Wednesday, 7 June 2017

One final plea...

Dear my beloved readers,

Those of you who regularly visit my blog will know that I suffer from Friedreich’s Ataxia. For anyone new,it is basically a genetic condition that attacks the nervous system and will continue to get progressively worse until I die (the Tories want that to happen sooner rather than later as it seems that I am a massive drain on the economy). I just wanted to drop by and remind you all that tomorrow is polling day. Peoples lives are at stake in this General Election so please go out and vote in a new Labour government with fresh, exciting ideas.

I can tell you that life in austerity Britain is not good for me. Benefit reductions, being refused vital equipment due to budget restraints and wasting my life in hospitals waiting for treatment are just a few examples of what I have had to endure since 2010. It is not just disabled people who are hit; the cuts also affect the NHS, Education, Transport, Public Services and Security. The Tories are not finished there because if re-elected, they are planning on attacking old people next with cuts to Pensions, a Dementia Tax and scrapping winter fuel payments. No one is safe! 

However, contrary to popular belief (the media help to shape this view), there is an alternative way.  Money does not have to be prioritised over human lives. Society does not have to cater for the wealthy and bend over backwards to satisfy the big corporations. There is now a clear choice. We can continue in a country that does not care about 95% of the population and is only interested in making their rich friends more money or we can elect a Labour government who will invest in Britain and redistribute the money so that it is not stuck with the top 5%. 

If you have a conscience and sense of morality, please do not vote in another Conservative government (voting Lib Dems will do that just like it did in 2010). I, along with millions of others, cannot cope with 5 more years of heartless cuts and being made to feel like a worthless piece of dirt.

Please Vote Labour.

Bye for now!


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Vote Labour and 'Wheelchair Boy' will return...

I realise that people do not respond well to threats and that the headline might backfire as some would not vote Labour just so they do not have to read another boring, self-indulgent 'Wheelchair Boy' post so that partly was a joke. I will be returning to writing regardless of the election result but I probably will not have time to do so until at least after polling day on June 8th.

I also am aware that many people are completely turned off by politics and say whoever you vote for, nothing changes! Although I have always believed failing to vote means you cannot moan about pretty much anything in life (I still hold that opinion), those who are disillusioned had a point up until this General Election. The same posh, rich, out of touch robots with right wing ideologies have been running this country and the only noticeable distinction has been the colour of their ties; from Thatcher to Blair to May. Westminster has been working for the few for 38 years too long and the people need to take back control!

Jeremy Corbyn is very different to those who have gone before. He is the reason that I joined the Labour Party and have been very active in the lead up to this election.  JC is the man who, upon being elected as Prime Minister, would place the power firmly back in ordinary people's hands... Don't believe me? Then please read the fully costed (unlike the Tories) Labour manifesto here which contains policies FOR THE MANY such as:
  • Maintaining the Triple Lock on state pensions which means pensions will increase in line with wages and inflation.
  • Bringing back public ownership of the railways, Royal Mail and energy industries.
  • Introducing a National Living Wage of £10 an hour.
  • Providing FREE tuition fees for all those attending University.
  • Scrapping zero-hour contracts which is one of the ways workers rights would be bolstered.  
  • Giving 30 hours a week of free childcare for all children aged between 2 and 4 so parents can go back to work without worrying about additional costs.
  • Creating a National Investment Bank so that money is spent on infrastructure in run down areas throughout the country. 
  • Putting 10,000 extra police officers on our streets.
  • Increasing the Carers Allowance so that the most forgotten people in Britain are no longer disregarded.
  • Committing £6 Billion to the NHS so that 1 million people are taken off waiting lists and access to treatment will be guaranteed within 18 weeks. Additional to this access to A&E treatment will be guaranteed within 4 hours.
That is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pledges. The thing that most people will want to know is how are these promises paid for?  The answer to that is clearly given in the Manifesto which is fully costed (unlike the Tories). At the moment, society favors the rich and corporate elites. A Labour government would overturn this by installing a fair and just taxation system which will share the wealth instead of it being kept with those at the top.

