Saturday, 30 May 2015

Her Teddy Bear (Poem -2006)

I'm the teddy bear, 
She's had since she was born, 
I'm showing signs of ageing now, 
My fur matted and worn. 

I'm her teddy bear, 
She used to hold at night, 
I'm the one who knew instantly 
When something wasn't right. 

I'm her teddy bear, 
I've watched her through the years, 
I'm the one who's been there 
To absorb her tears. 

I'm her teddy bear, 
You know I've seen her cry, 
And it's me who listened 
When she asked me 'why'? 

I'm her teddy bear, 
I've seen her slam the doors, 
The days when she would come home cross, 
And throw me on the floor. 

I'm her teddy bear, 
She used to rub my ears, 
I've been there when she's cried in pain 
And consumed by fear. 

I'm her teddy bear, 
You know, I witnessed their first kiss, 
I'm so happy and proud of her, 
She deserves moments like this. 

I'll always be her teddy bear, 
I still see her every day, 
She's more smiles than tears now 
And he makes her that way. 

I'll always be her teddy bear, 
Though it's him she holds at night, 
Sometimes I do feel jealous 
But I know it's only right. 

I'll always be her teddy bear, 
And now she is his wife, 
I'm so glad she has brought me along, 
To watch over her new life… 

(My Teddy Bear, is very camera shy, so I found a similar one on Google)!


Friday, 29 May 2015

Why Did Labour Lose? - My Opinion

I have been asked why I think Labour lost the election? 

For me, the answer is is fairly easy, - they weren't 'left' enough. They went to much for the middle ground, when they should have been opposing austerity from the start! That's what the 'opposition' is supposed to do, isn't it? They weren't loud enough, - nor did they propose an alternative. 

People I spoke to felt there was little choice, between Labour and Tory, any more. 

Many wanted to vote Green, (myself, included), but felt that they 'couldn't risk' letting the Tories back in, so against their better judgement, and feeling uneasy about it, they voted Labour, even though they didn't oppose austerity. 
Speaking for myself, (especially as a disabled person who has been hurt by the Tory government), I felt I couldn't chance a Green vote, yet! I want the Tories out, so badly!  

I've heard the 'our hands were tied' excuse often enough, from Labour supporters, but for me, it doesn't wash. They could have been open about what was happening to disabled people, and they could have fought on more than just the Bedroom Tax. They had chances, and they didn't take them.

They could have said, 'Look,this 'scrounger' rhetoric, it's based on lies. Here are the real figures'. They could have made more of an effort to make the stories of suffering, public. Other than in Parliament itself, (where they knew they'd be shouted down), I rarely saw any of it.

Like I said, this is my opinion, but to me, the fight wasn't there. 

If Labour had wanted to blow this whole thing apart, regain credibility, and actually BE an alternative, they could have.
If they had opposed austerity',I don't think the SNP would have won so many seats. SNP policies are 'left' of Labour, and the people of Scotland hate the Tories, (almost as much as I do)!

The Tories shunned Scotland, despite the promises, (which I don't think they never intended to keep), made during the Referendum Campaign. I think Scotland (quite rightly), fought back, and they wanted their voices heard. After all, they didn't get what they were promised!

If Scottish Labour had said, 'we can give you a voice in Westminster,  as well as the anti austerity policies', at least some of the wind would've been taken from SNP's sails! Again, they failed to act.

The Tories were then able to use fear of SNP's control and anti austerity policies, to galvanise their supporters, and frighten the 'floating voters' into voting Tory, in a bid to keep the SNP out. The SNP ran a strong and motivated campaign, which won through anyway.

It could have been Labour, though, if they had made the 'right' promises, not just at the start of the election campaigns, but from way back in 2010. That way, they would've had a proven record of fighting, (or at least trying to fight), the ideological cuts that have damaged and destroyed the lives, of some of society's most vulnerable people.

In short, it's my opinion, that Labour, (and I'm sorry, I know this won't sit well, with some), have no one to blame for the defeat, but themselves. Now that the unions are pulling funding, and speaking out, where Labour did not, I don't see a way back, at the moment.

