Lord Byron, 1788 – 1824

September 20, 2017 by richard

Lord Byron

by Ellen Castelow

‘Mad, bad and dangerous to know’. That is how Lady Caroline Lamb described her lover George Gordon Noel, sixth Baron Byron and one of the greatest Romantic poets in English literature.

As famous for his scandalous private life as for his work, Byron was born on 22nd January 1788 in London and inherited the title Baron Byron from his great uncle at the age of 10.

He endured a chaotic childhood in Aberdeen, brought up by his schizophrenic mother and an abusive nurse. These experiences, plus the fact that he was born with a club foot, may have had something to do with his constant need to be loved, expressed through his many affairs with both men and women.

Lord Byron

He was educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge. It was at Harrow that he experienced his first love affairs with both sexes. In 1803 at the age of 15 he fell madly in love with his cousin, Mary Chaworth, who did not return his feelings. This unrequited passion was the basis for his works ‘Hills of Annesley’ and ‘The Adieu’.

Whilst at Trinity he experimented with love, discovered politics and fell into debt (his mother said he had a “reckless disregard for money”). When he turned 21 he took up his seat in the House of Lords; however the restless Byron left England the following year for a two-year European tour with his great friend, John Cam Hobhouse. He visited Greece for the first time and fell in love with both the country and the people. Byron arrived back in England in 1811 just as his mother died. Whilst on tour he had begun work on the poem ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’, a partly autobiographical account of a young man’s travels abroad. The first part of the work was published to great acclaim. Byron became famous overnight and was much sought after in Regency London society. His celebrity was such his future wife Annabella Milbanke called it ‘Byromania’.

In 1812, Byron embarked on a affair with the passionate, eccentric – and married – Lady Caroline Lamb. The scandal shocked the British public. He also had affairs with Lady Oxford, Lady Frances Webster and also, very probably, with his married half-sister, Augusta Leigh.

In 1814 Augusta gave birth to a daughter. The child took her father’s surname of Leigh but gossip was rife that the baby girl’s father was in fact Byron. Perhaps in an attempt to recover his reputation, the following year Byron married Annabella Milbanke, with whom he had a daughter Augusta Ada. Because of Byron’s many affairs, the rumours of his bisexuality (homosexuality was illegal at this time) and the scandal surrounding his relationship with Augusta, the couple separated shortly after the birth of their child.

Lady Byron
Annabella, Lady Byron

In April 1816 Byron fled England, leaving behind a failed marriage, notorious affairs and mounting debts. He spent that summer at Lake Geneva with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, his wife Mary and Mary’s half sister Claire Clairmont, with whom Byron had had an affair whilst in London. Claire was an attractive, lively and voluptuous brunette and the couple rekindled their affair in Italy. In 1817 she returned to London and gave birth to their their daughter, Allegra.

Byron travelled on to Italy. In Venice he had more affairs, with Marianna Segati, his landlord’s wife and Margarita Cogni, wife of a Venetian baker.

The sale of Newstead Abbey for £94,500 in the autumn of 1818 cleared Byron’s debts and left him with a generous income.

By now, Byron’s life of debauchery had aged him well beyond his years. However in 1819, he began an affair with the Countess Teresa Guiccioli, only 19 years old and married to a man nearly three times her age. The two became inseparable; Byron moved in with her in 1820.

Teresa Guiccioli
Teresa Guiccioli

It was during this period in Italy that Byron wrote some of his most famous works, including ‘Beppo’, ‘The Prophecy of Dante’ and the satiric poem ‘Don Juan’, which he never finished.

By now Byron’s daughter Augusta had arrived in Italy, sent by her mother Annabella to be with her father. Byron sent her away to be educated at a convent near Ravenna, where she died in April 1822. Later that same year Byron also lost his friend Shelley who died when his boat, the Don Juan, went down at sea.

His earlier travels had left Byron with a great passion for Greece. He supported the Greek war for independence from the Turks and in 1823 left Genoa to travel to Cephalonia to become involved. He spent £4000 refitting the Greek fleet and in December 1823 sailed to Messolonghi, where he took command of a Greek unit of fighters.

His health began to deteriorate and in February 1824, he fell ill. He never recovered and he died at Missolonghi on April 19th.

Death of Lord Byron

His death was mourned throughout Greece where he was revered as a national hero. His body was brought back to England to be buried in Westminster Abbey but this was refused on account of his “questionable morality”. He is buried at his ancestral home Newstead Abbey, in Nottinghamshire.

