Tributes have been paid to Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned physicist and “disability icon” who was seen by many disabled people as a hugely-important role model, who died this week.Among the disabled people who highlighted the importance of his achievements was the political journalist Dr Frances Ryan, who said on Twitter: “Growing up disabled in Britain, you don’t get many role models.“But seeing a genius, witty and kind Prof gain the world’s respect from his wheelchair meant something. All of us know we can reach for the stars.”Professor Tom Shakespeare, professor of disability research at Norwich Medical School, said on Twitter that “as well as his brilliant career in Physics”, Hawking had “allied himself to the disability rights struggle time and again” and “always challenged assumptions”.He added: “Stephen Hawking showed that you could make strides, even if you couldn’t walk; that you could have a powerful voice, even if you couldn’t talk; that you could be disabled and change the world. RIP.”Another disabled campaigner, Kaliya Franklin, who tweets at @BendyGirl, said Hawking showed others that “the richness and depth of human experience is part of all [of] us, regardless of appearance or ability to speak out loud” and that he had showed that disabled people “could achieve anything, at a time when so many were still institutionalised”.There was also irritation from many disabled people at the repeated efforts of the mainstream media to hail Hawking as an “inspiration” for “overcoming” his impairment.Disabled scientist Fiona Robertson said on Twitter: “Don’t say he ‘overcame’ his illness.“He was still disabled. He was both disabled and brilliant, not ‘in spite of’.”Robertson was another who had seen Hawking as a role model.She said: “As a young teenager, my battered copy of A Brief History of Time revealed to me how much people yearn for the complexity of science, to understand reality, to connect with that awe.“As a disabled scientist, I looked to #StephenHawking to see that I still had a role to play.”She was one of many who pointed out that he was only able to be “the light of cosmology” because “he had access to medical care, social care, adaptive technology, mobility aids”.She added: “He succeeded because of his brilliance *and* his access to support.”Franklin agreed, pointing out that he was enabled to live his rich life by “the NHS, PAs to support independent living, PAs to support his work, assistive tech and most importantly, to be surrounded by people determined to ensure those things happen”.The Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds highlighted “the wondrous ways Professor Hawking explained the cosmos and its complex beauty” but also how he had supported disability rights, including criticising cuts to support for disabled students and fighting to protect the NHS.Marsha de Cordova, the disabled MP and Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, said Hawking had been “a ground-breaking physicist, a firm advocate for the NHS, and a staunch defender of the welfare state and human rights – from opposing the Vietnam war to standing up for the Palestinian people” and had “never let his disability define him”.Disability Rights UK marked Hawking’s death by reposting the speech he gave as the fourth annual Jack Ashley Memorial Lecture last October.In the lecture, he spoke about his life with motor neurone disease, and his belief in the principles of the NHS, that good care should be provided “at the point of need, to everyone, without regard for personal circumstance, or ability to pay”.He added: “It is important that care is available, without any of the added burdens for people that come with private health insurance.“My team and I have had experience of dealing with health insurance companies in the US, and that disappointing experience shows that a health insurance company will try its best not to pay.”He also spoke in the lecture of his public row with Jeremy Hunt over the health secretary’s “cherry picking” of evidence on weekend NHS care, which Hawking said was “unacceptable”.He added: “International comparisons indicate that the most efficient way to provide good health care is for services to be publicly funded, and publicly run.“The more profit is extracted from the system, the more private monopolies grow, and the more expensive health care becomes.”He also said in his lecture that disabled people “must find new ways of doing things”.He said that he had travelled internationally, visited Antarctica, dived in a submarine, and experienced gravity-free space flight, as well as writing books, appearing in television programmes, and lecturing in the Royal Albert Hall.He told the audience: “I am not showing off. I am explaining that disabled people can do anything if they have a fierce will to succeed.”But he stressed, as other disabled people did this week after hearing of his death, that his international travel “involves an entourage of dedicated assistants and nurses, and my fame protects me against some of the types of indignity that we often suffer”.
