My dear, lovely, reasonable, intelligent, fellow campaigner, @mrsnickyclark has been making a stand.
Clearly as a woman, a disability activist AND a "person with opinions" that means that any jerk with a foul mouth and 6 very small brain cells feel they can abuse her.
It all started over the Ricky Gervais fiasco and his use of the word mong.
You see, Nicky has two disabled children and campaigns against the use of disablist language. She has been doing this for some time, not just in the last few weeks, since some pudgy 'sleb decided to make an utter prat of himself on twitter.
See, to all those people telling her "it's just a word" or to stop being such a bore or that she's just a PC lentil-muncher, I wonder how many are disabled themselves? How many have a disabled child? How many have had the word mong thrown at them in the street?
But the bit that REALLY gets me - how many would go up to a 6 foot black guy and call him a nigger? How many would go up to a boxer and call him a c***? I imagine the answer is precisely NONE. Because they might die. Or get beaten to a pulp. Disabled people, on the other hand, and those that love them, are nice, easy fodder for bullies.
Interestingly, Nicky chatted with Ricky and all is now harmonious,. Ricky emphatically rejected words like "mong" being used in violence and hate, apologised for the behaviour of his "followers" on twitter and we've all moved on. Except the haters. Nope, they're still abusing a Mum, woman and all round good lass because.....
Yep, they're fighting for the right to be bloody sickening about disabled people. Defending their "free speech" claiming their Bernard-Mannning-born right to be sick, nasty little knobbers.
If you doubt me, just take a look at Nik's timeline for the last week. If you ever wonder quite why I write the things I write, or fight as hard as I do, it's because there are lots of people like Nik's haters (most of them write for the Daily Mail) We are ignored until we decide to challenge people with a bit of clout. then look what happens.
And people wonder why disability hate crime is on the rise!!!
I know this is the wrong place but this is after writing to my MP I have also written to the Welsh Assembly and also written to the Tory Minister for the DWP.ReplyDelete
See where this goes.....
Handling of 'ESA 50 claims
Thank you for your email of today. I had not ignored your earlier email, of 11th October, but I receive a large number of emails, letters and calls every day and it simply takes time to answer them all. I am trying to catch up on the backlog at the moment.
Thank you for your additional information which is shocking. I know that not all correspondence with a department is dealt with by the civil servants employed there, and that companies are contracted to carry out some of the work.
However, I was, like you, shocked to learn that a third party was involved in opening and sorting this post. As admirable as Royal Mail staff are, I can see no reason why they should have access to such confidential and sensitive information. I do not believe that this is acceptable,
I have written to the Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, advising him of the outrage and distress felt by claimants and seeking an assurance that this information really will be kept confidential and not opened by a third party.
As soon as I receive a reply, I will be in touch again.
Nia Griffith MP
Robert that's a great response! Thank you so much for posting it here, it's good to hear when MPs are as outraged as us on this issues.ReplyDelete
Do please keep us informed of her responses.
Interestingly, the DWP are being very odd on this. The journo STILL hasn't had a response, but normally they would just say no comment if not interested.
We'll see where this goes, but I know lots of people were horrified enough to write to their MPs, so fingers crossed we can at least get this nasty little detail changed.
Free speech is not the same as being able to utter what you like without challenge. THey have every right to show the world what they are, with the language they choose and the cause they 'champion' but that choice lets the rest of us know they are bullies. And demonstrate Nickys point. I thought Nicky dealt with the whole situation well.ReplyDelete
Sue, anyone would think that Mr. Gervais, was a self seeking publicist, given that that was one of his questions to Nicky, wondered how the press percieved him now. I wondered after reading, what some of the commentators said in the comments section after Nickys excellent Guardian piece, if we had been reading the same article!ReplyDelete
The auld cynic in me refuses to believe that Gervais and his flying
monkeys had no idea about the word Mong having negative connatations. If my eleven year old niece knows that word justt
isnt used at all, then a man oe Gervais' ge, knows damned fine well what it means.
I think Nicky was on the money with her words, whatever hat
she was wearing, be it as a Mum, a campaigneqp,
or a human being.
Lisa - I don't usually "feed" them, but Nicky dealt with it so well, and so full of grace, that I thought it time to be a little less graceful ;)ReplyDelete
Course the word to describe these billies is actually "Nazi" as it was people acting in collusion with a disgusting, disablist agenda in the 30s that allowed sick and disabled people to be the first to be sent to the gas chambers.ReplyDelete
I blocked someone on Twitter this afternoon. I told him I didn't like his use of the word "retard" - he said he couldn't please everyone.ReplyDelete
I let loose quite a tirade really. People who experience learning difficulties are not often able to defend themselves from people like him. So I blocked him. And told him to bugger off !
