Great post thanks Hilary. Its interesting that such an unfriendly sounding place/room is where life-giving and/or life-extinguishing decisions are made about us.
I think Sacha makes a good point about the MoH's team of henchmen & henchwomen
Thanks for this informative and interesting post Hilary. Another fact readers might find interesting is that microcephalics were displayed as 'pin-heads' alongside other human curiosities during the freak show era.
No, it was not an over the top parody of the slippery slope thesis. We are well and truly on the slippery slope already. One only has to follow the links Hilary & Rosemary provide.
The point is terrible things are still been done to disabled people and, by and large, they are sanctioned by the mainstream.
We forget our history to our peril, Mark. Under certain regimes it has been more convenient for parents to kill their inconvenient children; today we must guard against it becoming acceptable to surgically mutilate disabled children for parents' convenience.
PS Sorry, forgot to mention, great original blog Hilary
I’ve read so much advocacy for Charley's parents that I’m beginning to wonder if there was every any advocacy for Charley at all? I cast my mind back to the Silent Holocaust and recall it was one parent’s request to Hitler that their severely disabled child be euthanized that started it all…
Thanks for the post Hilary; remembering where we come from is so important in deciding where we want to go.
I agree with andin that we have always lived in a globalized world except that the one we live in today is quite different in terms of its digital context and immediateness in which time and space shrinks.
And, as Marc notes, this has had huge consequences for the nation state and what it can do given the trade agreements, international treaties, conventions and covenants it is tied into; we have become a neoliberal, billionaire's state in which freedom is valued above all else, inequality rampant, social services underfunded, ran down and sold or contracted to the private & 3rd sectors.
People are beginning to question the neoliberal agenda; Jeremy Corbyn in the UK & Bernie Sanders in US are offering us social democracy as the solution while Jane Kelsey argues were in an interregnum between paradigms in which we don’t really know where we are going but we sure as hell know that the contradiction between the current politics and their social consequences has to be resolved.
Wonderful post Hilary – just look where its taken us!
No different than me calling myself a para I reckon Sacha. And while para has absolutely no political connotations, I wouldn't strip 'polios' of any
Nikki Kaye's response to reserves of $32b and a $2b operating surplus for the year for ACC was to announce cuts to employer and car registration levies. When Andrew Little responded by saying that the cuts should have been sooner and deeper, I emailed him suggesting that rather than cuts to levies, this was an opportune time for converting ACC into an NDIS type scheme for all disabled NZers.
Sue Moroney, opp ACC spokesperson, eventually responded that Labour intended to hold an independent inquiry into ACC when next in Office to ensure it was fair and sustainable. This was not really addressing my point; its time for Labour Party activists with an interest in disability to get the TOR of any such inquiry extended.
Kevin Hague, who I copied my message to, provided a far more satisfactory response saying he was on record supporting a return to the original Woodhouse Commission's vision of ACC covering all NZers and that the Greens supported an NDIS type system for NZ.
There's some really interesting comment occurring, thanks to you all.
However, I can't escape the memories of all the choice and control we disabled people were going to get when Jenny laid the "New Deal" on us in the 90s. We were told then that private providers would be lining up to give us efficient and effective services; that disabled people would be empowered, have more choice and control in their lives...
This time round its the same old bullshit except now we are being told that IF, EGL, Choices in Community Living, the New Model is going to deliver Nirvana to us as we spend our vouchers/IF/EIF or whatever on services which will deliver us more choice and control....
But there's a bloody great elephant sitting in the corner of the room which no one is talking about and its name is 'fiscal neutrality'. This is shorthand for 'no extra money' for all these wonderful new systems and services we are going to purchase in our pursuit of choice and control.
And we all know what's going to happen in this quasi-market of DSS, don't we? Quasi-markets are like closed systems designed to operate on a fixed sum of money provided by the State; the State introduces competitive tendering to squeeze as much value as it can out of every last dollar as firms undercut each other to win the tender. But the firm provider is not in it for love; its in it for profit meaning it must squeeze its workers in terms of pay & conditions and cut back on training. And guess who the ultimate losers will be as the bottom of the barrel is scraped for attendant carers, home support workers who will do an often difficult job for peanuts.