Disabled people
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Are disabled people a political pawn?

Geo08Geo08 Member Posts: 49 Courageous
edited August 2016 in Disabled people
Hi All,

I'm going to try and keep this discussion as apolitical as possible but inevitably it will probably draw out passionate feelings about individual's politics and if so I hope we can have a sensible discussion about policies that will help us (disabled people).

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, the main point of this post is that I have noticed alot of politicians use disabled people as a group to exert pressure on the other side. For example, lots of Jeremy Corbyn's campaign work has centred around the move from DLA to PIP and the stuff in relation to ESA changes. But I would be interested to find out which disabled people he has consulted with in order to make this statement? He often claims disabled people are 'amongst the most vulnerable within our society' which is a label I do not like having placed upon me.

For me I find this kind of narrative extremely damaging to the public perception of disabled people. I think it also neglects some of the achievements the Tory government has made in relation to helping disabled people. For example the Care Act 2014 made it so everyone who wants one can get their social care allocation in the form of a personal budget which gives the end user more choice and control over how they are looked after. They made it so everyone has the 'right to ask' for a personal health budget (kind of like a direct payment from the NHS).

I think my main point is that I feel most of our MPs cannot possibly represent us without understanding our world. I personally don't believe disability is an issue which will go away if you throw money at it. We need people with experience of these systems to point out their flaws (such as the social care system being the same for older people and disabled people - a personal bugbear of mine). For this reason I think we need more disabled MPs on all parties, to better represent the spectrum of views and opinions of disabled people (I know at least 4 disabled Tories in my local area). 


  • milomilo Member Posts: 164 Pioneering
    @Geo08 I think you have point there. I certainly don't think of myself as vulnerable in that context. Having said that, I've contacted my MP on a couple of occasions re cuts to disability spending and although I've always received a personal reply, I do wonder how much weight is given to the views of the disabled.

    Sadly we do seem to be lumped in with the elderly and not just when it comes to social care spending. I'd like to take the opportunity at this point to mention the passing of Brian Rix, the disabled have sadly lost a passionate campaigner. 

    I'm not advocating a return to people chaining themselves to railings to get their voice heard but I would like to see politicians listening more carefully to what is being said. Unfortunately I can't help but think there is pervasive attitude that sees those on disability benefits as scroungers. 
  • LAmesXOXLAmesXOX Member Posts: 18 Connected
    My biggest issue is disability is so widely associated with benifits and taking loads of time of work.

    I look more disabled then i am so i have huge problems with getting any employee to give me a 40 hour contract i can get a 0 hour contract but they think i will need surgery and have to take loads of time of work. But ive learned someone with a hidden disabilty may be giving a hard time if they need to take time of work or claim benefits. Its pretty rubbish at the moment as you have people with disabilities being discriminated against in differently and if you google disability on a uk search engine benifits is the first thing which comes up and this is wrong as honestly  the social problem is worse but the goverment is just throwing allot of money which is making able bodied people even more angry and un sympathetic and it is becoming more and more difficult for people with disabilities to be socially included with the rest of society as the social barriers are being swept under the carpet due to the amount of money the goverment is spending 
  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Member Posts: 421 Pioneering
    I don't think politicians believe disability is actually a voting issue which is probably true. People mostly vote the same way that their parents did. Beyond that people drift slightly over time from being quite socially minded in their youth to being more selfish and mistrusting of others' motives in later years.
    We definitely aren't pawns. We are more like a blunt object used to beat the other side with. The Left call the Right heartless and inhumane for how little they offer the disabled. The Right call the Left wasteful and claim they are demotivating the disabled and preventing their integration in the workplace. Neither side is correct, of course, but neither side cares.
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