Sunday, 19 July 2015

To Mobilise Or Not To Mobilise

Sitting enjoying chocolate cake and coffee with two  of  my   favourite humans earlier this  week.  the sound of birdsong came through the open windows and the sun warmed our backs.   what utter heavenly bliss.   Life doesn't get much better than that.

Us girls have the ability to roam  the galaxy with conversation,  as several weeks worth of experience and thought are squished into a couple of hours.  so much to little time to say it.   photos to be shown,  sadness  to  be sympathised,  laughter to be enjoyed, anecdote to be shared, opinion to be opined........opined ???

It was inevitable that conversation turned to disability as both my friends work/worked in the care industry.   it was equally inevitable that disability led to sickness benefits and thus to this gentleman.   meet Mr Jones from my home town of Bournemouth.

Have you read about this?   according to our most noble tabloids, whose sole purpose is to enlighten, encourage and enfranchise........hmm.......
he is the latest "scrounger" to be demonised and Little Britained for having the temerity to do what has to be done in order to leave his flat.......hoik his mobility scooter up five steps.    this, according to The Mail Online.........let it be stated for the record that the capital letters are applied, grudgingly, for the sake of attribution only grounds for hanging, drawing and quartering on the city walls at dawn in front of a mob of his peers.

Never mind the fact that he's had six heart attacks, a stroke, angina, kidney blockage and knee injury, and would be housebound if he didn't reprise his Man Mountain  act.  it's apparent to all that he's hale and hearty, and capable of a full time job.   he must be, mustn't he?? if he can haul that monster up all of 5....five...FIVE....F I V E ...!!! steps.

Now, i don't know Mr Jones.  i certainly don't know if he's faking it.   you don't you?   in fact, the only people who know the man and  his story are family and  those close to  him.     so how come tabloid land can lead the nation in scorn and outrage, splashing his physiognomy across it's pages with heavy hints of fraud?    even those unnamed neighbours may not know how his many problems affect his daily life as the truly disabled can become experts at masking their pain and struggle with a smile, a shrug and a heavy dose of bravado.    i know.......because i have have achieved gold star status in the art.

The wise and learned in the dark arts of psychology would be able to explain the many reasons we feel the need to point the finger and sneer at the Mr Jones of the world.   from that very human desire to be superior in every way to those we deem our "lessers"....."I would NEVER do something like THAT" the deep rooted, often unacknowledged, truth that we are all simply one mis-step away from disaster ourselves.  we instinctively revile the thing we fear.   

The tragedy of this current meme is the crippling effect it has on those far removed from the original story.  those who are afraid to make the most of the little freedom and ability left to them, for fear of the backlash.   you think i overstate the case ??  consider this..........

Very occasionally it would be possible for me to reach the pub on the corner of my street, and i would love to go have coffee and cake, read the Guardian, be around people, escape my prison even though it's a very pretty prison.    sometimes the call is painful to refuse, but........refuse i must.  

To receive Disability Living Allowance a person has to be unable to walk 20 metres.......take a look out of your window for a moment please.......20 metres........doesn't get you far does it ???..........could you get food shopping?.......take the cat to the vet?......visit a friend?.....go to the dentist or doctor?......attend a hospital appointment? a letter?........reach the pub at the end of your street ?????   if i'm seen walking more than 20 metres,  and some malcontent (i know sad isn't it) decides to report me i lose my DLA.

Mr Jones may be able to pull a scooter up 5 steps once in  a while but it doesn't mean he can manage all the above.

Ohhh.....and for those of you who are very sweetly thinking i could use my wheelchair.......ready for this ???........the Dept for Work and Pensions have changed the wording.  to be eligible you must be unable to......M O B I L I S E.........for 20 metres!   yep......wheels equals mobilisation.    wonderful isn't it.



1 comment:

lesley said...

Another exceptional piece of writing....can hardly believe the point about 20metres of mobilisation! This will literally included thousands if they are provided an electric chair but who can do nothing else,,,unbelievable.