Monday, 31 August 2015

If they won't I will

There's a lot going about on Twitter at the moment about the death figures for those claiming ESA in the past five years. It makes for some fairly scary reading. It's prompted a  UN inquiry into grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s rights



I'm just completing an edit on my first novel. I've been a bit reticent about sharing it with people, because it feels all vulnerable to get out there and say 'I've written a book.' But the book speaks of my fears of what a society might look like if this kind of thing was taken to the extremes - if violations of rights were taken much, much further than even this report warns. It's a YA story set in a dystopian version of England. There. I said it. I'm not saying a lot more, as I'm in the process of sending queries to agents and waiting for the inevitable knock backs. I'll tell you more when I self-publish it on Kindle :)

I know my story, and others like it, are glimpses into something that couldn't possibly happen. Well, I hope they are. Remember the Nazis? Stalin? Mao? It doesn't take much to look around and see that humanity really can be capable of the worst of atrocities. We can look around at our fairly moderate country, and say 'don't be daft. Nothing like that could happen here,' but I wonder if it could, actually, and I wonder if some of these stories about folks dying after being found fit for work could point to the fact that we are going downhill. I'm not one to go in for hysteria or accuse IDS of longing for the Workhouse society, (some days), but we do need to respond as a society to these figures and what they mean - it's unclear, as yet. My book reflects my experience of how the weak and the vulnerable are sometimes treated, but I'd hope that as a society we would be making better choices about how we care for those who most need it.

Psalm 82:3
Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
I say, #iftheywontIwill 

I hope that this investigation will be a trigger to something new, something good, where people in Government really listen to those struggling with sickness and disability, where voices are heard at last and where the weak are upheld and defended in our land. That's what I dream of. I need to ask myself how I can help make that happen. Retweeting stuff on Twitter isn't enough, is it? What can we do to really mean this? Praying is incredibly important, I believe, but prayer without action is not enough.

What am I doing? What are you doing?