Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Guest Blog - "Is cutting Carer budgets ethical" - A response by John Sullivan

By John Sullivan,

Yesterday Monday 15th April on the Barnet Eye blog it was  asked the question " Do You Think Cutting Carer Social Budgets is Ethical Humane or Moral ", my answer being the parent of a daughter that relies upon the services of low paid carers these special people is absolutely no on all three categories. I can also assure you that my opinion is that of many other parents carers and guardians of people with disabilities and illnesses not of their own making, this message came across loud and clear from parents carers and guardians at recent meetings on the subject. Not least of all the well attended public meeting of 11th march calling for all services currently in the hands of the financially wobbly Your Choice Barnet Ltd Company, be bought back in house.
A quote being used on a regular  basis these days when referring to this awful inhuman dishonest coalition government and our local Tory councillors is " they know the price of everything but the value of nothing " and in this case this could never be more true. Some of the groups you refer to are  referred to in law as " people with special characteristics " they are set apart from the rest of us due to disability or illness, yet our beloved government supported with gusto by Cornelius and his crew have throw them into the mix with the minority that scrounge on  benefits . In order to justify their  inhuman cuts in the support for these special groups, they have converted them from being poor dears to scrounging bastards to justify the inhuman cuts they are undertaking.

The blog makes a very important statement by so rightly including a person with dementia because it makes the very profound point that we are all in this together, we cannot be smug and complacent and pass by on the other side, because dementia in one of its many and varied forms like cancer that has visited both you and I can strike any one of us down at any time. The rapid growth in all forms of dementia demands more support for folk not less, sadly we live in a world of austerity where F --K you Jack Im alright remains the order of the day.

It seems an appropriate name for these folk to be described as people with special characteristics because that is exactly what their support workers are, they are a special breed they have an inborn vocation for the most difficult task in public services, they are truly people with a special characteristic.  What makes this attack on these very special staff the proposed cuts to their already low wages now followed almost definitely by a further cut in a few months time when the ongoing benchmarking exercise is completed worse. Is the fact that these special high value human beings with inborn skills that cannot be taught, are being treated worse than a shelf stacker in a supermarket.
Nobody knows the value of these carers better than the parents carers and guardians of the clients in their care, they represent their peace of mind the comfort of knowing they are in safe caring hands and will be looked after with care and compassion from caring and compassionate people, they know how fortunate they are to have these special people helping with their task of caring for their loved ones, a task many of us could not undertake without their support. They also know what happens when the local authority engages in a race to the bottom in care quality and staff quality, an horrific reminder of this race to the bottom was Winterbourne View, a horror story we do not want repeated in Barnet because of dogma and ideology.
Yet our government both local and central have no regard for the skills of this special breed of public servant not even Cameron, this is the man leading the charge to decimate the wage structures and working conditions of this irreplaceable group of people, yet as a parent of a disabled child himself now sadly deceased , you would think he would know better you would think he at least would show some respect for these special people.
Sadly like Cornelius and co Cameron knows the price of everything but the value of nothing, and the fight to bring Your Choice Services back in house is the first of the battles  to  bring some sense of responsibility back to our society. A society currently driven by ideology and dogma a society being encouraged to see all disabled and sick people as scrounging bastards, and their support workers as layabout low value trouble making trade unionists, when in fact they are in many ways the most important people in society. Because they undertake with compassion with love with care the responsibility of ensuring quality of care and quality of life for these folk with special characteristics, the most difficult undertaking possible.
Cornelius and co are in a race to the bottom in terms of quality of care for disabled and sick people they are driven by dogma and have no concern for anything other than the bottom line, we have to stop this demonization of disabled people and those that care for them, and the first step in that battle is to sign here ( YCB Petition), and begin the fight back to reinstate the respect working conditions and wages of social support carers and stop this race to the bottom that might affect any one of us tomorrow.
People of Barnet should look around and smell the coffee because dementia has no respect for wealth or position, it attacks all and everybody, they can ignore the petition and go forward with fingers crossed or start the fight back against ideology and dogma . The worst of it all is we are led to believe these savings are absolutely necessary because they save us residents serious sums of money, when the reality is these special social support workers wages and working conditions could be protected by raising council taxes by less than 50p per week.
I repeat Cornelius and co  know the price of everything but the value of nothing, they truly do not care, they have no vision for the future they are submerged in their perverse ideology and dogma, deaf dumb and blind to the long term damage they are doing to the most vulnerable folk within our society. Presumably on the premise that in their opinion  " there is no no such thing as society ", an expression I have heard somewhere before.
Please start the fight back to decency and humanity and the long term sustained quality of life for disabled and sick people in Barnet by signing the Bring Your Choice Barnet Services Back In House petition.

Let The Battle begin
John Sullivan is a parent Carer living in the London Borough of Barnet. Guest Blogs are always welcome at the Barnet Eye.

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