HELLO THERE!

HELLO THERE!
WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.
--- HEDDWCH

Protest, Norwich Job Centre

Protest, Norwich Job Centre
Fatso Gets Militant!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

NTUC 2012 - Pulling together to achieve more

Was the title of the meeting at the Abbey Conference Centre, Saturday 7th July. Heading up (temp.) the new NCODP Campaign Group, I went.

The opening speaker, Clive Lewis - Norwich South Parliamentary Candidate for The Labour Party, set the scene: “Pulling together, unity is power - it is essential that all of us: political parties; trades unions; campaign organisations; voluntary organisations; community groups; members of the public - all of us should work together.”

For about the next two hours and about four more speakers, I thought I was at a Labour Party convention. Total narrow party insularity x total blinkering to anyone or anything else. Brilliant speech by Owen Jones (http://owenjones.org/about/) though.

Later, the People’s Charter workshop was good (www.thepeoplescharter.org) and I’ve contacted them to see if I can get more information for our NCODP group.

In the afternoon following a few more speakers, I found myself in a Red - Green debate: Clive Lewis again, Neal Lawson - Chair of Compass and a Green Party Norwich councillor, Dr Rupert Read.

At the start of the debate I took the chance to protest that this was all about political parties, especially a narrow focus on the Labour Party and not about “Pulling Together” as the title of the conference proclaimed, and that there had been no speaker from a voluntary or community organisation. I reminded the floor about the essential need to work with disabled people and of the existence of NCODP.

In the last workshop I was floored.

Marcus Roberts - Deputy General Secretary of The Fabian Society gathered us together and set out the results of what he said was a poll about which problems are most important for the Labour Party to prove they can resolve if they are to win the next election. The top three, he said, are:

Housing
Immigration
“Benefits Scroungers”

I set out in detail how thousands of disabled people are being as near as damnit destroyed by the benefits and local authority cuts, AND HOW THOSE PEOPLE ARE BEING FURTHER DEVASTATED BY THE STIGMA OF ‘SCROUNGER’ MYTHS AND LIES DRUMMED UP BY THE GOVERNMENT AND PROMOTED BY THE MEDIA. I THEN POINTED OUT THE REINFORCEMENT OF THAT STIGMA CREATED BY THE FABIANS’ POLICY STATEMENTS.

I proposed the Fabians should adopt a policy of positively combating the myths and lies about all disabled people being ‘benefits scroungers.’ I think Marcus Roberts noted what I said but I wouldn’t be sure.


As a last slap in the face, just before the final plenary of the conference I needed to go to the toilet. At the Abbey Conference Centre, the disabled toilet is in the old manor house which means a wheelchair trip across an uneven courtyard and up a couple of small steps. I made the trip.

When I got to the old manor house it was locked!!!!!!!!

I told the conference organiser. I then had to race home, missing the plenary!

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Bweebideebobbida

Bweebideebobbida
The Tough Tenor (when I could walk)!

In a Mellotone

In a Mellotone
Ah sweet Youffff