You know me Sue, I think grace is over rated in these situations. And I agree with your last point.ReplyDelete
From what I can gather gervais has now apologised for his misuse of language. The thing that really riles me about this is the fact that Nicky has been in turn bullied for speaking out about the misuse in a brilliant, polite, controlled manner. Bullying is disgraceful behaviour and any adult especially a parent - should have no problem understanding that and therefore desist from the behaviour themselves.ReplyDelete
This report catalogues the ways in which British society discriminates against disabled people and prevents them from living the lives they want to lead. Unlike sexism or racism, you won’t find the word ‘disablism’ in the dictionary. Yet it describes an all-too-real issue: discriminatory, oppressive or abusive behaviour arising from the belief that disabled people are inferior to others. ‘Institutional disablism’ describes a whole organisation’s disablist attitudes, practice and culture.ReplyDelete
Bringing together data about disablism from a large number of sources in one place for the first time, it also draws on the stories of individual disabled people to show what the statistics mean in everyday terms for disabled people in the UK.
The report was inspired by Professor Colin Barnes 1991 book Disabled People in Britain and Discrimination. Its aim is to highlight and tackle disablism so that disabled people have the chance to live independent lives. Independent living is what non-disabled people do every day of their lives – it is equally the human right of disabled people to enjoy, but this fundamental right is denied to them living in a disablist society.
I vote we round up everyone who thinks it's ok to bully other people and give them a tropical island to enjoy.ReplyDelete
I vote we then use that island for conducting nuclear tests.
I don't know if this'll go down like lead balloon, but having read the Gervaise stuff and a few blogs like this one...ReplyDelete
In the early 90's I worked in a 'Special School'. It catered for kids with mild to very severe disabilities, aged from around 5 to 17 years of age. A fairly large place with almost 30 teachers and twice the number of care assistants. I was there one day a week as part of my training course
When I started I was shocked to hear teachers saying kids were 'duffers'. Even in pre-PC days I couldn't believe my ears. Then I heard a Down lad of 17 say to a teacher with a sheepish smile, "Agh, Miss - help? Today I'm a complete duffer". He'd forgotten how to tie his shoelaces again. There were smiles all round, and I was asked to show him a simple way to tie laces. He patted me on the back after doing his shoes up, and said something like, "Duffer no more", and walked away smiling.
I soon got used to their teaching methods, one of which was to get the kids used to the outside world. If it sounds strange or offensive to your mind right now, let me say that it worked. When I had gained confidence through working closely with many groups, meeting lots of parents, etc., I was able to help a very smart Down lad who was a little concerned about being called 'special'. He broached the subject awkwardly, with an arm around my shoulder as Downs tend to (like they're counselling you!) and asked me what could he say to someone who used a name which made him feel 'not part of things'.
One particular person - a neighbour I think it was - kept saying he was special, and the lad knew it was meant in an excluding way rather than that he was wonderful. Being sensitive and bright, he knew in a flash when someone was using over-kind but misplaced 'caring' language. I suggested that when someone said, "You're so special!" that he reply, "I'm not special, I'm just not the same as you, that's all". Next day, one big beaming lad chased me up a corridor to tell me that he'd said just that, and the other person had gone all blank. "Like a mong!" he said with a big grin.
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that all of the vitriol spat out by those for and against what we should and shouldn't say isn't important. How things were meant or appeared to be meant by individuals can be argued 'til the cows come home. What matters - and what all this reminds me of - is the joy of working with someone who was so bright and sensitive, and helping him (and others) to cope with the harsh realities of this world.
True, with different individuals and different needs such an approach may not be possible or helpful. But I think the fact is that it's terribly important how we teach our 'disabled' children to cope with stupid intolerance and ignorance from otherwise apparently intelligent people. If we go bouncing around screaming about it, what does it say to our kids..? Just a thought.
Hey, and do you know; I had to add the word 'mong' to my spell-checker just now as I've never needed to use it in any context.
