Sunday, 11 January 2015

Sue Marsh -The blogger, blogged.

"Friends, journos, activists Lend me your ears I come here to bury Sue Marsh not to praise her"

Or rather I would, if I was of a judgemental persuasion. And I'm not, so I won't.

As we all know by now, Sue has decided to accept a job with Maximus and the reaction by some in the disability activism community on line, can best be summed up in the words of another Maximus "I will have my vengeance". many are angry and giving vent to their rage.

I'm writing not about Sue's decision, but about the response to her decision. All I can say is it wouldn't be my decision, but I'm not Sue and neither is anyone else. She's explained her reasons in her blog which she didn't have to do, either.

But she did and the backlash has demonstrated why she must have agonised before making her choice.

The problem with the on line abuse is that it negates a reasoned discussion around changing the system from within. Whilst everyone is still too shocked and confused they may lose sight of the fact that we can't negate the efficacy of Sue's new job, until some time has passed and she is able to have the chance to effect change.

It's too soon to decry this out of hand.

People feel so hurt and wounded by the system and its hand maidens and they have every right to these feelings. What isn't a right is to dictate the life choices of others, removing their autonomy over their own lives. That's what we've all been fighting against ultimately.

Neither do we have the right to spread rumours and gossip, any of us, no matter how angry. I've been sent some of this after I spoke out against the verbal abuse targeting Sue. I don't read it and it doesn't change the fact that Sue has made her decision.

I don't listen to gossip. If we take a stand against the propaganda waged against sick and disabled people and carers in the tabloids, then we must apply those same rules to ourselves by not furthering opinion dressed as fact. Otherwise we get into bed with those who tout the notion of us "all being in this together"

Verbal abuse no matter what the reason behind it, is wrong, destructive and damaging. I've endured many savaging verbal attacks on line by those who claim to know my reasons, motivations and feelings and they don't. These are opinions but when these are touted as fact it just looks like angry gossip.

I like Sue on a personal level and I wish her well. She has endured a great deal and has continued. We've benefited from her writing and her campaigning and irrespective of whether we agree with her choices or not, I feel she deserves at least to be free from targeted verbal abuse.

We all do.