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Disability Bitch's predictions for 2011

6th January 2011

Well, readers, congratulations! We've made it through the Noughties, the most stupidly-named decade imaginable: It's 2011. Woo!

Less than a week in, and I've had my first fall and earned my first bruise: left knee, own house, argument with suitcase, if you must know. That knee is now such a vivid shade of purple I was going to take a photo and post it on Twitter, but manoeuvring the camera proved to be beyond my dexterity capabilities, so if you want to know what it looks like just throw yourself at speed against your own floorboards.
It's safe to say that I ALREADY HATE 2011. Some may call me hasty but with its icy pavements, extreme environment - there's been an earthquake in Yorkshire, you know - and the same old pesky laws of gravity, well, this year is proving far too similar to last year for my liking.

It's all shaping up to be so achingly predictable where disability is concerned that I've managed to foretell all key events for the next twelve months. I've written them down for you here, in a handy list, so you can tick them off as they happen:
Students protesting in London
1. A disabled person will capture the nation's hearts on a reality TV show. This one, we know for definite is happening. Just when I thought it might be safe to watch this genre of TV programme - after all, they've closed down Big Brother and its constant stream of vaguely crippled people - it was announced that brain-injured war hero Johnson Beharry will be appearing on ITV's celebrity skating show, Dancing on Ice. They had the one-legged Heather Mills last year. I feel sure that next year they'll ask me. I will probably turn down the offer, though that does depend on the size of the fee and the accuracy of my second and third predictions.

2. Disabled people will moan about disability benefit reform but, unlike the nation's students, will not riot, nor gain anything like the level of publicity experienced when tuition fees were raised. Consequently, disability benefit reform will happen anyway, and very few people without a direct interest in the welfare state will even notice.

3. Despite the above prediction, some well-meaning politician-hating commentators who have comfortable, stable incomes and have never in their life applied for benefit, will make it their business to write about the pending reforms.

During this period of low level bleating, Disabled people will, collectively, be described as being 'among Britain's most vulnerable people'. It's likely we'll also be known as 'the disabled' and - my personal favourite - 'the infirm' for much of 2011.

All politicians of all political persuasions will, at some point this year, state the importance of protecting 'the vulnerable' from the cuts, but all will be vague about how they might achieve that aim, or who qualifies.
A chip and pin machine
4. As ordinary citizens are encouraged to give more of their dwindling funds to charitable organisations, via cashpoint or when paying for groceries, they will become compassion fatigued.

The knock on effect is that, at some point, one of the Normals will snap, and there will be a small outcry when they refuse to give up their bus seat for a wobbbly disabled person. "It's political correctness gone mad" the still seated able-bodied fellow will say. Disabled people will hope this incident provokes outrage and that he is as hated as the Cat Bin Lady was in 2010. But it won't, and most people will secretly agree with the Nasty Normal because the austerity culture is making Britain grumpier.

5. If the cashpoint charity giving thing goes ahead, there will also be a news story about some hapless blind bloke who accidentally gives his life savings to charity after pressing the wrong button on the inaccessible ATM machine.
A highly sought after Bafta
6. A celebrity with a collapsing career will declare themselves a lifelong sufferer of a hitherto invisible impairment, probably mental health-based, though it might be autism, epilepsy or dyslexia. They will present a ground-breaking award-winning documentary series on the subject and become a national treasure. Everyone who shares their impairment will hate them.

7. Some geezer with no legs and a talent for self-publicity will climb a mountain, or swim the channel, or jump out of a plane, or possibly all three. This person will come up in conversation every time you complain of a disability-related twinge, and the world will ask, "Why can't all disabled people be like that courageous mountain climbing bloke" Disabled people will hate him.

And, that's about it: the year ahead according to me, Disability Bitch. Don't ask me how I know; I just do. Don't question it.. Take this information and use it wisely. Forewarned is forearmed, or so they say.

Facebook / Twitter

New year, new social networking regime. If you are my friend on Facebook, you won't be for much longer because I'm closing my account THIS WEEK. If you want me and my witty observations in your pointless virtual news feed, you have to 'like' my fan page. For double time-wasting points, you can follow me on Twitter, too.


    • 1. At 3:12pm on 06 Jan 2011, Chris_Page wrote:

      Who needs Mystic Meg when we've got DB?

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    • 2. At 6:45pm on 06 Jan 2011, Mhadaidh wrote:

      'infirm' I don't like it when that is used to describe disability
      the word sounds like something that requires viagra ;)

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    • 3. At 7:39pm on 06 Jan 2011, Ranald wrote:

      I wish i needed Viagra but as i am "infirm" there is little prospect of that becoming a requirement. ;-)

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    • 4. At 10:43pm on 06 Jan 2011, And wrote:

      There will also be a 'dancing disabled grandma' discovered to balance the dancing grandad discovered claiming HRM DLA last year. Other than in the Grauniad, there will not be a single mention of a wheelchair user in the media, all will be 'wheelchair bound.
      And the Grauniad will probably spell it wheelchai usir,

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    • 5. At 2:38pm on 07 Jan 2011, grim wrote:

      You're becoming rather optomistic Dissy? I am looking at a more pessimistic year ahead. With starving, freezing disabled who cannot afford the TV licence, let alone heating or food, so wont see the winner of any bland celebrity show. Anyway, that winner will then be hounded by the papers for benefit fraud, so its a lose lose situation all round! Happy New Year!

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    • 6. At 1:46pm on 08 Jan 2011, Turtle wrote:

      Mystic Meg? Are you still living in 1995? :)

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    • 7. At 9:25pm on 08 Jan 2011, mrsfairysparkle wrote:

      Hahahah! Horribly spot on. Funny and painful at the same time.

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    • 8. At 3:06pm on 10 Jan 2011, Chris_Page wrote:

      Turtle - yes I am, as I was only 27 then. I also hadn't been unemployed for long, and had hope that I would work again.

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