40 Facts about Tamerlane – Timur the Lame

September 17, 2017 by richard

40 Facts about Tamerlane – Timur the Lame

Updated on April 19, 2015
A reconstruction of Tamerlane's face.
A reconstruction of Tamerlane’s face. | Source

Who Was Tamerlane?

Timur was a 14th Century Turko-Mongol military leader who conquered most of the Muslim world, central Asia, and parts of India. His Timurid Empire rivaled the size and power of the Mongolian domain forged by Genghis Khan a century earlier.

Known by his nickname, Tamerlane, it’s unclear why many people in the Western world have never heard of this brutal and ingenious warlord. To rectify this neglect, the following is a list of interesting facts about Tamerlane. The list includes notable events in his life; analyzes his acerbic personality, and remarks on current impressions of this fascinating historical figure.

A statue of Tamerlane in Uzbekistan.
A statue of Tamerlane in Uzbekistan. | Source

40 Interesting Facts about Timur the Lame

1. Timur (meaning `iron’) was born in 1336 near the city of Kesh in Transoxiania. This historic Persian city is now known as Shahrisabz in modern day Uzbekistan.

2. Tamerlane is the European derivation of Timur’s Persian nickname, Timur-e Lang, which means `Timur the Lame’.

3. During his mid-twenties, Tamerlane was crippled by injuries to his right leg and right hand. Legend states that he was shot by arrows when his band of thieves was ambushed by a shepherd. It’s more likely that the injuries were sustained in battle when he was a soldier for the Khan of Sistan (in north-east Iran).

4. In 1941, Russian archaeologists excavated Tamerlane’s tomb, confirming that he had a debilitating hip injury and two fingers missing from his right hand.

5. The excavation revealed that he was tall for the time (1.73 m) and broad-chested. He had prominent cheek bones and Mongoloid features (see reconstruction).

6. Timur’s tomb was allegedly inscribed with the words “When I rise from the dead, the world shall tremble”.

7. His coffin supposedly read: “Whoever opens my tomb shall unleash an invader more terrible than I”. Hitler invaded the USSR within two days of the exhumation, and when Timur was finally reburied, the Soviet victory at Stalingrad shortly followed.

Tamerlane's tomb in Samarkand.
Tamerlane’s tomb in Samarkand. | Source

8. Tamerlane’s ambition was to rebuild the empire of Genghis Khan, who had died a century earlier.

9. His military conquests saw him conquer land that comprises the modern day countries of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, large parts of Turkey and Syria, and the north-western portion of India (Delhi).

10. It is estimated that his armies killed 17 million people, which was about 5% of the global population at the time.

11. He referred to himself as the `Sword of Islam’ and converted much of his empire to the religion. This included Genghis Khan’s descendents, the Borjigin clan.

12. Tamerlane’s own religious affiliation is unclear, and he may have been using Islam as a means to consolidate and exert power. Indeed, he was a highly intelligent politician who spoke Turkish, Mongolian and Persian.

The breadth of the Timurid Empire.
The breadth of the Timurid Empire. | Source

13. Tamerlane’s father was a prominent member of the Barlas tribe, which had been close with Genghis Khan’s Borjigin clan. However, the Barlas tribe had been converted to Islam and spoke Turkish.

14. Despite this, Tamerlane idolized Genghis Khan and used similar methods to build his empire. For example, he was a military mastermind who led a multi-ethnic army. He instilled great loyalty, and was adept at taking advantage of temporary weaknesses in the political state of his enemies. He also used spies and propaganda to sow the seeds for invasion, and planned his campaigns years in advance.

15. Tamerlane was a natural leader. He spent his teenage years leading a band of petty thieves. They stole livestock from farmers, and property from travelers and merchants.

16. In his twenties, Tamerlane fought under the rule of various Khans and Sultans. His leadership skills led to him being given command of a thousand soldiers for an invasion of Khorasan (in north-east Iran). The success of this mission led to further commands and prestige.

17. When his leader, Kurgan, died, the subsequent struggle for power was eventually halted by the invasion of Tughlugh Khan from the Mongol Chagatai Khanate. The head of the Barlas tribe fled the invasion, and Timur was chosen by the Mongols as his replacement.

