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Crippen looks at the experience of protest gained by disabled people

A Day of Mourning for the Welfare State, Justice and Equality has been arranged to co-incide with the royal wedding on Friday 29th April, 2011 at 1400 hrs. This is just one of the expressions of outrage being expressed by people effected by the cuts to education, housing, public transport, the NHS, the Welfare State and much more.

Whilst bankers and speculators celebrate another year of profit and Tory and LibDem politicians congratulate themselves on having continued to fool the vast majority of the public, students and school children, teachers and lecturers, trades unionists, disabled activists, mums and dads, grandparents, NHS staff, public transport workers, Local Government workers, etc., all continue to unite their voices in protest.

Disabled people are also taking to the streets like never before, fighting back against the claims that they are responsible for the state that the country is in by fraudulantly claiming benefits that they are not entitled to. Scapegoated once again by a government determined to distract people away from where the blame really lies. Which is why they view this royal wedding as such a good thing - more televised opiate for the masses!

Regular Crips, who used to look at Disabled activists as a different species altogether are now joining with us to protest against the unfairness of the government's slash and burn tactics. We need this new energy that these newcomers are bringing to the fight. Many of us, having been protesting and fighting for Civil Rights for more years than we care to remember welcome this infusion of new blood.

Unfortunately though, not all protesters see things this way. Although united in their stand against the ConDem's devisive policies, many non-disabled protesters still don't understand that Disabled people have just as much right to protest as they do. This has manifested itself in inaccessible venues being chosen for protest meetings, no provision being made to allow us to transcribe information into alternative formats, no accessible transport being arranged to travel with others to different areas of the country, etc.

If anything, we have more right to be on the front lines of this current period of protest. We've been the ones, albeit not receiving much coverage in the press, who have been fighting consistently against oppression in these forms since the first World War. We are the one's who, having amassed a great deal of knowledge around civil disobedience campaigns can bring a whole wealth of experience to this current fight.

We're not asking for 'special' allowances to be made, just that our right to protest with other members of society is acknowledged. Because, let's face it, this is basically what we're all protesting about anyway - the right for everyone to be treated equally, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, impairment, age or ethnicity and with full access to education, housing, health care, employment and retirement without a few fat cats siphoning off all the cream!

To all of you non-disabled protesters out there, look upon Disabled people as a resource, rich in experience and networked into thousands of other Crips all around the world.

Together we can change society into a fairer, more equal place to live.

Posted by Dave Lupton, 29 November 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 10 November 2012

Crippen is confused about the sudden appearance of 7 billion pounds

Excuse me for seeming a little confused here, but hasn't the Prime Minister just been telling us how little money we have and that we're all going to have to tighten our belts and that Disabled people have to accept benefit cuts to the tune of 12 billion pounds ...?!

So, what's with this sudden appearance of seven billion that is going to be paid into the Irish banks as a token of the "particular economic relationship" that exists?

I suppose the key word here is 'economic'. This government has convinced itself that we are in effect 'useless eaters' and a terrible burden upon society - especially as most of us are supposed to be fiddling the system anyway - and that we are therefore far from being an economical asset!

You don't have to read between the lines any more. The ConDems are writing it large that unless we can contribute in a meaningful way (and for meaningful read productive) then we are a burden to their big society. You can almost hear the jackboots marching down Whitehall can't you!

So, perhaps we should invaded the Isle of Wight, set up an independent Cripdom, max out all of our credit cards, borrow even more money, and then we can ask the government for a nice big payout to get ourselves out of the red?!

Works for me.

Posted by Dave Lupton, 22 November 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 10 November 2012

Crippen looks at compensation being paid to ALL detainees

UK citizens who were detained illegally at the US run Guantanamo prison in Cuba are to be paid millions of pounds compensation by the British Government.

And quite right to. Innocent people being locked away in an inhospitable place, away from their families and friends and all because they appear different to the rest of society should be compensated.

