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I once wrote for life now I write in life. I'm looking forward to developing a blog presence with personality for DAO whilst delivering comment, reviews, photos and views on disability and how it's represented.

Picture from a Not Dead Yet Movement 2

22 July 2014

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Activist from Disabled People's Direct Action Network holds placard outside House Of Lords reading 'Lords of Death'

Thanks to Dennis Queen for telling me where I could the picture I was looking for in Picture from a Not Dead Yet Movement Again this comes from the action against Lord Joffe's bill not Lord Falconer's. I suppose if you replace a spade with a spade it still goes by the same name - 'Lord Of Death'. Great title sir. Back in the day, we all knew the Lords of Death would be back. Flocking rook like in a parliamentree, espousing blinkered wisdom like owls caught in daylight. Birds of...

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Picture from a Not Dead Yet Movement

21 July 2014

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Way back in time  a fellow named Lord Joffe tried to get the Assisted Dying Bill through parliament. The Disabled People's Direct Action Network (DAN) mobilised and put on a show which the majority of the Lords supported. I remember taking a shot of an activist from Birmingham (Paul? if memory serves). He was holding a placard reading 'Lords of Death'. I looked for it. It felt apposite. Timely and with shades of Doctor Who. A science fiction skit perhaps wherein the elderly,...

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He Was - I Was

1 July 2014

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Saturday Night, Peter's Bistro in Devizes and an unlikely meeting across tables forming a friendship. I retained these details in my head as it seemed to say something about engagement (my current area of work at Merton Centre for Independent Living). I didn't realise it would take this form. Neither did i realise i would be experiencing this on the day the Battle of Westminster raged. He Was - I Was He was a Royal Marine, fought in the Falklands I was into peace and love, didn’t...

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Blah Blah Blah

18 June 2014

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a man appears out of the words blah blah blah which are written lots of times in different black and white shadings. I love the smile on the man's face.

This blog first appeared today on Merton Centre for Independent Living's Inclusion Blog where I explore issues around engagement and reveal what our members are saying and getting involved in. It can be found here:  But it felt too good and arty to just stay there so her it is. We do this. We do that. We sell the brand. The blind man sat and got pounced on by the organisational evangelists with their we do this, we do that, we sell the brand mantras. We sing. We jump. We swim. The...

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To Dan, An open letter of love

25 May 2014

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Dear Dan I'm home now, sorting through some old photos. I come across several from the time i knew you. I loved you for the good and bad things that you were to me. I adored the conceit of spelling your name in capitals and the statements that you said it made about you. You said you were Direct, that you took Action and that you Network. You could have been any old DAN but you weren't. You said you were the Disabled People's DAN and they were  like you. They were direct,...

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I think of you often. The way you were that day we spent together down by the sea

23 May 2014

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I think of this picture often. It has entered my personal mythology. I turned it into a story.but looking at it now I can see that I tell the story wrongly. In my mind I see a toilet entrance and three signs. One saying gentlemen this way, ladies that and disabled people yet another. I think my story tells it better. I am narrating a tale of language and exclusion. Segregation. 'No whites, no cats, no english'. The ridiculousness of it all. But a Nat King Cole Documentary is being shown...

Comments: 6

On Entering the Save the ILF Postcard Campaign Photo Gallery

10 May 2014

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I have barely taken to the streets to Save The ILF. I’ve done a little but maybe not enough. It’s not apathy. I always had something else to do.  I campaigned for independent living before I even knew a fund that supports independent living was at risk. I chanted Free Our People with the best of them. It was more a case of redirecting my energies. I advocated for direct payments. I found employment with Merton Centre for Independent Living. I was committed but further away from...

Comments: 6

Black Out Hate

8 March 2014

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I have a photo to go with this blog and i will put it up one day. Its simply a sign reading Black Out. It promotes a drapery company, specialising in what must be very effective blinds. I took it one day when walking away from a public meeting. I understand how close it is to reading blacks out and as uncomfortable as that reading is it seems to sum up much of the tone of the meeting. And yet... this was a public meeting about public transport and in particular buses. The room seemed...

