How many blogs about London are run by disabled people?
To be a successful blogger (specifically not about disability) and having a focus on London one perhaps needs to be able to walk, talk, see, hear, speak and think normally.
Certainly our leading London blogs are in that category. They have huge resources and essential abilities that I don’t have. Does that mean London’s blogs have diversity or not?
Let’s face it they don’t have to face the huge discrimination I do. My posts have to be fitted around how I can live my life and how I can progress without encountering such limitations. I do find people and organizations resistant because I’m not what would be considered a normal way of doing things.
Bloggers should be able bodied, heard, spoken, and even visible to the world. I mean are the leading bloggers not all people who can speak, able bodied etc. Sometimes I think to myself, being a blogger is problematic because of the connotations, the inevitable things that happens, the hate that is thrown at me…. I mean even trying to do a subject research in a London park invited a bunch of Londoners to attack me and I suppose that’s London’s way of celebrating ‘diversity?’
Ultimately it makes my blog very hard work. Its not one where a few posts are dictated into a recorder and then translated into text, or a couple of arrangements and interviews arranged by phone, plus do a few pics and all is well and getting noticed. Its a struggle.
Yes there are disabled, autistic, non verbal bloggers, but mainly on You Tube. They’re vloggers rather and in a minority but at least they’re using a medium by which they can convey their thoughts, findings, have conversations etc because vlogging at least provides a means of subtitling and of conveying other methods of communication. There are no main bloggers of note in the written text world who are disabled. That is apart from those writing specifically about disability. There cant be. People who write about London’s history, photography, museums, transport and culture etc need to be vocally heard, met in the flesh, and not offend other people’s sensibilities. That’s because when they are seen in the flesh they must magically be able to speak and communicate well. And that says a lot about this so called diversity.
Everyone says London is so full of diversity. Diversity! Is it really? It seems to me London is SO DIVISIVE! Diversity yes if you can fit the requirements of what it means to be a Londoner (hear, speak, totally able bodied, not be autistic or other learning/sensory disability…) other than that diversity is a big bullshit thing. All this stuff about London being open diversity is so fake because from my point of view its a thing reserved for certain types of Londoners.
I mean there are people who are violent towards me too because they think ‘we cant have these people in existence.’ It doesn’t matter where or when inevitably I meet (almost daily sometimes more than daily) people who just turn their nose up at me, who ignore me, who get impatient, who just want me to take a running jump and disappear because its like being shouted at that “THIS IS WORLD IS BASED ON COMMUNICATING, BASED ON HEARING, SPEAKING AND OTHER FACULTIES AND YOU ARE JUST NOT PART OF IT!”
The day I was attacked for not being able to communicate (this was in a London park very recently) so many of you Londoners ignored it and chatted happily, enjoyed your food, picnics, yes that’s diversity, ignoring others when they need help…. ‘Oh if you had shouted we would have helped but….’ Oh never mind I get it, you’re so damn resistant to change! And the police? The education I have had from the Met is it seems to me they would rather come along and give these violent perpetrators in that London park a pat on the back, so I have no interest in telling the police about it.
The police have asked me, do I blog about them? Yes I do. Because the Met is an organisation that has a huge bias with no clue of the deep injustices its procured.
The Met Police bang on about diversity, yet like to support those who abuse me because coppers think people who speak are massive truth tellers whilst those like me have no idea what communication is – according to these office of constable brains, I do not tell the truth. Its a massive bias. You may not believe a single word of what I say but this is why several times a year I have recourse to complain to the IPCC about the Met’s bias. These so called defenders of London are always flying the flag for the perps where I live. It seems to me hate crime is celebrated as an element of diversity! Just because the perps, like cops do too, speak, hear, talk into mobiles and the likes, cops think aha this is the difference – that is, speech is a truth telling machine and other communication systems are the product of liars. The malice my perps conduct is like music to these officers’ ears. They practically dance to their tune and treat me like a criminal. Those holding the office of constable are so narrow minded the bias or the injustices being procured by them just cannot be seen.
