Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Will The Undateables be unwatchable ?

A dating show, a reality TV show, or a victorian freakshow.

This programme due for broadcast by C4 in April has generated the type of pre launch controversy which Publicists delight in.

Not all non-disabled people run a mile from potential disabled partners. I've dated disabled people before now. Diagnosed and undiagnosed and it's an issue which will generate much debate, which can only be a good thing, so to me it isn't an issue. However this is not the case for everyone.

We are more naturally drawn to people with whom we have a demonstrable affinity and ignorance is a huge barrier to understanding the things we have in common as opposed to the things which separate us.; this coupled with the fact that disabled people are prevented from participating in many of the social norms and according to a Scope survey many people don't even know someone with a disability, it strengthens the barriers that disabled people have in forming any social networks let alone romantic relationships.

I have two major problems with the notion of the show and I participated in the briefest of brief debates this week on Radio 5 live which given the subject was disability seemed about right. The conversation was dominated by a representative of one of the dating agencies who has been instrumental in finding partners for the participants. This has resulted in 2 out of 9 potential relationships.

We live in an age of perfection and the issue of hate crime targeting disabled people is on the rise. We are encouraged by advertisers not to age,  not to get fat and certainly not to be "different". If advertisers wanted to disprove my perception then they could begin routinely including disabled people in their adverts for supermarkets, furniture, banks holidays etc etc etc. Disabled people do feature in life just not in advertising land.

Politicians love disabled people for PR enhancing photo op's as they display their compassion credentials replete with concerned faces on one hand then vote for the hateful policies which disenfrancise disabled people with the other hand.

It's in this perfectionist  culture that C4 decided to launch a series of billboards for The Undateables with pictures of six of the participants and the the tagline "love is blind, disfigured autistic".

It's deliberately provocative and offensive and it's rationale is that it spark debate. Yes probably but it will also draw the mocking bigots to the show and just because it's professing higher motives it's not necessarily a guarantee that they will be realised. If a poster had appeared the length and breadth of the country featuring disabled children and with the title "The Unloveables" I'd have felt the same way.

Once again it feels as though disabled adults are perceived to be justifiable targets.

Not everyone who sees the billboards will watch the show- whether we are promised the themes will be explored and deconstructed or not. For some people the ad campaign is just a bloody good laugh and I'm sure some great ammunition for verbal abuse on the streets at work and in schools. But in the ratings war what's a little collateral damage eh? Especially when you don't know anyone from the targeted groups personally to look in the eye and justify your motives.

I asked my daughter Lizzy who is on the Autistic spectrum what she felt about the ad and whether she would have participated. She said no when I asked why she said "Because I don't want to be laughed at. They will highlight the bad not the good, because for them it's better telly".

Should the subject of disability and dating be addressed? Yes of course but as a stand alone show. No. Include disabled people in all programming not as a niche addition or 'specialist" programme.

Inclusion of disabled people in everything is the aim of all of my campaigning but the fact is the misery porn aspect of the poster and the platform seam running through so many reality TV shows and documentary shows about disability is what concerns me. Just include disabled people in everything. Not in niche programmes because then it stands out as box ticking exercises not inclusion.

The poster is disappointing because it's sets people up for the very thing which will draw the eye. As surely as the participants were happy to be involved, the advertising brainstorming session seem to have resulted in a campaign framed upon a prurient peek through the observation hatches of victorian institutions. Why call it The Undateables otherwise. Until disabled people are commissioning and making these shows rather than just participating, with no editorial control, it will continue.

I hope this show will be as warm funny uplifting and thought provoking as the programme makers assure us it will be. I hope too that the vast majority will not be watching to laugh but to learn something however given human nature of perceived difference this ambition seems less likely. Especially when favoured sons of C4 comedy like Frankie Boyle get the thumbs up for cruely ridiculing as a staple.

It's sad too that the advertising underpins a wider perception that TV just can't "do" disability without it routinely being dreaded. I can certainly only remember a tiny number of shows which have turned patronising, discriminatory reprentations on their  head and made uplifting watchable programming for people who understand as well as those who don't.

