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Frances Ryan is a journalist and political researcher. She writes regularly for the Guardian, New Statesman, and others on disability, feminism, and most areas of equality you throw at her. She has a doctorate in inequality in education. Her website is here.
Austerity was a choice and one not born from economic reasoning but political ideology: a desire to dismantle the benefit system and with it, the state.
After looking in detail at all the changes to the benefits system in the last five years, it’s only possible to come to one conclusion: the coalition’s attitude towards disabled people has been pointlessly cruel.
The Labour party is missing the opportunity to stand up proudly for low-paid workers and those who rely on state support.
What matters is not privilege, but what you choose to do with it.
Ignoring the history of mental illness of the mother who smothered her three disabled children to death feeds the wider cultural claim that disability is a nightmarish circumstance.
Under austerity, charities are regularly having to substitute for government. We live in a twenty-first century Britain where poorer citizens are back to relying on handouts to live.
It’s not being a “classist gimp”, as the singer termed Labour MP Chris Bryant, to point out that inequality has played a part in how people end up in positions of power in this country.
Private schools allow the privileged to buy their way into every structure of power in this country with barely a whisper from the rest of us. Why give them tax relief as charities when so many do next to nothing to earn it?
The narrative of the fallen abuser is all too familiar: the ruined life that matters is the man’s rather than the woman he raped, hit or killed.