Sunday, 30 January 2011

You Cannot Break the Broken

"What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust?"
Hamlet, Act II Scene II 

There is one thing being terribly sick gives you. Determination. I have fought this system before I was even old enough to know I was fighting. I have fought for my life. I don't exaggerate - the nurse who mistook my stroke for a panic attack, the "doctor" who concluded I was fine hours before my bowel burst, the consultant who caused a massive seizure by refusing to treat an out of control infection. 

All is rotten in the state of healthcare and I will fight until my dying breath to win dignity and respect for those that suffer unimaginable agonies and have to find the strength to fight the very system supposed to save them. 

So how did the fight go this week? Well, it started with the story of Riven Vincent, so desperate for support, demoralised by Cameron's broken promises on long term care, that she could see no alternative but to put her profoundly disabled daughter into care. But it's OK, "Dave" held a press conference and told a load more lies and it all settled down. 

Then disabled people and their supporters held a National Day of Protest. Up and down the country, in their chairs and their hoists, they battled to the ATOS offices to protest the disgrace of "assessments" finding nearly all seriously ill and disabled people able to work. It went totally unreported by the National Media.

Of course, the national media were delighted to jump on these untrue, distorted figures and tell their readers that "94% claiming sickness benefit were skivers just trying it on". I wrote a letter to shame them and hundreds of you emailed it to them. One of the papers simply ended up deleting the letter. Neither replied or retracted their lies.

The Broken of Britain have reported both the Mail and the Express to the Press complaints Commission and has asked the Cabinet Office to investigate a transgression of the Ministerial Code such that 

 "Chris Grayling has breached Section 1.2 d) and i) Section 6.3, and Section 8.4 of the Ministerial Code. Particular attention is drawn to Section 6.3, that : "Official facilities and resources may not be used for the dissemination of material which is essentially party political."  

Finally, heartened by the new Channel Four news programme 10 O Clock Live running an expose of a private company working for the government (SERCO), we asked them to investigate ATOS too. They refused to publish a single one of our pleas. 

On a personal note, I went to see my GP weeping with a sudden onset of what appeared to be gallstones. He sent me home with a confident diagnosis of muscle strain

And today, I have indeed lost all my mirth. Yes, this corrupt corner of the earth does seem to me a sterile promontory. I wish indeed that this too too solid flesh would melt but you pathetic little boys who run my country, remember this. You are fighting a group who know nothing but fighting. We know like no other group that when sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions. 

We will keep on telling the country what you are trying to do in their name. We will keep on telling our stories, we will keep on fighting the press, badgering them to care, (when they ought to care already) and we will win. Because all too soon it will be one of their children or mothers or wives abandoned by you and they will wonder how on earth they didn't listen before. 

So, government ministers, opposition benches, media moguls and journalists:

"To thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."

Thanks to The Bard, who I'm sure will forgive my plagiarism in an excellent cause. 


  1. Sue, why oh why are we being totally ignored?

  2. thank you for these wise words, I don't know what is to be done save retweeting,rebroadcasting anywhere and anyhow

  3. Since my above comment, I've found a letter about DLA reform that I'm modifying and sending to my MP.
    I'm convinced that MPs take little notice of blogs and other social media unfortunately. However I've always found that they respond to a good old fashioned letter from a constituent!

  4. Sue, you are an inspiration, you are so right, the thing that being ill and disabled teaches us is inner strength and resilience...

    May I offer a few more wise words from the bard...

    Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt...

    Wisely, and slow... they stumble that run fast.

  5. Fiona - In fact you just inspired me. Just what I needed to hear, thanks

  6. AGREE in totality with all said,have had an awful week!