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The 1950s (with Facebook)

June 25, 2016

“I’ve got my country back and I’m over the moon”.

That’s what a chap at the bus stop announced to his fellow passengers this morning. The fellow passengers were me, two East European students from Brunel, a woman with a buggy and two ladies from the over 60s housing on their way into Uxbridge.

The woman with the buggy, started to egg him on, whilst having a messenger conversation on Facebook. The two students looked uncomfortable and looked away.

I really wasn’t trying to provoke an argument. I was genuinely interested because I’m not sure what this phrase about “getting our country back” actually means.

Jim’s picture was straightforward: White, Jobs aplenty, Housing aplenty, Respect and “decent shows on the telly”.

The elderly ladies joined in and for a couple of minutes we toyed with the idea of conscription.

The woman with the buggy said that her partner might get back into the building trade, “after all the Poles had gone back home”.

The two students left the queue and disappeared through the underpass.

The bus arrived just as Jim was announcing, “If the great future is like the 1950s, I’ll be happy”.

I got on the bus and went upstairs. I didn’t know what else to contribute to the conversation.

I guessed that Jim was about my age, possibly a bit younger. Did he know the 1950s?

I drifted off into a Rupert Brooke poem situated in a Midsomer type of backdrop.

I saw Steven in an asylum. No clothes bar a nappy. Chained by the ankle to a bedpost.

Jan Tregelles would be CEO of The Spastics Society.

I don’t know what period this reclaimed country is located in.

As my friend said, It’s some vague time in the 1950s. And it’s got Facebook.

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From → Social Care

9 Comments
  1. Pauline Thomas permalink

    I can remember the 1950’s. We were still using ration books. We had coal fires and smog. Houses that were war damaged and unsafe. No social housing. I was 7 years old in 1951. It will be another 21 years before I would become the mother of a disabled child.

    Mentally handicapped people (as they were called then) were either locked away or kept at home by their parents (no education until 1972). I can still remember seeing a little Down Syndrome boy (he would have been called a Mongol in those days) sitting by the window in a house in the next street to mine. It must have been so isolating for those families struggling to bring up a disabled child with no help from the state.

    My son was fortunate enough get schooling. The best years of his life. He was later able to go to a local college where they had begun to offer specialised courses for students with learning disabilities. Finally a day centre which offered a range of activities. All this made bringing up a child with a disability much more easier than in the 1950s.

    However since 2001 and the closures of many day centres for adults we have begun to drift backwards. We are being looked after by care managers who are governed by care brokers and faceless panels. We have care acts with no teeth. commissioners who shop around for the lowest tenders, care providers. safeguarding boards, businesses calling themselves charities. The list is endless. There has never been so many jobs of all descriptions for people employed to assist in making lives better for people with a learning disability and yet there has never been so many people with a learning disability who are slipping through the net.

    In or out of the common market will make no difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities. They will still live parallel lives with the rest of society.

    • weary mother permalink

      Pauline you have captured ours and our sons and daughters lives – in the past and in 2016 -.. magnificently.

      My son was born with Down’s in 1966…not a very good year..to be born a ‘mongol’..

      2016 Is the year to hear about ‘well being’ ‘choice; and ‘re-ablement ‘ from the well paid people you describe – the people with real lives – who do not appear to have any clue at all about the pain they are paid to inflict and who describe agony and despair as …….. ‘well being’.

      2016 is just another very bad year to have a learning disability..

  2. Jayne knight permalink

    Can I publish on Facebook your comment above. I’ve found it incredibly right for the moment and very moving x

  3. Shirley Buckley permalink

    I was 16/17 in 1950, and at an international camp in Norway, for two weeks together with Danes and Germans. We believed in a new Europe living together in peace – ah me. The next 10 years were exciting the world opened up. In 1951 a school trip to Rome, sun and blue skies – ah me. And the NHS, I had an ovary removed by the Queen’s gynaecologist. I now live in the most corrupt society beyond anything I could have imagined. Martin is held in a residential care home under an Act that is not fit for purpose, without recourse to the Courts, and with no safeguards. His and my human rights do not even exist. We haven’t drifted backward — we have descended into Hell, believe me

  4. It’s shocking what people without disabilities have done.
    Too much money and time spent voting on things no one really understood.
    If we were at war, discussion would have made sense.
    But as usual, the government focussed on all the wrong things, distracting people from the real issues. David Cameron now looks how I feel.

    • Can’t agree that people without disabilities are soley responsible. Astonished to hear from so many disabled people/parents of a disabled person in the aftermath who are overjoyed with the outcome and are happy to inform me of their hitherto undeclared racism , gobsmacking , not one fearful comment regarding equality and human rights. Just astounding.

  5. Pauline Thomas permalink

    I agree with you Nic that not all people without disabilities are responsible for the awful decline in the services provided for our loved ones.

    However are you telling us that all the people that you have spoken to who voted to leave have said that they were closet racists? Did they say I voted leave so now I can be open about my hatred of immigrants? . Surely not. Do you believe that all these vote leave people will now harangue immigrants in the street to pack up and leave. I do not think so. Most British people are just not like that.

    This country of ours has always been welcoming to disaffected peoples across the world. Most have integrated, married and settled down and are now themselves British people. I believe people who voted to leave did so for all different reasons. The people who made immigration the main reason for voting leave probably did so out of fear.

  6. agree, people voted to leave for many different reasons , and I shouldn’t be taken aback when a disabled person/s informs me they are racist but I am. I assumed wrongly that people I know who have struggled for equality in life would consider the EU supported their equality and human rights but it really wasn’t a topic of conversation. Only my small corner of the world but yes a whole bunch of closet racists who are feeling a lot happier for having their say. None would ever commit hate crime.

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