Crippen and an alternative to the New Year Honours

You may not be aware of this but there are quite a few Crips who have been approached by the establishment with regard to receiving an award for ‘services to disability’ (sic) and who have turned them down.

Most have stated their reason as not wanting to receive any recognition from an establishment that, at the very least, pay lip service to disabled people and our fight for civil rights. To receive an award such as an MBE, or OBE, etc., from this smug status quo would be seen as hypocrisy of the highest order.

That’s not to say that those who have accepted an award automatically fall into the category of turn-coat. Baroness Jane Campbell has consistently used her title to fight for our rights within the House of Lords and the late Sir Bert Massie and Lorraine Gradwell MBE, continued to do their bit, using their new status to fight the system from within, with their last breaths.

All this got me thinking though. Why should the establishment have all the fun?! Why can’t we have our own awards? Honouring our peers for their services to the cause, especially if they have continued the fight despite everything that the system throws at them.

So, I’m proposing that we start our own New Year’s Honours Awards. This would not only be for those Crips still fighting, but for those who have passed on and who’s memory continues to aid us in our fight for equality.

We could call it the CRIP awards, standing for ‘Crips Rebel In Protest’, with nominations for the disabled person who has constantly been in the face of the establishment during 2020. Nominations for a posthumous CRIP could also be accepted for those who fought the good fight in previous years.

I’ll have a chat with our friends at Disability Arts Online and see if we can organise something for the coming New Year.

Watch this space folks …

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

A black guy wearing a hearing aid is clutching a medallion that hangs around his neck. On it is printed OBE. A white guy using an elbow crutch is also clutching a medallion which reads ‘CRIP award’. On the wall behind them is a sign that says ‘New year’s honours awards’. The white disabled guy is saying “You can keep your establishment award – this is the real thing!”

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