Farcical forum

It appears the UK Disabled People’s Parliament is under threat; but
does anybody care?

For all the talk of a forum run by and for disabled people, so far
the whole thing has been a bit of a shambles. The planned elections
had to be scrapped because not enough people wanted to stand. But
then that’s hardly surprising given that no cash was available even
for basic travel expenses.

At the parliament’s first “sitting” last October anyone with some
spare time on their hands who could come up with the fare to
Birmingham automatically became a “member” of the new parliament.

So the £119,000 grant for the project ended up being spent on
a rather unrepresentative glorified conference.

You can’t help wondering whether that money would have been better
used trying to help disabled people gain access to existing
representative institutions.

The real decisions that affect disabled people’s lives are made in
local council chambers, in our national parliaments and assembly,
and in Europe. These are the arena where disabled people can really
influence events and that’s where they should be setting their
sights – rather than what has turned out to be an ineffectual
talking shop.

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