January. Its the time of year to set out your stand.. so here is mine.
In 2014 I want to make the whole of Britain recognise and recompense the nation’s unpaid carers. Not for justice – though it would be just. But to ensure we have a robust response to the caring crisis that is coming upon us.
I want: non-means tested Carers Benefit, a relaxation on earning constraints for carers, and an occupational pension-scheme-equivalent for all fulltime carers to reflect our long years of hard work. Additionally, targeted careers advice and training; reform to social housing ideology and practice; and a guarantee from the state that money for carers is only given to organisations that offer properly targeted transport-accessible help that is fit for purpose to all the people need it. Full details here: https://carerwithattitudeuk.wordpress.com/five-simple-ways-to-change-carers-futures/.
And I am expecting help from everyone – particularly all activists and political parties – to make these very reasonable and rational things happen. Because the problem of millions of missing workers, unpaid and overworked for decades, is a problem for all of us. And ‘us’ means YOU.
What I don’t want is what we have had for years – the pats on the heads, the dismissive remarks, the “everyone has their problems”, the “ if only we had the money” , the arrogant assumption that by making us literally worthless you can keep us both working and voiceless.
Society’s attitude – and that might be your attitude – is like that of the murderous German soldier trying to cut an enemy throat in Saving Private Ryan. “Shh shh, be quiet. It will be easier..”
No, we won’t be quiet. It is only you that will find things easier if we are.
So, in short,
- “We need you to DO, not SAY.” This is the year when we will make you (and I mean you) do something to remedy the plight of family carers. (What plight? Every entry in this blog will inform you)
- “We Carers will NOT be hijacked by YOUR political narrative.” No, you do not, did not, and have not cared – whether you are blue, red, orange, green – or purple. Pretending you do or did is not an option and your selective amnesia is disgusting and pointless. Remember, if anyone had done anything to help us we wouldn’t be where we are now: exhausted, unsupported, penniless and ill.
- “Don’t tell us how much you care when we can see you’re careless of Carers!” Sympathy is cheap – actions speak louder than words. And as we will only benefit from actions, we can – like- erm – really really really tell the difference. OK?
- “We are Carers and we are Legion.” The time of divide and rule is over. There are 6.4 million of us – over a million of us are caring full-time. Think about it. If we were a union you’d be running scared. (But unions won’t represent us). We work for love, and we won’t strike – but we can vote – and we can collapse. Both of these, in different ways, could have a profound effect on this country.