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THE LgbtEAST WE CAN DO

8 February 2014

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When I'm not blogging for DAO, which happens to be most of the time, I have a day job. Get this. Engagement and Development Worker for Merton Centre for Independent Living (MCIL). One of my responsibilities is to engage with the wider community and in particular with hard to reach groups. The LGBT community is not one that I am charged with finding,meeting and relating with but MCIL know that i'm putting my feelers out. In some ways this young, hungry organisation was ahead of...

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Hurray for the Festivities

7 January 2014

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"You are too single minded about this disability stuff. You have a life outside of it. You need to leave it at work and appreciate all those other things that you have". This is a criticism I have to put up with from time to time. There is some truth in it. But, i'm not so bad as people make out. I can put my work away. I can distinguish between my work and my life. I see where they meet, interact, and where I can find peaceful seclusion. Its also an interesting question because...

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She Never Looked Sicker

20 December 2013

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I've just caught up with Katherine Arianiello's latest blog on DAO, Wot a laff, It surely can't be the first time a committed disability artist has played with identity by assuming the role of a normal person with the disadvantages that brings, Indeed, how many of us have done this on a daily basis - myself included. Mainstreaming. Being the supercrip. Letting normal society put on us with their interminable list of aches and pains and other uninspired melodramas, Oh! the boredom of...

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Rock God, Pop Star and the ideal gift for Christmas

9 December 2013

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I attended a book launch for the first time last night. Bob Stanley of St Etienne, and regular music columnist in the nationals, has just had ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah – The Modern Story of Pop’, published. I went for a number of reasons. The launch was local, at Fab Records, Bob is a neighbour, I’m reading the book and its great, but mostly because one day we stopped in the drive way and had a chat about the communication difficulties we share. So, I wanted to support him and I...

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Chatting to a WH Smith Chugger

4 November 2013

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photo shows a burning of Pudsey bear on a previous burn Pudsey Friday - an event you can do in your own garden at home.

Pulled into Oxford Services last night on my way home from me mother's. Through the second set of automatic doors stood a chugger, clanging a red bucket for Pudsey. I blanked them to the extent that their size, race and gender became a blue. I had no idea who they were. Entering the loo I was invited to spend a penny for pudsey. I could see that others had. Pennies piled brownly in a thick perspex casing. I am always tempted to break it, vandalise the promo poster, run off with the...

Comments: 1

DPAC meet the Mother's Union

14 June 2013

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A funny thing happened the day we rested 20 or so disabled activists camped in Deans Yard, Westminster, to hear statements about the abolition of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) on the occasion of its 25th birthday. Then we made our way to the Department of Work and Pensions to sing Happy Birthday to the ILF, chant 'Free Our People', share cake and watch socialist magician, Ian Saville, make the letters ILF disappear in front of our very eyes. According to Ian, I is for Independence...

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On folkie Spiers & Boden’s and their current Back Yard Tour.

29 May 2013

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I am interested in community gigs and caught up with Spiers & Boden in my own back yard at Cecil Sharpe House in Camden Town - hoping to learn about making connections. 

Spiers and Boden, long established folk duo, founder members of great festival band Bellowhead, are in town. They will play twice today in the same but changing venue of Cecil Sharp House – the home of English folk music. First a ceilidh. Then a concert.
 
The floor is cleared for the dancers. These people...

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A favourite some what cruel joke

2 May 2013

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I wouldn't normally tell jokes on my blog here but i wrote this one and its a favourite that's pulled out from appropriate time time to appropriate time - like only this morning someone was telling me what they had to eat last night which was very opportune as my reply quickly came: Linda McCartney Pies. I'd have thought they'd have gone off by now I am a proud vegetarian myself but i don't wallow in its promotion and i do believe in convenience so if you ever do invite me...

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Guess Where. Riddle Me Riddle Me

1 May 2013

Blog

The Farmer and The Shepherd

I'm giving serious consideration to applying for a job.

See if you can guess where:

 

"Deviant sibilants hiss into my ear

calling to the core of a paradise

where I never believed fairy stories

nor in a planet cultivated full of Cains".

Comments: 1

Stimulants

17 March 2013

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Today I’m going to see Dolly Sen’s film, a part of 'Wonder; Art and Science on the Brain'. I’m hoping to see friends there. I feel good but not all that good. I travel and write a travelogue of the present that takes me to the past en route to a future better than this, better than my changing mood. Stimulants Making it not making it in a mood travelogue wet with rain Always outside of the inside or on the inside looking out Car wipers grate scratch like chalk on the...

