Rory Stewart says he wants to double the amount of foreign aid on climate change! This is my story, this is my message. I sincerely hope you will take the time to read otherwise you will never understand; things will never change.
If this is not a typical example of the arrogant, conceited MPs that have been created within our poisonous Parliament, who have no understanding of the world outside their precious bubble, then I don’t know what is!
It’s a total political point scoring exercise. Mr. Stewart, in my opinion, is unfit to be an MP, let alone the future Prime Minister. That’s not to say, foreign aid is not a good concept; it is, as long as it is used effectively and efficiently, which currently it is not. Climate Change! What a vote scoring tactic! How dare you consider using more of our taxes to be used for political grandstanding and popular votes when already there are many suffering here! It’s not a separate pot – it’s our money.
Mr. Stewart and all other politicians up in your ‘ivory towers’ – listen up.
My name is Helen and I have a severely disabled son. He has severe speech and language difficulties, severe Tourettes (no he doesn’t swear, and if you thought that, just shows you don’t understand Tourettes), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), some autistic traits and now Type 1 Diabetes. So as you can see, he may be a bit of a handful, but I’m not after your pity. He is my son, no one else’s, but my son. I look after him 24 hours a day, 365 days a week, no time off.
There are many, many people suffering in this country, yet MPs are either totally blind, or just don’t wish to know – I’ll go with the latter. If Mr. Stewart feels he has enough taxpayer’s money to double the already large amount given in foreign aid, then use that money for U.K. citizens desperately in need.
There are many, many people with their own stories. Carers at home looking after disabled children or elderly relatives, disabled people not getting the help they need, elderly people alone or again receiving minimal help; people living in poverty, people made redundant and unable to find suitable employment – the list goes on. What’s the saying? “Don’t judge me until you’ve lived in my shoes?” Well, perhaps politicians should – take time to spend a week with someone less fortunate than themselves, then perhaps you will slightly get an insight into what it feels and means; what it’s really like here outside your bubble!
The sheer arrogance and unthinking behaviour of Mr. Stewart’s proposal on aid, resulting in my anger and utter despair, has caused me to write this article, in the hope that it not only may help to ‘open the eyes’ of these politicians, but perhaps, if brought into the public domain, may bring some much needed help to so many others.
I took him to ‘school’, but he was always thrown out; because the establishment ‘couldn’t cope’. But I never really had those problems at home, whenever he did ‘misbehave’ or rather ‘not conform to normality’, I would try any tactic, but with love and understanding. He is who he is, why would I want to change him? It was my duty to be the best mother I could be. However, I had to change him – because ‘society’ says he must fit in.
I and he, have had to endure being kicked out of kindergarten and primary school because he ‘didn’t fit in’ – and take the unwanted, abusive remarks that went with it from the educationalists. When he was about 5 years old, I educated him at home. No pay, no help, no guidance, no teaching qualifications, just love and common sense. However, local authorities didn’t see it this way, even though I explained what, where and why I was doing home education. After all, it would help society not having to pay for him or have the ‘burden’. But no, as usual, society saw fit to send in someone from Social Services to say I was not being a good mother, but I managed to fight that corner.
Special needs must work hard to try and ‘fit in’ yet I don’t see much response the other way around. Yet you never think about ‘joining’ him in order to understand, do you? Being a parent of a special needs child is the most wonderful gift you could be given, yet it is the hardest. These special people teach you to have a sense of humour, and to see the world through their eyes is a very humbling experience.
