Posted: November 21, 2010 in Uncategorized
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I am an artist.  Disabled.  Unemployed.  A part-time student.  A mother,  soon to be promoted to grandmother.   I have two children at university and one a recent graduate.

I am a socialist by instinct.

I believe in family, community, the connections between people and the fundamental duty of individuals and society to care for and support each other. I have mostly watched from the sidelines, too busy working, running a business and bringing up children to be an activist.  Leaving such things to those more suited, more passionate, more clever than me.

Some would say I am naive.

I feel compelled to add my voice to those of the people of this country who fear that the welfare state is being threatened. That the NHS is being transformed by stealth into an American style  insurance scheme. That their jobs will disappear.   That the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society are to be abandoned and that they, and our children, are to be made to pay for the follies of bankers and markets.   Who fear a return to the days of (Ken Loach 1966Cathy Come Home.

I am afraid.

This is not the life I planned when I was a teenager.   I had imaged  falling madly in love and marrying for ever.  A house full of happy children and pets on the private estate that bordered the council one where I grew up. A career as a short hand typist.  A holiday every year, perhaps even abroad, and weekends in London for shopping and the Lake District for relaxing.  I day dreamed of going to university and of being a novelist or a poet or a writer of profound thoughts.

But somehow I ended up here.

I have the happy children and pets, a divorce and a degree in fine art. I’ve travelled abroad a little, have not taken shorthand for more than thirty years and I live in a privately rented property.  Once, for a few years, I was my own boss.  I also have debilitating bouts of depression, spondylithesis spondylithosis and osteoarthritus. I live on sickness/disability benefit.


This is not the life I planned.