Friday, 18 November 2011
...look at Mother Nature on the run in the 21st century.
I have just read 'Rethinking Disability Policy' by Jenny Morris, a research paper published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and available here:
While I have long admired Jenny Morris and to a good extent have held her up as one of my heros, I'm a little disappointed in this paper. The words suck, eggs and teach come to mind. However, I must say it is a useful codification of how the present political dilemmas undermine disability rights and although she doesn't mention Tory ideology she tacitly refers to its destructiveness. BUT, most disabled people active in service user involvement today would be able to come up with more possible creative solutions – and perhaps more radical than Jenny's.
I think too, she is mistaken about how disabled activists are duped. Just one example encompasses 'personalisation' and 'co-production:'
Our expert user and carer group on 'Personalisation' is well aware of the misuse and misapplications the Department of Health and Norfolk County Council make of the principle and we make sure we lead on continually pointing out these aberrations while reinforcing the positive and accurate application of 'Personalisation' in our teaching sessions for health and local authority staff.
Co-production is naturally integral to the above activities. One of the enduring misapplications, particularly by the local authority, is that of the 'co' of the 'production' being presented as a 'uni' handed down policy to be just commented on by us. It is fast becoming standard practice to expect this and to stop it in its tracks by insisting that we work co-operatively on the original before we go any further. Facilitating meetings can be an expensive process and this kind of hiccup can make local government officers think twice about attempting to manipulate the process. I know of one occasion where a referral back to the originating committee was necessary. These are powerful messages that disabled people are no mugs.
I obviously agree that the survival and continuation of the full Welfare State must be promoted but we have (as just one facebook network confirms) more than enough creative thinkers and political activists to do this. What is missing is co-production to speak with one voice.