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November 10, 2015

Today, the government published its response to its own green paper “No Voice Unheard etc etc e-bloody-tc”. The original paper was driven by Norman Lamb in those heady days of coalition government but released from their shackles, the Tories can put their own mark on it. The writing has been on the wall the past two weeks, when two Tory MPs (including Alistair Burt, Norm’s successor) talked out two private members bills, meaning both bills are dead.

So here are just a few random thoughts about today’s response. I’d better warn you that I’m writing this in a hotel room in Derby and I’m on my third pint of Guiness”

  1. It’s crap.
  2. It seems entirely focused on either stalling (or Burting) or issuing more endless guidance.
  3. As an exercise in hearing Unheard voices, it is lamentable.
  4. It ignores the premise of the green paper of strengthening disabled peoples’ legal rights.
  5. It perpetuates the idea that autism and mental health go hand in hand.
  6. It is a self serving, self important document assembled by self serving, self important people.
  7. It proposes more reflection and consultation instead of action.
  8. It treats learning disabled people and their families with utter contempt.

But apart from that……


From → Social Care

  1. meg permalink

    What a bunch of bastards this lot really are. They cannot even be bothered to pretend to care.
    I became an adult learning disabilities support worker because I wanted to make a difference, make life better, easier, more interesting for people on the edge of society. And I have been able to do that, but not recently. Less and less is my support about enabling and empowering. More and more it’s about make-do-and-mending, playing catchup and containment.
    It’s got so bad I am thinking of leaving the ‘industry’ because it has become just that, an industry. The wonderful people I try to support have been reduced to commodities with a monetary value complete with price and costings. The product is paperwork to show ‘outcomes’. Outcomes used to be about something positive, now it’s about avoiding the negatives. It is sickening and saddening to watch the most vulnerable people in our country being made more and more vulnerable by a system that is supposed to protect them but has instead become a self serving, perpetual engine that rolls along with or without them and doesn’t care which.
    So sad

  2. Judy permalink

    I am very confused. It lumps together mental illness and mental disability as if they are the same thing or have the same needs. ………..

  3. Yvonne permalink

    My son is in an atu it’s heartbreaking he has autism, not a mental illness. Why can’t they treat him at home freeing up a bed for a person that really needs to be assessed and treated

  4. Sally permalink

    I can’t bear the stalling phrases :”reflect”, “consider”, “learn” ,”get to know ” “process “and all other euphemisms for take no responsibility, do nothing. I don’t want them to sit back and meditate on the problem. It’s not the meaning of life it’s resources and services.
    People with autism can get anything the neurotypical get including mental illness BUT people with autism are not all automatically mentally ill. I hate it when my son is channelled into mental health services without any mental health diagnosis at all.
    There are just no services to help autistic people,when autism is the only condition.

    • Hey Sally,

      I found in my inbox this morning – could be worth a shot, depending on your lad’s age (they cater from nursery to 25), the real issue is what happens then…? Where can an autistic person go after 25…?

      The website has advice on statements (or whatever they’re called now), education (they’re even hoping to open two colleges in South and West London specifically for young people with ASD as the sole diagnosis), and advice from others on the spectrum on coping with things like sensory overload and unfamiliar places and situations, and change.

      Apologies if you’ve already tried them. If you’ve not, Sod’s Law will dictate they don’t have anyone to put you in contact with locally. Not entirely sure how long they’ve been in existence.

      Best wishes

      SJ 😎

  5. Pauline Thomas permalink

    Mental illness becomes inevitable for anyone, learning disabled or not, if the person is starved of meanful activities during their lifetime. If you are ignored, stigmatised and looked on as worthless, you end up starting to believe them.

    My son, although brain damaged at birth was not mentatlly ill. He had humour, a sense of fun and was fulfilled by school, college and day centre. The latter service turned on its head by visions from people and organsations hoping to profit from the radical changes to adult services. Unfortunately he now has a mental illness along with lots of his peers in this damn awful system that is turning our loved ones into over medicated zombies.

    It beggars belief that someone like Mr. Cameron who has experienced the pain and distress that goes with caring for a disabled loved one would be okay with what his government is doing (or should I say is not doing) for parents trying to cope with the care of their loved ones, especially after they leave education and start to experience adult services. I know he had pots of cash to soften the blow, but he still was emotionally involved and obviously adored his son. He praised the care his son received from the services, hospital, school, etc. I feel the same about my son’s early years. However, Mr. Cameron never got to experience the years when his son would be under the umbrella of adult services. He would of course be cushioned by his immense wealth but surely he would emphasize with parents and their sons and daughters in similar circumstances. Would’nt he ? Would’nt he want to know that people like his son are getting ‘action’ instead of ‘guidance’ from his government? Would’nt he want to reinstate services lost to people with LD Would’nt he want to ease the pressures a little bit for people trying to care for these forgotton members of our society? Would’nt he?

    Well meaning people who now see the distress me and my husband are in because my son is in crisis and living in temporary respite say that we should use this rest from my son and think of ourselves. Unfortunately I cannot remove the nagging pain in my head that is saying that my son is hurting and unhappy. There is a saying that if you get it right for my loved one you have got it right for me. That goes for most people who have responsibilities for a loved one.

    • Agreed, the mental health implications as an outcome of what is happening to social care on those who … saying ‘use’ the services suggests some kind of choice and access… maybe better to say ‘those who need access to services or those who are forcibly subject to such services’, is actually pretty horrific.

      I also echo what duncfmac says. I think the choice Cameron made to cut the vital funding that enables disabled people with all kinds of impairments to flourish, was cold and cynical. If his son had not died, he might have thought twice, but really, I doubt it as it would not have affected him anyway given his and his wife’s huge personal wealth.

    • simone aspis permalink

      Does because you are a parent does not mean that you have the same expectations for all human beings. Whilst I have not witnessed the worst – I have noticed all sorts of things whereby there is a definitely inequality of parental resources of all sorts provided between disabled and non disabled children . If I had time I would have like to put a submission together on why parents should be expected to promote equality of opportunity etc under their parental responsibilities to the House of Lords Inquiry into the Equality Act – I have seen parents who invest heavily in their non disabled childrens futures whilst being content with what public services will provide regardless of expectations etc. I bet you Mr Cammoran like other parents have different expectations for their disabled and non disabled children. Hence why he thinks its okay to have rubbish services for disabled people – because he has no expectation of something better for his disabled son.

  6. Sadly would not expect anything else from Tories. They have absolutely no concern for anyone other than the rich and have absolutely no mandate in Scotland but are forced upon us. Heartless bastards every one.

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