Why aren’t there many disabled MP’s?
Well, judging by the way some of
them have been openly mocked by other politicians, coupled with the
coalitions treatment of disabled people, it comes as no real
If I thought for one second that
they [other MPs] would treat me like a ‘human being’ and not put more
than the usual amount of obstacles in my path, AND if I felt my health
and energy would allow me to do the job properly, I would probably
stand, and it's not like I haven't been asked!
We do need more MP's who will speak up for disabled people, and I do think, ideally, that the Minister for Disabled People, should BE a disabled person.
That way, there will be someone who actually understands the challenges we face, everyday. That would make such a difference, when deciding policies, that will impact on our lives.
With the election coming up in May, this year, it is even more important, than ever, that voices of disabled people, are heard, but it will be harder than ever, for disabled people, to be elected to Parliament, with the cross party fund for disabled MP's,- (The Elected Office Fund), being closed, in March.
If the fund were kept, and there were, (more disabled people in parliament), maybe government wouldn't get away, with implementing policies, that have destroyed so many of our lives, -but the fact is, we have to be realistic about what we can achieve with everything that is already stacked against us.
We face enough prejudice and
discrimination in society already. I am not going to put myself (and my
disability) in the middle of what is, essentially, an elitist boys club!
I also wouldn’t want to be tied
down by any ‘party lines’ so being an Independent would be my only
option. Realistically, it’s too much work – and too much stress!
Lastly, I loathe the way
politics works. I loathe the egos, I loathe the whole ‘doing things for
votes idea’. You should, in an ideal world, do things for the good of
the people – not for yourself, and what you can get out of it.
But politics doesn’t work that
way, and while there are so few ‘ordinary people’ in Parliament, it
never will. Therein lies the problem. To change things you have to get
there. IF you get there, you have to overcome obstacles and all the
health problems disabled people face.
Disability doesn’t give you (in
my experience anyway) the energy, the freedom, the health and the
flexibility you need to be in ‘the right place at the right time’ and to
smile sweetly for the camera!
I am not like that; ‘Hello,’ ‘nice to see you’ ‘will you vote for me’? ‘Where’s your baby? I’ll kiss it!’
I love my activism exactly the
way it is. I can work at my own pace (or not, if I don’t feel well), I
can REALLY help people, I can keep my own identity, ideas and opinions –
and I don’t HAVE to tow the usual line or smile for the camera.