The upcoming election has a lot to do with being disabled in numerous ways, but what is with me most tonight is a genuine sense of panic of the hatred of people like me I will feel represented in every right wing vote.
Under the last years of this government, the discrimination and detestation of the disabled population has increased dramatically, fueled largely due to Tory policies and the right wing press naming us as scroungers who were of course faking everything for the millions of pounds and all those free cars. Today someone – a middle aged man – walked straight into me deliberately, punching his fist into my arm. No apology. He kept on walking. And I was too scared to challenge him.
Rather than a functioning number of the populous, we have become viewed as an insidious, disgusting entity, sucking money and resources out, without giving anything back, and simply rolling around with happiness. The reality is of course that people have died due to PIP cuts and changes, that social care cuts have left millions without support, and that the NHS is now so crippled it makes me look like an Olympic runner.
I am genuinely terrified. I cannot see how it is possible to survive under a more brutal atmosphere than already constructed for another five years. The attitude towards disabled people makes me feel unworthy to even be here; it makes me feel paranoid of being spied on, worried my every move might prove me “not disabled enough” to show how ill I am. And gosh I wish those thoughts came from PTSD bit they really don’t. They come from years of an environment rippled with hatred and fear and anger directed in the wrong direction, spiraled cleverly and sprinkled with little words like “strong” and “stable” to make sure none of it could be the governments fault. Just those people in the corner. They’re very expensive those people.
It’s been hard for all of time to be disabled. But in the UK disabled people are living in worse conditions than ever and things cannot get better without change.
Please. If you know someone who is disabled, who needs social care, who needs health care, who needs free prescriptions, who needs mental health support, who can’t afford private health insurance, who needs to be respected as a human being by their government – vote Labour tomorrow.