Monday, 13 August 2012

Somerset Guardian Gives Me Space to Tell the Truth.

I was nervous when I sent the email. It's one thing campaigning on a national level, but 'bringing it into my yard' so to speak, is harder.

When I sent the version of my 'Wake Up' article to the Guardian and the Observer letters pages, I didn't hear anything back. I was disappointed, but it wasn't unexpected.

I've been busy with 'The Spartacus Campaign' since it started. I've lobbied MP's, Lords, and I've taken part in various consultations, as well as sending this article to national newspapers.

I told myself that was the reason for not contacting the local press until now, but in actual fact, there are many different reasons why I chose to bide my time.

Firstly, I am all too aware of the 20% rise nationally in hate crime against disabled people. I campaign with many people who have been victims of it. All sorts of things, from verbal and physical abuse to having their properties or cars damaged.

I did not (and do not) want that to happen to me. I like to think it would never happen but I know that's what they thought too, and I just didn't feel I could take that risk.  Not only that, but I didn't want people to think that I was putting myself forward through any sense of ego.Yes, I'd love my writing and poetry read at some point, but I would never use a campaign like this as a means to an end. The campaign is too important, and it is not about just me.

I have put my 'creative writing' on hold really since 'Spartacus' began, because that can wait.

People's lives can't.

Anyway, finally I decided to just DO IT! I sent the full article, and fired off a covering email to the editor of 'The Somerset Guardian' before I let myself think about it for too much longer. It was the following Monday when they sent the photographer. I am never keen on having my photo taken, but I told myself that 'this is for the cause'.

When it came out, I was pleased with how much of my original piece they had used, without changing a word. Obviously it isn't the whole thing, but I never expected it to be.

I hope that the readers realise that 'Diving Allowance' is an error. After all, even if I could dive I wouldn't. I have a very bad fish phobia! Yes a fish phobia -strange but true! Maybe one of these days, I'll tell you how it came about - or at least, how I think it came about!

Now, all I can hope is that my article (even the shortened version) has made people think a bit and question what they are being told.

NOTE: The full version of the article is on this blog, but this being the latest entry you will not link directly to it. Please don't give up though - just scroll down the sidebar of the blog.

It is important that the truth is told.

Lots of love,
Helen xx

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