Friday marks 1 month until the end of the public consultation on proposed changes to the DLA (Disability Living Allowance). This is my small contribution to a blog swarm calling for these changes to be reconsidered. Other entries can be found at the One Month Before Heartbreak blog. Please go and read it, share the link. If I have learnt anything in my life it is (in the immortal words of High School Musical) we’re all in this together. We need to stick up for each other. Every time I see #solidarity on twitter, I breathe a prayer... “first they came for the communists”.
If I need a special reason to care about these cuts to DLA it would be this : I am disabled. It’s not something I particularly enjoy talking about, but there it is. I have no nifty name for it yet – whatever the ‘it’ is that’s slowly ruining my joints and my autonomic nervous system. I have no name for the ‘it’ that is slowly eroding my independence, but it is there, and it costs money.
I’m doing ok for now. My parents support me financially, my partner gives me the practical day-to-day help that I need and I can make it into uni most of the time – whether or not that leaves me with energy / painfree hours to study, cook, clean etc is another thing entirely. DLA payments would give me some of my independence back, but now there’s no point. Not until this gets sorted out. It’s far too much of a song and dance to go through for nothing.
I do not need to tell you all, again, in how many different ways these cuts will affect us. Nor do I need to remind you that we could probably find a good deal of that money if people would only pay their damn taxes. That these cuts are inhumane, ill-targeted and exploitative is clear; what makes it worse is that the system desperately needed reform – just not like this.
We live in a society where bogus has been synonymous with asylum seeker, where disabled people are trying it on - for money or sympathy or to park slightly closer to the supermarket. Everyone’s motives have to be questioned, noone can be trusted, scepticism becomes self-defence. Even if we could reverse the cuts, right now, today – what would we be left with?
Something needs to change – just not like this.
Originally posted as part of the One Month Before Heartbreak Campaign Jan, 2011