Also broadcasters please lose the "with a difference" strap line. It's dull. If you feel you have to warn people of the approaching inclusion of disabled people then you really should be asking yourselves why.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Offense as defence? oh spare me.

The right to free speech and not having the right to not be offended is an interesting notion which I’ve been battling with for months, years actually.

This week an angry comic with a righteous fury decided to hurl a little abuse at a columnist voicing her opinion.

They are both in the business of curving words to suit their agenda so thus far both were equal.

It was a usual bit of twitter spattery which as usual leads neither to an understanding of the others point of view but it was interesting for the reactionary responses of others.

The comic decided to use graphic imagery on her anatomy to verbally abuse her and she decided to involve the police.

Some felt he was bullying her others felt he was justified because of her right wing opinions.

It sparked debate. It sparked further abuses of anyone who was perceived as supporting either and it achieved nothing. Except possibly traffic to the column and bigger ticket sales for the stand up.

The reason I’m not detailing the row and the points involved is precisely because the issue is one like abortion  which polarises opinion. Because people have a POV of the issue at hand they will naturally defend and protect the people involved.

I didn’t.

I don’t subscribe to the columnists opinion I’m actually in support of the comics opinion but the point at which he wished upon her a “fetid ovarian cyst” he lost any kind of intellectual advantage.

I said so on Twitter and bright intellectual men began explaining to me the list of reasons why this was justified.

This isn’t justified.

Others cited the comic's right to free speech.

What about the columnist’s right. The 'problem' with freespeech for some is that it means you have to hear things you neither like nor agree with. You can't cite it then silence or you become what you most detest.

I was then attacked with the very same imagery, only this critic went a stage further and stated that by wishing me in this situation perhaps I might feel like the comic did.

As I say I was already in agreement with the comic and had faced exactly the same situation but the assurance that I hadn’t and must be on the side of the columnist was absolute.

Also ironic was that by speaking freely myself, by stating that the abusive language was unfair irrespective of the circumstances I was exercising the very right that this critic championed. Free speech it appears is only free at the point of agreement.

Offense was another point. I was offended apparently and I have no right not to be offended. Leaving aside the idea that no one has the right not to be offended means that people have the right to offend (odd) . I wasn’t.

This isn’t about offence this about hate speech.  I couldn't care less about being offended. Offence is nothing. t's based on opinion, emotion and is used a weapon of silence.

The reference point to this stems from the language this comic uses to attack other people with whom he disagrees.

He uses disablist abuse or to use it’s correct term hate speech.

The right to free speech wasn’t framed so that a boy with downs syndrome can be called a spastic or a retard or anything else.

The peddling by comics of this terminology normalises abuse targeted against disabled people. It diminishes the compassion and strengthens stereotypical views of disability. Not their problem in their view. They have a job to do they have to bring the funny.

Yes perhaps but not at the cost of others. The worst “offenders” usually have the ‘right on’ card vividly on show as they support and defend other targeted groups and keep their real venom for learning disabled people. They do love to do the “charidee” route too so we all know they are great guys really. They don’t do the charity away from the camera’s you see, they do it in the full view of the public as they tour the country spewing disability targeted material.

Some claim ignorance or reclamation but all return to the default position of context. Reclamation only works when the negative meaning of an abusive term is reversed. Retard and spastic and mong aren't being reclaimed if they are still being used in a negative way. That's reinforcement not reclamation.

Whether right wing left wing or bingo wing, there is no value no merit and most definitely no art to demeaning others with a humour which contains a subtext so deeply entrenched as to be imperceptible to the naked eye.

There is a reason why the fan bases of those who choose to demean disabled people are predominantly abusive thugs. Those who will also hunt down critics of their idol with slavering joy and impart their hatred upon the critic and their family.

