In a democratic society, we choose who we want to be. And the way we treat our most vulnerable members speaks volumes about the rest of us.
Here in the UK, there is a lot of good being done to support those vulnerable people. But in tighter economic times, the temptation on government to cut expenses which benefit a minority is huge. After all, they spend so much of their time working on being liked by the majority. They seem to forget that part about being civil servants.
Civil… funny word, but in this instance I’d like to think of those in government being “civil”… polite, civilised, caring, above the petty selfishness we all feel most of the time.
And servants… at its most basic this is a beautiful occupation, to serve. To help others, to enable others to lead a life of dignity and purpose.

I’m the mother of three children, all of whom are vulnerable. None of them fit comfortably in the “norm”. And I love them, and truly believe that they have a valuable contribution to make towards society. Mostly though, I believe that they have as much right to “life” as any of your children. And if they need help to walk, talk, eat, get to work, manage daily tasks, it does not follow that they should be left to wither on the sidelines of life.

If your child has the potential to lead that “normal” life, I could not be happier for you. Would you encourage him or her to help mine in some small way to do the same? Or would you teach them to ignore them and focus on personal gain?

Our government (well, to be fair, governments because I do not believe that this is symptomatic of any particular political party) is drifting comfortably into the second choice. Our government does not feel comfortable asking you and your children to help me and mine.

I choose to think that in the same way as I encourage my children to help those in more need than themselves; in the same way as I try to help in my small circle, so most of you would do the same.

I choose to think that you care as much as I do.

I choose to think that if you feel stolen from by our welfare system, it is most likely because you do not know the good that it does, the lives that it enables.

Please watch this video – it is an eye opener.

Then tell our government that you do care:

The WoW Petition  

If you watched the video, you now know how crucial the ILF is to those who need it.

You also know that thanks to five brave people, it has been saved for the time being.

But you know that it is closed to new applicants.  That means you, should you become disabled.

The War on Welfare petition has now reached 100,000 signatures, but that doesn’t guarantee change.

You can make a difference by signing it, but also by writing to your MP, asking for a debate on the subject.  The following letter is a template you could use.  You can find your MP’s contact details here.  This template is based on the one from the WoW site.

Dear …..
I am writing as a constituent to ask you to represent my views in Parliament.
I signed and supported a government e-petition, the WOW petition, which recently passed the 100,000 signature mark, meaning that it can be considered for a debate in Parliament. I would like you in the interests of democracy to do whatever you can to make this debate happen in the Main Chamber, and allow the voices of sick and disabled people and carers to be heard.
The petition calls for a cumulative impact assessment of welfare reform as it affects sick and disabled people and carers, and an end to the Work Capability Assessment, as demanded by the British Medical Association.
I’ll be adding a paragraph here about my personal experience… what makes you care about this??
 
I believe that the least Parliament can do is to debate these issues in the Main Chamber, and would be very grateful if you, as my MP would ensure that this debate takes place. Please notify John McDonnell MP’s office of your support as soon as possible so he may inform the Backbench Business Committee that the debate has wide cross party support.
With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year,

 

-Thank you to my friend Renata for bringing Mary’s story to my attention! http://www.justbringthechocolate.com/advocacy/stand-and-fight-wow-petition/#sthash.DlpQr9Se.dpuf

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