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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 January 2021

TV review: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain

The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain

The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain   (Click to enlarge)

Derek McMillan

Cerrie Burnell and her team have produced a landmark documentary on the subject of disability.

She herself faced horrific discrimination when she first became a CBeebies presenter and was confronted with the reality of prejudice against disabled people.

The documentary traces the development of prejudice from the eugenics movement so beloved of Dominic Cummings and Adolf Hitler. The clear concept of segregation was to prevent 'inferior humans' from breeding.

This lived on beyond the Nazi era, with special schools for special students, exclusion of disabled people from public transport and the organised patronising of disabled people by charities.

The movement against this led to access to mainstream education for a number of disabled students. One campaigner recalled pupils who had no disabilities chanting "we want to be with our friends". Unanswerable.

Access to public transport for people in wheelchairs is now the norm, but that access is patchy at best, and the poor provision is a denial of civil rights - actually no different from the Alabama bus company refusing a seat to Rosa Parks.

It is ludicrous and insulting that people with disabilities are expected to rely on charities - Chris Tarrant was shown making a self-righteous defence of his patronising attitude.

Disabled people have suffered disproportionately from cuts in public spending and from the impact of the pandemic. Attitudes need to change and this first-class documentary will help.

The prejudice against people with disabilities is a major alibi for the Tories to justify refusing them basic civil rights, and refusing to spend public money on improving facilities and improving access. It is also a means to 'divide and rule'.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 27 January 2021:


News

Covid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

Health, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

Poverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

Fees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

DVLA Covid outbreak: They only care about output and productivity

Jaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader


Schools

Schools: 'We have to fight for everything'

Martin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"


What we think

Biden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party


Workplace news

Sage care workers strike again: Billionaires refuse to pay up

Unison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

Steel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

Merseyside: DHL workers at Burton's Biscuits strike against half-baked pay deal and bullying bosses

British Gas engineers continue strike against fire-and-rehire plans

Low-paid hospital workers strike


NHS

Overwhelmed, underfunded, underpaid, and still fighting for safe PPE

Health worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic


Arab Spring

Ten years since the 'Arab Spring'


TUSC

TUSC is up and running for May elections

Come to the TUSC local elections conference - 7 February

Why I'm leaving Labour and campaigning for TUSC

Councillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently


Campaigns

Solidarity meeting with Mohamud Hassan

Save Our Square from New Labour gentrification

Help fund a challenge to austerity at the ballot box - donate today!


International socialist news and analysis

Mass protests in Russia against Putin regime


Review

TV Review: It's a Sin

TV review: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain


 

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Related links:

Disabled:

triangleNews in brief

triangleCripTales: A painful reflection of a system that pits us against each other

triangleDisabled students let down by "rotten education system"

triangleFilm: 'Sick' - 'They've got people looking in the wrong direction'

triangleCapitalism cause of disproportionate disabled deaths and isolation

TV:

triangleTV Review: It's a Sin

triangleTV review: Red, White and Blue

triangleTV: The Social Dilemma

triangleTV: Council House Britain

Review:

triangleFilm Review: Moxie

triangleJudas and the Black Messiah - taste of Fred Hampton's politics, with lessons for fighting oppression today

triangleFilm Review: The White Tiger

Britain:

triangle1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Could Britain become a fascist state?

Public transport:

triangleOnline rally: Fight the London transport funding cuts!

Civil rights:

triangleLessons from the Black Panthers

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