In our End Of Year Show Mat [Fraser] and Liz [Carr] are joined by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and BBC Disability Affairs correspondent Peter White to say goodbye to 2010 and hello to 2011.
TANNI I’ve heard a lot of people, which I haven’t heard for a long time, talking again about how they can protest. And it’s more than just writing letters to your MP, how can they come together and find the right way to protest. And the trouble with that, someone was telling me about ‘let’s organise a flash mob.’ But when you can only get two wheelchair users on a train coming down from the north east and get left on at Kings Cross, it’s a bit harder to make that happen.
LIZ They’ll just end up on a mobile phone ad anyway won’t we?
PETER I also think something else has happened really since… sorry, this is being my serious BBC Disability Affairs Correspondent head on,,, the organisation, the disability organisations, aren’t as strong as they used to be. In the ’90s, in the ’80s, when you’re talking about when people chained themselves to buses and so forth, disability organisation was strong. And Labour did something very clever and I reported on this quite a lot and nobody took any notice of me, which often happens. What they did was they incorporated all the leaders of the disability movement into their various quangos and organizations and disability rights commissions and you got Baroness Campbell, friend of Baroness Grey-Thompson’s here, they put them in the Lords they cut the head off the tiger, that’s what they did.
PETER I don’t think, you know, Disability Discrimination Act and any of the legislation, I don’t think had anything to do with celebs, What it had all to do with solidarity and marching and people tying themselves to things. That worried people and it really got to people. That is what made the difference between sixteen attempts to get a disability discrimination bill into Parliament and actually getting it there, because it was when that really built up. So I’m sorry that is what people say, ‘oh why do people demonstrate?’ They demonstrate because it works.
MAT So are you saying that that’s what young disabled people should be thinking about now in view of the cuts?
PETER Well I’m not going in incite them on your programme, Mat. I’m just saying that is what works and if it gets bad enough that is what will happen. Nothing gets given to you by sitting around and it doesn’t get given to you because a celeb says it ought to happen.
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