The Curmudgeon


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Even the Disabled Have Their Uses

Having, over the past few months, duly established his non-authoritarian, anti-snoopery, anti-corruption credentials, Daveybloke the Cuddly Conservative continues to develop his ever more polished New Labour image by exploiting the memory of his dead and disabled child in the interests of party politics. Even Gordon Brown, whose father, as you may possibly have heard, was a Christian minister, has not yet aspired to such high-minded tactics, although I doubt the Vicar of Downing Street would have let the opportunity pass him by had one of his own children been considerate enough to make the sacrifice. Indeed, it seems just possible that this press release about the Vicar's favourite sow might be an early symptom of his campaign for ordination as President of Europe.

Anyway, Daveybloke notes that politicians' exercise of power is influenced "in a number of ways. You take advice from experts" of the Murdoch and Deripaska persuasion; "you learn from history and you listen to what people tell you in your own constituency and as you travel around the country". But a lot of the time, the CBI and the White House permitting, you go with "what you believe to be right and what your experience tells you works". Daveybloke's experience of taking time off from his ambition to lead the country in order to look after his disabled child - rather than paying someone else to do it, as some other millionaires might - has taught him several important lessons. One is that "life for parents of disabled children is complicated enough without having to jump through hundreds of government hoops", such as might have been created by a loony-leftist policy of privatising benefit agencies. Having his child assessed and getting the benefits he so desperately needed meant that poor Daveybloke was "answering the same questions over and over again, being buried under snow drifts of forms, spending hours on hold in the phone queue", a particularly harrowing procedure for those sadly disadvantaged persons who cannot afford to pay a secretary or two. As a result, Daveybloke is "determined to make life simpler for parents" by shunting respite care into the voluntary sector so that the Government doesn't have to pay as much for it, and "through personal budgets and direct payments" so that the parents of disabled children can make better use of their copious free time by looking after their own budgets and being praised in the Daily Mail for making such good use of the taxpayers' money. Daveybloke also promises more special schools, more information and more choice; which, unless we are to imagine that Daveybloke is physically capable of holding beliefs that conflict with the interests of those hard-faced men who do so well out of the war on public services, presumably translates into Standard English as more contracts for the private sector and more opportunity for fun and games in the faith sector.

Daveybloke concludes with the thought that parents of disabled children are "doing a great, unsung service to our society" by "being strong and holding their families together". A single parent of a disabled child will, it appears, remain a parasite first and a carer second.


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