Will Disability Issues Become A Family Affair For Next PM?

A possible turning point occurred this week in terms of the fight for Disability Equality in the United Kingdom. It wasn’t a new piece of legislation, it wasn’t the launch of a new Commission, it was the fact that we became aware that two of the most powerful figures in the UK political arena have Disabled Children.

David Cameron and Son

David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, has a Disabled son who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and this week it was revealed that Gordon Brown’s four month old son has cystic fibrosis. We are therefore in a possibly unique position where who ever is the next Prime Minister will have hopefully a greater understanding of Disabled People and the discrimination and barriers that are faced by Disabled people every day.

Now, I am not suggesting that David and Gordon will naturally support all the aims and objectives of the Disability Movement and our fight is far from won. For example David Cameron feels special schools should stay open as a way to preserve “parental choice”. However, hopefully now Disability issues will be seen as important and not seen just as a good opportunity for a nice photo shoot with a bunch of crips.

This is not about nepotism either. It is just human nature that if you have personal experience of something, that you are more likely to have an opinion, and less likely to let ill-informed advisers tell you that there’s no problem.

Whoever becomes the next Prime Minister, it will be interesting to see whether in five years, Gordon and David’s personal experiences with their children will have influenced their policy making regarding disability issues.

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3 thoughts on “Will Disability Issues Become A Family Affair For Next PM?

  1. It’s difficult to know what the future holds in relation to disability issues regarding the next (possible) Prime Minister. Will whoever gets the top job realise that the attitudes of society towards disability will need to change to allow total inclusion and access of disabled people, or will it swing the other way with increased funding towards newer “cures” and “treatments.” Hopefully the former, but i’m not really holding my breath yet.

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  2. I really do hope that not only David Cameron and Gordon Brown, but their peers will all fully take on board the daily issues facing disabled people. Somehow, I’m sorry to say, I feel very sceptical this will happen. These people have made it to the top, and like all ‘good’ parents, they naturally want to make sure their kids get the very best. Parents ‘with money’ are notorious for circumventing standard convention, and probably won’t even notice the true realities facing the rest of Britain’s disabled children and people while they go about it, nevermind actually do anything meaningful about it. We will still have to keep pressing them, until eventually they relent. Mmm… Wishful thinking me thinks!

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  3. If the articles and facts in the articles offend you or upset you in any way, do something about it. There are people like us who care and together we can make a difference in the disabled society. I believe that there is hope and that somewhere out here there are solutions.Doesnt take the government, some fancy organization, or some expensive, self-centered doctor to find the solution. It takes dedication and people who care. We are those people.

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