No – 67.8% (3,147)Yes – 32.2% (1,493)3. In a referendum in which the options on the ballot paper were ‘Remain’ and ‘Theresa May’s deal’, how would you vote?Click to enlarge.Remain – 83.9% (3,965)Spoil ballot/not vote – 7.9% (374)May’s deal – 5.7% (268)Don’t know – 2.5% (119)4. During a campaign for that referendum, should all Labour MPs be free to campaign for their preferred choice?Click to enlarge.Yes – they should all be free to campaign for their preferred choice – 47.4% (2,222)No – Labour should take a collective position for its frontbenchers to follow – 45.4% (2,126)Don’t know – 7.2% (336)The survey was open from 9am on Friday 1st March until 8pm on Sunday 3rd March. Thank you to all 4,726 readers who took part.Tags:Labour /Weekly Survey /Brexit /no deal /Public vote / LabourList readers believe that the latest Brexit strategy being considered by Labour – which would see the party abstain on Theresa May’s deal on the condition that it was put to a public vote – is the right course of action, our latest survey has found.57% of 4,726 respondents approved of the plan, which is likely to be implemented via an amendment at the next meaningful vote before 12th March, while 43% opposed it.The survey also found that LabourList readers are narrowly in favour of allowing all Labour MPs – including frontbenchers – to freely campaign for their preferred choice in a fresh EU referendum.Over 47% agreed with the idea of suspending cabinet collective responsibility in another public vote, as happened in the 1975 EEC referendum, while more than 45% believed Labour should take a position for frontbenchers to follow. Over 7% were not sure.Some Labour MPs have suggested that a referendum would be invalid unless the popular option of ‘no deal’ were on the ballot paper, but also that this would be irresponsible – and there should therefore not be a public vote at all.Asked whether ‘no deal’ should be an option in a fresh EU referendum, LabourList readers were strongly opposed, with almost 68% against and over 32% in favour.If a choice were presented to the public without a ‘no deal’ option, an overwhelming majority of LabourList readers – 84% – say they would opt for ‘Remain’ rather than vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal.Just 5.7% of respondents chose May’s deal. A further 7.9% said they would rather spoil their ballot or abstain, and 2.5% didn’t know how they would vote.1. Labour could abstain at the next meaningful vote on the condition that Theresa May’s deal is then put to the public in another referendum. Is this the right course of action for the Labour Party?Click to enlarge.Yes – 56.9% (2,660)No – 43.1% (2,017)2. If another EU referendum is held, should ‘no deal’ be an option on the ballot paper?Click to enlarge.
WE would like to invite you to a great day of Prayer and Worship at Langtree Park on October 12.The Lord has laid a burden on the hearts of Leaders in the North to call for a day of Repenting, Rejoicing and Seeking God for the North and the whole of the Nation.Working in Partnership with the National Day of Prayer, the North is inviting the Nation to St. Helens to stand together and call on God to heal us, forgive us and transform this Nation again.We are also pleased to announce that the 2013 National Day of Prayer and Worship is being facilitated through this gathering and we are welcoming those who attended Wembley 2012 to come to St. Helens and stand with us there.Worship will be led by both regional and national worship leaders and prayers will be offered by Local, Regional and National leaders alike.Tickets are £12.50 (for seated) and £10 (for pitch, standing), per person, no concessions.All tickets are subject to the stadium’s booking fee (charged per ticket).To find out more download the leaflet below or click here to buy.
In preparation for our Armed forces themed clash with Leeds Rhinos tomorrow, where the armed services will form a guard of honor and parade the pitch, SCDF were joined by local Padre Clive Doran who led the service.Prior to Saints vs Leeds Rhinos clash tomorrow, there will also be an Armed Forces bucket collection and as well as the Army, Navy and RAF, the Army Cadet force will be in attendance and the half-time entertainment will be sung by military band ‘Liverpool Scottish’.The match ball will also be delivered by special guests of the Veterans of the Foundation ahead of the official Armed Forces Day on Saturday 29th June.You can read all about our Armed Forces in our official matchday programme on sale for £3 around the stadium.Tickets for Saints’ clash with the Rhinos at the Totally Wicked Stadium are still available and are on sale from the Ticket Office, via 01744 455 052 and online here.Tickets for Saints Coral Challenge Cup Semi Final against Halifax, Saturday July 27 (KO 4:30pm) at the University of Bolton Stadium, are also on sale by clicking here.