“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
21st Century reality:-
“First they malign you, then they demonise you, then you fight them, then you lose.”
Disability activists seem to be inordinately fond of this quotation of Gandhi’s, but the reality is that there is no correlation between evicting a penurious colonial power that couldn’t afford another war to hold onto a vast country that wanted it gone, and the plight of the sick and disabled in a small country which is rapidly becoming the Daily Mail, writ large.
Gandhi had a country at his back – we don’t have even a significant proportion of a single major political party prepared to back us. In fact, as I said yesterday on Twitter, the old three-party political system is dead and gone. Now, all we get to do in future, aside from a few minor parties and indies, is vote for members of what has become, effectively, one vast party, with a few minor differences, who’ll pretend for three weeks every 5 years to be opponents again.
The question is, just where is our political support? I’m not seeing it in any meaningful form. We have almost no political clout where it matters, in the Commons (even if the Lords were to kill off the WRB – not gonna happen but, hey, we can dream – the Commons can ultimately force it through by invoking the Parliament Acts),** and precious little among the general public, and what there is seems to be being constantly eroded by Conservative lies and – unforgivably – Miliband’s too. One might reasonably expect that, given its history, the bulk of the Parliamentary Labour Party – who voted against Ed Miliband, let’s not forget – is appalled by his behaviour towards the sick and disabled, but apart from one or two who are outspoken, the rest are silent.
**There is a remote possibility that the Queen will withhold royal assent, but I can’t recall the last time a monarch did that – perhaps, though, we should be focusing on the Queen as we have with the Lords?
So at what point, pray tell, unless Labour remembers that they’re supposed to be the party which traditionally looks after our interests, and which created the Welfare State, and the Lib Dems rediscover their balls, if they ever had any, do we win?
Without rapid and profound political and social, change, the unpalatable truth is that we do not.
Our one hope is that the Labour Party will – and very soon – empty out the dishonest, duplicitous, dishonourable, Miliband,** and replace him with an honest leader, who can return the party to its core values (those, for example, which moved it to create the Welfare State in the first place, rather than those which consigned it to opposition for so long), and without whom Labour will simply become an informal branch of the Conservative Party.
**Yesterday, Labour accused the BBC of being the Conservative’s publicity machine, parroting their anti sick and disabled propaganda unquestioningly, which is perfectly true, but to be honest, Ed Miliband, isn’t that exactly what you are doing, you hypocritical arsewipe?
I have no doubt that there will be those who accuse me of defeatism – I prefer to see it as realistism. So, if you are minded to do that, do, please, tell me how we’re going to win this because, along with many other people, that prospect eludes me entirely.