They pay to see these comics because they are hearing the stuff they like. Undisguised hatred and the freedom to cause hurt. It’s not embarrassed laughter it’s the screaming ecstasy of those who exploit the vulnerable and would laugh just as hard if you set fire to a kitten.
Because that’s what bullies do.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The blame game excuses.

‘You made me do it”.

I’m 45 I’ve either heard these things over the years or had these things related to me as reasons their partners give for their behaviour (men and women).

Here are the excuses people give for doing what they want to -nobody makes them :

You got fat.

You got thin.

You got old.

You remind me I’m old.

You’re too obsessed with you looks.

You’ve let yourself go.

You were pregnant.

You had a baby.

You don't know what you're doing with the baby, leave it to me.

You never help me with the baby.

You couldn’t get pregnant.

You couldn’t get me pregnant.

It's what my parents wanted to hear and we were going to get engaged eventually what's the problem.

You had a career.

You held me back in my career.

You disagreed with me.

You were too passive.

You don’t fit in with my new friends.

You made new friends.

You wanted me to.

You didn’t want me to.

You wanted to have children.

You didn’t want to have children.

You wanted to have more children.

You didn’t want to have more children.

I need some time on my own.

You don’t want to spend time with me.

I was angry I have a right to be angry.

You were angry you have no right to be angry.

You made me angry.

You don’t have a job.

You have a job and don’t have time to do the housework.

You’re obsessed with your job.

You don’t have any ambition.

You’re too obsessed with the housework and ignore me.

You don’t bother with the housework I feel pressured.

You embarrass me when you try and make jokes.

You have no sense of humour.

You’re funnier than me.

You’re too opinionated.

You don’t have any opinions.

You don’t care about me.

You fuss too much you’re smothering me.

You went away for work and neglected me.

I went away for work and I was lonely.

You don’t think I’m special enough.

You worship me it’s irritating.

They’re young and enthusiastic and impressed by me.

You’re trying to be young it’s embarrassing; no one’s impressed by that.

You don’t care about my feelings.

You interrogate me about my feelings.

You don’t understand me.

You understand me too well and criticise me.

You don’t seem to realise that I’m tired all the time.

You’re always tired it’s boring.

I’d been drinking it’s not my fault.

You’d been drinking and embarrassing me.

You spend too much time with your family.

You’re not interested in spending time with my family.

Your family is always here interfering in our lives.

Your family are never supportive or helpful.

You deserved it.

I deserve better than this.

You changed.

You haven’t changed.

I’ve changed.

You want me to change.

I need a change.

You needed putting in your place.

You have no right to speak to me like that.

You’re always drawing attention to yourself.

You’re too shy.

You brought this on yourself.

You blame me for everything.

It’s your own fault.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Compassion has been the biggest cut of all.

I'm calling a state of the species meeting

1)When did we decide that evolution of the heart has been superceded by the exponential evolution of unkindness and bullying.

2) Compassion is not an either or situation fighting for the rights of people ALL people doesn't remain the exclusive territory of those with cognitive ability or a high IQ or those with perfect features, undiminshed senses or lack of impairment/disability.

3) Love does not belong to heterosexuals.

4)Marriage does not belong to heterosexuals.

5)Parenting does not belong to heterosexuals.

6) Rape is the fault of RAPISTS not those who are raped.

7)Age is not a problem or a burden to the rest of us. Women age so do men. Their value should be embraced equally.

8) Television especially news has a duty to the people not the government.

9) Religion and the lack of it is a personal choice. No one can prevent you worshipping as you wish. You are made religious not the other way around. Religious rules are guidelines to be followed by those who choose to.Not imposed on govenrment. They have no place in framing legislation, denying science or ordering women what they can and can't do with their own bodies.

10) The human body is the property of the owner.  You alone have the right to choose what happens to it.You can change it. Remove what you wish from it or add to it as you decide. Not anyone else. Your body cannot be beaten or broken or changed because someone else decides it should be.

11) If you have skin of a different colour, love for someone of the same gender, or disabled from birth or in life, no-one has the right to hate you because of this. You are normal they are not.

