Citizenship for All
A talk by Simon Duffy and Gary Bourlet
at H&SA Conference, 21st November 2013
We know what we aim at. But we’re not
always sure how to talk about it.!
Ordinary lives is nice and simple - but is it
also a bit boring or empty?!
Citizenship sounds good - but is it a bit
too fancy or foreign?
what does citizenship mean?
1. Purpose - meaning
2. Freedom - control
3. Money - independence
4. Home - belonging
5. Help - involvement
6. Life - contribution
7. Love - connection
can we make ordinary interesting?
We’re not very far down the road!
big challenges ahead of us
No. 1 ourselves - personal change, courage and integrity!
No. 2 community - local control, diversity and innovation !
No. 3 politics - fairness, rights and democracy
citizenship has been lost
1. The UK is the third most unequal
2. High rates of low paid employment
3. Consumption not contribution
4. Time for citizenship and family
Are we living as citizens?
1. Purpose - Am I living a life of real purpose?
2. Freedom - Am I living with integrity - doing what’s right?
3. Money - Is money my servant or my master?
4. Home - Am I creating a home for myself and others?
5. Help - Do I let others lead, contribute and support me?
6. Life - Am I really listening to and helping others?
7. Love - Am I guided by love or by phoney goals?
citizenship must be ordinary
Ordinary life is becoming all too ordinary. We don’t
want to be employees; we don’t want to be service
users; we don’t want to be customers. We are
human beings, wonderfully diverse, and individual.
And we are each others equals: worthy of respect
and dignity. It’s not the time to be ordinary, it’s time
to be extraordinary.
One's sense of honour is the
only thing that does not grow
old, and the last pleasure,
when one is worn out by age, is
not, as the poet said, making
money, but having the respect
of one's fellow men.
Founder of KeyRing
Champion of plain English and
Genius behind marketing of
Introduced Small Sparks
project to UK
Introduced Manavodaya to UK
A real citizen and a champion of
other people’s citizenship
our communities are under attack
1. The UK is the 2nd most centralised
welfare state in the world
2. Local government controls little & is
3. Facing biggest cuts in funding & power
4. Forced into bureaucratic tendering and
commissioning that erode communities
The biggest percentage cut in funding was for English Local
60% of real local government expenditure is for social care.
Central government creams funding from local government
community is where citizenship happens
1. Purpose - it’s where purposes ﬁnd meaning
2. Freedom - it’s where we can be free
3. Money - it’s where real wealth is made
4. Home - it’s where we belong
5. Help - it’s where we are known and valued
6. Life - it’s where we can make a difference
7. Love - it’s where we can ﬁnd love and give love
is this ordinary?
Bigger is not more beautiful. We will only discover
and share our gifts at the level of community.
15 and under
People seriously misusing drugs or alcohol
People with limiting long-term illness
People in poor health
Deaths in a year
‘Looked After Children’
People entitled to social care
Working age people on beneﬁts
Children SEN statements
People in homes in private ownership (incl. rental)
democracy is breaking down
1. The UK has more debt per person
than any other country.
2. Politicians are using shame and
stigma to win power.
3. Cuts have been targeted on the
4. Only swing voters matter.
The real cause of the crisis was a collapse in banks who had
invested in an enormous unsustainable housing bubble.
We are seeing politicians pick on disabled people and use
government ofﬁcials to prime negative headlines.
The government has targeted cuts that fall hardest on those
with the greatest needs - people with severe disabilities.
The cuts fall on people with disabilities and people in poverty
far harder than they fall on any other groups.
We fell asleep. We forgot that they don’t take care
of us, we take care of each other. We forgot that it’s
the rich who need the poor, not the poor who need
the rich. We forgot that politicians work for us, we
don’t work for them. We forgot that government
doesn’t innovate, people do. We forgot that
government doesn’t create wealth, people do. We
forgot that government doesn’t know best, people
do. We forgot about citizenship, we forgot about
families, we forgot about community. We confused
good with big. We confused achievement with
wealth. We confused love with control. We forgot
that the welfare state was made by us, that it
belongs to us and it needs to work for us. It’s time
to wake up.
1. Work together
2. Get political
3. Support advocacy
too long we’ve relied on
government for leadership
relied on government for
relied on government for
of People First
Self-advocate since 1982
Founder of People First Movement
in the UK 1984
First person with a learning
disability who was a TV presenter
First worker for People First London,
after stepping down as President
Worked for different groups across
Now organising the creation of
People First England
Why we need People First England
One national voice for people with learning disabilities
An umbrella organisation to representing all self-advocacy groups,
not just those called People First.
Support to develop new local groups and restart groups that have
folded - good ﬁnancial advice
A way of becoming more self-sufﬁcient, ﬁnding different sources of
funding, helping people share support
Capacity-building support and advice
Run by and for people with learning disabilities.
Connect internationally - this is an international movement
In a strong position to campaign - and direct action