Saturday, 8 February 2014

My thoughts on disability and politics (especially youth politics)

Last night, I went to one of the open debates of the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) seminar on how to get young people more involved in politics. (Quite a few people from more liberal sections of Labour also attended.)

I expressed a particular interest because not only am I a Young Green, but also a Young Green who has a disability and who is passionate about countering the attacks on people with disabilities by the coalition government-especially via Iain Duncan Smith and Esther McVey, his partner-in-crime-and also much of the mainstream media. Disability hate crime has been rising in many areas since the ConDems first took power, as a direct result of their austerity rhetoric and disregard for our society's most vulnerable people. As Mahtma Gandhi once said, 'you can judge a government by the way it treats society's most vulnerable.'

As I have experienced and expressed before I joined the Green Party in 2012, the voices in particular of young people on the autistic spectrum almost never get heard to a wide enough audience, and they are particularly vulnerable to the predations of corporations and the right-wing, pro-neoliberal mainstream media. I have been trying to change that (and will continue to do so) not just through my experiences in the Green Party but also within NUS, where I have spoken many times and where I helped pass a motion to help student unions help get young people with developmental disabilities more active.

It is clear that if we are to work together and oust the neoliberal capitalist system that has corrupted our society for three decades, we need to inspire as many people as possible, particularly young people, to take action, regardless of whom they are, and resist the divide and rule tactics of the wealthy elite, and remind them there is a real alternative to what we face now across Europe.





  1. Yes Alan! I agree whole-heartedly. People KNOW that the discrimination of disabled people by this current government is WRONG. I urge those who have someone with a disability in their family, circle of friends or in their community (so, pretty much everyone then!) to speak UP on behalf of them or give boundless support and encouragement to empower them to speak for themselves.
    I was at the debate, I thought your question was fantastic and have endless admiration for what you're doing :)

  2. It's amazing that you got to be a part of a motion to help student unions battle disability hate crimes. I hope you found the experience fulfilling, as you are truly very inspirational to have participated in that movement. I hope to read more updates like that, Alan. Thanks for sharing that! Kudos and all the best to you! :)

    Brad Post @ Jan Dils