“Responsibility” Is The New Ethic.

Responsibility? Who do they think TAUGHT some of us responsibility? We grew up under Thatcher and Major, Blair and Brown and many of us grew up with parents who worked hard to keep their heads above water whatever supposed social bracket or income bracket we started in. Many even grew up in households that voted Conservative for generations but we now take the rap as disabled people for the ideological austerity aimed at dismantling any kind of caring society. Many families were left in poverty by Thatcher and have continued there ever since, having lost family and friends. Some were luckier and still managed to scrape by in jobs that just about sustained them through the tough times and with the addition of the safety net for sick children or parents or themselves. Many did far better and still complain. Many from all walks of life just get on with what they have always done and what they need to do, working, playing, loving, fighting, waiting for the holidays or a less rainy day.

Responsibility? I’ve heard that phrase used by Labour campaigners in the run up to the election and I KNEW what was coming…. I’ve spent most of my life feeling RESPONSIBLE trying to obeys the rules, did what authority figures wanted and made myself sick with worry for a toe out of line. As a disabled kid I wasn’t given responsibilities, was more often stuck in the corner and told I was ‘in the way’ but boy did I feel responsible when anything went wrong! I was taught to work hard – so hard I actually had adrenal failure by the time I was aged 18 and stress related illnesses on top of my CP as I’m sure a lot of disabled kids do today. By 25 I had mental health problems specifically created by the stresses of first abusive family, then abuse at school (sexual and emotional) and then further sexual and emotional abuse and from the absolute draining of hope as I realised that there was to be no escape from feeling that I had let everybody down because despite working hard all my life to be good enough I was not going to be able to find someone who was prepared to see past my disabilities and pay me enough to even scrape by on. I felt responsible that I had ended up on benefits because the only people I heard about on benefits were stigmatised. Am I supposed to feel responsible for not ‘rising above disability mental and physical and abuse mental and physical that would have killed most people?

Many of us went to schools where a ‘Thatcherite work ethic was taught – arrogance for some, kicks for many, kudos for those who half killed themselves trying and disgust for those deemed to be letting the side down. Funnily enough most of my schooling was done under Thatcher in a local Comp that thought itself a cut above and guess who was endlessly bullied – the poor kids, the disabled kids, the kids from traveller families and certainly the kids from any ‘culture’ or sub culture that didn’t fit into the right clique. I pity the kids who have to have the same fight I did and who will have to live with an ever expanding sense of failure when it is not they who have failed because they have no confidence left and little joy in a world that treats them so severely. I won, at a cost and I will fight again because I am no longer a child and I know lies, manipulation and a rotten ethic when i see them now but by God I wonder when these people will be held accountable for making another generation grow up feeling that they are responsible for all the failure around them

Here we go again and it’s ALL our fault? Labour ill never again be thought to be merely standing aside from the suffering of those left behind. They are colluding and aiding the suffering and they will never make it back as any meaningful party.

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