Now the Independent Living Fund has closed, I would be foolish if I did not say I was not a little nervous about the future of my support, but I have and will always be nervous about any assessment, because they all have an element of uncertainty even when there is little to worry about. I also understand any change leads to concern, and it is important to stay calm, and stick with the facts, as no news is good news.
It is however apparent that many disabled activists do not share my ‘don’t panic’ approach, as for the last few years they have spread endless misinformation about the fund’s closure. If you believe the newspapers, I should now be living in a 1960s style residential institution where I am guaranteed to be abused, or as the Telegraph just recently described, getting help a few minutes at a time throughout the day from incompetent care workers. The likelihood of either situation coming true is near to zero, and I will eat my helmet if it does!
I believe there is a deliberate campaign to ensure the transfer of fund either fails or is seen to fail. We are not just talking about the militant activists, who managed to get away with storming parliament, an act of terrorism, because the police appear to regard them as harmless children, but also leading academics and even members of parliament. I am saddened by Tom Shakespeare’s premature and heavily bias published research on the closure, a week before it actually closed, based on the ‘viewpoints’ of 12 carefully selected users, which paints a picture of distress and incompetence.
Why is public money allowed to be use to attack the government, turning the transfer into a platform for socialist rhetoric, when no one is actually helping users on the ground to navigate the transfer? I once again stand by my claim that I am involved in the one and only service prepared to help users, ILF Assist, which has not received any funding, support or recognition from any of the many government over-funded ‘user led’ organisations that appear to want and need to cause distress in this area.
I am formally suggesting in this article that there is a systematic campaign to cause distress to ILF users, through deliberate misinformation and scaremongering, where their victory is measured in the number of suicides they can cause, which they can blame on the ‘heartless’ government. None of these activists appear to be interested to support users with understanding how social care work, and how to keep the support they need. Instead, the message is the transfer has failed before it has started, and ILF users deserve red carpet treatment in preference to any other users, and maybe should not even be properly assessed indefinitely.
While I had indeed benefited from the middle class elitism the fund offered, I hope I am less selfish than those who have acted like spoilt brats with their recent campaigning, that appears to be continuing on a never ending basis for the foreseeable future. I also know that ‘independent living’ is being used to justify how the funds have been used by parents and others in a manner that may be seen as abusive, a side of the story that is still waiting to be told as the next scandal for the public to act surprised about.
It saddens me that to ensure the success of the transfer for every user involved, I have to fight against disabled activists, who seem desperate to cause as much misery and distress as they can to make themselves and their rhetoric heard. Where and when did all this go so horribly wrong?