At the moment, Theresa May cuts the taxes for her wealthy friends who own large businesses and even turns a blind eye to corporations avoiding tax offshore. Jeremy Corbyn on the other hand has said that he will raise corporation tax to 26% instead of lowering it to 17% as the Tories want. He has also said that his government would clamp down on tax avoidance, using the example of an American coffee company (I refuse to give them advertisement) who will no longer be able to channel their profits through small countries such as Luxembourg and must pay tax on products sold in the UK.

I personally cannot see why people have an issue with taking some money off those who can afford it in order to pay for vital services such as the NHS, Education and Security.  That is why I feel this is the most critical General Election ever . For once, there is a very clear choice that the British public have to make. You can either continue putting money and the interest of the most wealthy above lives or you can choose a brighter future where people are put first and no-one is left behind.

On June 8th, I beg you to stop these barbaric Tory cuts and save our country from 5 more years of misery and pain. The only way you can do this is by voting in a majority Labour government who cares FOR THE MANY, not the few.

Bye for now!

Friday, 30 September 2016

Wheelchair or scooter?

Apologies for not posting in months. I have been quite busy but truth be told, I have fallen out of love with writing and no longer enjoy it. Hopefully my passion will return soon but at the moment, I feel I need this extended break to try and refresh myself (otherwise I would just write a lot of rubbish). So I just thought I would check in and say that I am doing well in case anyone is concerned about the lack of posts. Also I wanted to share this post about wheelchairs and mobility scooters as I thought it might interest some of my readers:

Do I need a wheelchair or a mobility scooter?

Are you ready to join the ranks of the wheeled wanderers?
Mobility difficulties, whether temporary or permanent, will affect us all at some stage. Many people discover that walking sticks aren’t enough, frames aren’t right and the best option is, actually, to get a wheelchair or a scooter.
Electric wheelchairs are a popular choice. Manual wheelchairs aren’t always as useful or convenient, though as a benefit they at least don’t need to be regularly charged.  Alternatively, you might think about getting a mobility scooter.
But is one better than another? Which do you need and why? Here are things to consider when you’re comparing and deciding which to buy?
How well do your arms work?
Mobility scooters work in a similar way to bikes. You’ll need to have strength to turn the handle, in order to go around a corner.
Electric wheelchairs often have their controls within easy reach, usually with a joystick or buttons for direction adjustment.
If you lack arm or hand strength, electric wheelchairs are going to be the most suitable for you.
If you struggle to walk but have full upper body strength then a mobility scooter may be more suitable.
How much space do you have in your car?
An electric wheelchair will fold down to a very convenient size. This makes it easy to transport in the back of most family cars.
It is possible to get a folding mobility scooter, but do bear in mind that most scooters don’t fold down. They’ll be a lot more difficult to take on your annual family camping trip.
How far do you want to travel?
Electric wheelchairs can handle some rough terrain, but they aren’t particularly quick. They’re also only suitable for indoor use and pavements – you cannot take your wheelchair on the road!
If you’re planning to travel long distances, and might need to go on the road, then you can find road-legal mobility scooters that you can use as you travel through your town.
How much do you need to customise your sitting position?
If your legs tend to ache when they’re kept in one place, then a mobility scooter may not be suitable. On a scooter, your legs will always need to be flat against the floor of the scooter’s body.
On electric wheelchairs there are footrests that can be easily adjusted. You can put the footrests in the position that is most comfortable for you, then easily change that position when you need to.
Where will you use your mobility aid?
Electric wheelchairs may not be the fastest, but they’re incredibly good at tight corners. The handling is smooth on most wheelchairs, meaning that you can easily turn around in small spaces.
Mobility scooters, on the other hand, are often big and bulky. They reverse at a slow pace and need to be turned much like a car, rather than spinning almost on the spot. Mobility scooters can have a wide turning circle, which may cause difficulty if you plan to use yours indoors or for supermarket shopping.
Which is right for you?
Answering the questions above will help you to build a better picture of the type of mobility aid that you’ll need. For short-term outdoor use, or travel on the roads, you’ll want a mobility scooter. If you’re more dependent on your mobility aid, indoors and outdoors, then an electric wheelchair may be the better choice.
Mobility Smart is an online retailer stocking a wide variety of mobility aids, and other products. Electric wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs and a varied selection of mobility scooters can be ordered online through their website.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Stay connected...

