Monday, 7 November 2011

Why do we need the Poppy Appeal?

Why the necessity for a 'poppy appeal'? I looked at the Royal British Legion site for clarification and found that the monies collected from poppy sales go to help ex-service personnel with:

  • purchasing Electrically Powered Vehicles or scooters to give elderly or disabled veterans back mobility and a independent lives.

  • providing severely disabled people and their carers with much needed welfare break.

  • arranging bathroom adaptations which assist disabled people to perform basic functions in their home such as showering or washing safely.

Nobody, neither disabled soldier nor civilian, should have to depend on charity for such necessities. As a Socialist I believe the state should provide both medical and personal care at the point of need; and this should include any equipment and services needed to ensure full medical and care provision.

On the news yesterday there was a 'feel good' story about a little girl with quadriplegic cerebral palsy whose parents had raised the £40,000 needed to send her to the USA for an operation that would greatly improve her mobility. Of course her parents were grateful to those kind people who had contributed to their cause.

But why are disabled soldiers and children depending on charity for that which the state should fund.

In my work I see the state moving further and further away from its responsibilities for providing medical and personal care. There is a seismic shift coming in health care; and we are heading for massive changes in the provision of personal care and support for disabled and elderly infirm people.

This winter may well be a cold one; but for scores of thousands of disabled and elderly next spring will really bring a chill to their lives.

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