Thursday 20 January 2011

Riven Vincent, 1st of Many

See, we haven't been exaggerating, we're not all raging drama-queens. This woman is so ground down, so exhausted, that she feels she has no choice but to put her severely disabled 6 year old daughter into care.

We've all been trying to explain that we're on the brink already. DLA practically impossible to get, ESA slashed, assessments and statements and care applications. Many already living in poverty, the amount judged acceptable for desperately ill people to live on so inadequate that we were experts at austerity long before the credit crunch.

For years and years, successive governments have cut support for the sick or at least made it harder to get the support in the first place. We vocal sickies and carers are shouting now because we simply can't afford to have anything else taken from us. We don't have the energy to fight, but somehow, this time we have to find it or Riven Vincent will be just the first of many, many stories of total desperation.

But do you know why I'm crying as I write this? It's Cameron's response in the Independent.

It implies that this is a one off, that a media friendly bucketload of mock-sympathy will make it all OK. There are Riven Vincents up and down the country saying exactly the same thing. But Mr Cameron doesn't write to them. He doesn't offer his personal attention in a press conference. In fact he's never replied to any of the groups I know of and we certainly didn't hear his "concern" or "understanding" from any of the hundreds of similar stories at One Month Before Heartbreak.

He mentions his son, Ivan, says how he understands because he's been there himself, claims he cares about this very issue. I just tried to lift some quotes from the article for you, but it just breaks me, I just can't read his disgusting dissembling again. You'll have to read it for yourself. Please, if you read my blog or the hundreds springing up like it, don't be fooled. Riven Vincent is just one of tens of thousands, not an isolated, extreme, example. She just happens to be an example Mr Cameron visited personally and promised not to betray. God forbid the Daily Mail should learn the truth.

But when you do, I beg you to remember that any money allocated to social care goes through Local Authority budgets - and these have been slashed up and down the country. Councils will soon have to decide whether they care for a child like Riven's or cut home care for cancer patients. Mr Cameron has made sure it won't be him who makes those kind of decisions.

Over the life of this parliament councils have to make cuts adding up to an impossible 27%. We're about to find out exactly what "impossible decisions" really are.

**Please, tell everyone about Riven Vincent. Tell your friends, your elderly neighbour, your colleagues. Perhaps some good can come from this - perhaps her story can change things before tens of thousands of others get to the same stage.


  1. I agree

    "I just can't read his disgusting dissembling again."

    He has had as many nannies, nurses and as much help as money could buy. And I would not want it to be any other way for all the disabled children and their parents.... but he could afford to pay for the help and is taking still more away from the already inadequate help available to the rest of us.

    How dare Cameron say he knows what its like!

  2. I agree if they have not been on ill, out-of-work and on benefits how can they have the slightest idea?

  3. Cameron was also wrong footed in the Common's on Wednesday when a Lib Dem raised a specific issue regarding one of his constituents losing benefits. Cameron defused it by saying he would look into the case but hopefully if many more cases are brought up week after week he might finally get the message.

  4. Crispin - Do you know, that's an excellent point and could tie in very well with my "Calling all sickies" post. (When I actually tell everyone what it is, lol)