Walk to the sea and make salt

We all try to make the world a better place. We all have our pet struggles. I try to make the world better for my fellow disabled people, specifically in the areas of inclusive education, access to public places and access to communication aides. I naturally have people who disagree with me. My father points out facts which he thinks I have overlooked. Yet there is absolutely no hostility between us: we both present arguments, debate what we see as the facts, and attempt to come to a solution which we are both happy with. Despite our differences in this area, we still eat together, we still hug etc.

This is as it should be – the paradigm of all argument. I have no doubt that messieurs Blair and Howard have dined together on occasion. They’re possibly good friends. Science too is full of debate – one scientist posits an argument in paper X, which his fellow scientist may disprove in paper Y. The two scientists may be good friends, and go to quasar together.

The only way to solve problems is through rational, logical debate. Through posit and counter-posit. In the inclusion debate, I often cite the CSIE – the centre for Studies into Inclusive education – among other places. This is how problems should be solved.

Yet, today in Britain, there are a few people who do not believe in this. They think their problems can only be solved through violence – through blowing themselves and others up. I find myself asking whether you can have a debate with the terrorists – can you sit down and talk through their grievances? I find the fact that the answer may be no truly scary. We do not know what their aims are. Indeed, some say their aim is to destroy the western world, a fact which I’d like to disbelieve due to its sheer lunacy but sadly cannot.

The problems in Ireland were solved through debate – through discussion. This week, the IRA agreed to decommission, which is truly great, but this happened only through debate, yet al Qa’ida seems to have no political arm – nobody you can debate with. Nobody from that organisation will listen to argument, and, frankly, this fact scares me.

It means this war is endless.


as you may or may not have noted, the hitcounter on my site is dodgy. One second iit says I have over 2000 hits, the next, 49. I have no idea why it does this, but it is irritating.

My stupid computer can’t count!

the burke case

I think I’ll reserve judgement on this for a bit longer. I am, of course with burke – his wishes should be respected – but I do not yet fullyunderstand the GMC’s position onn this.

any thoughts anyone?

bollox to bipedalism

One of the earliest known creatures to walk on two legs is called lucy, whose fossil remains were found in east Africa – Ethiopia, I believe. She is ancient, but what is interesting about lucy is the size of her brain. It is comparable to a modern monkeys.

In other words, you don’t have to be very clever to walk upright, what counts is your ability to interact with others, and be happy, regardless of how you get from a to b. Bipedalism is overrated. Ok, I’m happy to trot about the house – the ability to raid the fridge is valuable – and my controlled falls around campus have their uses, but my point is walking is not the be all and end all. Its easier – and probably safer – to go in my chair. The preconception that the disabled must walk at all cost stems from ancient ideas of what it is to be human, which stem from the bible. These ideas mean that disabled kids are subjected to all sorts of often painful physio during time when their non-disabled peers are learning, playing, or just being kids. Thus the benefits of walking must be weighed against the costs: after all, a wheelchair does the job perfectly well. If a child is happy not walking, why should it be subjected to painful therapies against its will. (this, incidentally, is the social model as I understand it)

Of course, I have no intention of abandoning walking, I’m just saying that other ideas should be engaged, ideas which do not demand that ‘thou shalt walk upright with both heels on the floor.’ For reference, see this

mum is not an idiot

I’ve been eating readybreak for years when I’m home. I’m not really a fan of breakfast: it’s something to get out of the way before the day starts. Breakfasts at university re rather cool, but at home, the meal is kind of dull.; so I have readybreak, and have eaten it since the great wheetabix rebellion. Whoever’s about just pours the powder into a bowl, adds milk and some flavouring, and bungs it into the microwave.

However, this morning mum put too much milk into the mix, making it slightly harder for me to eat.

I was thus eating this sloppy stuff, listening to radio four. I rather like radio four – it keeps me up to date with the world, at least until I check the news online. This morning, there was a segment about a chap who wants to bring back grammar schools, and I listened to it intently.

