You can get it if you really want

Was listening to Jimmy Cliff this morning on R4. His classic song was played after a Diddy Cameron speech. Asked about this Jimmy said something like; “I am not affiliated to political parties because if you look at the word and break it down it starts with poli which means many and is followed by tics which are bloodsucking parasites. So many blood sucking parasites sucking on the morals of the people”.

I enjoyed that. However, the social model is about social change. We have to engage in politics. When i was learning the social model my trainers Alan Holdsworth and Barbara Lisicki asked whether we should be more interested in removing attitudinal, environmental or organisational barriers. It was felt that we need to put the case for disabled people’s rights to parliament. We need to put legislation in place.

But that was more than 15 years ago when we were actively engaged in a call for fully inclusive, comprehensive and enforceable civil rights. It seems to me that the focus has now moved to attitudinal barriers. UKDPC sent out a buleltin recently. Maria Eagle, minister of disabled people, was said not to be willing to recognise hate crime against disabled people. Apparently there is a lack of evidence. We struggle to find the evidence. But we know its out there. Its anecdotal. So, we get back to that old medical model dilemma. The evidence we have is not scientific. It cannot be tested as a truth. Therefore we won’t do anything.

This attitude is wrong and is stopping us from achieving an organisational response to hate crime and getting hate crime against disabled people recognised.

How important is this? Interestingly the last crime survey that came to our borough posited hate crime has the second biggest concern of residents after violent crime. Violent crime we are told is being reduced. Their is no good evidence about hate crime and with the ministers current approach this is likely to coninue for disabled people,


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