18. When Tughlugh Khan died and entrusted Transoxiania to his son Ilyas, Timur and his brother-in-law, Amir Husayn, sensed their opportunity and took the region by force.

Timur is made king in northern Afghanistan.
Timur is made king in northern Afghanistan. | Source

19. Now in his mid-thirties, Timur was a tribal leader with a territory to defend. He used his power wisely, showing kindness and charity to nobles, merchants, and the clergy. This gained him many allies, and much power.

20. Amir Husayn treated his subjects harshly and became jealous of Timur’s growing power. They quickly became rivals, forcing Timur to capture Amir. He was later assassinated, giving Timur complete control in northern Iran and Afghanistan.

21. Tamerlane dominated over the Chagatai chieftains to the north-east, and eventually claimed the Mongol territory by marrying, Saray Mulk Khanum, a Chagatai princess and descendant of Genghis Khan.

22. Tamerlane was unable to become the Mongol emperor because he was not a descendent of Genghis Khan. Likewise, he couldn’t claim legitimacy in the Muslim world because he wasn’t a descendent of Muhammad. Instead he ruled the Chagatai Khanate via a puppet ruler, and attributed his military successes in Persia to the will of Allah.

23. Timur led his armies in all directions over the next three decades. In the south and west, Persia was completely conquered. To the north-west, Georgia and Azerbaijan were taken. To the north, the Mongol “Golden Horde” was decisively defeated, though he avoided threatening the Mongol homeland to the north-east.

Timur defeats the Sultan of Delhi.
Timur defeats the Sultan of Delhi. | Source

24. In 1398, and at the age of 62, Timur was now a legendary conqueror with a vast territory. He turned his army towards India in the south-east. Unlike his other conquests, Timur slaughtered the Pakistani and Indian people, justifying the barbarism as a holy war against the Hindu religion.

25. The Sultan of Delhi used war elephants, covered with chain mail, to terrify Timur’s troops. In a stroke of cruel genius, Timur placed hay on the backs of camels, set the hay on fire, and prodded them until they painfully charged at the elephants. The elephants turned and stampeded their own troops, granting Timur an easy victory. The population of Delhi were massacred.

26. Much like Genghis Khan, Tamerlane was opportunistic. His campaigns of Persia and Delhi took advantage of power struggles that had weakened their defenses.

27. Timur’s cruelty grew in his later years. Legend states that his invasion of Baghdad (Iraq) in 1399 required each of his soldiers to show him two severed heads from the largely Christian population.

Tamerlane imprisoned and humiliated the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid.
Tamerlane imprisoned and humiliated the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid. | Source

28. In revenge for insulting letters sent by the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid (Turkey), Timur conquered the Ottoman Empire in 1402, and Bayezid died in captivity.

29. His victory began a civil war in Turkey in which Timur’s candidate, Mehmed I, secured power. Mehmed belonged to a tribe that the Mongols had previously allowed to rule the region.

30. Tamerlane had friendly relations with some European states, namely France and Spain. Both he and the Europeans saw themselves as reluctant allies against the Ottomans.

31. Right up until his death, Timur continued to expand his empire. The leader of the new Chinese Ming Dynasty had insulted Timur, provoking his wrath. However, after 3 months of successful battles, the campaign ended when Timur succumbed to fever and died.

32. Despite preferring spring assaults, Timur had prematurely attacked the Chinese during the harsh winter of 1404. This suggests that his anger at the Chinese contributed to his demise.

33. Timur Tamerlane died on the 17th of February 1405 at the age of 68. His body was embalmed and buried in an ebony coffin in Samarkand, fifty miles north of his birthplace in Kesh.

34. Timur had 4 sons. The eldest two, Jahangir and Umar Shaykh, died before him, while Miran Shah died soon after. Timur was succeeded by his youngest son, Shah Rukh.

35. The Black Sheep Turkmen destroyed the western half of his empire when they sacked Baghdad in 1410, though Shah Rukh continued the Timurid dynasty by retaining control of the eastern half. He set up his capital in Herat, Afghanistan.

Some beautiful Timurid architecture.
Some beautiful Timurid architecture. | Source

36. Tamerlane’s descendents include Babur, founder of the Indian Mughal Empire, and the scientifically adept Timurid ruler, Ulugh Beg.

37. The Timurid Empire lasted until 1507. The Persian Safavid dynasty took most of Iran in 1501, while a contingent of Uzbek tribes invaded from the north to take Herat in 1507.