Does he have any idea how damaging the two-tier education system was? It helped maintain the class system in this country, making sure only the privileged got an education. The privileged being children who had parents who could spend time teaching their children enough to pass the eleven plus, that is, those in the middle class. Thus, the system was self for filling, and helped perpetuate the class system. The secondary moderns were dumping grounds.

The parallels with special schools are obvious, and you can see why I was so incensed by this guy on the radio, especially when he pronounced ‘social inclusion was a nice idea, but it does not work’. What? And this guy is supposed to be educated. Where – a midden? The principals of inclusion can and will work. They must work, unless we want a return to the class system. I’m not suggesting that the disabled are a class, per se, just that we have as much right to a good education as anyone else – a right that we are currently being denied by being sent to special schools, and that many will be denied should the grammars be brought back.

‘Idiot’ I said, to my bowl.

Suddenly, mum looked aghast, and dad looked angry. Mum’s face seemed to say ‘I’ve already apologised for making it so sloppy.

I realised what had happened. I waited two, three seconds, then smiled ‘I meant the radio, mum,,’ I said. She smiled.

I bet the guy on the radio couldn’t make readybreak!


I have, of late, come upon the opinion that the siblings of disabled people are, quite often, remarkable people. Take, for example, my brother Luke: mum and dad were both away this weekend, so he was home to ‘look after’ me. Not only did he do this remarkably – even bathing and shaving me last night – but he spent the entire weekend reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood prince to me. All 30-odd chapters, aloud! Incredible. I suspect he wanted to read it too, but that’s besides the point.

My point is that he could have scarppered to his room and ignored me, but he didn’t. last weekend, I was struck y the fact that none of the siblings of disabled young people were staring at me. Upon reflection, this isn’t surprising – presumably, they had been around disabled people all or most of their lives, so they were ‘used to’ us crips. Incidentally, this is yet another argument for inclusive education.

I am, of course, making gross generalisations here, but I have found that the brothers and sisters of disabled people are, by and large, good people. Presumably, they would have seen much of the privations of their disabled siblings, for example, beings told ‘we can’t go here because we can’t get little X’s chair in.

The bottom line is, I don’t tell mark or Luke I appreciate them as much as I should. I love you, bros.

where is this going to end?

This morning I heard that the man shot dead on Friday in London was innocent. He was an innocent Brazilian, not a terrorist. Now, it seems, the police can shoot dead whoever they suspect off being a suicide bomber, and, frankly, this fact scares me.

I think the government is gittery: two weeks ago, we faced a concerted terrorist attack on a scale and in a style never seen before. This past Thursday, there was an attempt to repeat that. And, early on Saturday, there was a huge attack in Egypt. Little wonder that the government is proposing tougher terrorism laws.

Yet this begs the question: where is this going to end? We are bound to see even tougher laws now, which will probably restrict our individual freedoms further. Will we be prevented from buying certain products which could, potentially, be made into bombs? Will we be prevented from meeting in groups of more than, say, three? This could make Christmas dinner interesting. All joking aside, these are the types of changes, I think, which will logically have to occur if we are truly to defend ourselves. Thus if you look at it like this, if we are to maintain our freedoms, as we know them now, we will have to leave ourselves open to the risk of more terrorist attacks.

Wow. I’m being deep for a Sunday morning. Bombs or not, I better go find breakfast!

lukes home

how come as soon as either of my brothers get here, things go crazy. luke shiwed me this earlierprosecution exhibit A See? absolutely crazy. I rest my case

not again

dispite the if not tragic then worrying events of this afternoon, as outlined here, London tonight seems to be slowly getting back to normal. at the time of writing, details are patchy. why were there no big explosions, and who was the man arrested ten minutes ago in whitehall. reguardless, I just want to say hi to all my friends in the capital – if you could drop me a message, it’dd be cool.

bugger! we just lost a third wicket. 18 for 3. aussies all out 190

good and bad

I think this is rather good. I’v had friends with DMD, and I rreally appreciate such progress

On the other hand, this really does make me angry. It’s about a t-bll coach who gave $25 to a team member to beat up another team member with learning difficulties so he wouldn’t have to let him play. the reason – the coach ‘wanted to win’. GMAFB! what an asshole