Disability and Tradition
by The Editor
The Traditional Britain Group is please to debut a new columnist, Mr. S. Desmond Daunt. Mr. Daunt writes from a wonderful perspective regarding persons with disabilities who are also traditionalist in their political and cultural views.
Disability and Tradition: they are not often discussed. It is only in the past few months that I have begun thinking about and around the issue. Why? You may ask. As I write, the Conservative Party is taking sides on the issue of disability benefits. As this is a matter of internal UK policy, I shall not, as an Irish citizen, directly comment on it. I may return to it.
Those of us who read The Spectator, would have seen Simon Barnes’ heartfelt piece on how Political Correctness has benefited him and his son. Barnes’ son has Downs Syndrome. The kernel of the argument he puts forward is that the sensitivity of language ushered in by PC has indeed helped us understand words which once described Downs could, in fact, be seen as hurtful.
Observant readers might have noted I used the phrase ‘has down syndrome’ rather than ‘suffers from…’. I have cerebral palsy. Do I suffer from it? As I was born with it, it is part of me. It does not define me. My understanding of, and debt to, Western Christian civilization is far more important.
I must admit that, in my younger days, I did flirt with notions of equality but even then I knew any ‘rights’ given to me came with a personal responsibility on my part to use these rights wisely.
Is Rights the right word?
Anybody who knows me tells me I have a hell of a lot of determination. I only walked at seven. My A-levels were completed on a typewriter with me writing 7 words a minute. These are all facts. Yes my life has improved with some accomodations. Extra time at college exams, the odd ramp here and there. The patient human as I type out what I need in a shop etc.
Many of these accommodations are not about prescriptive egalitarian laws. They are about common sense. They are about the Great British trait: Fair Play. Our knowledge of disability has grown. We have friends or family. We have our wounded Heroes.
This vision of ‘Fair Play’ may not go down well in the disability rights lobby. Rightly or wrongly, it is dominated by leftist ideals. They wish to seek out people to ‘blame’ for lack of access. They handcuff themselves to buses making common criminals of themselves. They seek to persuade other disabled people that they have common ground with numerous races who view disability as akin to Satanism!
The hard left has a miserly record. Ironically the Americans with Disability Act was enacted by Bush Snr. And I think Lady Thatcher’s government enacted interesting laws in 1987.
This is the first time I have written anything as a Traditionalist who happens to be disabled. One hopes my words begins a conversation.
S Desmond Daunt