There’s an election coming soon for our island of Ireland. There will be politicians knocking on doors hoping what the say to us will ensure our vote.
I don’t know much about the politics of politics.
I am aware of the importance of politics and what the right party in power can actually achieve.
I am the kind of person that can’t believe every politician is out for themselves despite our current government ensuring that they have extremely high wages and pensions; I refuse to believe that those up and coming politicians think that’s ok.
This isn’t a political post as I have already stated I don’t know enough about politics to debate it.
All I can write about regarding elections is what I have experienced in the past.
Confusion - when a politician is standing at my door and I tell them about the lack of services for children like Ethan.
Or the lack of suitable disabled toilets or the fact that my son hasn’t showered in his own home in over three years and that I have to carry him up and down the stairs to bring him to and from bed- they all respond the same way.
They tell me how horrible that is.
They tell me how they plan to change things.
They tell me how wonderful I am - which by the way, politicians, is a platitude which I don’t care for.
They tell me that they will get onto the city council and help get funding for an extension as clearly it is a health and safety issue for Ethan and I, if we carry on this way (no shit Sherlock)
They tell me it is a basic human right to have access to a safe space to sleep and wash (once again, no shit Sherlock)
They tell me that a ‘changing places’ idea is fantastic and maybe I could get back to them about that (I give them firefly website address and tell them all the information they need is on there knowing full well they won’t even google it.)
They remind me that I too can campaign for wheelchair accessible beaches.
They agree that I probably don’t have much time since I am an overworked, underpaid, under appreciated Carer but maybe I could start something and they will of course help, when they can.
They agree with me that the homeless crisis is terrible (while empty vacant houses are never too far away)
They take my contact details and say words like - “I’ll get onto this as soon as I can. It’s shocking” (I know they will get on to it, but once that vote has been casted they tend to come back with the same line as I got from the powers that be)
They agree with everything I say. They assure me that with their help we can at least get someone to help with our housing or change the system for kiddies like Ethan to make it more accessible and basically better.
The confusion for me comes after we have had this conversation.
When some of them do come back to me, and some do, they inform me about the ‘red tape’, the ‘waiting lists’, the ‘embargos’ and of course the ‘budget’.
They tell me the sh1t I already know.
So what is a politician?
A politician is defined as - a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of an elected office.
Who elects the office?
You and I.
While I admit I don’t know a lot about politics, I do know that without us, the voters, they can’t get a seat at the table.
So this election season I am going to have my questions ready,my knowledge about local politicians up to date and I am going to take my time casting my vote.
I’m tired of raising the same issues over and over again.
I’m tired of living in an Ireland where the elderly are left on trolleys in overcrowded understaffed hospitals, where homelessness is the ‘norm’, where disabilities are seen as something to overcome, where wheelchair users still can’t get a fecking train without notifiying the train station in advance. where children like Ethan are being left on endless lists while no one replaces the therapist that had decided to change career, where carers and those living with disabilities are treated as second class citizens and a burden on society...the list is endless really.
I just want a change.
I want staff shortages to be addressed and staff replaced.
I want access to my city while I am bringing my son around the city.
I want to be able to bring my son to the beach!
I want the elderly to be treated with respect - we will all be elderly at one point.
I want our disabled community to be able to get out and about without having to let the likes of a train station know their plans!
I want our government to stop - stop increasing their own wages and pensions. One pension is enough for anyone, yet most of them have two.
And, I want our politicians to remember that they work for us, the public.
Change takes time but it is time for that change now.
Please cast your vote well this February.