So remember back in April when I gave a brief summary of both sides of the EU referendum to try and explain what people who were undecided had to choose between on the 23rd June. I mentioned how I did not think this blog was the right place to air my views on the contentious subject and try to persuade my loyal readers to vote the same way as me. However I have changed my mind because I do not want the people of this great country to mis-place patriotism and do something they will probably regret in the future (I say probably because to be honest no one definitively knows what it will mean if we leave but it is highly unlikely it will be good news).

Yes, we are Great Britain and coped before we joined the EU (in 1973) but times have changed. No longer can a small island (please look at a map) such as ourselves prosper from going it alone. We cannot take back our colonies and reform the British empire as slogans such as 'We want OUR country back!' suggest. Thankfully, the world has moved on. Globalization now means although countries have not moved nearer to each other, they are a lot closer and better connected with the advent of the internet and air travel being the two main reasons why planet earth seems smaller.

Therefore it would be foolish and naive to turn your back on what is essentially a large network of friends/allies. It would most likely have a detrimental effect on the economy because we would lose trade links (or have to pay greater tariffs on imports) and also have a negative impact on international relations because if the UK votes to leave, we would  basically be sticking two fingers up to the rest of Europe. Not a good idea in my opinion because we live in a world where terrorism is a daily threat so we all need to stand together as one and do as Jo Cox's husband said following her murder; "unite to fight against the hatred that killed her."

I have to admit that although I was always going to vote remain because I believe if it is not broken, there is no need to change (it definitely needs improving but I do not think it is completely busted) I was not passionate and did not really mind if people voted the other way. However, I have recently thought what about the referendum in a new light. Speaking as someone who suffers from a rare disease and reads up regularly to see if there is any promising research, I have realised that staying in the EU is better from a scientific research point of view because having multiple brains from around Europe looking into conditions is better than just having research done in Britain. I am not saying that British scientists can not find cures for illnesses (I am not just talking about Friedreich's Ataxia) but isolating them is going to make it far more difficult and also will cost more because at the moment they can use pool funding from across Europe in order to pay for research. Additionally if a new drug is developed by a scientist in Europe, it will probably cost double or triple the price that other EU member states will pay.

Remaining is also better for creating and maintaining rights for various groups such as workers, women and the disabled. Since I published my post on Uber, a few of my family members have, as expected, had a go at me and have argued vehemently that Uber is not a good company at all because they are degrading workers rights and exploiting their drivers in order to make profit. This is probably right but these same London taxi drivers who are so concerned with workers rights are the ones (not all but most) who will vote to leave the EU on Thursday. The same EU who have introduced numerous laws to give workers rights and are still the last bastion who are preventing Tories such as Boris Johnson from ripping rights up and letting big business trample on the workers. As for what voting out would mean for disabled people, I urge you to read this article: Also please read this article about the relationship of women's rights and the EU: and then tell me that leaving Europe is not a massive step backwards.

Some of these next arguments to stay in the EU may seem trivial on the surface but they mean quite a lot unless you are planning on never going on holiday in Europe again. Firstly, there's the issue of freedom of movement. This does not just mean that immigrants are able to cross our borders, it also means that we can go on holiday or even simply pop over to France to buy some cheap alcohol without any issues. If we did leave, that would mean we would have to get visas every-time we wanted to travel overseas which is just a pain. Secondly, a Brexit would probably mean that the price of an average flight would go up again because we would no longer be able to freely move between countries so therefore certain ones might charge you an extra tax to enter their airspace.

Regular visitors to Europe who use mobile phones will be aware that the prices to use your handset in Europe are at an all time low and are set to fall again in the next few months. Again, if we were no longer in the EU we would not get these cheaper rates so I dread to think what our bills would look like when returning from holiday. Less important but still worth a mention is that the other day I heard that you will soon be able to use Netflix in the EU which could be quite handy if the weather is not as good as planned! Also the current exchange rate for the Euro is abysmal and it is no coincidence that it has been free-falling ever since a poll said more people wanted to leave than remain. It just leaves you wondering what the exchange rate will be like if we did actually leave.