12)Politicians work for the people not the other way around.

13)Animals are sentient creatures. They are not the property of the fashion or beauty industry. Their skin is there to keep them warm their eyes are there to see more than a lab technician and a cage.

14)Trans people are not punchbags. They are not justifiable targets.

15)Women ARE funny. They are more than a pair of exposed breasts in a national "newspaper". It's not "art" it's not a "tradition worth keeping" it's objectifying sexism and it's holding all women back from achieving equality in thought and deed.

16) Compassion is not the property of the weak or the failure. It's the only civilising barrier to the rise of hatred we have left. Don't let it be eroded.

17)Be kind imagine yourself as much less certain of any bigoted views you possess. Do that daily don't just attack as a reflex.

18)Our time is short use it well. Use it to make a small or a big difference to the lives of others.

19)Selfishness kills.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Life unworthy of life? To Doug Stanhope and Louis CK maybe.

"Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false." — Bertrand Russell

Bravery is a word that is over used at times. There are times when it’s use is totally justified of course. Soldiers, doctors, single parents, those facing a terminal illness, people living through a natural disaster like a Tsunami or through a man made horror by attempting to save others like the firefighters of 9/11. Victims of racist or homophobic or disability hate crimes viciously beaten but refusing to be broken.A disabled child repeatedly bullied but still having the courage to brave school everyday.

Where I struggle with the term brave or indeed fearless, is when it is used to describe some comedians.

Stand up comedy certainly enhances lives. I’ve written before about how laughter is a crucial gift in a difficult life. It formed a love letter to those comics who choose wit over cruelty and make life better.Comedians who choose their targets carefully who decide to diminish the powerful people (that need reminding that they are human and often incapable) are using satire and humour well.

All of us suffer at the hands of politicians. From the most vulnerable losing benefits and in many cases the will to live because of it to the uber rich, asset rich, cash poor whingers - bemoanng the 50p rate of tax and the horror of the mooted mansion tax.

Policy framed to disenfranchise needs puncturing with skill and intelligence and there are many who ably do this. They are actually brave in my opinion because speaking out against the government or religious oppression can be a fast track to career suicide. Like it or not the men in grey are all powerful.

For the majority of comedians though it’s very much a first world career. It’s an option and a choice like anything. Wise comics are the first to decry what they do and are humble about it. They know they are 21st Century court jesters removed of their shoe-bells but still the servants of the court of public opinion.

But some really do suffer from their own self importance and pass through a self-awareness barrier with breathtaking arrogance. These guys and they are predominantly men suddenly deem their every word, their every joke, their every target as being suitable because they decide them to be.

Louis CK and Doug Stanhope fit this idea quite well for a section in their stand up shows which obstensibly and thus popularly target the pantomine villain de jour Sarah Palin.

I’m no fan of this politican but the point at which the political rallying becomes completely devoid of either satire or humanity is the point at which they shift from political objectivity to disability objectifying. Because to these two white, male, middle aged and much admired “brave men” the target of their ridicule is reserved for Palin’s son who has Down’s Syndrome.

In Louis CK’s case he encapsulates his brand of social Darwinism in a bit he does on in the Opie and Anthony Show.

On the show footage is played of the “R” word campaign. A young man with learning disabilities is interviewed talking about how the word retard makes him feel. This brave comic can be heard (at 1 hour 6 mins) ridiculing him whilst he is speaking and with his buddies in the studio they call him a retard repeatedly. Later in the show Louis CK refer’s to Sarah Palin as having a “retard making cunt”. (at 1 hour 12 mins) http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3DqD-UC0eXVGE

In Doug Stanhope’s case he takes it a little further if any further boundary pushing were required and talks about Palin’s son as a retard and a spastic. In his case he refers to Palin directly when he says “threw that spastic out of that ‘Tard (retard) launcher cunt of yours” here (at 4 mins 52 seconds) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdFJ-hFFdI8&feature=youtu.be
Speaking later he made the point that his words had been taken out of context and that he was in fact in character. Yes he was for some of the routine but certainly not for all.