This country has drifted more to the right than ever, because of a concerted effort by the Tories, UKIP, and a biased media, paid, (or threatened perhaps),to promote right wing ideology.
The drip, drip, drip effect of those campaigns, fear of another recession, and few people to counteract it all, meant the Tories won, and four the next five years, it will be poorer, low paid, homeless, ill and disabled people, who will pay the price.

Friday, 22 May 2015

The Fox, and Me

I feel like a fox,
Hounded by government attack dogs.
I feel like unwanted vermin.
They make me feel worthless.

There are too many of us,
'Scrounging',stealing from others,
Considered more worthy.
Soon the dogs will find me,
And tear me apart.

I am not a fox,
I am a person with a disability,
But now there's little difference,
Between a fox, and me.


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Nothing Short of Barbaric - A Thunderclap!

Hello everyone! 

Please support my thunderclap, which will be 'released' from 11.30am onwards, tomorrow. (7th May). It is scheduled to run until the 10th.

Please don't forget to read the blog itself. (It's the black link on the Thunderclap page - or you can read it here:  http://to-helen.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/nothing-short-of-barbaric-2015-update_32.html so  that you are aware of what you're supporting.

For those that don't know me, I have Cerebral Palsy, and have been a disability rights campaigner, (at varying levels) for twenty six years.

Please help me raise awareness of what disabled and ill people are facing, by supporting my thunderclap, click here: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/25954-nothing-short-of-barbaric?locale=en and then click 'add my support'' -according to which social network you are using.

On the day, thunderclap will automatically post on your behalf to say you have supported me. 

After that it's a case of share, share, share!

The hashtags to add to your tweets/shares are as follows:

#helenswriting #nomoredeaths #welfareceasefire #GE2015 #VoteCameronOut #scrapwca

#NothingShortofBarbaric or # ridtheUKoftheetorieson7thmay!

I hope you can join me.

Thank you.


Sunday, 3 May 2015

Nothing Short of Barbaric - (2015 Update)

A Freedom of Information document (of nearly three years ago) from the DWP revealed that there is an average of seventy three deaths a week  a result of Welfare Reform. A lot of time has passed since then, and it is the suspicion of many, that the number has risen further, but the Department for Work and Pensions has not released the information. I wonder why?

 I  want this to stop, more than anything else in the world. I want people to wake up to the pain, suffering, misery and death, we're facing. I want this government, gone.

How many more vulnerable, sick and disabled people have to die before something is done?!

As a disabled person, I don't want to live in this country any more. We're frightened of losing our benefits and our independence. It is happening.

People are being left with nothing! Vulnerable, sick and disabled people are being left destitute after having their benefits wrongly cut, by a cruel and callous government!

As a person with Cerebral Palsy, who cannot walk or stand unaided, I know my turn for an assessment is coming soon...and I'm terrified! I know I will fail.

I'm luckier than some I know, because I have my wonderful husband (and his Pension Credit) to help us live, but there will be no more independence for me (what there is of it), because if I lose my Disability Living Allowance, I may as well close my bank account. There will be nothing going into it!

I'm going to be completely reliant on my husband, and feel even more of a burden than I already do. At the moment I can help pay household bills - just like any 'normal' wife does. I can get taxis to see friends, and attend appointments alone when I am able. It enables me to feel just like everyone else.

The government has already taken a lot of my self esteem, and my place in society. The constant, relentless lies about Disability Benefit Fraud has done that for me.

You see, the real fraud figures are very different to what the government would have you believe. In reality only 1 in every 200 claimants is committing fraud, but  the unceasing'scrounger' rhetoric has made me, and many others feel virtually worthless, and very unwanted - no matter how genuine we are.

I hate this country and I'm beginning to hate myself again. I thought I'd accepted my life, it's limitations and constant pain.

I know I will never be a mother and I know I won't work again. I did work once - for a year. I was dedicated, hard working, and always there when needed, but I was exhausted and in agony. I came home...and slept.

My boss knew I was struggling. I was pale and losing weight. When my contract came to an end, they didn't renew it.

I was heartbroken because I loved my job, but I was relieved at the same time. In reality I didn't know how much I could take.

