For my fellow campaigners, especially Sonia Poulton:
What arrives on your front page can warp your world, even the so called ‘liberal’/left (small ‘l’) press print things only after those with open eyes have begged them for decades and when it is already too late. . Meanwhile, the right prints abuse so vile you would think everyone could see it for lies and smokescreens.
Your friends see it, your family see it and if YOU are the ‘them’, the homeless person , the traveler, the immigrant, the disabled person, the person on benefits or the parent with Social Services breathing down your neck your friends, family and neighbours ‘read’ it and begin to see you in an evil, stereotyped and proscribed light. In the end, you begin to feel that a harsh light is the one you deserve to be seen in, and like so many, you may lose will to continue. We self- flagellate, grow to apathy or exhaustion. Often we tie ourselves to the very thongs of the whip we most need to leave or ignore. maybe it is a little self-pitying, but others around us are so pitiless and no-one to show us pity but ourselves. Someone else has taught us to wield the whip on ourselves and others.
The press is the true face of the monster that is those so selfish of their own comfort that they persuade others not to tell of their genuine fears and griefs, to keep silent about rapists, bullies and the coward corporations who operate closed shops.e appease those who by now we might otherwise have the power to resist and call ourselves names out of habit. Is it TRULY a self destruct button or do others press it? Many are so sad and twisted they do not even know it or have come to terrible power through a fear of being ‘weak’ or trampled but many simply love the power that hurting others brings.
If we all got what we deserve, many would smart for their selfishness, inhumanity and cruelty. And I too have been as cruel in my turn because after a time I could see no way out except to take the power and use it. Love is infinitely better .
When I was taken ill at the swimming pool at the hotel where I do my physio, I knew that without instant rest I would be sick for a week, longer if I I tried to make it home, even with someone else driving. I decided that the price of some RX for me and my husband was not too high whether I could hear my mother’s voice telling me to suffer and save money or not – crisis and collapse is what DLA is designed for- a taxi home, or in this case an instant bed.
I expected to pay the going weekend rate for a room at the hotel and extra for supper. I accept with gratitude and wonder that the kind and caring staff who bent over backwards to find me a ground floor room, who stayed with me, chatted and brought coffee and towels unasked whilst my DH drove home to pick up my wheelchair, nightclothes and meds, also quite unasked charging the special weekend rate usually given to pensioners and hotel travel members. More than anything, despite the current culture of despising all forms of dependence they offered me unconditional love and support, did not make me feel small or demeaned or foolish, nor did they either flaunt their charity or paint it as some special favour.
Their comment when I asked who we wrote to to get them an award was, “Just doing our job” (a phrase rarely heard in the context of kindness) I hope your steps one day bring you to this fine county where the phrase one most often hears is ‘nay bother’ and ‘are you awreet pet?’ Here you would find the kindness of strangers where to do another a kindness is seen as good and right,
AND Finally: In a mini coup for decency and the fight for truth they were also willing to remove ‘the oxygen of attention’ that the ‘Mail’ and the ‘Sun’ constantly get for their foulness and lies for the sake of one customer’s distress.
When I arrived at reception in tears because the papers kept in the pool lobby, the Sun and the Mail had carried headlines two days running that would distress any humane person, they not only took our comments on board – well, I say ‘comments’ more a detailed rant which covered the damage inflicted by the drip-feed of the Government rhetoric against disabled people, the duplicitous Murdoch empire, Atos assessments, the Sun’s ‘Shop a Scrounger’ campaign and the ‘closed courts of the Social Care system – but gave us the personal choice of which paper we might like to choose to replace at least one of the offending tabloids. So, bye bye Sun and your poisonous ‘benefits cheats’ front pages, hello the Guardian in at least one public place in this land.
As Sonia Poulton so rightly points out children learn from what we the adult world feed them through the truths or the lies we sell. Let’s make ’em sell a better world!