All this is purile and childish and utterly irrelevant to political debate. If anything their tantruming elicts sympathy for Palin and her family, due to their undisguised loathing of learning disabled people in general and Palin’s son in particular, in my opinion.

Far from making a left wing atheist point they seem to speak to the very heart of of right wing extremism and it’s almost a rallying cry to the Eugenics so favoured by fascists.

Where politics misses in terms of rallying- stand up comedy can pick up the slack. Hate speech against disabled people can be peddled and repeated and seen as acceptable because big stars with huge numbers of fans made it ok. They made it acceptable and they made it normal.

These ranting speeches full of hatred may parade themselves as attacking a politician but Louis CK and all his buddies are not from the targeted groups. They may have the right to speak freely but this is a hollow victory given the numbers of disabled people targeted by this language everyday. 

The physical abuse that follows verbal abuse is held back only by society deeming this type of action utterly unacceptable.  Louis and his mates are making that self control seem archaic. Making justifiable targets out of learning disabled people is the accomplishment of the bully not the intellectual.

To target disabled people,to make stereotypical jokes, are pursuits as dull as they are wrong. This immediately renders them unfunny to anyone with knowledge and understanding of disability and indeed the vast range of ability of disabled people. To speak with cruelty is of course the choice of anyone but to speak with demeaning certainty which is predicated on a falsehood of ignorance is wasting everyone's time. Life unworthy of life, as a concept, applied to the living, has been used before.

He who is bodily and mentally not sound and deserving may not perpetuate this misfortune in the bodies of his children. The völkische [people's] state has to perform the most gigantic rearing-task here. One day, however, it will appear as a deed greater than the most victorious wars of our present bourgeois era.”  Adolf Hitler- Mein Kampf

Friday, 9 March 2012

We are all in this together.

I've been campaigning on disability rights issues for 11 years informally. In 2008 I made it formal by launching my first national campaign and I have to say it’s been a battle.

There are of course opponents in the form of bureaucrats, free speech advocates and people paid to enhance lives who seem intent on blocking human rights being realised. I’ve encountered resentful broadcasters mercurial charities and minor celebrities with an eye on their PR, using disability as a handy device to further their careers.

One tiny but vocal irritation is the naysayer of my right to even be discussing the subject let alone in the media. Their reason quite simply is this. I’m not disabled myself.

My disability CV if such were needed is my whole life but the criticisms of me are  directly proportionate to the amount of coverage I get in the media. This is a sad fact. Apparently by launching campaigns, by speaking out on the subject that means the most to me I’ve planted my foot on the head of a disabled person and prevented them from reaching the light.

This is odd because actually no disabled person that I’ve encountered has ever had a problem with what I do. It’s usually a few disabled activists who exclusively inhabit that territory. I repeat if there had been pre-existng campaigns from the ones I launched I’d have joined yours but there weren’t. The disabled people who have supported and gently educated me have my unending gratitude. I'm learning everyday.

You don’t have to be black to hate racism or gay to hate homophobia. I’m just as vocal on twitter about those issues but the civil rights movement so much older in these two areas has learnt a sage and valuable lesson. The more voices speaking out the better and the stronger the collective message.

As with gay and racist discrimination, I never presume to speak on behalf of anyone when it comes to disability. I speak against injustice and I credit those who are working too. Crediting of others is a road  which flows in both directions and all of us owe a huge debt to those who went before us and will follow in our wake. We also owe a debt to those who walk beside us. Because together we strengthen the message for all.

The other accusation raised against me is that I'm only interested in autism because my children have the condition. Not true. I respond to people who tweet me about their children with autism because I know the isolation and have encountered many of the situations that I'm asked about. I always tweet about discrimination of disability across the board. Division is hugely unhelpful and a tactic that policy makers will exploit if they get the chance.

My personal experiences include deafness, dementia, breast cancer, mental health, learning disability, autism, epilepsy, terminal heart condition, heart disease, anxiety disorder, depression, alcoholism and sexual abuse on the grounds of disability.

