#LetsTalkAbout Race; A white perspective on Challenging Rising Racism

Two articles in The Guardian caught my eye this week, the first considers a rush by Ofsted to tackle extremism in education as being “symptomatic of a political frenzy born of hatred“; the second is the editorial identifying “an overlooked report shows that employers trying to fill low-paid jobs draw migrants to the UK“.

Both of these posts allude to the current establishment revealing their true attitudes and apparently, despite the numerous changes to Law over of the past 50 or so years, the Elite along with I suggest many others, still hold Racist beliefs. Whilst this may not in itself seem shocking, I’d go so far to suggest it could with some work by us all, prove positive!

On the surface, this claim from a white woman may well seem plain wrong but please bear with me. I’ve argued for years that it’s so much easier to positively challenge sexist (and later ableist) attitudes and behaviour when they’re overt, rather than when ‘hidden’ under a façade of politically correct language and I suggest this might be the same for dealing with racism. Personally I much prefer to demonstrate how prejudicial attitudes are founded in mythology by use of facts and evidence, but this requires the challenger to hold the data and the holder of the prejudices to ‘own’ them, namely to say what they think and when such notions are however subtly obscured, this is much harder.

From my professional experience I understand that often people, of all self defined Races, find it hard to positively challenge Racism, for reasons  which are as variable as the people themselves. The classic argument for why people hold onto prejudice is usually summarised as being  ‘fear’ of the unknown, which has given rise to the raft of educational projects around difference, sharing experiences and stereotyping; but after half a Century of such, surely its time to acknowledge these soft approaches have only made the slightest impact.

The UK urgently needs a new way to talk about Race,  its now obvious the way of the recent past way, a refusal to acknowledge and discuss anything other than positive examples of so called cohesion has failed. The reality is Racism, along with all other prejudicial sentiments, not only exists but is thriving, and I believe this has gone some way to enable the rise in support for Right Wing Politics once again becoming mainstream, albeit wrapped up in UKIP.

The fundamental beliefs of segregation, obedience, and a natural order are not compatible with the world today, fortunately too many of us have been educated beyond the ideals of the local Lord and Squire; yet it is that world we are nonchalantly strolling backwards towards. We allow the Government to remove our freedom to education, movement, health and even a home, via electing those who would deny us such unless we have enough fiscal worth, and all the while blaming the worlds ills on immigration?

Perhaps I’m Naive, but I can’t accept this return to ignorance, feudalism and life by lottery of birth is what people really want; but if I’m correct then those of us opposing such must step up and accept, we have a large role to play.  Racism as we’re seeing above only occurs when the perpetrators feel safe, and they believe they have an audience to support them. It is our responsibility to let them know they are wrong.

For this reason, the fact that the aftermath of Operation Trojan Horse may as Zoe Williams suggests become this Governments Section 28 moment, offers opportunities for real challenges to Racism. Taking this a step further “the saga of the Hungarian sandwich-makers” and the totally hypocritical stance of Government, on of the scandal of business owners actively recruiting migrant low paid workers, is another argument that demonstrates how the establishment thinks about Race.

Both the articles indicate how Race and indeed all isms, are still thriving among those in Power.  Whilst this is illegal, immoral and downright unacceptable, the fact this perspective is once again becoming  open, offers us an excellent opportunity to unreservedly challenge these prejudices, preventing yet more Discrimination. Unless we really desire a return to the ‘good’ old days, we with any privilege left must use it and challenge this Racism as the vile bigotry it is.

Thanks to MHealth Extremist @wildwalkerwoman for editing xxx

 

 

 

 

IMAGINE – All disabled and young people Voting?!

Imagine if  15 MILLION disabled people and young people all registered and voted in May 2015?!

That’s the aim of Two different campaigns, Operation Disabled Vote has set up a web page aiming to ensure as many of the 11 Million disabled people in the UK are registered, ready to participate in Election 2015. If you need more reasons to refister/vote visit  DISABILITY COUNTS

The TUC are working with Bite The Ballot to reach the 4 Million UK young people, eligible to vote next year but who are unregistered.

FIFTEEN Million people, all who have been discrimnated against by the current regime. ready and willing to participate in electing the next Government; what would the outcome be?

My guess, is Not another Tory/right wing Government?

I don’t know what the make up of a Parliament elected in disadvantaged people will look like, but it surely would be more democratic, fairer and willing to engage; particularly as MPs would know, we won’t tolerate more of the same.

If You are not registered or you know someone who isn’t Visit  Operation Disabled Vote / Bite the Ballot   DISABILITY COUNTS   or pass the message on today….

…Go On Imagine??

Testimonial – DEAEP Training Works

What great News, another success story for DEAEP… btw the customer was awarded PIP Care & Mobility

Was training really worth the time and effort?

A couple of months ago I participated in DEAEP Leicester’s Peer Support in Action course which was very eye opening to say the least.

Was this training really necessary? Was I going to learn anything? Would the course content be relevant?

After this week’s WRAG meeting in Leicester and todays tribunal in Nottingham Yes, Yes and Yes.  Three answers that say it all.