There are loads of people who cause discrimination and hate and its almost every day, sometimes more than every day. I can write a long list of things that have happened this year. But I’ll stick to recent events. Take those rude workmen at Carpenters Road Lock the other week. Thats Kier the construction company. Just because I couldn’t communicate didn’t mean your employees could shove rude gestures in my direction and make many crude comments about me none of which I could challenge. I suppose that was another example of London’s diversity?
A lot of bloggers can use their communication abilities to find things out, enquire, prompt people, get information etc and they get waaaay ahead because of that ability. Not me. I have to rely on total silence, people not wanting to speak to me, people turning their nose up at me, being rude, belligerent violent even. Its a huge difference. Its like ‘Ooh you’re fom Londonist,’ ‘You’re Ian Visits? Well I never!’ Its handshakes all around chatter chatter, information flows, people smile, networking happens etc, people go down Crossrail, see the Thames mains tunnels and other London things that I am never ever going to be able to see or write about – and probably some of the things Londoners think I SHOULD be writing about. If only!
With me, its scowls, hate, disgust, silence, no one wants to know. ‘Oh you have a blog’ they ask most quizzically, very skeptically even. They look me up and down and think to themselves how can this dumb disabled bastard be a blogger? Its SO rare for others to embrace disability, my disability, its just so rare. The gondolier in Little Venice was perhaps the most recent example. He didn’t once turn his nose up at my disability. In fact he took it so fantastically and its sad that this is so rare because it means I have to rely on methods of finding things out or doing things where I am regularly most resisted, refused, rejected. It was the ONE and only time I was able to feel like I really was a London blogger. Whats more is he was not even a Londoner but someone from Italy!
I mean with Fortnum & Masons, if I’d been someone who had a different modus operandi F&M might have listened. Well I don’t care! I’m not liable for the premises neither their ignorance so its once again good luck to Mr Fortnum and Mr Mason!)
I have had the rare opportunity of others say do you want to write for us? But no I don’t. Its because invariably masks slip and people show up their true feelings. So its sorry London Reconnections and others, no I don’t want to, I can never be a Pedantic of Purley or a Geoff Tech or anything like that. I have been rejected so many times that I don’t want to write or do anything for other blogs, leading London lights etc because I have been taught that I cannot be accepted. I mean I’ve had other leading London organisations just shove me out of the way. Its other Londoners who educate me with this simple concept ‘You DON’T fit!’ Its a lifetime education I’m still continuing to receive and clearly one that’s barely changed despite the claims of diversity and the embracing of differences.
The one time I managed to organise a hopeful interview with a leading London institution in Euston Road (on what they were doing and developments) it was like a bomb dropped when they realised I had communication problems (even though I came armed with a means of communicating.) Some would say the silence was deafening. In my case the silence could clearly be felt. It was like an earthquake. It was THAT bloody obvious. This was back in 2015. In the event I had to change some of the work I had prepared for the Euston Square Where? post, my very first major attempt at beginning what I envisaged would be a serious London based blog.
Its not the only London organisation or museum (yes there’s one museum I can point to that has done an excellent job in this respect and then come up with excuses that border on the banal) which has struggled to ensure that I am marginalised, pushed out of the way, made to know exactly where I stand and the rest of it. That’s London’s diversity for me! I am quite sure if I went to City Hall to complain about these diversity claims they were making they’d have the army or the Met out to tackle me!
Speaking of City Hall, I noticed the I am London exhibition had been doing the rounds once again.
— Paul Backhouse (@plrybk) March 31, 2017
I had a chance to look at the I am London exhibition and fully realise the entire subject is about equality, inclusiveness, diversity. The reality is for those like me its not ever going to be like this.
I am London is about those who can walk, talk, speak, hear, see and have normal faculties. It is not about those who can’t. Essentially I am NOT London because I do not represent those diversities, especially the aural and oral, and the mental processes that are the very forte of the diversity that London claims it embraces.