So it seems I’m on the warpath. It also appears that if you want to change things, you have to work very hard to get it done. And hope your adversaries are willing to at least listen for one second to what you have to say.
Is it worth it? Not if your voice is cut off before the first vowel leaves your lips. It is worth it, however, if or when your input is evaluated and rationalized as such that your opponent understands quite clearly what you mean.
It’s true that we live in a society where politicians say all and citizens very little. The why and the wherefore of their actions often need to be repeatedly discussed on TV, in newspapers and in the salons of hairdressers, tea parties, and our own living rooms.
As an avid reader of online journals, I sometimes find myself ‘trying to stay in the game’ as it were. That’s when I realise that politics is a gigantic game of semantics. I try to learn from what I read and try to do my best to remember everything, something that’s not always easy to do. So I read more about it, and the following day more again.
Absolutely, my eyes could do without all that staring at online newspapers. My heart could definitely do without it. I’ve too many weak spots that catch my eyes. Human rights. Animal rights. Rights for nature and for those unable to defend themselves. Rights for the more fragile or most vulnerable in society so.
Like that, my soft spot for wanting to defend the rights of people with disabilities in Ireland went smoother still on Monday. I realised that a part of their (and my) monthly income is to be suspended from next week onwards. Billie in attack-the-ministerial-mailboxes-again mode so.
Online activism is something not everyone has time or energy for, so surely disabled people who don’t have internet access somewhere in far away Irish hills are wondering what will happen to that loss of finances next week. Do those who need to decide to have an answer to their needs? Will it be replaced by something awful, will they still be eligible? Will the government say ‘no, you’ve had more than enough already?’
Like you dear reader, I am at this moment still unaware of what will happen. When our government decided back in February that the mobility allowance was, in fact, illegal on age-discriminatory grounds, they said a new scheme would be in place before the old one runs out. We’re one week away from the end of the old mobility system, yet everyone is still in the dark about the promised new, more inclusive scheme.
That’s where my impatience if it is impatience, starts running out. I need the allowance to get me out of the house occasionally. The odd visit to the theatre, cinema and grocery shopping was funded since the mobility allowance provides money for cabs, etc. , but it also goes on paying house bills, food, and basic needs. Some people rely on the provision for similar things, and perhaps they also use it for medical bills. I only wished I had more massage sessions while it was still funded; we all know that disability is never cured with one pill alone.
Patience almost gone – the gift of the gab activated. Into Word, I climbed so on Monday to start formulating my concerns in regards to the lack of updates on a new scheme. Emails were sent left, right and centre as we say. Also, I was interviewed by a reporter for an Irish newspaper today that will run an article on the cancellation of the allowance following receipt of my letter. I hope that other papers will notice the story so we can create more waves in regards to it so. Of course, I will need to gather my facts after our government informs the media about it. Not sure when that will be, but for now I have a suspicious mind in an impatient body.
My UNCRPD Posts for the MS Society
- Access to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities
- The General Election- One MSer’s Perspective
- Budget 2016
- UNCRPD – Getting Ready to Ratify (1)
- UNCRPD – Getting Ready to Ratify (2)
- UNCRPD – The Right on Participation in Political and Public Life
- Disability rights in Ireland
- Disability rights in Ireland, 3 years later
- The sorry state of neurology in Ireland
- The sorry state of neurology in Ireland, one year on
- Disable Inequality campaign
- Irish public transport: access all areas?
- Disability is never cured with one pill alone
- UNCRPD in Ireland – begging for change
©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.