I also have experienced domestic violence. 

If what I do causes distress perhaps a more sensible idea would be ask yourself why. I don’t know anyone personally on Twitter and crucially they don’t know me so judging me is sad. My theory is this -if you spend less time questioning why and more energy approaching the real block to progress you will free yourself of resentment and get more done.

There is no bar to carers speaking out or other non-disabled people speaking out but time is wasted when the only voices are disabled ones because our strength as a team lies in the energy flow. We can all contribute. Many, many people who weren’t disabled tweeted and blogged and RT’d recently over the injustice of the Welfare Reform Bill the issue is a universal one whether you love someone with a disability or are a person with a disability or not.

To say that only disabled people can speak or should speak alienates many non-disabled people from contributing because then they feel they have no right. This can extend to decision makers, editors, journalsts and other activists.

Not all non-disabled people are the enemy. The days of disabled voices blocked from contributing is thankfully over, but if the message propagated by a few determined disabled people stems from the militancy of decades past then blocks will surface again.

Ignorant people, nervous of things they don't understand only need one bad experience sadly. We are all in this together so lets use our greatest strength our collective experience.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Offence is taken not given

Offence according to Jimmy Carr is taken not given. Yes the harder to get rid of than dog turd on the shoe, moon faced, slimy fuckwit (It’s a joke –remember offence is taken Jimmy not given ) and others like him believe that if you are offended by his jokes, then problem is yours not his.

This is a nice convenient theory. This is a theory which cites amongst other things same sex marriage and mixed race relationships and on and on and on. The rationale being that if you find jokes which target and humiliate disabled people offensive and speak out against them you are as bad as homophobes and racists.Yes that's right barrels of defensiveness are now scraping themselves.

The problem is that offensive is a great big cash cow and when you’re the man recouping financially from the misery you bring by making hatred normal you really need to absent yourself from the debate.

You can’t really cry free speech and rights and democracy when your punchlines write the mortgage cheques. When your words signal a green light to bigots and bullies who see you and your mates on TV spouting bile and laughing loud and long with you. Putting yourself at the peak of the mountain of ethical righteousness whilst cracking gags which target disabled people, makes you look like the bullies you are. (it's a joke-remember offence is taken Jimmy/Frankie not given)

Free speech Jimmy wasn’t created for you to make a fortune on your long, long tours- nor was it fought for to enable your mate Frankie to bleat bile and hate speech for money. It’s purpose, which you’re choosing to subvert, is as hideous as the private health care providers selling out the NHS for profit and calling it streamlining re-organisation.

But hey it’s a joke right just a joke. Just a word and everyone getting hung up on semantics is a humourless fool who can’t see the art or the craft in your routine. It's crafty alright but art? Really? Um..no.

Perhaps we can see the truth though. Perhaps we see the insecurity inherent in your need to make audiences gasp and then laugh from embarrassment. Carr and Boyle may see themselves as fiercely fighting a moral crusade of freedom but they are just bullies with a fan base. They are also too lazy to frame a joke without the need to deploy the comedy of cruelty. (it’s a joke –remember offence is taken Jimmy/Frankie not given)

The main thing is it's just a bit boring now. Like a twelve year old who hasn't quite grasped the fact that the same old joke got dull after the tenth telling, these middle aged men are peddling the same old dull gags in the hope that we still find them funny. 

Yeah guys we get it. You find disabled people funny. Do you have anything else to say possibly that we haven't heard already? The fact that your audiences respond with huge laughs proves the theory of pavlovian training rather than your skill as comics (it's a joke-remember offence is taken not given)

Popularity is no arbiter of ethics or it seems some commissioning editors judgement. 

Being on TV is deemed to be so merit worthy in these aspirational times that popularity is enough. Austerity too breeds a scapegoat culture. Stereotyping disabled millions who face discrimination on the streets, in schools, in hospitals and in the disenfranchising policy framed from political ideology already, is a sick yet lucrative game to play. 

