I planned to march today, I made this poster and I shared it on Facebook. I asked who else was marching. The response was not encouraging. It was the same people yet again. But I still planned to go ahead, until the venue was cancelled. The one that made sense to me, the one where actual decisions are made about health, where I’d be standing shoulder to shoulder with people I know. And here’s another five reasons too:
I was talking about it over the weekend and someone commented that marching is something socialists do. When did that become a thing? In the 1980s my first march as a middle class student was with lots of other middle class students protesting over rent increases in student accommodation. Then I marched in support of the right of the 14 year old at the centre of the X case to go to the UK for an abortion in 1992. Then I marched in anger over the Government’s failure to improve the health service during the Celtic Tiger years, which caused so many needless deaths, including that of Susie Long. Remember her? I do. More marches followed, but yes I also noticed they were inevitably hijacked by the left wing parties, regardless of the views of the marchers.
I would be marching at a location that has nothing to do with my children and the services and assurances they need.
I am concerned that no-one will care that I’m there, because I’m always there. At every march and every demonstration. It’s new faces that are needed, I just look like a serial protester now. And since #EnoughisEnough is mainly about services for young children with autism, my presence is not really relevant.
My face has never been a good fit anyway. Not poor enough to claim carers’ allowance any more, but not enough time or expertise to use my savings to find services privately. And anyway having to pay for everything when you can’t work drives carers into a poverty trap with no escape route due to their caring duties, as happened to Transitioning Angels.
Will the march achieve anything? Except a chance for camaraderie and to let off steam (which is useful). Yesterday’s Sunday Mail reports that internal Government papers show that the health services cannot deliver on rights for disabled people. Due to funding choices, and disability not being a priority for most politicians, in my opinion.
I hope I’m wrong and I wish the marchers every success. But I’m going to sit this one out.