Wednesday, 2 April 2014

John Sullivan and the local Tory Leadership

Barnet Eye Guest Blogger John Sullivan described the local leadership of Barnet Council as "The Scum of the Earth" for their decision to cut the funding to Mapledown School, a special school for disabled children, by £45,000. He said that in his opinion Rueben Thompstone, who suggested that parents of disabled children should hold coffee mornings and jumble sales in their spare time, is clearly totally unfit for public officem, as he clearly has no clue about the stress of dealing with a heavily disabled child 24 X 7.

John believes that any political ideology that targets the disabled for cuts, is by definition degenerate and the public should hold such people in high disdain. Those of us with a knowledge of history know here political ideologies that start by targeting soft groups such as the disabled end up. It is a chilling thought that our party of Government did not expel a member who called for the disabled to be gulliotined. It is perhaps more disturbing that they did later expel him for membership of UKIP.

I spoke to John yesterday and he is making a good recovery from his recent major operation for cancer. He was about to have his first piece of toast since half his bowel and a meter of his small intestine were removed. I hope he enjoyed it.

Nearly every time I speak to John he chides me for being too nice about the Conservative Leader of Barnet Council, Richard Cornelius and his merry men. In Johns opinion he is the epitomy of evil. John would like every blog in the Barnet Eye to put the boot into Richard every day.

I however think that Richard Cornelius and Rueben Thompstone are not evil men. I think they are rather lucky and privelidged chaps who simply have no clue about the lives of many unfortunate people  who rely on their judgement for care packages. Rueben Thompstone confessed that he'd never been to Mapledown School. I've volunteered for a disabled charity for many years, so I've been at the coalface. What I find shocking is how many people simply do not see the disabled as human beings. One time, a fellow helper broke her leg and ended up in a wheelchair. She found that all of a sudden, she didn't exist. All questions were addressed to her helper. In fact I think many people have a deep loathing and resentment of the disabled, as they hold a mirror up to all of us and we don't always like what we see.

There is an old saying that 'Beauty is only skin deep'. Sadly many 'beautiful people' are so self absorbed that they cannot see beyond the false eyelashes. Similarly, relatively wealthy men like Mr Cornelius cannot see beyond the curtains, which they keep drawn to the sadness and misery out there.

So what should we do? Well I was thinking about John Sullivan after our conversation. John is an angry man. The treatment of his daughter by the uncaring local bureaucracies has fed a furnace in his heart. He is angry with good reason. He feels his daughter is under attack and he blames the local political leadership for this. Every time they make a heartless cut at a school such as Mapledown or close a day centre, it gets harder and harder to disagree with him.

Whatever happens at the Council election in May, there is one thing we know for certain. We have had twelve years of the Conservative Party and we can be certain what their priorities are.

We can be certain that looking after the disabled is not on their list. Whether John is right that this is driven by evil and malice or I am right and it is simply the act of people who don't care and don't want to care is irrelevant. The net result is the same, the disabled of Barnet suffer.  At the end of the day it is not the cause of the policies that matter, it is the effect and the effects are terrible for those involved. What Mr Rueben Thompstone didn't seem to understand is that his cut to Mapledown School budget has a massive effect on the lives of those who are on the receiving end. Consider that when you vote in May.

Note : Many apologies for calling the school "Merrydown" in an earlier draft. John Sullivan suggested that I'd been hitting the cider

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