(Guide) Dog Lovers Should Not Vote Tory

Tanvir Naomi BushDisability, Guide Dogs, Visual Impairment 2 Comments

Are you a dog lover?  Do you support Guide Dogs and other assistance dogs? Then this is why you should NOT vote Tory.

The snap election is nearly upon us. Some of you may even have your postal vote ready but if you are thinking about voting for the Conservative Party and call yourself a dog lover, I suggest you read this and reconsider your vote.

It is VERY simple.

Guide Dogs and other assistance dogs are trained to work alongside disabled people and people with chronic conditions like diabetes and epilepsy etc. Yes?

Well, are you aware of what is happening to disabled and vulnerable people under the current government? It’s bad. In fact it is VERY bad. Don’t take my word. Instead have a look at the UN report published last November which found evidence of “grave or systematic violations of rights of people with disabilities.”

Blue United Nations LogoThe UN report warned that cuts and changes to disability support under the Conservative-led government had “hindered disabled people’s right to live independently and be included in the community”.

Disabled people were also routinely portrayed as being “dependent or making a living out of benefits, committing fraud as benefit claimants, being lazy or putting a burden on taxpayers”, the report found.

Other policies such as the bedroom tax and benefit sanctions had also disproportionately affected the disabled, while work schemes had “no visible impact” in helping disabled people find work and were sometimes counterproductive.

Should you choose to disregard that, as the government tried to, then there is the even more detailed and upsetting report from the Equality and Human Rights commission

The report, which covers six key areas of life, finds that disabled people in Britain are experiencing disadvantages in all of them, and sets out vital areas for urgent improvement. Despite significant progress in the laws protecting disabled people’s rights, they are still not being treated as equal citizens and continue to be denied the opportunities and outcomes non-disabled people take for granted.

So what has this got to do with dogs?

Obviously, if someone is living without enough support, in constant fear about being sanctioned by the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions),  or losing their benefits, anxious about their finances, stigmatised in the press as a ‘scrounger’ – and this even BEFORE you take into account their disability, illness, access issues and so on- IF someone is living like this they will have a tendency to be unhappy, depressed, frightened.

I presume, if you are still voting Tory after taking this on board, you are not really THAT interested in the disabled people. No, you are a DOG lover. Fine…then tell me why would you want your beautifully trained and extremely loving guide dog/assistance dog to be put in a household of anxiety, misery and potential poverty? I know Grace, my own wonderful guide dog, is extremely sensitive to my moods. The times I have been distressed, have distressed her. She runs to me, cries with me, tries to stop the tears. Some of my tears were caused by the current welfare system’s cruelty and every single disabled person I know has similar tales to tell.

If you love your dogs, then help us make sure they go to households that have the right support at the very least. Of course you cannot ensure that every household with have happy and fulfilled people within them BUT you can make sure they are no longer stigmatised, harassed and sanctioned just for being disabled and/or vulnerable or ill.

Three dogs sit in the boot of a car looking out at the camera. On the far left is a black and tan lab/retireiver cross, in the middle a black lab and on the right a pale goldem lab/retiriever cross leaning across to the other dogs.

Do you think they got the message? (Monica and Grace, retired and Crystal, working guide dog.)


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