I can't believe I'm saying this but you're being hard on Bernard Manning. In an interview before he died he made it clear he drew a line at 'jokes about cripples'. I don't know if he ever made a disablist joke during his career, but he at least saw the wisdom and humanity of stigmatising those that considering absolutely anyone as fair game.ReplyDelete
To rephrase it: the problem with these people is that they are *not as sensitive and decent as Bernard Manning*.ReplyDelete
The problem for all of us including on forums and blogs, if you have a disability especially a learning disability the world is a nasty place.ReplyDelete
You will say ok mong is a nasty word, retard is nasty , Handicapped, but for me who now has a learning disability since my stroke, I've noticed many sites forums and especially within labour will either ban you, tell your not wanted or in fact refuse to print what you have written saying irrelevance. I'm actually grammar school educated and I decided to go into electrical work, my last job was wiring up Robots at a car plant, I was paid well over the normal rate of pay, at £56,000 for a 35 hour week, bang an accident, bang a stroke and it's all gone I could not wire a simple electrical plug now.
I get banned all the time or have stuff removed on the grounds that I cannot write decent comments one Labour party site Labour members even banned me.
So people with learning disabilities who are called a mong or retarded at least get a response, when your totally ignored boy that's worse then any stupid name calling I can tell you.
I had to stop reading the comments on her blog because they got me really angry.ReplyDelete
As you say, how many of these people have to live as a disabled child and how many people have disabled children themselves?
My cousin is disabled and has been since birth. He's one of the sweetest, loving little boys ever yet I constantly fear what lies ahead of him because people get away with being bullies to disabled people. We've cracked sexism (sort of) and racism (again, sort of) but we're still so far behind on discriminating against disabled people. It's such a scary world for those who are different because of their disabilities.
One commenter said that those who have bombs dropped on them don't care what they're being called...I can make no sense from such an ignorant comment. If someone is running for their life then I'm not sure they care much about anything other than saving their life. How the hell is that comparable to a child or adult who deals with this type of hate on a daily basis?
We're not talking about Ricky Gervais (although bad move on his part, good on him for apologising) but we're talking about centuries of behaviour and mis-treatment to disabled people. Sure we don't lock up or 'send away' children with Downs Syndrome, but there have been baby foot steps in public opinion and not enough has been done to stop mass bullying and hate.
Do you think that's a desirable response, Robert? Do you imagine the kind of lowlife that throws this kind of abuse around cares about the opinions of their victims, on any subject?ReplyDelete
I'm truly sorry to hear that your life has been shattered in this way. The sad fact is, a lot of people don't want to hear. They want predicaments like yours to somehow be your own fault, as if that means it can't happen to them.
To people saying that we shouldn't care about language because there are people running for their lives from bombs, by the same token we shouldn't complain about anything at all. Next time those same people complain about taxes, poor wages, their boss, a long wait at A&E, a problem a their child's school etc etc, remind them how lucky they are not to be running from a bomb and that they therefore have no right to complain.ReplyDelete
This argument simply doesn't stand up. Just because someone else is worse off than yourself does not mean you shouldn't try to sort out the problems you yourself are facing. Nor does it mean that they are trivial or unimportant.
Something which is clearly forgotten in all these discussions is those kids who are tortured by other children because of differences which don't show outwardly. Being such a one and having had no help whatsoever from family, other adults or the school system left me in fear every day until adulthood.ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear about your drastic life changes and subsequent treatment Robert. I think that being a 'nice' person leaves us feeling better about ourselves inside, but nice people are despised by the masses. Like many, I wish I had an answer that worked, but I just stand up for myself now and treat others as best I can.
Here is something interesting which shops who daft laws and people can be. A lady who sold a soft toy in a shop window was told she would not be taken to court. The doll was classed by a labour person as being of a gollywog if none of you know what this is the google it.ReplyDelete
The law stated gollywog is the name used but the actual item could be classed as a soft toy.
Words names and silly people, is it offensive to have a black doll of course not, but because people named it a gollywog it's become an offensive word/item.
But in the end it's just a soft toy.
Call me a mong may annoy me and some of these things do, calling me a scroungers or work shy is just as bad, but Blair believed most of us are scroungers work shy people that hurt and angered me.
We could talk all day on the use of words, but comedians who go from the BBC to ITV then to a small rubbish program on Sky will always use any methods they can to gain media attention, best to ignore them as they disappear up their own backside.
The last person who gave me a odd look has never done it againReplyDelete
I had a little word in his ear and told him that he caught on a good day had he not he may be dead and to think on when speaking or even looking at sick or disabled people in future
I am so tired I really long for the day when I can just relax and be happy as best I’m able and no longer live in fear of abuse or cuts. I have enough to contend with already without having these unnecessary extra burdens.ReplyDelete
Ricky Gervais is a so called celebrity he is nothing special apart from an underclass of people worshipping him like so many so called celebrity'sReplyDelete
The golden rule for everyone is never to take the mickey out of another group of people as you will always fail
Irrespective of who you are you should never tell jokes about disability as it's to personal and painful
I'm sure Ricky didn't mean any harm and trust he wont do it again
I agree, a day when I feel as 'normal' as everyone else just going about my business without worrying about having to defend mysef from a bully here, a thoughtless assumpton there, all the time feeling the background pressure of parts of the media and a goverment who appear to have declared war on us.ReplyDelete
That's why we should never let a disablist comment go. Ever. Because it matters.
Daily M at it yet againReplyDelete
anon 16.09, it just adds fuel to an already flickering fire. so fed upReplyDelete
Yes, the old DM is at it again... and when I poinhted out that being arrested is not the same as being convicted, and that there are many offences connected with the riots that do not actively involve rioting I was red-arrowed. Which tells us all we need to know really about modern society - no truth, no fairness, no justice and certainly no compassion. God, it's frightening....ReplyDelete
MacMillan has demanded that the Welfare Reform Bill is amended so everyone eligible for ESA will receive it for as long as they need it, not for an arbitrary fixed period.ReplyDelete
It shouldn't have needed for MacMillan to have spoken out David Cameron knows full well that he and his government are acting in a wicked way in the treatment of the sick and disabled and like in Libya's Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi there turn will come in years to come and they will be tried by a court on the way that they have treated the sick and disabledReplyDelete
Even if David Cameron changed his mind which he wont on welfare reform their is the deaths from those who have committed suicide that have taken place so far under his regime to be taken into account
Now some reading this blog will say it is only a small number of sick and disabled who have died in one way or another that have been affected by his actions and that of the DWP
small it may be at this time but none the less the crimes have been committed and people have died at worst and loss benefit at best
The bottom line is that it needs to be halted as soon as possible by whatever means possible and i appeal to anyone who can help to do whatever they can and get this barbaric way of treating the sick and disabled stopped
Anon @ 18:29, I've seen the Mail article and the report published by the MoJ. I can not see any statistical merit in it at all and it seems to be a blatant use of department resources for partisan politics. The Mail goes on to even manage to misinterpret this basic data by implying these are claimants rather than claims.ReplyDelete
The report itself unhelpfully does not break-down the figures so we can see what type of IB-ESA is being claimed or what brackets for DLA, or primary affecting condition. There could have been a hundred Schizophrenics arrested, all of them representing both the ESA and DLA claims. If that were the case, then the Mail position seems to be that those people should be left without assistance whatever the consequences, or they want them to be confined to residential units that cost way more than the benefits do.
They are actively encouraging their readership not to think.
" One in eight defendants were on incapacity or disability benefit "ReplyDelete
At this point I can also "suspect" that eight in eight were payd agents from Daily Tea Party "Godfathers".
The Future State of Welfare with John Humphrys on BB2 Thu 27 Oct 2011 21:00
Has anyone raised the possibility of boycotting the Daily Mail? If no one with a disability and none of their relatives bought the Mail it would dent their sales. And I suspect there are still lots of disabled Mail readers.ReplyDelete
And if all the companies that target the disabled and older who advertise on the mail came under pressure from their customers to withdraw advertising, then that would have more impact than all our gnashing of teeth.
The recent article on Mobility users was the very last straw for me.
They won't be happy until all disabled people are begging in the rain - how dare they have cars! They'll be wanting a roof next.
We're all a bit too polite - some more direct action is needed.
The trouble with name calling is that it's too easy to slip into it: you call Gervaise 'pudgy' in your post. How is his size relevant to your point? It is an attack on the way he looks...sound familiar?ReplyDelete
Prescott has now got himself into problems twittering over an MP who has a speech impediment.ReplyDelete
They cannot help it.
The Riots disability benefits do not mean your not able to do things, large numbers of the people doing the para-Olympics will be claiming disability benefits and DLA, you can work and get DLA.
At the moment if your not doing sports and you scratch your back side they think your able to work.
You honestly think "pudgy" is the same as "mong"???ReplyDelete
No; I think judging people by how they look, whether fat or disabled, is the same. Name calling is bullying.ReplyDelete
You don't have the moral high ground if you behave in the same way.
Pudgy is bullying? I think not. He could diet, I can't get rid of my disability.ReplyDelete
Anyway, I have no interest in the moral high ground and I'm not actually very PC myself. My post clearly objects to the bullying not the word Gervais used himself.