What a week! What could I possibly write in a blog post? I have 500 stories to tell you at some point and I doubt you would believe half of them. My favourite quote from the week was from Sonia Poulton in the Mail who claims we had 3 MILLION tweets for the Spartacus Report in the first DAY!!
Today, I finally got the chance to sit down and catch up. I discovered we have a @SpartacusTweets account I didn't even know about. And a Facebook page. And a forum. I found "battalions" of spartaci all over the web planning their own campaigns and creating brilliant, innovative ways to be heard. I read beautiful blogs about our campaign written by people I didn't even know. I saw support from celebrities, politicians, journalists, unions, charities, DPOs and disabled people everywhere I looked. I found coverage and supporters in America, Canada, Finland, France and New Zealand.
But do you know what I didn't find? In a week where we finally got coverage in The Daily Mail, the Telegraph and Newsnight?
I didn't find a scrounger.
That was the great triumph of this week. Finally, after all the months and months of patient reminders, people thought about disability. They questioned the wisdom of sending terminally ill people to the jobcentre. They rejected the idea that illness or disability magically disappear in a year. They were amazed to find cancer patients were expected to look for work on chemo and that disabled children were to become chattels dependent on goodwill, no longer entitled to independent means.
We always knew they would. We always knew that if anyone cared to tell them, the public would be horrified.
When the DWP came out fighting with a raft of scrounger stories, everyone just ignored them and carried on talking about disability.
Lord Freud has had months to present evidence to the Lords. He has teams to brief them and money to pay for research and reports. He had goodwill on his side - the Lords don't seek to destroy bills, far from it. He had the might of the DWP and the ONS and the OBR to write his "evidence"
We had : A few thousand determined sick and disabled people, 4k, the internet and Hansard.
In the Lords, crossbenchers are not political. Unlike the Commons, there is a rump of independent thought. It happens that they are packed with disability experts too. They heard Lord Freud's evidence, and we made sure they heard ours.
Just one crossbencher voted with the government over time-limiting disability and sending cancer patients out to work. Just one.
All of the others - all of them - saw that we needed them.
We had no idea they had heard us and their overwhelming endorsement of our arguments was like a burst of hope. They can never know how grateful we are.
They reminded the country that we are disabled. Or unwell. Or both. They reminded us that any one of us could need help one day.
And once and for all they blew a lie-sized hole in the Government's scrounger rhetoric.