This week I’ll be sharing some writing and opinions from disabled people who’ve contacted or been contacted by Shoddy. While not part of the exhibition, their words and concerns are worth sharing as part of this project, particularly in this budget week, to show what austerity means in practice.
See also Steve Groves’ comments under the last blog post.
Artist Ceridwen Powell writes about her recent piece (shown below), Fools in High Places:
Why did I make ‘Fools In High Places’? I wanted to highlight and protest about this government’s vicious persecution of disabled people, which seems to have escaped people’s notice, or maybe our society has become so downtrodden and brainwashed that most people simply don’t care. What do three millionaires know about the reality of the lives of most disabled people? The vast majority live way below the poverty line and have to fight for every scrap of support.
David Cameron promised that he would save the NHS, instead he is running it into the ground so that he can claim it is ‘failing’ and bring in privatisation to make profits for his Eton buddies. Hospitals are stretched beyond capacity and can’t discharge medically fit people because savage cuts to social care mean the help they need to be discharged safely simply isn’t there.
Now the government have over-ruled the Lords and are cutting the income of already impoverished disabled people by £30 per week – as if taking money out of people’s pockets will magically make them no longer disabled and fit for work. Tens of thousands have already died within six weeks of being found ‘fit for work’ – some tragically by suicide, some of starvation because they couldn’t afford food, others of the illness or condition that was deemed not severe enough by a careless automaton with a computer programme. People in comas in hospital beds have been found ‘fit for work’, so it begs the question what is this definition that makes people suddenly pick up their beds and walk? George Osborne has just warned of further cuts to come – where exactly? What is there left to cut? And the odious IDS rubs his hands in glee wondering how many more disabled people he can kill off.
That is why I made ‘Fools In High Places’.