I'm exhausted now, and my pain (through wear and tear on my body) is worse. It is always there, and some days I can barely move, never mind get myself out of bed and get to work!

Who is going to employ me? I'd have  to take regular days off because I am mind numbingly exhausted and in agony. Not to mention the frequent hospital and GP appointments...!

How many times will my employer put up with me saying "I'm sorry, I can't come in today"...before they sack me, in favour of somebody who CAN?!

This is not my fault. I didn't choose my life - none of us did. None of us would! To cut our benefits now, in this economic climate when there are no jobs even for the able bodied, is nothing short of barbaric!

It is inhumane, callous and cruel to treat a whole section of society in this way. The fact that we are some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in society just makes it worse!

How can they do it? How can they hurt people like this? How is it right that this government is able to drive people to suicide (regularly) and hardly anyone bats an eye lid?!

Why is this not a real Human Rights issue by now? Surely it counts as one! It is the oppression of people, and that should be covered somewhere...somehow.

It feels like the best we can hope for (in terms of Human Rights, other than a change of government), is the investigation by the United Nations into what it called ‘grave violations’ of Disabled People’s Human Rights, by the UK government, which was launched in 2014.

Disabled People’s Organisations, and individuals, were asked to submit evidence in order to help make a case. As far as I am aware, at the time of this update, the investigation, is still ongoing. You can find details, here:

It was also announced in recent months that the Department for Work and Pensions has investigated sixty benefit related deaths. Details below:

Campaigners feel that sixty is just the tip of the iceberg, and that a Cumulative Impact Assessment into the effects of Welfare Reform should have been done. It hasn't been, and I keep thinking, 'do we matter that little'?!

I wonder where has the compassion gone? That's what makes me saddest I think. People just don't seem to care like they used to. Have we become that selfish and blinkered as a society, that we can close our eyes to the suffering of others? If we have, it makes me more ashamed of what is happening here!

I no longer trust people like I did, and I will never forgive this government for that. When is it my turn to become a statistic in the 20% national rise in Disability Hate Crime? I'm terrified it will happen.

Will I be one of the people who gets my property vandalised? Will I be verbally abused or physically attacked when I go out in my wheelchair? That thought crosses my mind every time I go out. People should not have to live like this!

We suffer enough, and now we have to deal with victimisation, extra anxiety and pure fear for our futures as well.

It is easy to make judgements. In my case, my disability is visible, but there are so many illnesses and disabilities that aren't, and it is these people who are often victims of 'Scrounger' abuse, but just because you can't see it, it doesn't mean it isn't there.

It is these people too, who will suffer most as a result of the assessment process. The suffering caused by mental illness or invisible disability is not as easily quantifiable - but it can be just as debilitating as any physical visible condition.

As for me, I don't know what will happen to me on assessment day. I don't know if I'll be able to handle questions based on a 'tick box' computer programme, that doesn't allow for pain or variation and rarely takes a person's medical records in to account. I know that I'll be set up to fail.

I know that it could be a person who is not medically qualified and who, after meeting me for forty five minutes, will decide whether I get to keep my life, my independence, and my pride intact.

No wonder I wake up sweating, (that's if I actually get to sleep of course)! No wonder I am plagued by anxiety that buries itself in the pit of my stomach every night and refuses to budge. I am fighting for my life. We all are. I'm waiting for an envelope to drop on the mat and tell me that it's my turn.

Every time the letter box goes, I jump half a mile out of my skin! I am unable to open, or even look at official envelopes because I am so scared that it just might be it. It isn't just me. The panic and fear I feel every single day is widespread through the disabled people of this country.

My only consolation, is knowing that I am not alone.

Disabled and ill people like me, need your help at the election. I'd beg you if I could. This should not be happening to us. We need to vote this government out, and elect a party who will at least try to care.

Even if you feel that can't get involved do that, you'd be surprised how much difference a few kind words of support can make. It gives people hope when it can feel like there is none.

I'm asking you - one human being to another - to not let them take our lives. There is no difference between you and I. Anyone can be struck by illness or disability at any time. No one is immune. It only takes a second for lives to be changed forever, and I hope that if it does, there will be someone there who is willing to fight for you.

For full 'Freedom of Information' document - see link below: