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I am extremely disappointed and disheartened to find practically no coverage of he Hardest Hit March in the national newspapers today. Whilst the Guardian has been covering it, the other newspapers, tabloid and broadsheet, have done barely anything. Even the The Times, in which Melanie Reid writes a column for them on the aftermath of a paralysing riding accident, has ignored it today.

As one of my Twitter followers commented yesterday, tongue firmly in cheek, “Guess 2nd class citizens only deserve 2nd class coverage.”

What does it say about us as a society that we think it acceptable to withdraw support from the weakest members of our society, those who often don’t have a voice? It reflects our society’s obsession with self, with ‘it’s not my problem mate’. Most of us WILL fall sick, maybe very sick at some point in our life. It behoves us all to think about how WE would feel in this situation.

So here are some of the photos I took yesterday. The march was short – from just before Portcullis House on the Embankment to just beyond Parliament – short to you and me, an eternity if you are propelling your twisted body on sticks.

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The march was fantastic, an enormous turnout with a cross section of society that you never normally see mucking in together. We were a little late, but when many of your protesters are severely disabled it’s no matter to catch them up: we looked for the bright orange of The MS Society and march with them, shouting ourselves hoarse along the route.

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Here’s a very short video I shot: Please look & listen.

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10 comments

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I think most able-bodied people have no idea whatsoever how those with disabilities, hidden or visible, live, unless they have friends or family who are affected. There is probably a general assumption that the disabled are ‘looked after’ by the government or health care workers, when in fact, they are very often not, or if they are, it can be at a very scant level. Financial cuts are horrendous for those trying to instil a modicum of normality into their lives while dealing with adversity. Many disabilities are unseen, because of the sheer difficulty and logistics of immersing in ‘able bodied’ life so we are never exposed to the true picture of disability.

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There’s also a video on the march on Guardian online – http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2011/may/11/protest-disability-march-hardest-hit-video

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I am big fan of your blog – really enjoy your warmhearted commentary on life, style and the good things! I’ve never posted a comment before but today I felt I had to: I have Primary Progressive MS (in many ways different from lil’sis, but in many ways the same) and just wanted to say how much I appreciate your support for and coverage of the march. Thanks!! and warmest wishes to you and your sister.

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I am so glad you have blogged about this.

The assessments that the government want to put in place in order to see whether people can go to work are so narrow-minded it’s incomprehensible.
They in no way take into consideration conditions such as MS and my own condition, chronic pain in which it is possible to have one day where you feel relatively good, to the next where you can’t get out of bed.

I wonder if the government has any idea how unfair it would feel to hear someone tell you that you can are capable of work and don’t deserve the money you receive for your disability, when you are dealing with an illness or condition which has already stripped away so much of your independence?

I really appreciate hearing about these cuts from both you and your sister.

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Thank you for blogging about this, my father has primary progressive MS and really wanted to be at the march but couldn’t travel down. As a Guardian reader I had seen the coverage but wouldn’t have been suprised if others had missed it entirely. It is great to see you blogging about these cuts and the issues surrounding MS as you hear so little about it elsewhere. XxX

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Thank you for blogging about this.

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I am proud of you for having covered this, and feel very strongly about the less fortunate in these circumstances. Kindly forward to me some images and literature, and I would proudly publish it in my publication, Velvet Magazine. I think there should be a Charity Foundation set up in support of these hard hit people, directly directed in their sole aid and help.

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