Ratings always remember the ratings.

Whether for good or bad people watching is the driver. Whether beautifully observed, satirical comedy reaching a cultural high point or reality TV stars "bitch slapping"one another thereby achieving car crash telly low points- ratings are everything.

To do this for a motive which is as filthy as it gets ie cash is just the venomous icing on the hate cake.

Don’t forget these tours and DVD’s wont sell themselves unlike Carr and Boyle. badum tish

Thursday, 1 March 2012

I'll be there for you.

Loneliness is quite a difficult thing to describe to the uninitiated but much more common than you might otherwise think.

In my case it stems from the situation we live in and also more so from the fact that I’m quite difficult to get along with.

I don’t mean to be because I love people but I have these very exacting standards which I think are quite hard to accommodate.

I’m bullshit averse and would rather have no friends than many acquaintences who toe the “lets keep it superficially tidy” line. This means I have few friends.

All the ingredients of my life which should make for a breathtaking social whirl are negated by the fact that I am fighting an unwinnable war for kindness and compassion over popularity and cynicism.

I don’t make life easy for myself and I don’t make life easy for other people and this fact has plagued my address book my whole life.

I like it simple. I like to know where I stand. I leave other people in no doubt and this unfortunately is the problem. Truth is a currency that isn’t accepted everywhere. I’m not saying that I’m right in the things I’m asking for.

Maybe disabled people should be everyone’s justifiable target. Maybe removal of benefits or enforced free labour for disabled people on benefits indefinitely is the way to go.

Maybe killing new born babies because of disability which apparently burdens society and the families they are born into is the “new abortion”. Maybe jokes about Harvey Price wanting to “fuck” his own mother are hilarious.

Maybe retard or window licker or spazz or mong is the new idiot. Maybe even though it’s replacing an abusive word with another abusive word it is reclamation. Just a word right. Come on uptight people Chill the fuck out. They never do any harm at all words- that's why most people make silent rallying speeches promoting racism and homophobia and sexism though the medium of mime.

Maybe all disabled people are scroungers and fakers and therefore all government policy branding them as the same and backed up by tabloid propaganda is ok.

Maybe I’m a self serving patronising, publicity chasing, politically correct, free speech curbing attention seeking asshole.

I dunno. Maybe. Definitely not on Thursdays though that's my spa day.

I know I’m tired. I know I miss my mum and still can’t breathe normally when I think about how I wasn’t there when she died. I know that.  I know that when I went to see her afterwards I collapsed by her bed and kept saying sorry over and over again.

I know that my girls face an uncertain future . I know that they statistically run the risk of being abused and more than likely become the victims of crime because of their disability. I know they have been bullied as children and will be again as adults.

I know that this government like every government will pay lip service to the needs of disabled people whilst systematically deconstructing the structure of the system which tenuously supports them now.

I know that Society becomes more perfection focussed with every passing day and what little ground has been reclaimed for diversity  is being lost as we scramble to name and blame.

I know that. I know too that today I can’t stop crying because what I’m hoping for seems further away than it has ever been.

So today is one of the days a month where I let myself acknowledge the feeling of  hopelessness that has stood beside me since disability entered my life.

That hopelessness taps on my shoulder, when people driven by an odd agenda attribute motives to what I do that bear no relationship to the facts.

It also that surfaces whenever we go out with Emily and run the gauntlet of comments and stares and jeers and verbal abuse or spend time with people who ‘don’t get it’ and make helpful suggestions with little interest and the hopelessness that settles around my heart when I switch on my TV and watch smug cunts make jokes to baying crowds.

Disablism for money isn’t a noble pursuit irrespective of the costume of free speech you use to disguise it.

Loneliness is a bitch but I’m not sure I mind it all that much anymore.  It gives me more time to work on my money spinning misery memoir. 

Cash after all is the sole reason for disability according to David heartless fuck trumpet Cameron and his cabinet cronies.

My children according to some are my nest egg. Who’d have thought it eh?