Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cuts hurt people - really

Heavy week. Too many meetings with council about cuts (all day meetings - we don't have that sort of time), also care assessment meeting that didn't finish until 6:30 plus looking after him ourselves without nurse. It's hard work looking after him - meds, lifting, suction etc. but it has its rewards when he sits there on the sofa with you chilled out and just resting. There can't be many 28 year olds who'll tolerate an evening cuddle from parents watching tele.

Meetings about cuts or assessments don't have that upside. The stress and anxiety levels just get driven up and seem to hover at an uncomfortable edgy level for days. Sleeping, even without him here, gets to be something you celebrate and only comes when you're so exhausted you fall off doing something. Have to do something to stop the adrenalized thoughts going round and round in circles. Even resorted to low volume, watching channel Dave until dozed off last night.

I'll almost be happier once these cuts hit properly. At least we'll know exactly how hard things are going to be and can get on with living. Fighting them, when you know you'll almost certainly lose is really wearing. It's not like it'll stop when we're beaten, it just means life will be even harder than it is now. These cuts are real - we now know fairly well what's going to disappear - most of his transport, almost certainly some day care, probably some of his 'ancillary' services, and that's with us battling to keep them. The ones I really feel for are those with moderate learning disabilities. Our sons disability is obvious and we'll find ways to make sure his quality of life doesn't suffer, somehow - at someone's expense, if not our own. They are in line for effectively losing all their support, they won't understand what's happening or why and many of them will be left with no-one to fight their corner.

I'm not going to feel guilty that our sons service is stopping them and others getting a service - we're not responsible for these cuts. The politicians and senior council officials are. I will blame them. They've got this wrong, and asking us to choose who else to cut (which they have) so we can keep our service is wrong.

And yes, I am bitter.


  1. Asking who else to cut is a really low blow - no doubt one they will try on each of us, because we know only too well what that might mean - especially, as you say, to those who don't have anyone to fight for them.

    It is SO hard. For years and years, we didn't ask for me for fear of getting less. So you soldier on, past the point of exhaustion. Now, for a while, we have a little more, but when and where and how is the axe going to fall, and on who? On Saturday, I listened to news of cuts to public libraries, appalled but confused by priorities. Then you listen to a complacent Government spokesman, and feel it has more to do with privatising anything that can be privatised, ideology rather than necessity. Maybe they believe we have to be conditioned to be grateful, turn to charity not public services. One does wonder - if they successfully return us to the 19th century, would the wheel ever turn full circle again, and a welfare state arise to end the barbarities?

    And I do so know what you mean about the adrenelin.

  2. There is an answer from the past to all these cuts - a low cost option that was funded from the local residents and in some cases even made money. It was called the parish workhouse. (I wonder if it had anything to do with The Big Society.)

  3. Yes, the government is definitely trying to condition us into accepting these cuts. They say the cuts are not the government's fault because of what they 'inherited from the last government'. They have stock phrases that they wheel out just before doing something utterly wrong and outrageous, and they seem to think that eventually they will brow beat us all into accepting whatever they want to do. I'm angry too.

  4. Latest relaunch is of 'Big Society' - but no one seems to know what it is in practical terms. Council here has been praised by Eric Pickles for it's 'slash and burn' approach to cuts - keep the rates down regardless of pain inflicted on vulnerable. Childrens respite already being closed, much more in pipeline.