Society at The Edge


The only thing that has changed for people who live on the edge since October, 2018 is that things have got worse. More people die on our streets, more families depend on food banks, abuse in care homes continues to be exposed and the flaws in the childcare system continue to disgust us.

In October 2018, I predicted that It could be the spring of this year before we really knew which way the Brexit cat is going to jump. Even that has eluded us, and now we are confronted by the most uncertain election in British History.  We are told that the end of austerity is nigh, but have only sweeping brushstrokes to indicate the shape the future will take for the most vulnerable in our society.  There are bold promises regarding the crises in childcare and care for elderly people, but what it will mean on the ground remains a mystery.

It is even spurious to discuss which party has the best policies regarding homelessness, rough sleeping, benefits, the shape of care and support, or the ancient issue of unemployment among people with disabilities. It is unlikely that any one party will emerge in a position to even partially implement them, and the Brexit issue will continue to bedevil the situation.

Whatever the outcome of the election, the uncertainties remain as they were a year ago. The crash-out, or no deal scenario cannot be desanitised by renaming. Whether called the WTO or Clean Break solution, a period of chaos will ensue, possibly a severe recession with an austerity that will push vulnerable people closer to an edge over which many will plumge into oblivion.Brexit is a killer policy

Johnson’s deal will not ‘get Brexit done,’ but simply mark the beginning another year of uncertainty which might well end in disaster. The simple fact is that there is no deal better than the one we have. Despite the severe economic damage the past three years have wrought, it remains the best position from which to start. The need for reform and a new consensus is now clearly recognized.

Last year I argued that people with learning and communication disabilities are more knowledgeable and positive about their own worth, and are well placed to lead the whole debate. However, the obstacles to change are very similar to those that existed back in the eighties. Whilst the goals of full integration into society remain, so do the obstacles. Segregated education, an imperfect model of independence, poor planning on the part of Social Services, and a continuing exclusion from the world of work all prevent the realization of every individual’s potential to be a valuable contributor to Society. The coming hiatus could yield new opportunities for serious change. It will surely draw the neglected experts back into the argument, which can only bode well.


Thank you for reading this page.


© Ken Davies December 2019