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The demonisation of the disabled is a chilling sign of ..... - Carers UK Forum

The demonisation of the disabled is a chilling sign of .....

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Peter Greener endured a barrage of hate from his neighbour. Sometimes, it was eggs thrown at his house, stones thrown at his windows or paint thrown at his fence; more often, it was words hurled in his face]
Unfortunately, much blame rests on the shoulders of the media and certain parts of government. There has been a new dialogue over disability, characterised by the constant drip-drip of stories implying vast numbers of disability claimants are bogus, that benefits are doled out without proper checks and taxpayers fund free cars for thousands of children with minor behavioural disorders.

Read the articles and comments here
Horrible indeed. But I can honestly say that thankfully I dont come across this kind of hatred much in urban Scotland, and its a question I ask people all the time in my line of work. In every, say, 100 interviews with disabled people I might get two or three cases where people say they believe that they have been victimised or bullied, and usually in a very minor, petty way.

It is one thing to say, as this article does, that "there has been a significant increase in articles about "cheats", "scroungers" and "skivers" in the media." and it is another to prove that there may be a direct link to victimisation, or even that victimisation has directly increased. Broadly speaking there is much evidence that the trend is in the other direction. I think it more likely that it is just the Zeitgeist - as belts tighten, ignorant people always seem to blame the weak: immigrants, children, the poor and disabled, and newspapers pander to those fears.
[quote]...as belts tighten, ignorant people always seem to blame the weak]

I think it's both people and the media (the media is run by people after all), and by pandering to peoples' fears the media perpetuates, strengthens and causes them. However, I don't want to get into too much debate into who's to blame. I think we're all agreed that it's disgusting.
every time somebody asks me how my wife is disabled especially people around 40,i tell them she is 41 with alzheimers and other conditions ,the response is o' dear ,how do you cope and most people have the look of fear on their faces when they realise how fragile life is,i've only been called a scrounger once but he was an idiot.you know when you're entitled to high rate dla,when a 5 minute conversation with blackpool swaps you from low rate to high rate care,the reality of the situation kicks in then
This has come up on the forum in the past - very thought provoking article tackling the rise in disability hatred
The demonisation of the disabled is a chilling sign of the times - There is a climate of hostility towards people for whom life is already difficult and it is being fostered by politicians and journalists
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... t-disabled
The comments after this article are interesting. It is surprising just how many people are critical of David Cameron because he appears to have used his late son for media interest and a vote winner.
The reality of the my life as a Carer, and the life of my husband and elder son as disabled people hit home to me on the evening that my younger son died suddenly.We had to leave the hospital,I had to drive home 10 miles(still do not remember the drive,cannot think I was safe to drive),and then cook food because my registered blind husband and son who has Downs Syndrome, also both have type Diabetes and had to have food, otherwise I could had three dead family members. I couldn't just sit down and cry or scream. People(including a Dr),have said that it was better that way as I had something to do, but actually the grief is all starting to be really intense, 28 months later.
When my child died, I could not put myself first for even half an hour.
The biggest problem is ignorance.It is easy to lead a fool,hence leaders have always sought to influence those who they are envious of.They do not see the disability,only that they get benefits.Those same people do not see a black man or Pole who works hard,they only see the foreigners being given houses,benefits etc.Hitler did well with this,but our leaders wouldn`t act in this way,would they.Just to get elected,never.
People love to have something to hate,something to blame,something to kill and say "you deserved that for being...........different."It`s easier to hate than to understand,and it`s a great way to get the masses on your side.It`s gone on since man first thought,and will go on forever,because we all need someone to blame. Image
I bumped into an ex work colleaugue last Friday and the very first thing she said to me (after hello) was, Are you working then? i explained my husbands condition to her like i have every bloody time but she will just say the same thing the next time we "meet" She then proceeded to tell me that she is now a grandmother but that the baby has bronchitis at the mo so i wished him well. Coming away i realised she hasnt changed since we used to work together. (if someones child was ill they could have time off no question. She even let one of the mums run off out of the shop on our busiest day of the week across town to another store where her husband couldnt put the buggy down.) but the minute i mentioned there may be a change in my hubbys meds and so i MAY (not definately) but MAY need time off to help him i was asked why he couldnt manage on his own. She hasnt changed since we last worked together several years ago. She seems to think only mothers and children should get considered.
The rhetoric coming from the Government and the media only feeds these sorts of attitudes and enforces them.
Our society has never encouraged us to treat disability with simple acceptance. Only those intimately acquainted with disability or a disabled person learn the skills to treat people normally. Even our language reinforces the idea of separation, teaching us early on that some people ‘suffer’ a disability. Even the word itself.. ‘disabled’.. implies a person who doesn’t function, doesn’t work and therefore is useless. And we grow up with that idea.

With the best will in the world, the vast majority of us will avoid, where possible, interaction with anyone displaying any signs of being ‘less’ than normal. Where we do have to deal with ‘them’, there is a subtle panic that creeps in and we become over nice and over helpful to compensate. We may even have a moments pride that we handled it well.

Uncomfortable reading, isn’t it?

My son, just as an isolated example, in the two and a half years since he was attacked, in spite of displaying more guts than most of us have in our little fingers, in spite of being funny, quick witted, kind and caring, and a joy to spend time with ( well, most of the time anyway Image has seen the majority of his friends fade away, has been ignored in public, been prevented from accessing basic things and places, subjected to comments out of the blue which are simply nasty, and IS NOW ASHAMED to go out.

And we, the general public who will get up in arms over an article like the one posted above, WE have done this to him, and to thousands of others.

There will always be prejudice, of course. We do not live in a perfect world. I cannot excuse the inflammatory comments made in the Press nor the insidious condescension or ‘demonisation’ insidiously encouraged by Whitehall. But ‘they’ could not get away with it if we, the general public, didn’t permit it.