it in red tape.
We've kept our heads above the tides and struggled to meet the costs.
But no one seems to understand the freedoms we have lost.
Eyes long since dry and lost for tears, but still our hearts feel pain.
When dignity and care decay, life's just a waiting game.


John Sullivan is a Barnet resident. Guest blogs are always welcome at the Barnet Eye

1 comment:

tw said...

Strong and powerful - every word true!

We are privileged to have you amongst us, John, such clear sighted man. With people like you around I feel confident we will eventually succeed in reinstating the dignity and freedoms disabled people are entitled to, like anyone else.