There is a new approach to embracing autism from the autistic conservative. I have written about this in my new book A Puzzle in A Tunnel. I began writing this after the EU referendum when I was talking to a constituent who voted Leave.
He explained to me about how the lack of services in Havering led to people calling helplines that his daughter was managing telling them that they were depressed, anxious, and on the verge of suicide. I explained to him about my autism and that I was a Conservative. Telling him of how I embrace my disability in a positive and proactive way. The way I see it conservatism is about rewarding individuality and making the country great through creative and intellectual genius. It is accepting of the way that all people are different and that we need to accept the best qualities of their character to uphold the nation’s civil rights.
The thought occurred to me that no one has ever heard of such a type of conservative like me. I started to become interested in political and civil issues when I was 20. At that time I was a struggling writer and I started to combine my political interests with my creative writing. From the activism on disabilities that I read about there was a strong focus on this civil justice movement coming from the left and social-liberal ideas. There was little about disablement from a right wing perspective.
I shared my ideas with the National Autistic Society who were helping me to get into work, but they were dismissive of my beliefs and wouldn’t recognise my talents. They never helped me to get into work effectively and undermined my activism. Insisting that I follow this code of conduct towards an isolated community. Dismissing my ambitions and passions and making me think that I need not live for a purpose.
At present the general consensus on the disabled and political and civil matters is that it seems to be about welfare handouts, disability access in public places, promoting charitable ideas to grant them special recreational activities and funding for keeping them active and healthy for para sports and niche arts projects. For me as an autistic that isn’t good enough.
I totally disagree with this because all this is an enforced sentence of defeatism and social barriers to opportunities of bettering yourself. It just creates this perception that disabled people are vulnerable, defeated, hopeless and good for nothing but the use of passive egotism.
As an autistic writer I have worked to promote inclusion of disablement and mental health issues into right wing politics. I am a member of the Romford Conservative Association. I have written about the civic inclusion of autism in right wing organisations and have found plenty of good ideas for autism to benefit the community and seen a good standard of inclusion in right wing parties across the political spectrum. They don’t see the disabled as insufferable weaklings, they see them as useful and creative and grant them the resources to be independent of welfare handouts and achieve their ambitions.
In A Puzzle in a Tunnel I cover autism and conservativism in a binary format of fiction and non-fiction. The fiction part is a new edition of a novel I wrote in 2007 told through the story of an autistic protagonist called Scott Hardy who stands up for his rights and place in society by showing his usefulness and abilities. A crooked lawyer makes an attempt to profit a disaster that he is caught up in and Scott tries to stop her by fighting for the power that he needs to prove positive. The non-fiction parts are sandwiched between the novella. They cover the topic of autism and conservatism from my own perspective covering topics like the positive impact of disability on society, the culture of passive egotism making money out of the poor, stories of famous autistics and the importance of mental health care in mainstream society.
I choose to use this dual format because it allowed me to dramatize the philosophy of my autistic conservatism and proactively support mental health with my own voice and that of my lead character. I saw an example of this from a environmental book that used a short story to give an idea of how the science of global warming would lead to a superstorm, while explaining the science in non-fiction narrative in alternating chapters.
The book is available to buy in paperback and e-book from Amazon. I suggest you read it, share it and pass on the message of the challenges that we autistics can bring to the world. Let’s not make them think of disablement as something to be associated with despair and suffering but hope and opportunity.
Inequality is a fact of life and we should accept all classes of citizens.