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David Cameron On Carers

August 11, 2010

From PM Direct in Manchester yesterday:

2.38pm: A father with two grown-up disabled children asks about support for families like his.

Cameron thanks the father for what he does. He says some severely disabled children do not grow up. Sadly, his lovely disabled child died, he says. But now more disabled children are growing up. If parents give up, the state will have to pay for everything. Cameron says that if parents could get just a fraction of the money the state would have to spend if it took full responsibility for their children, they would find it easier to cope.

He offers to help the father “bash down the walls” so that the social workers listen to what he wants. (The father complained that he was not getting the support he required.)

I saw this bit live, and I’m sure I heard him say that disabled children are now living too long for the state to cope with. Please correct me if I’m wrong- I’d love to be wrong on this one.

The question is if medical improvements are allowing more of us to grow into adulthood, why shouldn’t the state do everything they can to support us and our parents for as long as we live- which, unfortunately, still isn’t nearly long enough.

This is 21st century England, where medicine has improved beyond recognition. It claims to be a developed country.  This is allowing able-bodied elderly people to live longer. No one seems too surprised about that. So why do they seem so surprised at the thought that disabled children might just grow up after all? Surely we deserve to live for as long as possible just as much as anyone else does- don’t we?

Tragically many disabled people in England still die far too young, but surely the state doesn’t set its age limits on our support services by the expectation that we will all be dead before we reach them, anyway? If they do, I’m really and truly scared.

I’d say I want to leave the country if that’s true, but where else can I go? Who wants me to be alive now that I’m over 18? If a country that claims to be developed has a state system that works on such thoughts, then  is there anyone left, anywhere, who will support me and my family enough to allow me to lead the life I deserve for as long as possible?

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