Securing a positive future for all sick and disabled people will not come from dirty politics and cheap headlines, but rather it will come from putting our differences aside and digging deep to reveal and challenge the prejudices against us, even those from within, that have existed since we were living in caves. Only by doing this will the issues of welfare and assisting dying be framed in a new and positive way.
Vilification of benefit claimants and disabled people is endemic, perhaps the government should just stitch on the black triangles and be done with it or bring in the Welfare Games to keep us at a more manageable number and remind us how grateful we are for all the 'pitty money' (in Simon Stevens words) that we get.
The WCA has been regarded by many campaigners as being 'not fit for purpose', leading to a divisive and confrontational approach by many claimants, and I fear this has made the situation worse than it could have been. The campaigners have cited the fact that 38% of ESA appeals have been overturned as evidence that the WCA is not working and has to be changed.
One Sunday one of our merry band was having his regular bedside Mass with his priest and his Mum, when the priest asked us all to join with them. When we all refused the way the priest replied to us has stuck with me throughout my life. "Well if you don't believe then you deserve to be sick. God is punishing you all for your lack of faith".
Poverty and sickness had always existed and I sometimes feel so embarrassed how soft this generation sometimes appears to be. If some charities and indeed disability activists were around when we were living in caves, we would have all been deemed unfit for work and would never have invented fire, being extinct a very long time ago.
Vitamin D sufficiency, along with diet and exercise, has emerged as one of the most important deficiency disease preventive factors in human health. Literally hundreds of studies now link vitamin D deficiency with significantly higher rates of many forms of cancer‚ as well as heart disease‚ osteoporosis‚ multiple sclerosis and many other conditions and diseases.
Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour party, has a million things in his in-tray. A challenging economy, rising energy prices, badgers, you name it. And yet he chose to speak to the national media about mental health. Whether or not you agree with his politics, the very fact that he made this speech is a good thing - it's a sign that the subject we've been campaigning about for so long has moved up the political agenda.