I am sure, like many of you, I got involved in politics in order to do my best to be a voice for those who had no voice, to challenge injustice, discrimination and oppression. I guess I can trace it back to speaking up on behalf a black friend when I was 5 and I didn't understand much about racism then, but understood a little about bullying. Since then that trait in me, among other things, has lead me to being threatened with a charge of mutiny in the army, become President of my SU, Unison Branch Secretary and chair of their national Youth and Community Workers Forum, a local councillor and parliamentary candidate.
So whenever I read the kind of comments that have been left on my recent blogs about the coalition budget, that sense of indignation is reignited in me and I would challenge anyone not to be moved by these stories.
Firstly there was this comment from Big Doug,
My wife has Schizophrenia, some days she's good, other days bad. Quite often its a case of not letting her illness manifest itself to such an extent she feels compelled to leave the house on some task or other. In the past she has gone missing and the police have taken her to hospital after being found miles away in a confused and distressed state. She has a fortnightly injection to keep her stable. She is shortly to have her DLA claim looked at again. I make no political point about this, I'm sure it would have happened under Labour. But I do wonder what will happen if she is assessed on one of her good days, and how many other people in a similar position will suffer as a result. I haven't told her about the medical test she has coming up as this will lead to stress ,anxiety and heaven knows what else. I have no real interest in politics, when you are at the bottom politicians rarely do more than pay you lip service, sometimes they'll kick you around like a tin can. To be honest my life is crap, limited and each day is as likley to bring horror as it is to bring a smile. And to cap it all my wife, and I as her carer, are now a burden on the system, scroungers no less. Well bring on the pain we all have to bear, down here no one hears us anyway. Sorry for the semi rant. At least you sound as if you realise there are real people out there somewhere.
then this one from Dan
Linda, I have become a follower of your blog recently, and I can't understand why people in Mid-Bedfordshire decided to vote for their MP on the back of her being a Tory, instead of voting for somebody who had their head screwed on. No offence to Nadine Dorries, of course. I personally think she did well on Tower Block of Commons, and she seems like a nice woman. But you make some really valid points and as a 21 year old care-leaver under the London Borough of Camden, all my friends who lived in care under my local authority (apart from two, who were girls and had babies) got dumped into hostels full of crackhead and were denied our right to a council flat. I've lived in over 20 placements in the care system and then to be put into hostals is like repeating the whole process all over again to the point where my education got affected and where as I once was labeled "gifted and talented," I was now labeled as "challenging behaviour." I left school with 2 poor gcse's, and 5 years later, not much has changed. Having a stable home is absolutly essential to ones upbringing. Unfortunatly, I don't know when I'm going to have a stable home, and as I'm currently unemployed, I don't know how I'm going to surive the 10% housing benefit cut as my hostal rent is pretty steep as it is. But I don't want to move out as it's my only hope if I wan't to eventually get a council flat. With no family around for support, things are only going to get harder... the tories have NO idea! I'm going back to college to do a 1 year access course in social work so hopefully I can go university next year. I am going to have to find a part time day job and a part time night job asap to make ends meet! Anyway, Linda, you write an excellent blog. Keep it up, I'll definatly continue to follow you :)
Thanks for writing this Linda, I blogged on this too: http://scatteredcushions.blogspot.com/2010/06/will-you-still-need-me-will-you-still.html
As I said in that post, I failed to qualify for ESA recently although I can only stand or sit for a few minutes at a time without pain and any movement of my neck increases the damage.. what sort of a job that qualifies me for I dont know..
These benefits should be Health Service generated, the specialists and GPs know their patients best. Currently, the Medical Examiners meets the claimants for 15 minutes and sees no health records at all. Hardly able to make an informed decision are they?
I defy anyone not to be moved by these stories, regardless of political persuasion. So, if anyone can't understand my opposition to the regressive, vindictive, short sighted Tory budget (please don't tell me this is the kind of budget we would have come up with on our own!!!) – you clearly don't get it. And please don't bleat on about this being necessary because the alternatives would be worse. In order to become part of the coalition our party was sold a pup. Hmmm, George Osborne or Vince Cable – who would I trust to have more economic nous? Cut now, cut later??? This is ideaologically driven and no mistake and unless our party grandees wake up to this fact I fear we are condemned to the footnote of history, but far worse than that, many of our fellow citizens are condemned to poverty, misery, hopelessness and in some cases, death.