38. Like many other formidable leaders, Tamerlane’s legacy is unclear. He is regarded as a hero in central Asian states such as Uzbekistan.

39. In much of Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and India, he is vilified as a monster for massacring the populations. Nevertheless, some Muslim scholars applaud him for uniting the Muslim world.

40. Despite forcing Christians out of much of the Muslim world, he was highly regarded in Europe for defeating the Ottomans, though that impression has become less favorable in recent times.

A Short Lecture About The Timurids

It’s unclear why Tamerlane and the Timurid Empire are under-represented in popular historical discourse. Perhaps it’s because his achievements were very similar, but slightly less notable, than those of Genghis Khan. Why speak of the second greatest Asian ruler when you can speak of the first?

It’s possible that his empire was too short-lived to be given much attention (137 years). After all, the Persian, Ottoman, Mongol, and Mughal Empires survived far longer. Perhaps, his cruelty discouraged the civilizations who could have popularized his story; or maybe his lameness caused fewer writers to glorify his achievements. While others have succeeded in immortalizing themselves with barbarism, we may never know why Tamerlane escaped a similar degree of notoriety.


Was Tamerlane disabled?

by richard

Disability history month: Was Tamerlane disabled?

    • 4 December 2012

Tamerlane – derived from his nickname Timur the Lame – rose from obscurity to become a 14th Century conqueror of nations, who piled high the skulls of his enemies. It was quite a feat at a time when physical prowess was prized, writes Justin Marozzi.

Think of the greatest conquerors of all time and chances are you’ll quickly list Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. It is rather less likely, unless you come from Central Asia or the Muslim world more widely, that you’d spare a thought for Tamerlane.

Yet in many ways this Tartar warlord, born near Samarkand in 1336 in what is now Uzbekistan, outshone both the Macedonian king and the Mongol warlord.

Unlike Alexander, Tamerlane was not of royal blood, but came from humble stock.

He began his world-conquering rampages as a petty sheep-rustler among the steppes and high mountain passes of Central Asia.

And unlike Genghis, he did not have one people to lead to military triumphs, but had to weld together a successful army from a bewildering mass of different, often fractious, nationalities. By the time he faced the Ottoman Sultan Bayazid I on the battlefield in 1402, his soldiers came from the length and breadth of his empire, from Armenia to Afghanistan, Samarkand to Siberia.

Overcoming these disadvantages was one thing. More striking and startling by far was the fact that Tamerlane was severely disabled in his right side.

At birth he was given the name Timur, meaning iron, which later gave rise to the pejorative Persian version, Timur-i-lang (Timur the lame), after a devastating injury he suffered to both right limbs in his youth. From there it was only a slight corruption to Tamburlaine and Tamerlane, the names by which he is better known in the West.

Such a physical disability, at a time when martial skills were a prerequisite of political power, would have been a crushing blow for most men.

The young Tamerlane would have known the local proverb “only a hand that can grasp a sword may hold a sceptre”. Self-advancement in this brutal world was inconceivable without excelling in hand-to-hand combat and mounted archery.

The sources leave us in no doubt about the injury, although there is uncertainty over exactly how it occurred. It probably happened in about 1363, when Tamerlane was serving as a mercenary for the Khan of Sistan in Khorasan, in what is today the Dasht-i-Margo (“desert of death”) in south-west Afghanistan.

Another source – the extremely hostile Ibn Arabshah, a Syrian chronicler from the 15th Century – says a watchful shepherd spied Tamerlane prowling about his flock of sheep, smashed his shoulder with one well-directed arrow and loosed off another into his hip for good measure.

“Mutilation was added to his poverty and a blemish to his wickedness and fury,” writes the Syrian with a contemptuous flourish.

Clavijo, the Spanish ambassador who visited Samarkand in 1404, records how Tamerlane encountered a large party of horsemen from Sistan, who slaughtered many of his men.

“Him too they knocked off his horse, wounding him in the right leg, of which wound he has remained lame all his life (whence his name of Timur the Lame); further he received a wound in his right hand, so that he has lost the little finger and the next finger to it.”

A Soviet archaeological team led by Mikhail Gerasimov opened Timur’s exquisite tomb in Samarkand in 1941 and found that he was a “lame”, well-built man of about 5ft 7in.

