The moment I accept the offer of some well-meaning charity, union, politician or corporation, I would become fettered by them, compromised. They would have control over what I can say or do
You might remember that I wrote a blog post early in the new year announcing that I just couldn't continue to campaign for free.
As a result, I planned that if I only did the really important stuff it might just mean a droplet of respite for my poor long suffering boys.
You must also be wondering why so many typos at the moment?
Basically, my laptop is so riddled with viruses, it's impossible to do anything at all, so I've been trying to blog, email and tweet using my phone. I checked in the Oxford English dictionary and as I thought, this is the very actual definition of frustration. It's already been fixed twice, costing £120, but I think it's just past it now.
However, in the last month alone, I've :
- Been to London for channel 5's Big Benefit Row
- A meeting with Bns Tanni Grey-Thompson at the Lords,
- A meeting with the Fabian Women,
- A meeting with Kate Green
- A trip to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability to experience eye gaze software.
- I've been to York to lead the Better Way demo.
- Finally, I've had to get to 2 hospital appointments, also in London.
Obviously in most cases, I can get my expenses paid by whichever organisation invited me but it can often take weeks or even months to refund. When I have to meet MPs or peers, it has to come from my own pocket. If I have to drive long distances, we have to stop every hour or so to top me up with tea and loo breaks.**
At the moment, I'm owed nearly £350 in expenses and this has been the case, give or take, since the start of this year. Taken from a family budget already stretched by supporting a disabled adult who can't work, every day that goes by drags me deeper into panic.
So with a heavy heart, I have to ask you to support me in a rather more obvious way. I've set up this fund :
A) Replace my poor laptop with a better quality one that doesn't crumble in the first year
B) Set up a "pool" of funds to act as a kind of kitty that I can dip into and pay back, buffering me against the constant uncertainly of how much campaigning trips cost and how long refunds take to come through.
I absolutely HATE doing this. I've only ever asked for support for myself once, during the frenzy of Spartacus Report and I detest the fact I'm having to ask you again.
Whatever happens, please DON'T donate if you can't afford to, out of some kind of loyalty or guilt. Also, please DON'T donate huge sums. If we all just give a few pounds, we'll reach the target in no time. In this case, the quantity of donations really is better than the quality.
**Clearly they can only get hold of the gold plated teabags at the moment if tea costs £3 a go!