The Conservative Party has been a good family to me for my aspirations as an autistic man. There are many things that I hope to accomplish in life that include making connections with people that will value the usefulness of autistic individuals. Making them their own heroic being and achieving their own happiness.
Last year when the Conservative Party released their manifesto highlighting support for autism services and changes in disability laws, I was very supportive of them. Especially as I was determined to see the disability employment gap close.
I am one of small minority of autistics that are Conservatives. Most disabled people in general are predisposed to be liberals and socialists because they are welfare state dependents and feel like they need to support Labour. That way they can protect their homes, carers and social security benefits.
The Conservative Party policies on disability issues have often associated with welfare cuts and campaigners often cite that these are responsible for hurting them. Such accusations include suicides happening as a result of reduced funding in public services.
But I don’t see these deaths or negligence being down solely to Conservative party policies - I think it’s because there isn’t enough innovation for disability services in local communities. Support services are not just measured in money; they are also made by people who value those living with autism.
Mainstream media depicts disabled people as pitied pathetic creatures in hopeless and vulnerable situations. The left even play up to that narrative and use it make disabled people become props in their activism. During my time as a Tory activist I haven’t been like that, instead I have been on the front line speaking for myself with my own objective. During last year’s general election, I was canvassing in Romford chanting ‘Autistic Conservatives support Aspirational Aspies.’
My fellow Conservatives support autism and as an example I show them the creative and intelligent aspects of my beautiful mind. To begin with their policies should include creating opportunities for autistics that can allow them to live normal lives and earn their own right to financial freedom. This involves tackling hidden prejudices that block them from achieving things of good value.
I once had to turn down a job interview because the salary would have been mostly eaten up in travel fares to the office in Central London. I remember thinking that maybe if that job was remote and home based I would be able to take it. COVID-19 has proven home based work to be a useful method to the economy. It’s just about the same as a disabled person stuck at home using a PC and a local storage network to keep an accounting company afloat.
Now who is to say that autistic people are not capable of any economic value when they can use their own intellect. It’s the ignorance of their existence and their abilities that’s the problem. I live in a system where my options are limited by the patronising nature of employers and education officials. Autistic people are very much a vital part of influencing Conservative Party policies because that will show that disabled people are valued workers no matter what their situation is.
What I hope to achieve with my autistic Conservative objective is to create an aspirational autism movement with other conservatives around the world to speaks for creativity and intelligence.
Charlie Keeble, Author, Conservative Party activist and autism advocate