Wednesday, 30 December 2015
With Cameron and Dawkins, God help our disabled people
Whilst the vast majority of the fit, well, healthy and financially secure people in Barnet have seen no change at all to the quality of their lives as a result of the cuts, the disabled,, who often have no one to speak for them have seen a very different story. Barnet Council outsourced their care and services provision to a company they set up and are the shareholders in, called Your Choice Barnet. This was a cynical move, designed purely to ensure that the Councillors could wash their hands of the effects of cuts. Within a year, this organisation failed and needed a multi million pound bale out from the taxpayer. In an obscene act of betrayal, the Barnet Labour group, lead on the committee by Barry Rawlings (now leader of the Labour group), backed the Conservative report that stated that returning to an in house model was not an option. What I found particularly sickening was the recovery plan involved cuts to front line staff wages, whilst the directors of the failed company were receiving monstrously large salaries. Many staff, who were already struggling to cope on relatively low salaries, were forced to seek new jobs elsewhere. Anyone who has ever dealt with disabled people will know that continuity of care is vital. Knowing peoples regimes and habits is vital to their well being.
It was not only the staff that suffered. Transport budgets were cut, resulting in isolated people being unable to get to day centres for activities. The day centres were forced to operate on a more commercial basis, so teas, coffees and biscuits became far more expensive and quality of activities were scaled back. Of course, for those who have no disabled relatives or friends, this is not a problem at all. We can sit in the fancy bars and restaurants of Barnet and forget all about those less well off. We can spend the extra few pennies a week that we've saved in council tax on another Mocha or Latte in Starbucks, and watch the profits of that go to tax avoiding billionaires in far away countries, safe in the knowledge that it doesn't affect us.
But it would be wrong to think that it is only in Barnet that the disabled have faced challenges. Under the Cameron regime, council budgets across the UK are cut. The disabled have no electoral presence, unlike other minorities, who are seemingly far more able to organise their resources. The first victims of cuts are always those least able to represent themselves. Given that Cameron had a disabled child, I find it truly saddening that he hasn't done anything to ensure that the peer group of his son were protected. Cameron spoke of the UK being a Christian country recently. What form of Christianity gives disabled people a good kicking? It is not a form I am familiar with. Sadly it appears that for the likes of Cameron, Christianity is a fig leaf to hide all manner of disgusting views with. The list of assaults on the disabled, from budget cuts, to the scandalous policy towards Remploy, who specialised in jobs for the disabled is seemingly endless. Up and down the country, in every neighbourhood, people who have pretty difficult lives to start with, have had misery upon misery heaped on them.
It is not only the hypocritical Christian right that has been putting the boot in. Yesterday we detailed how Richard Dawkins has put the boot into people with Downs Syndrome. Dawkins stated that it is immoral for parents to bring Downs Children into the world. Whilst I would personally categorise such views as Nazi and a form of Eugenics, Dawkins claims to be on the Liberal Atheist left. What chance do disabled people have with a pincer movement from the Christian Right and the Atheist left? If you start to join the dots of what has happened .... Attacks on budgets for disabled services from the Christian right.... Attacks from the Atheist left on the right to exist of disabled people .... The libertarian right and humanist left backing assisted suicide ..... The disdain revealed today for the advisers of Cameron for black people and the white lower working class....
One has to ask, if you were the person I mentioned in the first paragraph of this blog, how wuld you feel about your daughters future. Once we have assisted suicide and we have a consensus that certain "economically unviable" groups have no right to exist, what is the next logical step? Does that bother you? It scares the hell out of me. I can only think "God help the disabled in the UK", because in Barnet we've seen that neither the Tories or Labour care for them and on a national level the Christian right of Cameron and Osborne and the humanist left of Dawkins don't give a stuff for them.