Recently on twitter the SNP retweeted a websites request for peoples reason for voting yes in 2014 in 100 words or less. I considered writing something punchy and trite like “because the only people stronger together are the power rangers” or “because I would rather live free and poor than united and destitute” but the real reason I’m voting yes could never be condensed down to 100 words. Thats not strictly true, it could be condensed into a sentence but it would require a few A4 pages attached before it made any sense which is why I’m breaking my own general rule and blogging. The main reason I’m voting yes is because I love my english wife.
Granted there are so many reasons to leave the union which I might cover some other time but my most pressing reason is for my wife.
Until December last year my wife was doing her final year in software engineering and spoilt for choice over whether to continue in academia or to head into a software company to be very well paid for drinking coffee all day. The only thing wrong with her was that she slept more than people usually do – about 10 or 11 hours a day. Her then GP told her that despite her blood test coming back very normal for vitamins it would probably take care of itself if she kept taking supplements. Seriously, a qualified doctor told her to take vitamins to sort something that wasn’t vitamin deficiency. Then they complain that patients look up the Internet to self diagnose.
Since she was swamped with coursework and she knew that most people function on 8 hours a day she decided to just make herself take 8 hours for sleeping and plug away at her work so she could relax for Christmas and enjoy herself. What happened instead was on the 12th of December she got up couldn’t walk unaided. My wife who once could quote to me verbatim a conversation we had the week before now struggled to remember whether she had taken her pills or not. She had developed a sensitivity to light and noise which caused her constant headaches to flare into total migraines. In short her undiagnosed M.E. had taken a turn for the worse.
Of course now she has had to drop out of uni and return her student loan for the year, so we are forced to live solely off my wage which is barely enough to pay our bills leaving only a very little to cover things like food. So what choice do we have but to turn to the government which supposedly sets aside money to care and provide for people who can’t provide for themselves? We look into which disability benefits we are eligible for and Lydia applied for them the next day. We applied for National Insurance contributions in the VERY unlikely event she lives long enough to ever need a pension and Disability Living Allowance for money to buy things like wheelchairs to take her out places and pay for the care she needs on a day to day basis to do such basic things as wash herself and feed herself when I’m not here and there’s nothing in the flat. The doctor that came to inspect her for the first benefit was very friendly and thorough noting down her symptoms fairly accurately and then returning to his office to fill in the second half of the paperwork with lies, supposition, and outright bullshit.
For someone who has spent the last 9 months as a prisoner in her own home pretty much abandoned by most of her supposed friends my wife has an incredibly cheery positive outlook given her circumstances she is not a “negative psychotic with false illness beliefs”. This is of course standard procedure for the Department of Work and Pensions – even if you have no legs, your going to have to appeal to a court to prove you can’t walk 400m unaided!
My wife is a kind generous honest person with the emphasis on person. She doesn’t deserve to be treated with utter contempt because her life hasn’t turned out the way she expected it to. She doesn’t deserve to be trampled into the mud as a “benefit scrounger” while our Unelected Westminster Government gives tax breaks to mega corporations and lets their Eton pals dodge however much tax they want. She shouldn’t have to prove to anyone bar her doctor and neurologist that she is ill, she shouldn’t have to travel the length of glasgow when travel makes her worse to fill in forms they are going to completely ignore. The system is not just wrong it’s completely corrupt and the only people interested in changing the system from the ground up is the SNP.
I refuse to live in a country that demonises my wife to excuse and distract from the excesses at the top. There is less benefit fraud than money pissed up the wall in Westminster and enough unclaimed money waiting for disabled people to need to bail out a flipping bank. I’m going to vote yes because my wife deserves a life, not an existence.