Comments: 2

Punch Psalm

17 March 2013

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Had a very confusing day today. Wrote a lot about my journey to nowhere. Will edit it and maybe poetise the prose more. In the meantime here's something that may happened or something that may not have happened. Certainly parts of it did. Punch Psalm Wet Sunday Afternoon Church closed Doors Locked Bars open In the eternal Blue Light Cops Speed to hospital Scene of conflict Between Drunks And Demonstrators Who both want It open Forever In Service...

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Sleep - A Thought Provoked by Liz Crow Continuing Bedding Out

10 March 2013

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When I used to practice writing with a passion, strong and heavy into the night I would wake up with sentences being formed in front of my eyes rather than dream in sound or in vision. It still happens sometimes. It happened again recently. The words appeared. They took poetic form. I woke up and they were gone. I let them run away, escape me. Then that Dawn Willis started a facebook page, Bedding Out Live  a promotion of a Liz Crow performance. I began to contribute and as I did...

Comments: 1

The Art Of The ILF Campaign

6 March 2013

Blog

I have spent many a minute this afternoon listening to the wit and wisdom of Sophie Partridge, Kevin Caulfield and Gabriel and Penny Pepper – all of whom appear on you tube videos (find all four videos here) in defence of the soon to be closed Independent Living Fund. Each video touches on principles of independent living that became very important to me growing up as a disabled activist, ie. Ideas around choice, control, independence and empowerment wherein we become contributors,...

Comments: 2

More About Writing

28 February 2013

Blog

I’m desperate to find my way into the new blog set up of DAO but can’t find my login. This will give me time to think, to consider what it is that I might have to say. For in truth there is nothing there that’s long enough to be a blog entry and one day the login key may appear and I will still be left vacant, with nothing left to say. I am aware of a theme that has been building, found in the simple, long term rush of writing. I have learned something old afresh. It is not...

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Finding My Words Everywhere

21 February 2013

Blog

Just the other day I was doing some browsing on the net, looking for a disabled artist someone else had told me about. I didn’t have her name. I had some connections, some concepts, some sites to visit. I was on one of the latter, just scrolling as the sun came through the window of the carriage I travelled in, when suddenly there I was looking back at me. A mirror, reflecting my lovely visage. I was shocked. Horrified. It was like I’d caught an eel at the riverbank. A whole review stolen;...

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Mike Gripe

25 January 2013

Blog

Don'cha just hate it when you go to one of these disability arts panels or disabled activists meetings and they just won't use the mike or the megaphone. You'd think they have something to say but don't want to be heard. Went to such an event yesterday. Tiny room, packed with bodies that increasingly shuffled and shifted as they couldn't hear nor barely see due to overcrowding and it took four speakers before one of them had the grace to use the mike. I know.... I should have spoken up. Given...

Comments: 1

Comments

Rich Downes

/
26 January 2012

Kev self organising, self advocating, putting ourselves forward to be counted should always be important whether we are within or without a movement. your point certainly picks up on Deborah's point that to be heard we need to speak and be received appropriately.

Imelda i love your QUIM and will remember it. Its very funny. I only asked one question whilst outside the Lords but carried it and the criticism that was made with me all day. The reply led to the other questions. I did resolve for 2012 to return to questions. I gave them up as irrelevant in 1983 but recognise that if i am to understand i have to ask.

Thanks for the support Bib.

John i didn't see the Francesca Martin interview but others have commented on it and claim to be alarmed and concerned because of how she was treated (is it on you tube?. Was this just another part of what i call the current media conspiracy to attack disabled people. Can we prove there is one?

I like Bob's idea of an organic movement. It chimes with what Kev was saying. I also like common aims, shared agendas, different styles of getting a message over, and think that's why we achieved what we did over 20 years.

I'd like to say Mighty Villa has a point but i'm with Bob as a Baggie but, unlike Bob i'm real black country so who care what the higher strata says.

So..... YES.... continue with our model, build on it, positively promote rights and opposition. Hang the thought that we can't say what is ours and continue asking questions

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