Again, later in life, and having to move out of London, I had to find ‘education’ yet again. An ordinary primary school with a speech unit attached proved non-productive. I remember the day I took him out, his teacher commentated ‘what a wet fish’ when he offered to shake hands, how she tried to reprimand him by taking his favourite lesson away from him, swimming, and I’m told he’s the problem? Although I totally believe in inclusive education, I went against my better judgement and sent him to a Special Needs School – a ‘Beacon School’, at least I thought he would be ‘safe’. But without my knowledge, a purpose built room, or should I say cupboard was built for him, so that when he misbehaved, they could lock him in there, with a re-enforced door, bolted and locked. No window, no chair, no light, no door handle, no way out – and next to the fire escape, everything is controlled on the outside. So if a fire broke out, he would be still in the room, while others were standing outside his door to escape, as seen below, more likely he would be forgotten and die. As soon as I was aware, I took him out. Did you know that when special needs children don’t conform, educationalists use the same tactics as the police to ‘hold them down’ or carry them away? A very frightening experience if you don’t understand the world you are in.
Even a few months in an ‘autistic school’ failed because he upset the autistic children, even though one pupil literally flew at him in wild anger because ‘he didn’t like my son’ – but I ask, where were the assistants to prevent this?
A wild animal in a zoo is treated better. What kind of society have we become?
There are days when you sit alone with your child and cry your eyes out because you feel so alone, but I’ve cried out all my tears, and I live for my son. Some people have to take days to organise a trip out, a holiday, reading a book, having ‘me’ time, something most people just take for granted. For me, I’ve brought him on, and he loves being spontaneous and going out with me or his family. The way he treats people when we are out is such a humbling experience. How he tries to learn ‘to pay’ for goods, and then offers a hand shake to the assistant saying ‘thank you, nice to meet you’. The look of sudden pleasure on an unsuspecting assistant is wonderful to see.
However, just the other day, I walked towards a disabled changing room with my son, only to be told he couldn’t go in with me because he was male. I explained my predicament and that we would be alone in the room; not disturbing other women, but I was told rules were rules. So I asked the assistant “if he were wearing a dress would it make a difference?” “Oh yes, that would be ok” came the reply There are around 13.3 million people in the U.K. that are disabled, last year and 6.5 million carers. In total, 19.8 million people are either carers or disabled.
But it doesn’t stop there, you get the horrid looks and stares when out in public and sometimes abuse is shouted at you, for example, things such as, ‘people like you two should be dead’. Constant chatter, constant questions, constant banging from tics, even while you are trying to work, morning to night, and when you wake the next morning, its ‘ground-hog day, all over again’.
The Labour government offered help via the local authorities with ‘contracts’ so that you may organise and purchase help to take them out, but that came to nothing because the contract was literally torn up because of ‘austerity’, even though the Act states that local government must educate special needs until 25; apparently, according to the local authorities, they do not have to abide by the laws of the land! Shouldn’t you be looking towards the provider for cuts, not the receiver first? Then the excuse was no-one could take him out because he needed a nurse for his diabetes!! Why, I learnt, I’m not a nurse.
But it didn’t stop there – all parties did nothing – the coalition government – Tories and LibDems, then under the Conservative Government today – no-one for the last 20 years or so have bothered to address any of the issues. What makes me really angry is that your government continued with ‘The Big Society’ – what lovely jobs and money many have made out of that! By the time it gets down to the actual person, after every organisation that is involved takes ‘its cut’, that needs the help so badly, its minimal. Did you know the highest paid Director in 2017 got paid £240,000? Just the salary.
On top of all that, we have the Office of Public Guardian breathing down your back – secret courts. Yes, even in a supposed democratic country, we have secret courts. Something that a special needs parent must fear on top of their already hard life. I was instructed to arrange a £16,000 bond in order that should I fail my son, for example, cheat him in any way, then the Office of Public Guardian would take that money for compensation and take over the role of ‘guardianship’. The only reason I had to enter this was because he had now become an adult and I needed to get certified that I would be the correct guardian for his health and well-being and for his money and affairs – his mother, the one person he can trust, the one person who had been with him constantly, brought him into the world, and I needed to be certified as the correct guardian! The constant letters I get requesting payment of ‘fees’ which MUST come from his account, and not from myself, and constantly replying that at this moment in time, he is exempt. Who is cheating who? The annual forms I must fill in to show that I am acting appropriately and show exactly what has happened throughout the year.
