As a disabled person living with a progressive debilitating condition, and a trustee of the Charity Ataxia UK, I have noted with concern the outrage expressed by local politicians about a tweet alleged to have been sent from the account of Cllr Mark Cherry.
The tweet implies a comparison with the current government’s treatment of disabled people to that meted out to them in Nazi Germany.
The first victims of Nazi mass extermination were disabled people, and the methodology the Nazis used was the prototype for the later treatment of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and other minorities in the Holocaust.
The process was fuelled by the state’s careful production of a public perception that the disabled were a drain on the nation’s resources and their lives were worthless.
In my view, the Nazi example has to warn us of the imminent danger when negative perceptions of disabled people are perpetuated by institutions.
The harsh treatment and humiliation of disabled people by ATOS, JobCentre+ and the DWP could lead to something far worse.
Quite rightly, we should all be outraged, afraid and disgusted when our government seeks to de-humanise vulnerable people. If institutionalised victimisation of vulnerable people goes unchallenged, all of the victims of the Holocaust will have suffered for nothing.
So GPs are overworked (Banbury Guardian, May 22): is it a surprise? The immediate cause is the inexorably increasing burden of budgetary pressures and doubtless the additional burden occasioned by the mindless GP Commissioning reorganisation of last April. But there is a more fundamental underlying cause.
When I started voting in the 1960s, the choice was more or less between two, legitimate, intellectually defensible alternative views of society.
The one on the Left said that a decent level of civilised social provision was not the cheapest but the fairest option and higher taxes were the price for this. The one on the Right said that higher levels of social provision implied higher taxes which inhibited initiative and consequently wealth creation and everyone was worse off.
The consensus was though that the less fortunate would be supported by the more fortunate through a fair, progressive tax system: the richer you were, the more you contributed.
Then, at about the time of the oil crisis of the 1970s, the debate changed from the nature of the society we wanted to which political party would levy the lowest taxes.
Elections since then seem to revolve around which one bid the lowest taxes without any reference to the impact this would have on our services. I think it was Frank Field MP (Labour, but one time Tory) who said: ‘Sooner or later, politicians are going to have to come clean with the British voter and tell them that they can’t have Scandinavian services with USA taxes.’
Rowan day care
I would like to register my dismay on hearing of the closure of Rowan Day Hospital. I was a patient there for six days (one day a week).
Arthritis was my problem and my GP suggested I give it a try to see if I could get some benefit. I had no idea what it entailed as I was not aware of its existence.
I did give it a try and it was a pleasant surprise. There were quizzes, bingo and the all-important and needed exercises.
We all got to discuss our problems and it was good to know there were people who understood the problems. Blood pressure and blood tests were taken.
When my allocated time at Rowan came to an end I realised how much help I had received from the nurses who helped me regain some of the confidence I had lost.
The JR doesn’t need this facility, but they will close it anyway.
People in Banbury are heartily sick of the fate of our own hospital being decided by an authority which knows nothing of our needs.
Dogs for disabled
Banbury & District Supporters Group for Dogs for the Disabled would like to thank all the generous people who stopped to talk, buy and donate on Saturday at our Charity table in Castle Quay.
We collected the amazing total of £606, which we know will be put to good use by the charity.
Thanks also must go to Castle Quay, for allowing us once again to clutter their premises with our puppies.
Dogs for the Disabled is a life-transforming charity, creating exceptional partnerships between people living with disability and specially trained assistance dogs.
Through practical assistance a dog can offer freedom and independence to children and adults with physical disabilities and children with autism.
Treasurer, Banbury & District Supporters Group, Dogs for the Disabled
On behalf of a friend, I’d like to thank two good Samaritans who came to her and her brother’s rescue when their car broke down en route to Banbury from Fenny Compton approximately one month ago.
The first young man (an 18-year-old from Claydon ) stopped almost immediately and offered to take them home.
The second gentleman, coming the opposite way, stopped and said he would get a trailer to remove the car to the garage.
Sure enough he returned with a trailer and loaded the car on and delivered it to Warmington Garage, while the young man followed with my friend to arrange repairs etc .
When this was finalised he then took them both home and refused any payment – and neither did the gent with the trailer.
This outstanding gesture of help and kindness by two separate people meant so much to my elderly friends and deserves a big thank you.
I would like to thank everyone who voted for me in Bloxham, Bodicote and Milcombe in last week’s Cherwell District Council elections.
I am delighted to be able to represent you all again and will do my best for you in all aspects of my council work, but especially in the fight against inappropriate housing developments.
I look forward to seeing and talking with many of you over the coming months.
Cllr Chris Heath
Member for Bloxham Ward on Cherwell District Council
Many thanks to all who supported Oxfordshire Sands volunteers at Sainsbury’s on Saturday, May 24. A total of £82.33 was raised through donations and book/ puzzle sales and £90 through raffle ticket sales.
If anyone missed us but would like raffle tickets, please do get in touch with Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have some amazing prizes!
The raffle will be drawn at our Family Funday Sunday for Sands on Sunday, June 22 at Horton Pavilion, Easington, Banbury, from 2pm-4pm.