With out this professional training and support from the DEAEP staff the two clients I represented would of stood no chance in attaining the results they really deserved.

So if like me you think that representing and supporting people who are scared of losing their meagre benefits just because they are disabled or vulnerable and need someone to stand along side them and give them a voice and support…..

Read the Rest at Was training really worth the time and effort?

Goodbye Welfare State

A reminder as we near the END

jaynelinney

Good bye Welfare State, you served us well for 60 years but, now in a world that no longer believes in anything but money, you have no place.

Welfare only survives when people have compassion, and individuals feel they have a purpose and opportunities; not in a Country who people have for years been repeatedly told, ‘to climb the ladder you have to step on those below you’.

This is the position of people in the UK in 2013, those without wealth are convinced that ‘it is not their fault (which it isn’t) but, it is the fault of those scroungers, malingerers and downright liars, (which it isn’t either). The people are fed this lie daily through the TV, radio, press, and advertising media every time they come into contact with any of this group.

It takes a lot of time and energy to not to become dragged into this…

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How DEAEP helped Former soldier with ESA Claim

One of the long term cases we are dealing with at  DEAEP  is Burt, he initially came to us for help in January 2014, a deterioration of his health had left him unable to work and in October 2013 he’d claimed ESA. He received an award in January and he’d been placed into WRAG, his range of physical and mental health difficulties were such it was clear he was in the wrong group, therefore  he we supported him submit a mandatory reconsideration (MR) claim to be moved into the Support Group.

In October 2014, Burt received the letter informing him his 365 limit for NI contribution based ESA was ending, so we reapplied for Income based ESA including up to date health information from his specialists demonstrating his further health deterioration.  He was immediately re-awarded and the decision maker had again placed him in WRAG, ergo we resubmitted a MR for inclusion into the Support group.

A fortnight ago Burt received a mandatory Work-focussed interview for today, which we arranged to attend at, and everything was running smoothly until Friday when he received another two letters; one for him to attend a conditionality interview on the following day (Saturday) and the second was the start date for him to begin The Work Programme with A4 on Thursday this week!

Burt immediately phoned the DWP and said he could not possibly get to the JobCentre the next day, but he would be attending today; the call centre operator said this was fine and she believed the letters to be duplicates and to ignore them!

We attended Burt’s interview with him this morning, and after the interviewer explained the reasons for the meeting today, (the changes under Welfare Reform) we entered into a debate as to why Burt was not fit for work. We explained how Burt’s Army induced PTSD and Depression, along with his crushed Spine, Osteoarthritis, Chronic Sciatica and Emphysema; meant he is in constant pain and is fatigued from perpetual Nightmares. Fortunately the personal advisor (PA) we met with was not only willing to listen, she was also suffering from disillusionment with Welfare Reform; she shared with us that before the changes, she as his PA, had the authority to decide which group Burt ought to be in, and in her opinion he should be in the support group. When we asked if there were any approximate  time scales for  MR she said No but the decision makers were still considering our request submitted in January!

She then cancelled  the Conditionality interview and completed the Work Programme Action plan, which was due to be filled at Thursdays appointment, with the statement “customer will respond to or attend all appointments booked by work coach or external advisors“; this allowing either Burt or ourselves the option to advise A4 of non-attendance, until such time the decision makers determine the mandatory reconsideration request.

For me there are Three key points arising from this experience:

The Personal Advisor is the one who communicates directly with the customer, therefore they are best paced to determine which group ESA claimants should be in?

There are far too many  ‘sections’ (14 according to the PA today) in the JobCentre, all dealing with small parts of the ‘customers journey’, and as with Burt, claimants can be called in for each separate part; this causes major difficulties for sick,  disabled and financially vulnerable claimants and obvious confusion for call centre staff. Claimants should have One PA who manages their claims for beginning to end?

Some staff at JobCentre are as sick of the ludicrous outcomes of Welfare Reform as we are, and are trying doing their job; but they’re not medically trained and therefore are not be best paced to make such vital decisions.

If anyone finds themselves in similar situations and would like support please contact us at DEAEP, we’re here to help.

 

 

People starving to death in the UK – on David Cameron’s doorstep

If there was Ever a reason to have Iain Duncan Smith, the Minister responsible for these disasters Investigated – it is THIS?

#IDS These Deaths are YOUR Responsibility
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/investigate-ids-for-lies

Pride's Purge

 (not satire – it’s the UK today!)

Austerity kills. It killed Mark Wood and it killed David Clapson. Both starved to death as a direct consequence of the coalition government’s austerity programme. Both were vulnerable adults who starved alone, bewildered at being punished by those they thought were helping them.

The two people closest to these victims will share a platform on 27 November in Witney, David Cameron’s constituency. Cathie Wood, the sister of Mark Wood, and Gill Thompson, the sister of David Clapson, will demand to know why their brothers died at the hands of the state. They are determined that other vulnerable people should not share their brothers’ fate, victims of an inhuman political ideology.

