A new, non-partisan online campaign could have helped bring about an “awakening” among some disabled people that their hard-fought rights are at stake in tomorrow’s general election, according to its founders.#CripTheVoteUK was only launched in late April, but the disabled activists who founded the campaign believe it has made a small but significant contribution towards their aim of enabling disabled people to become a genuine political force.The #CripTheVoteUK hashtag has been widely shared during the general election campaign, and weekly Twitter discussions have also raised its profile.On Sunday, in the last of the discussions before tomorrow’s general election, actor and activist Liz Carr led a debate on the representation of disabled people and hate crime.One of the campaign’s founders, Eleanor Lisney, told Disability News Service that she believed disabled people would have an impact on tomorrow’s election.And she said she believed there had been more of a focus on disability than in previous election campaigns.She said: “When you read the news, even people who are not disabled still mention us, they still mention how the cuts have affected us. We get mentioned. More than previous elections, even 2015.”She said this had been particularly noticeable in the television debates.Another of the campaign’s founders, Rick Burgess, said it was difficult to judge the impact of the #CripTheVoteUK campaign on the election but from the media coverage he had seen “we’ve done well, given the snap election time frame”.The “proof of the pudding” was whether this helped to drive voter turnout among disabled people, he said.He added: “The main thing is I hope it lays the groundwork for a proper permanent lobbying effort, because governments of any hue always need pressure to keep them to their promises once in power.”Burgess said that continuing efforts to organise disabled people “into an informed and active political lobby will be essential to protecting our rights and lives.“What the last seven years have proved is we cannot rely on charities, the medical community or society at large to respect our rights; we have to fight for ourselves.“It’s a lesson from the past we have to relearn.”And he said the stakes were high in tomorrow’s election.He said: “This election can see the end of the abusive work capability assessment and personal independence payment regime, or we can see another five years of increasing death toll, cuts, and hate crime.”Although #CripTheVoteUK has only had a few weeks to make an impact, Lisney said she hoped its influence would grow.She said: “I am hoping that #CripTheVoteUK is waking people up to the fact that there is a power, a voice, that you can have.“If you don’t fight, you can lose the rights that you are taking for granted.“I hope they are awakening to the fact that you can lose what you are complaining about, the rights we have fought for.”One of the challenges, she said, had been to maintain the principle that the campaign was non-partisan, and did not support one party over another.She said: “What I tend to say is, ‘Look at the figures, decide for yourself, vote for yourself and your family and your community.’“I think what we need to do is tell people what is happening. I make sure that what I send out [on Twitter] is from a reputable source.”Lisney said she had been pleased that her local Labour candidate mentioned the campaign when he knocked on her door to discuss the election, after she had referred to it in social media messages she sent him.But Lisney said she had been “a little surprised and frustrated” by the attitude of some of the disability charities, who have refused to support the campaign, and had told her that “our trustees won’t like it” if they support #CripTheVoteUK on social media.
Month: July 2019
JAMES Roby has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2011 Engage Super League Man of Steel award.He is joined by Castleford Tigers stand-off Rangi Chase and Sam Tomkins, the Wigan Warriors full-back.The Man of Steel is the player who is deemed by his peers to have made the biggest impact on the season and has been the sport’s most coveted individual award since its inception in 1977.The 2011 Engage Super League Man of Steel will be crowned at a gala dinner in Manchester on Monday October 3 when a number of other prestigious awards, including Coach of the Year and Young Player of the Year, will be presented.The winner of the Man of Steel award is decided by a secret ballot of every player in Engage Super League, who each cast three votes on a 5pts, 3pts and 1pt basis.
KEIRON Cunningham said he was pleased with the improvement in his side as they beat Wigan 28-12.Saints ran in five tries – and could have had a lot more – as they comprehensively turned over the Warriors in a pre-season friendly that at times was anything but.“It was good,” Keiron said, “but it is the same as last week, I wasn’t concerned with the result, I just wanted to see improvement. It was a good first half for me and I like the way the boys hung on in there in the second half when the possession was at around 25:75.“They tested us defensively; we leaked one from a kick and then got one good ball set and scored. They were good signs for me.“The halves were brilliant, the forwards were good and Roby played well too. I got the improvement I was looking for. Wigan are a great side and probably one of the best attacking sides in the comp. I thought we hung on in there well and put into practice the work we had done defensively this week. I’m pleased with the boys and they responded.”Keiron also paid tribute to Travis Burns and – once again – Joe Greenwood.“Travis was outstanding,” he added, “and typified why we brought him into the club. He showed his intent and what he brings to the team. Like him, I saw the team’s intent in the dressing room and they went out and did what we wanted them to do.“Joe Greenwood was outstanding and to be honest he has surprised me. I knew he would be a good player but I thought he would be 12 months away. He has done well against one of the best teams in the comp and there are some tough decisions ahead of the Catalan game now.“Andre Savelio showed he could do that Alex Walmsley, Mose Masoe role and I thought Atelea Vea was brilliant too.”He also spoke about the continued questions from the Grand Final:“Regardless of the history, it has gone now and we won a trophy regardless of what happened. This wasn’t about getting one over anyone; it was a good competitive game.“Me and Shaun (Wane) are big fans of this game – we know it isn’t really a friendly – it is just about getting a performance on the field ready for Super League. And we got that.”Keiron confirmed that Jonny Lomax took a knock in the back that isn’t a worry whilst Jordan Turner came off the field as part of a planned substitution.
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