Welcome to my blog. Obviously this is my first post, so the first thing I'll do is put up a piece (the forward to my poetry anthology) which tells you about me, and then we'll get started properly. This blog will contain my writing and poetry as well as political bits and bobs. I'm a proud atheist, anti monarchy 'lefty' as well as an active member of the 'Spartacus' anti disability cuts campaign.
This blog has been a long time coming. For a while I felt that I didn't want to get involved with the whole 'disability blog' idea. There are so many of them already (not that that is a bad thing of course) but I already had (and have) my poetry website for my writing. There will be frequent links to that here!
At the moment, a lot of my time is taken up with the 'Spartacus Campaign' which I am proud to have been part of since before it even began.
As a disabled person, I feel that since the UK's coalition government came to power in May 2010, they have launched an unceasing and unfair campaign of misinformation, lies and hurtful statements in an attempt to justify the harsh and callous cuts that are being inflicted on some of the most vulnerable, ill and disabled people of this country - myself being one of them.
We have experienced not only a rise in disability hate crime nationally, but a rise in our anxiety and stress levels as a result of what we are put through. Many of us, including myself are terrified of the assessment process which we know to be unfair and brutal. It has caused many ill and disabled people, some of which have lifelong and terminal conditions to be left without any source of income. In some cases those people have been left so desperate and isolated that they see no option but to end their own lives!
It is 2012. I once thought I lived in a caring, compassionate society, where disabled and ill people were wanted and looked after. Society is certainly not equal for us, but since this coalition came to power, our fight for equality and independence has been set back.
I no longer feel wanted in this society. On an almost daily basis there is something published or said which promotes the idea that disabled and ill people (those that are unable to work) are 'Scroungers' and/or a drain on society.
This has done a lot of damage to my self esteem, and the self esteem of others in my situation. I did not ask for my life to be dogged by permanent limitations, pain and lack of energy. The truth is that it's heartbreaking at times. I've spent years trying to come to terms with myself. It is hard knowing that you can't do so many things. I'd love a job, a baby, a normal life. Through no fault of my own those options have been taken away from me.
I thought I had really begun to accept things though, as much as anyone can. I have a wonderful marriage, amazing friends and my family. I also have my writing which I am completely passionate about. I actually felt comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life - until this government came along and made me feel worthless, useless and unwanted.
I've campaigned for disability rights since the age of ten. It may seem young, but it's true. However, I never thought, twenty years later, that I would be fighting this hard, for this long and only for the very basics! It is sick, cold, callous and deeply, desperately wrong that so many of us have to fight with what energy and strength we have, for a quality of life that so many others take for granted.
This blog will be about poetry, music, writing and fun. More importantly than any of that though, it is about the TRUTH.