An injury to his right leg, where the thighbone had merged with his kneecap, left it shorter than the left, hence the pronounced limp referred to in his scornful nickname.

When walking, he would have dragged his right leg, and his left shoulder was found to be unnaturally higher than the right. Further wounds were discovered to his right hand and elbow.

Image captionThe Gur Emir Mausoleum in Samarkand holds Tamerlane’s tomb

For his 14th Century enemies, such as the Ottoman emperor and the rulers of Baghdad and Damascus, Tamerlane’s lameness provided an easy opportunity to sneer – but mockery was easier than beating him in battle.

Even Arabshah, his fiercest critic, acknowledged that he was “mighty in strength and courage”, a “spirited and brave” leader who “inspired awe and obedience”.

One can sense the great 18th Century historian Edward Gibbon almost warming to Tamerlane, whose ferocious military genius has never really received its historical due:

“The nations which he vanquished exercised a base and impotent revenge; and ignorance has long repeated the tale of calumny, which had disfigured the birth and character, the person, and even the name, of Tamerlane.

“Yet his real merit would be enhanced, rather than debased, by the elevation of a peasant to the throne of Asia; nor can his lameness be a theme of reproach, unless he had the weakness to blush at a natural, or perhaps an honourable, infirmity.”

By the time he died, en route to war with the Ming emperor of China in 1405, Tamerlane was undefeated on the battlefield after 35 years of constant campaigning.

Rarely can any man, let alone an aspiring world conqueror, have overcome physical disability with such terrifying ease, as hundreds of thousands of Asians, brutally slaughtered and decapitated, discovered to their cost.

Justin Marozzi is the author of Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, Conqueror of the World http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20538810

Charles II of Spain (1665-1700)

May 18, 2016 by richard


Charles II of Spain (1665-1700)

Paul Williams writes

In the 20th century, the British Royal Family hid away some of its members who had disabilities.

In contrast, in the 17th century Charles II of Spain was helped to rule that country for 35 years despite quite a severe degree of learning difficulty. He never learned to write more than a few words. He had various physical impairments, including difficulty in eating. He was supported by his mother to undertake the duties of his role. He married twice but did not have any children, a situation that led to the War of Spanish Succession on his death.

His illnesses and lack of ability to have children led to him being called ‘Carlos the Bewitched’. However, he was well loved by his people and he achieved a lot during his reign, including commissioning art for the royal palaces and promoting a more scientific approach to medicine. His reign was largely a time of peace and of reversal of the previous economic decline of Spain.

He is an example of great achievement in an extremely important role by a person with learning difficulties in history. His story will be recounted with illustrations from paintings of him during his reign.

In discussion with Disability rights pioneer Lorraine Gradwell, MBE

November 30, 2015 by richard

by Gemma on November 22, 2015 in Activism, Austerity, Community Care, Cuts, Disability, DPAC, Lorraine Gradwell, Rights, UKDHM • 0 Comments

As today marks the start of UKDHM (UK Disability History Month from 22 November to 22 December), I sum up and reflect on my interview with Lorraine Gradwell, MBE. Known to many as a leading disability rights ‘veteran campaigner’, she has worked within the disabled people’s movement for over 35 years.

Lorraine, now in her 60s, came to disability politics through her involvement in paraplegic sports – particularly the Manchester Disabled Athletes club in the 1980s. It was here that she met the highly influential disabled activist, Neville Strowger. She and Neville became close friends and, with others, worked together to set up GMCDP (Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People) – one of the first organisations of disabled people in the UK. In its heyday, GMCDP was instrumental in creating positive change for disabled people both in Manchester and throughout the UK. Lorraine was their Deputy chair, then Chair, then development worker and eventually their first team leader in 1987. She was later CEO of Breakthrough UK (1997 – 2013). Though now semi-retired Lorraine is a Member of the co-production group at Coalition for Collaborative Care.
Trailblazers and Cabbies…
In her role as GMCDP’s team leader, Lorraine campaigned around a number of issues – the Disability Discrimination Act, the role of big charities, independent living and accessible transport. She also helped to set up the Equalities Unit in Manchester City Council.
Lorraine and her team’s lobbying made Manchester the first city with Black Cabs that were accessible to disabled people. Campaingers persuaded Manchester City Council that one hundred new licenses were to be issued to Black Cab licenses on the condition that the cabs were made accessible.