There are hundreds of thousands of people out there in this country, my supposed tolerant, caring country, whose needs are far greater. Some people will go with little food tonight, some elderly people sit alone not seeing another soul for days, parents trying to manage normal daily life whilst juggling with a special needs child or children or adult are just some examples.
Yet you, Mr. Stewart, seem to be able to find more money to double foreign aid! Shame on you, shame on all you people in Government. You seem to think we should be subservient to your political whims and vote scoring. Well, it’s you who has the name ‘civil servant’ or have you forgotten?
MPs and civil servants seem to have no conscience, no duty, and no compassion. You see nothing wrong in awarding yourself a salary rise, your expenses – all OUR money. You think nothing of claiming for Sky subscription or a TV Licence through your expenses, yet are happy to consider stopping free TV Licenses for over 75’s. I should be satisfied that I and others pay for ‘second homes’ while some in our country do not even have a decent meal, or roof over their head, nor others a day off.
You don’t stop to think when sending our hard earned cash to things such as “Ethiopian pop group and “exporting the dole to Pakistan” or nearly £600,000 spent on renovating a palace used by Baroness Scotland, secretary-general of the Commonwealth Secretariat, as her office. You don’t stop to think, should I be helping more the people in my own country first. I understand that even the 5 top poorest countries are not receiving foreign aid.
Thanks to David Cameron, it has become a legal requirement to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income. This will no doubt help Mrs. May’s proclamation whilst touring Africa last year that Britain’s aid budget would be used to promote British trade and political interests. Even Jeremy Corbyn stated Labour would use the foreign aid budget to spread left-wing ideals by toppling ‘global elites’ and ‘redistributing power’ to the masses. The budget should be used to sponsor activists abroad who are agitating for ‘progressive’ political change in their countries.
This has confirmed to me that MPs across the political spectrum have no consideration whatsoever for the common man, and what’s best ‘for the country’ – the common man or woman that has elected you to that honoured position but you never listen. You would rather listen to professional lobbyists.
So suddenly, Mr. Stewart either has found some money down the side of the ‘invisible sofa’ or he’s preparing to put up taxes; or is it that Mr. Stewart will use the foreign aid budget mainly for Climate Change? But Mr. Stewart defends our current stance on sending around £14.5 million a year on foreign aid. Remember, 19.8 million people disabled or supporting?
All politicians love to put out any issue they would gather popular support because they think it will bring them political votes, instead of highlighting those that our suffering in their own country, and show that they care and listen.
Mr. Stewart, do you lie in bed at night, worrying what is going to happen to your son when you are dead? I do. After his immediate family has gone, that’s it! Will he be placed in some unit to be abused? Will you look after him, Mr. Stewart? Or will any politician realise that its ‘duty’ we owe, not human rights. We have a duty to ourselves, a duty to our family, a duty to our neighbour, a duty to our country.
Some might say that my story is sad but typical of any other person less fortunate and there is help out there if you look. Really, I’ll tell you, it is not? That Climate Change is important and that without it, there will be no world for any of us – let’s have a real debate on it. Let’s double foreign aid and use it to highlight ‘Climate Change’ – pay for all those conferences, air flights etc., but those less fortunate will still be going without food, still needing support, still suffering, regardless, whilst you take their taxes.
If you want to highlight ‘Climate Change’ – let’s have a proper, open debate!
If only one politician would read and listen, but I know too well, they won’t.
When my mother was dying, it was my son who comforted me; my son who took me in his arms and whispered the words in my ear ‘don’t’ cry Mummy, Grandma has to go home now’. To come from someone with special needs, someone with limited speech and understanding, these were the most profound words I had ever heard. It shows that they do care, they do understand, they deserve better, yet society easily forgets so many.
So, I hope you understand now. Would you pay for food, for education, for holidays for your neighbour’s children before your own? Of course you wouldn’t. You would look after your own first, then if you were able, would help others. Treat our country the same!