“We are sticking to the task. But that doesn’t just mean making difficult decisions on public spending. It also means something more profound. It means building a leaner, more efficient state. We need…

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If Fear Is Truly Inseparable From Respect, Then – And Only Then – IDS Has My Respect

This post has left me in a real quandary, I totally understand what the writer is saying and in the most agree but…Fear IDS, NO; for me this is not an option. I cannot fear a man I accept is a psychopathic Liar, I acknowledge his deranged attitudes and I recognise his Sociopathic behaviour; therefore I do not fear him, but instead choose to loathe him and everything he purports to ‘believe’ in

I’m Saying NO and Demanding #IDSTimeForTruth

TheCritique Archives

by Martin Odoni

It is a common claim among egomaniacs, at least when simplistically portrayed in TV and movie dramas about the Mafia, that for people to respect you, they have to fear you. As followers of my blog will be aware from previousposts, I have up until now felt no respect at all for the Work & Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan-Smith. But if, as the movies insist, fear is a fundamental part of respect, then that has now changed. This week, I started quite genuinely to fear Iain Duncan-Smith.

Of course, I have long felt terror and despair at the fact of a man of such breathtakingly obvious ineptitude holding a high office. I am confident that I am in a majority there. But the man himself has so far been an object of maddening ridicule, not terror. There are times when I hear him flapping about helplessly in public interviews…

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Political Fury and Personal Responsibility

Once again I’m finding it difficult to sit down and write, I’m finding myself inundated with the appalling tales of life in the UK today; this week I’ve internally wept (there is a reason why only internally, but that is a tale for another day) as I read of IDS laughing  as a rape victim was forced to defend her right to feel safe in her own home as it was debated a PMQ. I Squealed when the DWP refuted hard evidence of people using foodbanks due to Benefit issues and this fury continued as the blogs I follow come in to my inbox daily with stories of people suffering or even dying.

Today we all got up to, unless of you stayed up to watch,  the news the UKIP have their second MP. I freely admit  I have a problem with this; I really do not understand why anyone would want a Government of a) the same as now but worse or b) a Right Wing Government many of our grandparents went to war to fight?

Why oh Why are people, often those detrimentally affected by the Policies and behaviour of the Coalition, not supporting the fight back?

As l regular readers will know I’ve spent my life, campaigning against injustice, prejudice and discrimination; I’ve also been responsible along with Debbie Sayers for the #TruthCampaign –  our efforts to have Iain Duncan Smith forced to answer for the discriminatory Policies of the Welfare Reform Act.

Last year over 500.000 people signed to have him held to account by the select committee, and he was; now we want more we are demanding Kathryn Hudson, the Parliamentary Commissioner For Standards,  investigate him for persistently misleading both Parliament and the Public, But…for some reason getting the signatures is proving problematic, I’m unsure if it is because people don’t get why it is important,  they think its not worth doing or they just aren’t bothered?

Whatever the reasons people are not signing IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES, I will keep pushing; I believe, an investigation of IDS would prove a catalyst for ensuring both the Tories and Labour to rethink their proposals for their Election Manifesto. If we can show Ministers will be held personally responsible for the fallout of  discriminatory, unfair and downright deadly Policies, I doubt they’d be as keen to continue to blame us.

If you agree with anything here, please continue to share our petition and let’s take some our of power  back.

Sign Up to the #TruthCampaign  Tweet #IDSTimeForTruth

the texture of water and faulty batteries.

If you Suffer from Chronic Fatigue or Brain Fog – You might well recognise this
.
A short story to help explain the Pain of Depression from my Wonderful Daughter – Nix xx

Jickinayne

Ever tried to describe the texture of water to someone?

Or the sensation of light?

It’s almost impossible isn’t it?

It’s a bit like that when you are trying to explain chronic pain and fatigue to a healthy person; And when you try to explain the the turbulent relationship of these symptoms and a recurring or constant mental heath problem and you might as well be describing the aforementioned analogies to a bat, in Latin.

However I shall attempt to try (not in Latin by the way).

Imagine your body as a car, you have a battery that works all the electronics; they are your brain and your nerves: you have a radiator that regulates the temperature, you have lights that are the like your thought processes and so on.

Now when the car battery is beginning to ware out, it struggles to keep its charge.

If you are not…

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It’s time to unite, not to advocate more boundary changes

I’ve called for disabled/sick people to come together regularly through my blogs; this is a great summary of the reasons why we should Unite and Not allow the rhetoric of Gov or anyone else to divide us.

Making rights make sense

A quick reply to Sue Marsh’s important post earlier today.

People cannot exist, let along get on in life, while enduring grinding poverty. And one needs only look at levels of poverty and material deprivation among disabled people to recognise that in the UK and internationally the right to live life free of poverty is rarely realised.  People are absolutely right to oppose the reforms underway because they are not doing anything to alleviate or eradicate poverty.  The current programme of welfare reform is in fact making matters worse.  That – in my personal view – is not a matter for debate.

What is a matter for debate is setting out a viable alternative and how to win the political and public argument for it.   A few principles that I suspect – hope – we all agree on:

People with impairments and health conditions:

  • Have the right…

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