The media mis-inform everyone on a daily basis when it comes to the EU (see the chart pictured below) so I thought I would do my own research and find statistics that are quite difficult to argue with. When I searched for 'how many EU migrants have entered the UK in the last years', I found quite a few results. The numbers varied greatly so I have gone for a figure that is slap bang in the middle. 333, 333 is not me taking a conservative estimate of the amount of EU migrants who entered Britain last year nor is it stretching the truth. The figure on its own along with posters such as the one below the next paragraph make a lot of people angry and I cannot blame anyone for feeling that way what with the media's hold over most of the public . However if you take the population of the United Kingdom (which is currently 65 Million) and do the maths, you will discover that only 0.52% of the population migrated over here last year. A laughable percentage when you consider that certain newspapers make out that millions upon millions are crossing the border.

I completely agree that the rate of immigration can not continue like this but I feel people should stop using immigrants as a scapegoat and instead focus your blame on the government. They are the People who are to blame for our housing shortage, they are the people to blame for problems in the NHS and they are the people who let big corporations avoid paying tax so that there is a shortage of money in the pot. They are also the ones who can put a cap on immigration so that it doesn't get out of hand (some would already argue that boat has sailed). All the rhetoric from Nigel Farage et al is synonomous of the way Jewish people were blamed for all the problems in Nazi Germany. I am just scared because more and more people are agreeing with a man who seems to be a watered down version of Adolf Hitler!

Contrary to popular belief, leaving the EU would not stop immigration, it would just push those migrants to go 'underground' and either illegally enter the country or overstay on visas. The obvious problem with this is then we would not be able to monitor the amount so then the government would have an excuse not to do anything about it. This referendum is not some magic wand that will stop migrants at Calais. If anything it is going to make the widely perceived problem even worse because immigrants would probably no longer come in through the usual routes. As I said earlier, no one really knows because obviously the UK have never left the EU before but the odds of an exit working in our favor are stacked against us and I am not willing to make a huge gamble with the future of this country just so it will make it a little bit more difficult for migrants to come over.

Now I am going to France today to watch a few Euro 2016 matches so I have already voted by post but most of you (well I hope so anyway) will be heading to your local Polling Station on Thursday to put that all-important cross on the ballot paper. All I hope is that the British public use their common sense and realise that our country is STRONGER IN the European Union. I do not want this to be the last time I can hop across the Channel without having to apply for a Visa.

Bye for now!

P.S. If Britain does come out of the European Union, I would like to be the first to suggest that we go the full hog in reclaiming our proud history and instead of deporting any foreigners (because that costs too much money) we should just keep them as our slaves! That way we will have our country back under our control and we would also get slavery back. So who is winning then rest of Europe?

DISCLAIMER: I was being 100% sarcastic with that last paragraph in case you had not realised.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

What's the big deal?

I went to see the highly controversial adaptation of the JoJo Moyes novel Me Before You last night and came away feeling quite confused as to why the film has received so much criticism. I get that euthanasia is a very thorny subject and brings out a lot of emotion but I personally thought both sides of the argument were presented well. I will not give any spoilers away but some of the people respect Will's (the leading man who happens to be a quadriplegic) decision and say that it is his choice. Whereas others believe it is plain wrong and selfish because of the hurt suicide leaves behind. I have mentioned before how I feel the government would happily kill off disabled people if they could avoid mass outrage but I strongly disagree that the message of this particular movie is if you are disabled, it is best to die as quickly as possible.

I am not afraid to stand up (not literally obviously) and say that as a disabled person, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I connected with the character's so much and saw myself in Will (minus the good looks) that I even found myself welling up at one part. Yes, certain parts were unrealistic to say the least such as when it cuts to him in her house. Are we supposed to believe an electric wheelchair can fit through the front door of an old, terraced house? However, I can overlook those lapses in realism because I feel the film does what I set out to do on a regular basis. Show people that underneath it all, disabled people are normal (actually I would say we are funnier, smarter and more self-assured than most).

