When I was younger, I claimed housing benefit and JSA solidly for a year. I did it so I could live in a place where I could find a job I could turn into a meaningful career, a meaningful existence. I grew up in an area short of prospects, short of jobs. I did not have parents who could fund a year long series of internships. I had to rely on the state to get me on my feet.
It is absolutely obvious that most disabled activists are unhappy with this coalition government, and many dislike and even hate Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) with a passion. This government, particularly in terms of welfare reforms, has made many major and undisputable mistakes however you wish to look at it or what you think on the policies. However, the important question is will Labour do any better?
The Liberal Democrats decided early on that the politically expedient thing to do was to take ownership of all the government's actions even when they ideologically disagreed with them. Voters may accept parties changing policies over time, but they will not forget the hypocritical positions taken by a party simply to look 'governmental'.
In the first wave of 'problem families', 32% had a disability or long term illness and 82% had a problem related to education, while 15% had children with a problem of substance abuse. This suffering can not be combatted by slashing budgets, but investing time, care and resources into tackling the root causes of these problems, as well as their aftermath.
The portrayal of disabled people is a complex affair as the many different interest groups try to portray us as a collective for their own agendas, when in reality we are just a collection of individuals labelled by society because of our difficulties, when the reality is we have very little else in common.