For someone to be denied their place in society and to be incarcerated in a place not of their own choosing must be a terrible experience to undergo. Imagine being treated as though you were not safe enough to be let out into mainstream society. Imagine having your right to a decent education, to travel where you want and socialise where you want taken away from you. Being kept segregated from family and friends and having your Civil Rights abused in more ways than we could imagine.

Thousands of Disabled people are being detained in this country under these very conditions. With no accessible alternative housing being made available to them, other than the care homes they currently reside in. Run and controlled by charities, many of these places are no further forward in their thinking than the work houses of the last century.

Unless we fight for the rights of our Disabled brothers and sisters who are being detained in this way, we are as bad as those who lock people up and throw away the key.

'Free Our People' (and a bit of compensation for them wouldn't go amiss either!)

For more information you can contact the Direct Action Network (DAN) by clicking on this link.

Posted by Dave Lupton, 16 November 2010

Last modified by Dave Lupton, 16 November 2010

Crippen looks at the new definition of the word ‘Fairness’

People who live in Residential Care Homes are clearly disabled by any definition and even the Sun, despite their current smear campaign aimed at disabled people (see last week’s blog) can’t claim that they are not!

However, the ConDem’s have included those of us who live in care homes as part of their attack on the Welfare State. They are going to withdraw the DLA Mobility Component from our benefits.

This means that those of us who reside in Care Homes and are buying wheelchairs and scooters through the Motability scheme will be unable to continue with the payments and as a result will lose these essential aids to our mobility. Those of us who use the Mobility Component to pay for taxis and other forms of accessible transport will also have this service denied.

Discussing this with Sir Bert Massie, former Chair of the Disability Rights Commission, he explained that people in care homes are allowed to keep £22.30 for themselves. Add to this the DLA Component of £49.85 and this provides them with a total of £72.15.

Bert went on to explain: “But when we consider the amount of income that people in Care Homes will be losing in percentage terms after these cuts, this group of Disabled people will face a drop of about 66% in their net income. This will be the highest new tax rate imposed upon anyone in the government’s Budget!”

Later, talking to one of my whistle blowers within the Leonard Cheshire care home system, she told me that she’d also heard that those residents who are rich enough to pay their own care fees are actually being allowed to keep the Mobility Component of their DLA!

So there we have it folks, something concrete with which to beat the Prime Minister and his cronies over the head with; two clear examples that show that despite the claim that the Budget is fair, for Disabled people it is most definitely not!

Just think, we could have found the Achilles heel that will result in the collapse of this corrupt government. Nice one Bert!

Posted by Dave Lupton, 6 November 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 7 November 2010

Crippen is told that most Crips are not really disabled at all!

The Daily Mail, the Express and the Sun seem to have been competing in order to see which of them can persuade the most readers that the majority of Disabled people in the UK are not really disabled at all.

In their collective opinion most people claiming disability related benefits are not disabled, they are in fact scroungers and work shy benefit cheats and should be made to work for their money, the same as every other member of society.

Somehow, the suggestion that a few non-disabled people have been fraudulently claiming disability benefits has allowed these right wing rags to direct the outrage of their readers NOT at the non-disabled benefit cheats, but at disabled people generally.

Unfortunately a great number of the readers of these right wing publications tend to believe what they are told and as a consequence have moved us from being seen as objects of pity and therefore worthy of their support, into the people who are the real cause of the UK’s current financial problems.

Still, I suppose it’s an improvement of sorts when we no longer have to put up with their usual patronizing and condescending manner whenever they write about us!

As an ironic aside to this cartoon I’ve just received a news update that tells me that the Ministry of Defence has nearly tripled the number of rehabilitation beds available for severely wounded soldiers from Afghanistan to accommodate a sharp rise in the number of soldiers who have lost one or more limbs in the conflict.

Incidentally, I've not heard if they'll be increasing resources for those service personnel that have been traumatized by the war in other, non physical ways. They tend to keep a lid on information that concerns our brothers and sisters who return from the war zones diagnosed with a mental illness.

Posted by Dave Lupton, 5 November 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 5 November 2010