Seriously though, I think the fact that the main protagonist is disabled is not important. Although the whole euthanasia question comes up a fair bit, Me Before You is predominantly a love story and that is what I enjoyed. I was not thinking about how disabled people are portrayed in the media, because yes that is a massive issue that needs addressing but it goes much further than onne movie. Nor was I sat in the cinema pondering the pro's and con's of assisted suicide. I simply fell in love... with the feeling of falling in love. I know that sounds cringe and I am not saying that I have not fallen for people before but to have that emotion reciprocated just seems perfect.

So I would recommenced you go and see the film so that you can decide whether I am right or wrong. Like I said, Me Before You is a book but who has time to read anything nowadays (oh the irony)? Also, in the screen version, you get to see the captivating Emilia Clarke who is just beautiful and I could not take my eyes off.

Bye for now!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Team Uber...

As most of you will know, my dad (as well as his brothers) is a London taxi driver.  In fact, most Shorey men of a certain age are. You could say that black cabs are in the blood! So I am certainly running the risk of getting disowned by my family if they read this post... 

Famously, taxi drivers across the world (not just in London) have been in uproar since the emergence of an online app, which allows people to type in the route they want and then locate a car in the local area who is able to do it; all via a smartphone. The company only started in America four years ago but global expansion has meant that you can download Uber everywhere now. I have always towed the family line and urged other people to only use black cabs but my view changed last week for two reasons.

Firstly, Uber have recently launched their first ever Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) option, which disabled people in London will be able to request at the push of a button! I have spoke numerous times on this very blog about the fact London black cabs are poorly designed and do not cater well for the needs of wheelchair bound passengers. They're failure to adapt and improve accessibility has forced me to switch allegiance. Taxis are so out of date and have not really changed since the advent of automobiles. It's obvious how I will be traveling next time I need quick, accessible travel across our nation's capital.

The second reason I changed my mind and became a snake is all to do with prices.  I have heard many stories from people I know about how they have made trips that normally cost £15 but it only cost under £10 with Uber. On average, they are 30% cheaper than a black cab and I think that is the winning argument right there. Let's face it, no one in their right mind is going to pick the more expensive option when you are basically getting the same product; a journey from A to B.

So if you have read this post and would like to join the Uber revolution with me, I have secured all my loyal readers a free first ride up to £15. Just download the app and sign up using the code 'GLEN12'. Details below:
Bye for now!

Monday, 18 April 2016

EU referendum...

I have spoke about voting numerous times on here before and have shared why I think it's important to exercise your right. One of the points I made is that you do not really have a leg to stand on (no pun intended) if you abstain from the democratic process then do not like the way Britain is being run. This particular argument is even more valid when discussing the European question because if you do not go to the polls on June 23rd, you cannot complain whatever the outcome is. I mean there is no excuse not to vote in this important referendum. I am even making sure I have my say even though I will be out of the country on the day (I have sent in the application form so that I can vote by post).

With regards to the 'hokey cokey' that is Britain's membership of the EU, it is all very confusing if you are not sure how to vote. All the articles I have read on the subject are heavily laced in bias. They appear to be balanced as they give both sides of the debate but are pushing the reader to take one argument as fact and the other as pure lunacy. I know what way I will be voting in June but I would like this post to help any undecided voters without me imposing my views on them. I will happily tell people my opinion and relish a good-old debate but I do not think this is the best place.

Basically, the question is going to be a wordy version of 'Should the UK stay in the EU?'. Those who want us to stay (Yes) mainly argue that Britain's trade links would be compromised as a result of cutting ties with Europe. Remaining would be better for our wallets. Whereas the main argument for leaving the EU is that immigration is out of control because of  'freedom of movement'. Leaving would put an end to this. There are of course other arguments and counter claims for both sides but they are the main two. Both points seem very different but both are very important in the British public's minds. Immigration or money: you decide!

While I am on the subject of voting, please remember to register either if you have not bothered to vote before or if you have changed address in the last year (just like I did when I moved into my flat). The deadline to register for the referendum is June 7th so there is still a month and a half left to submit your details. However, the deadline so that you can vote in the upcoming local elections being held on May 5th is today so if you believe you need to, I urge you to stop what your doing and click the link: It only takes 5 minutes to register and by voting, you could stop the Tory dominance that is UK politics. No wonder 'Dodgy Dave' gets away with so much...

Bye for now