“We used to get cab drivers coming in and talking to us about the campaign, adaptations of the cabs and so on which led to work being done. Some cab drivers got the new licenses but didn’t make the cabs accessible which ended up going to the appeal court in London to uphold Manchester’s stipulation – Manchester was a real trailblazer in that respect”.
She also worked with Greater Manchester Housing Disability Group and the academic June Maeltzer, to set up the first informal independent living scheme. June worked with the Irwell Family Housing Association to get an agreement that the funding for ‘local authority carers’ would go into a trust that was managed jointly between her and the Irwell HA. At that time, it wasn’t legal for a local authority to give funding directly to an individual, whether they were disabled or not. June was one of the first users of direct payments – before the legislation was even in place.
With pioneers like Lorraine, Neville and June, Manchester was building a strong reputation as good place to live if you were a young disabled activist.
These initiatives certainly influenced my decision to move to Manchester in the mid 1990s.
The current climate…
Lorraine and I discussed the contrast between the ‘rights based’ campaigning of last twenty years, and the current ‘benefits based’ campaigning. We also discussed the idiosyncrasies of Manchester’s current independent living policies and the alarming shrinkage of the public sector both locally and nationally.
Lorraine can see why campaigns around benefits and austerity are needed, but feels they need to focus more on societal structures, rather than disabled peoples perceived vulnerabilities. She doesn’t think that it’s helpful for a movement to be making their ‘vulnerability’ a central plank of their campaign – it’s better to talk about our fundamental rights and the need for those to be addressed. For me this has a particular resonance as my current photography project, Hanging in the Balance, is about being made vulnerable due to the current austerity measures. – in this context is it OK to embrace and focus on our vulnerability?
Like me, she welcomes the push that DPAC (Disabled People Against the Cuts) have made towards getting a UN investigation into the governments sanctions. She says, “All the rights based issues have gone on the back burner a bit … six, seven years ago it was very much about rights …it was about inclusion, barrier free work, independent living, etc. All that has gone by the wayside in just a short period of time, and it alarms me how quickly it can get unrolled.”
In the area of employment, for example, she says the perceptions around disabled people have taken a massive turn for the worst. During her role as Chief Executive of Breakthrough she sat on the Disability Employment Advisory Committee – a government body that focused on matters to do with disability and employment. The ConDem Coalition immediately disbanded those types of committees, with no real replacement. This represented a change in ideology, and the shrinking of the public sector – which has had a massive knock on effect on disabled peoples’ organisations.
Lorraine points out that Breakthrough’s ethos was very much around providing the support to disabled people who could work, not about forcing ill people into work. The current government doesn’t seem to understand the relationship between being disabled and work. She feels that the way disabled people get portrayed as being either a burden or a scrounger is nothing more than a big scapegoating exercise.
This, she feels, is very dangerous particularly alongside the whole push towards assisted suicide and the creeping privatization of the NHS. Assisted suicide fundamentally changes the relationship between doctor and patient overturning two thousand years of the Hippocratic Oath – do no harm. She recalls reading about a woman in Oregon being refused cancer treatment by her insurance company because it was expensive, but they said she could have assisted suicide because that was cheaper. A health service driven by financial decisions and what would be cheaper is not about helping people at all. Here I would argue we must have the right to live, before we have the right to die.
“It’s not being sensationalist to describe it as state sanctioned killing, and once you’ve got state sanctioned killing, where’s it going to go? In Belgium assisted suicide applies to children. There’s no stopping it once it’s on the statute books.”
Keeping disability rights on the agenda…
From NHS provided health to access to work schemes, disabled people are once again fighting at the front line. Though the recent cuts may have had a direct impact on the capacity of both Breakthrough UK and GMCDP, they both continue to campaign, and provide much needed support for disabled people. I am aware of criticisms levelled at veteran campaigners from younger disability rights activists, but perhaps rather than blaming them for perceived failings within their campaigns, we should champion them for their drive and continued commitment to ongoing change and to keeping discussions about disability rights on the political agenda.

Lorraine Gradwell’s book of collected works ‘A Life Raft in a Stormy Sea’ is available to purchase online.

Interview with Johnny Crescendo

May 1, 2015 by admin

An interview by UKDHM.
The first of a series of disabled people who have made recent history.

Tom Shakespeare 5 Essays on Famous Disabled People BBC Radio 3

January 6, 2015 by richard

5 Essays Tom Shakespeare