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Robert Halfon MP Made Deputy Chairman Of The Conservative Party

May 11, 2015

Same Difference sends sincere congratulations to Robert Halfon MP, who has today been made Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party and Minister Without Portfolio.

I don’t share Mr Halfon’s political views, but I do share his disability, Cerebral Palsy. So on a personal level, I am proud that someone who shares my disability is a member of the Cabinet. The natural pride that disabled people feel for each other’s achievements is a difficult thing to put into words, but it is a strong feeling.

I’m also pleased that, for the disability community as a whole, we can no longer call this ‘breaking down a barrier-‘ as before Mr Halfon we’ve had David Blunkett and even Gordon Brown in the Cabinet and, of course, in the post of Prime Minister. However, as far as I know, Mr Halfon has broken down a barrier for people with Cerebral Palsy, as he is, to the best of my knowledge, the first one of Us to be in the Cabinet. As hard as we try, readers, not to favour any one disability over others on Same Difference, sometimes it is just impossible to avoid doing so. Please forgive me- my natural pride is flowing fast and strong right now!

Personal similarities aside, I have to wonder what this really means for disabled people. The question must be asked: Is it David Cameron’s little silent nod to Ivan, who also had CP?

Is it his way of reassuring the disability community as a whole that he is listening to us? If so, many disabled people and carers will call it a very classic case of ‘too little, too late.’

But here’s the thing, readers. Mr Halfon hasn’t publicised his disability as widely as Paul Maynard, the other MP with CP, did. While Paul Maynard said strongly and clearly from the beginning that he was representing his constituents, not disabled people, and then proceeded to prove his point several times, making many disabled people strongly dislike him, we do not know very much about Mr Halfon’s work in Parliament so far on disability issues.

We will, however, be tracking his record on disability issues much more closely over the coming Parliament. For now, readers, I live in hope that, as a Cabinet Member, Mr Halfon will do his best for disabled people as well as for his constituents. So my natural pride in another person with Cerebral Palsy has won, for now- until Mr Halfon gives me reason to think otherwise.

 

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2015 12:08 pm

    well lets hope he’s better then that other clown Paul Maynard

    • May 11, 2015 1:45 pm

      He’s probably there as a token gesture to people with disabilities, to wheel out all the cuts that Cameron wants and Cameron to use him as a puppet.

  2. May 11, 2015 2:03 pm

    indeed it’s very odd with IDS to hand out the punishment to the sick and disabled and then to promote someone who no one has heard of in a non job who in reality will never say anything in their favor how could he. To me it just sounds like a bizarre move to keep the press happy and for the prime minister to just reference it as a positive as and when he chooses to do

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