Monday, 29 October 2012


The battle over the new contract for habilitation for cerebral palsied children and young people in Stockholm, Sweden, was short and public and very political. It was instructive to follow it in real time, and try to report it fairly on Conductive World. Whether what happened in this particular context has generalisable messages for those whose struggle is fought out in other social contexts is another matter – but at least people outside Sweden now have the option of considering this if they will.

It was sheer chance that Conductive World came upon this storm in the Stockholm tea cup, within a very few days of its breaking, by spotting it mentioned almost as an aside on a Facebook page. The conductive world outside Sweden and its Scandinavian neighbours might otherwise never had heard of it. One of the less enticing features of CE worldwide is how closed and unsharing it can be – I suspect to its own long-term detriment.
This particular battle was fought, in public at least, by activists, by parents of children and young people directly involved, and by Lars Mullback who has cerebral palsy himself. Scandi politics with their kaleidoscope of little political parties did the rest.
Maybe there are life-and-death battles being fought for CE services elsewhere in the world, right now. We may never know till the bell tolls on another service – and maybe not properly even then. There is possibly not much concrete that CE's enthusiasts can do to assist their fellows in trouble elsewhere – what is certain, however, is that without better information on what is happening, there will be no help even attempted.
It is all quiet again in Stockholm, for the time being. So if you were planning to offer a hand, you are off the hook. And if you were not, then there was no need to bother anyway.
And now that the Swedish sound and fury have died down the rest of the conductive world sounds very quiet indeed. A little money is awarded here, a small center or centre is inaugurated there, but there is no intellectual breakthrough promised and, 'Europe' having run its course, no great institutional activity appears immanent (except the PAI's planned incursion into Mexico and Spanish America). 
It all sounds uncannily, uncharacteristically quiet.
Nothing significant, I hope. This has happened before, about a year ago, then everything ground back into life, and went on much as before. Perhaps this will happen again.
We shall no doubt see.

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