disabled people have suddenly become invisible

  • Post last modified:June 2, 2024
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Hello hello, testing testing. Is this thing on? Can everyone hear me? Can you all see me?

Oh good, it’s just the Conservatives and Labour who apparently have forgotten disabled people exist, again – right during a general election

No general election ableist bullshit – which isn’t a good thing…

After months of making disabled people the enemies of the public who are stealing the taxpayer’s money, we appear to have turned invisible to the two major parties. 

I was about to start writing this column earlier in the week when I realised I had nothing to write about. There has been no massive amounts of ableism this week, because they’ve just… stopped talking about us.

It’s like we’re in some weird twilight zone where they’re all just letting us get on with our lives without suggesting we shouldn’t be able to go on holiday or that we’re all lazy feckers who sit in front of the TV all day. I’m writing this whilst watching I Kissed A Girl and this is a safe space to say that now.

Disability is often condescendingly called a superpower, but is this what they meant? Have we all become invisible?

Has anyone checked on Mel Stride? He hasn’t been seen ranting about unemployed disabled people in TWELVE days. Is the wet wipe okay?

Has he been spotted wandering around Devon yet ranting incoherently asking random wildlife if they claim benefits, trying to convince them about “the benefits of work”?

It should be a comfort that they’re seemingly leaving us alone but after months of threatening to make our lives harder and years of actions that have led to our deaths. The silence is just as scary.

General election: a scary silence

While the prime minister, opposition leader, and candidates have been up and down the country and touted out across media for the general election, not one has mentioned anything to do with disability.

There’s been nothing to do with PIP reforms, the threats to the Work Capability Assessments, and any changes they would make to the DWP (for better or worse). Absolutely not a peep on how they’ll support us in the cost of living crisis.

It makes sense, almost for the Tories to be silent about us. After years of demanding us they no longer have to – the propaganda has already gotten to people. They also know that so many are turning away from them and I suspect they don’t want to give media pundits even more reason to hate them.

However, it makes zero sense for Labour to ignore us. Things like the fact both the EHRC and the UN have found them to be actively endangering disabled people’s lives would be great fuel for the Tory-hating fire.

Why aren’t they constantly pointing out that their policies have and will continue to kill disabled people? That their rhetoric has led to us being seen as lazy, workshy scroungers who want to leech off taxpayers.

At a time when the DWP are attacking neurodivergent people and those with mental health conditions, it’d be an absolute home run for any of the Labour lot to speak out about how abhorrent they’re being.

They must, therefore, be staying quiet for a reason.

Labour: letting a good thing go to waste?

This could be that they know how good a number the scrounger narrative has done on disabled people and they don’t want to lose the “hardworking” voters who might worry they’re going to give people who need it support at the expense of their taxes.

The most worrying conclusion is this: Labour hasn’t spoken up about disabled people because they share the same ideals as the Tories.

The only thing we’ve heard from the Labour election campaign so far is a line straight from the Tory playbook “Those that can work will”. There was also a vague idea yesterday that local government will support more disabled people in to work.

But this sounds a lot like Wet Wipe’s WorkWell and there was no talk of funding for local authorities who are already stretched enough.

As always, any focus on disabled people has been put on our ability to work, because humans are apparently only useful if they can make money and if they can’t well into the mixer with you.

With a bit of luck, we’ll be well shot of the Tories in a few weeks time, but there’s no doubt in my mind we’ve got a fight on our hands with Labour.

The Lib Dems a glimmer of hope? Yes, you heard that correctly

One glimmer of hope is that the Tories are set to be wiped out so hard that the Lib Dems could become the official opposition. Ed Davey shared yesterday that he’s the father of a disabled child, so hopefully once he’s stopped having a lovely little adventure holiday he’ll get to work holding them to account.

Until then we’ll have to do it ourselves, as always.

Featured image via the Canary

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