Roddy Slorach

Part of the movement but independent too

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Last month's SR featured a really useful and timely article by Ellen Clifford highlighting the re-emergence of disability activism. Ellen emphasised the differences between much of the current disability movement and its predecessor of the late 1980s to mid-1990s.

Groups such as Disabled People Against Cuts (Dpac) and Black Triangle have indeed taken an inclusive and grass roots based approach in contrast to many other past and present disability organisations.

Which Paralympian legacy?

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The Paralympics were, it is universally agreed, the most successful yet. All the venues sold out, and Channel 4's coverage reached just shy of 40 million people.

Almost eight million viewers in the UK watched the closing ceremony.

Organisers hailed "the seismic effect in shifting public attitudes" to disability sports, claiming the games had changed public perception of disabled people forever. A poll taken immediately afterwards found that eight out of ten British adults thought that Paralympics 2012 had had a positive impact on the way disabled people were viewed by the public.

Cleansing and clampdown

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Notably absent from the more recent hype around London 2012 is any reference to the "Olympic legacy" so loudly promised us in the first few years.

On submitting the bid in 2005, Ken Livingstone said that it would provide the regeneration and affordable housing east London so desperately needed. Instead the main impact of the event will be for yet more Londoners to be priced out of their homes.

The Games in Barcelona, Athens and especially Beijing saw entire neighbourhoods evicted. Newham council is doing the same to residents on the Carpenters housing estate. But the British version of social cleansing relies less on brute force.

Classless

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Carl Neville, Zero Books, £9.99

This is a welcome and refreshing little collection of essays looking at the representation of class in recent British film. Its theme is that lad culture and "Cool Britannia", under New Labour in particular, encouraged the fantasy that "the class system can be wished, or better still, shopped away".

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