I am not a "campaigner". I was employed my Student's Union at University and the language and sycophancy surrounding some "causes" drove me insane. The pet "cause" of the Bangor student campaigners at the time was the Newbury Bypass, and not once did they ask the opinion of someone in the same office who lived in Berkshire, and that had driven through Newbury.
So being new to the world of Restricted Growth we recently joined some support groups. I was expecting useful, practical guidance on dealing with the extra challenges we and Ollie would face. Where we could get help. Where we could buy specialist equipment and toys (trikes, chairs etc). We got some very useful information, but I was not expecting the Newbury Bypass.
My wife joined one particular group on the internet before me. A few weeks ago she saw a post from somebody who had started a campaign complaining about the new Ricky Gervais and Warwick Davis comedy "Lifes Too Short". Letters had been written to her MP, the DG of the BBC, Points of View, and National Newspapers. Weeks before the show aired. The irony of pre-judging the show in this way seemed sadly lost on many people, whose ever-so-sincere encouragement had me rolling my eyes.
We are film geeks. Warwick Davis is one of our favourite actors, and we had read his autobiography long before we had any medical reason to do so! When he started talking last year about his new project, and how excited he was about it, we were very pleased for him. He is a man who lives with dwarfism and all of its implications, good and bad. It has affected his life and his family in the happiest and most tragic of ways. I would say it is required reading for anyone in our position, and gives an idea of his motivation for the "Life's Too Short" project (and yes, although the humour has hallmarks of Gervais and Merchant, this is very much a Warwick Davis project). So to see a full blown campaign setting out to trash the project before anyone had even seen it irked my wife greatly, and she said so. It started very civilly, but when it became clear that there were other people who felt the same way, the abuse started.
Because the thing about some campaigners is that they steadfastly refuse to see any other point of view. And when you put a huge amount of time and energy into being officially outraged, you put yourself in a position where you can't possibly back down, and there is always a refusal to accept that support is not universal. When a group of people decide that they are moral arbiters, they utterly refuse to accept that there is another point of view. Worse is that by claiming that they have the moral high ground, they assume open season on people who disagree.
We have been branded a bad parents for daring to disagree with a campaign that we (still) think is misguided.
We have been branded cowards for doing so.
I was been branded an internet bully for standing up for myself and my family.
We were (bizarrely and incorrectly) accused of being paid by Warwick Davis.
We have been told that our views are irrelevant because we are not of short stature ourselves.
Some bad parents
In the week that Stephen Lawrence was in the news again, there was one person who tried to brand the show a "Hate Crime" and that the makers should be charged under the appropriate legislation. I found that utterly distasteful - incidentally that person has also fallen foul of Godwin's Law.
(although whether the last one is positive seems to be dependant on whether you like Ricky Gervais or not)
NOTE!!! these links are largely NSFW or kids. Click with care, but do watch them. The second link isn't just Boston Legal, but a montage of Meredith Eaton, and she is AMAZING!
Please, please, please use the comments section here for any questions. I will try to answer them as quickly and fully as I can. Don't worry about “saying the wrong thing”, we have come to the conclusion that the words used are much less important than the intention behind them, which will always be obvious. For those who wish to be PC the word "midget" is not used anymore among the short-stature community; it is seen as a derogatory, slang word associated with circuses and the like.
And for the record, if anyone does try and put my daughter in a toilet or a rubbish bin I will physically hurt them.
Following the last UK General Election, when Gordon Brown had no government, but wouldn't leave 10 Downing street for nearly a week I received this Tweet .
I immediately declared myself the First High Warlord of Didcot and proceeded to imagine expanding my empire to Cholsey and Pangbourne. I had Henchmen, Minions and even a Majordomo or two. Sadly Abingdon (and the formation of a coalition government) thwarted my plans for world domination.
Iam now running two blogs, @10 North of CPT which I will keep aviation based, and @ Warlord Weekly News Where the subjects may be ranty, a film review or
a gadget review.
Basically whatever I can't fit into 140 characters on Twitter