Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Supporting Michael D Higgins

September 16th, 2011 · 10 Comments · Irish Politics, Trot for the ARAS 2011

Tonight I am speaking at a meeting where Michael D Higgins will be talking  about equality.  A number of people who are passionate about equality were asked if they would speak at the meeting and endorse his candidacy. I didn’t hesitate.

It’s no surprise to many that I would have long been a fan of Michael D Higgins  as a politician, thinker and public figure.  Having observed the candidates and names that have been thrown around in the past few months it’s clear  we have to truly respect the position and it’s actual possibilities and limitations.  Its not about a party vote and indeed my support is not support of the Labour Party, particularly given the lack of commitment to equality and social justice that is emerging as a theme of the new government and their role in it.

I respect Michael D Higgins and his personal commitment to equality and justice.  When I think of who I want to be representing the country, thinking aloud and observing both the good and worrying things about Ireland  then I would rather have Michael D speaking to the nation than someone who pretends they were inclusive or doesn’t have the political experience needed to make good decisions.  The post is not about entitlement but it is about earned and maintaining respect.

We will soon have a real campaign and the shadow boxing of nominations will be over.  I’m looking forward to it.  I hope we see an end to the damage to the role which this early part of the campaign has done.

Tonight I will be speaking about equality and disabled people and why despite the boom and now particularly in the bust the position of people with disabilities in society remains low and the use of the images of disability and cuts do nothing to improve our standing in society.

Violence (both by the state and others) against people with disabilities increases in all forms as the clamber for the worst off emerges and the lexicon around disability talks of shirkers, stupid, unemployable, and carers and the jobs of staff in the sector instead of the right to live a life of one’s choosing with all rights protected.  Many continue to be hidden away in institutions and homes and promises are broken.  The Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities reported in 1996.  Most of the commitments have not been fully implemented or are being reneged on and I doubt that it’s money or the lack of it that is the excuse for our failure as a society.   I look forward to the chance to speak with Michael D and others tonight on this and other issues.



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