Tags: benefits, blindness, carers, carersuk, carerwatch, disability, disability living allowance, dpac, employment support allowance, hardest hit, Pat's Petition, personal independence payment, spartacus report, universal credit, welfare reform
The Best Birthday Present you can give me – YOUR SUPPORT
SIGN HERE – PATS PETITION
There are a couple of very important dates rushing towards me. Oh yes I will be having a birthday – a big one. It has the numbers 0 and 6 in it and I leave you to put them in the right order. Of course, like so many others of my vintage, I have to wait a few more years util I actually ‘retire’ . That will be my new job description – ‘retired’. Forms where I used to leave blank because there wasn’t a category ‘disabled’ or ‘carer’ will now be completed in the usual way. ‘Retired’.’ On the same day will be my little granddaughter’s 1st birthday.
As if these 2 occasions weren’t enough yet another birthday awaits me. It will soon be one year since I, and 6 other ladies, joined together to discuss welfare reform and the idea of a petition was raised. Some of us had attended Hardest Hit events but we knew so many others had been unable to attend. This petition was for them and everyone else.
12 months ago my first blog telling you all how and why we started Pat’s Petition and there is my granddaughter at just a few weeks old. My hopes for a better future for her.- How time has flown.
In those early days the 7 of us wrote to hundreds of organisations. Big ones, small ones and tiny ones. Every signature was one nearer that goal. One nearer getting the possibility of a debate. In just 9 weeks, on New Years Eve in fact, we reached 10,000. Support was wonderful.
We all worked so hard with no resources – sometimes ill health, our own disability or caring for a loved one – prevented us from doing much. But work hard we did.
Some groups would not support us. ‘Too political’ they said. I haven’t a political bone in my body. All I knew was the effects all these cuts were going to have on so many in society and I had to do something to prevent this happening. Other groups fiddled around the edges with so called support. Pat’s Petition would appear in some far flung corner of a web page or facebook. Lost unless you really hunted for it. These were the ‘big guns’ who really should have pulled out all the stops to give it the publicity it deserved.
To give people a choice – choice to sign if they felt as strongly as we did.
Those who did publicise it were many and varied. Grassroots groups, charities, from my own MP, MSP and GP. Bishops wrote kind words. Unionists, bakers, nurses and oh so so many, many more.
Even in those early weeks people were starting to feel something of what lay ahead. It was frightening as the cuts started to bite. Yet there were still far too many who said ‘I’m alright – it’s not going to happen to me‘ – IT WILL
Give it a little more time and you will be saying -
‘Why didn’t someone stop these horrendous cuts to all our services?
How could the Coalition be allowed to get away with it?’
Believe me you ain’t seen anything yet. Once the new Personal Independence Payment comes in and so many will find themselves with no disability allowances, No car to mobilise them to work, hospital appointments, shops or friends. No home care from social works. The NHS won’t be able to cope and admissions will be few. What is being called ‘minor’ cataract operations – hip or knee replacements – none of these will happen.
You think of a way cuts to disabled people and their carers can be made, and they will cut it. These cuts will be so sly, deep and irreversible the damage will have been done.
Where are those who should be stopping this monster from taking our very existance and squeezing it dry?
Where are those that should be standing up for us? Nope they aren’t there.
It is up to you now. You can help stop this ‘Perfect Storm.’
Together we can put a halt this attrocity. Together we can make this government listen to us. Together we can show we will not be walked all over, ignored, humiliated and lied too.
March on the streets. Rally with others. Write to your MP - do any or all of these things BUT also join over 42,000 others who have signed Pat’s Petition.
Once you have signed share the details with friends and contacts.
Petition details here
Twitter - @patspetition