A little about me and the aims of my work:
I’m a political activist with a strong interest in human rights, equality and socioeconomic policy. I’m also a strongly principled anarcho-socialist. Much of my campaign work is in support of people with disability. I am also disabled: I have an autoimmune illness called lupus, with a sometimes life-threatening complication – a bleeding disorder called thrombocytopenia. The illness also affects my nervous system, including my optic nerves, (neuritis) leading to periods of severe pain and loss of eyesight. I have neuropathy, widespread tendonitis and quite severe secondary Raynaud’s. All of that means I may be unable to write much sometimes, but I’ll do my best.
Sometimes I long to go back to being the person I was before 2010. The Coalition claimed that the last government left a “mess”, but I remember being very well-sheltered from the consequences of the global banking crisis by the last government – enough to flourish and be myself. Now many of us are finding that our potential as human beings is being stultified because we are essentially focused on a struggle to survive, due to the cuts and welfare “reforms”. It’s not a good time to be ill and disabled, or in need of financial assistance.
I worked with vulnerable young people in the community, and supported those experiencing mental health problems in particular. I became too ill to work in 2010, and miss my work very much. I have witnessed the savage demolition of our social services provision, mental health and youth and community services under the Tory-led government. Michael Gove quietly repealed Labour’s Every Child Matters legislation the day after this government were elected. It was the most comprehensive child protection and welfare policy we have ever had, now it’s gone.
Maslow was right about basic needs and motivation: it’s impossible to achieve and fulfil our potential if we cannot meet our most fundamental survival needs adequately.
And what kind of government inflicts a framework of punishment via its anti-welfare policies on citizens? Our post-war settlement is being dismantled – the welfare state, the NHS, legal aid and social housing, all eroded and almost gone.
With the hierarchical ranking in terms of “deserving” and “undeserving” poor, the artificial and imposed framework of previously debunked Social Darwinism: a Tory rhetoric of division, where some people’s worth matters more than others, how do we, as conscientious campaigners, help the wider public see that there are no divisions based on some moral measurement, or character-type: there are simply people struggling and suffering in poverty, people are being stigmatised and dehumanised by a callous, vindictive Tory government that believes, and always has, that the only token of our human worth is wealth?
Governments and all parties on the right have a terrible tradition of scapegoating those who are least able to fight back, blaming the powerless for all of the shortcomings and consequences of right-wing policies. The media have been complicit in this process, making “others” responsible for the consequences of Tory-led policies, yet these previously protected social outgroups are now the targeted casualties of those policies.
I have set up and administrate support groups for ill and disabled people, those going through the new Kafkaesque disability benefits process, and provide support for many people being adversely affected by the terrible, cruel and distressing consequences of the Governments’ draconian “reforms”. In such bleak times, we tend to find that the only thing we really have of value is each other. It’s always worth remembering that none of us are alone.
I don’t write because I enjoy it: most of the topics I post are depressing to research, and there’s an element of constantly having to face and reflect the relentless worst of current socio-political events. Seems that every month we reach a new low. Nor do I get paid for articles and I’m not remotely famous. I’m an ordinary, struggling working-class disabled person, who went to university, and so can manage a degree of critical thinking and analysis.
I am accurate, insightful and reflective, I can research, review and analyse. I have a formal academic education that’s grounded in the social sciences, my particular interests are sociology and social psychology. I also studied social policy and have a basic grasp of economics and law. I aim to make the theoretical frameworks and key concepts of those disciplines as accessible as I can to a broad audience.
I also aim to engage other relevant organisations, such as the United Nations, sending evidence of policies that don’t observe our human rights, and accounts of our collective experiences. I lobby opposition MPs regarding policy, too.
But mostly, I write because I feel I must. To reflect what is happening, and to try and raise public awareness of the dire impact of Tory policies, especially on some of the most vulnerable and poorest citizens. Because we all need this to change, regardless of whether or not you are currently affected by cuts, because the persecution and harm currently being inflicted on others taints us all as a society.
I feel that the mainstream media has become increasingly unreliable over the past five years, reflecting a triumph of the dominant narrative of ultra social conservatism and neoliberalism. We certainly need to challenge this, to expand and re-frame the presented, much-reduced debates. The media tend to set the agenda and establish priorities, which often divert us from much more pressing social issues.
Independent bloggers have a role as witnesses; recording events and experiences, gathering evidence, insights and truths that are accessible to as many people and organisations as possible. We have an undemocratic media and a government that reflect the interests of a minority – the wealthy and powerful 1%. We must constantly challenge that. Authoritarian Governments arise and flourish when a population disengages from political processes, and becomes passive, conformist and alienated from fundamental decision-making.
I’m not a writer that aims at being popular or one that seeks agreement from an audience. But I do hope that my work finds resonance with people reading it. I’ve been labelled “controversial” on more than one occasion, and a “scaremonger” (mostly by the right-wing). But regardless of agreement, if any of my work inspires critical thinking, and invites reasoned debate, well, that’s good enough for me.
“To remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all” – Elie Wiesel
I write to raise awareness, share information and to inspire and promote positive change where I can. I’ve never been indifferent. I have a long history of political campaigning and active Trade Unionism. I would like to work cooperatively with others, too, regardless of personal or partisan interests, because collaboration and cooperation on our mutual aims and issue-based work is essential, if we are to make any difference. And we really need to.
Like many others, I do what I can, when I can, and in my own way. This blog is one way of reaching people. Please help me to reach more by sharing posts.
More about me: Saturday interview by Phil, who is A Very Public Sociologist – All That Is Solid.
More recently I have also joined the team of writers at Welfare Weekly.
About my site – “Kittysjones.wordpress.com is ranked 41st in the world (amongst the 30 million domains). A low-numbered rank means that this website gets lots of visitors. This site is relatively popular among users in the United States. It gets 20.8% of its traffic from the United States . This site is estimated to be worth $606343462. This site has a good Pagerank(3/10). It has 8 backlinks with 8 being the highest rank. Kittysjones.wordpress.com has 71% seo score.”
To join the Labour Party:
I don’t make any money from my work. I am disabled because of illness and have a very limited income. But you can help by making a donation to help me continue to research and write informative, insightful and independent articles, and to provide support to others. The smallest amount is much appreciated – thank you.