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How Britain pays lip service to those with difficulties.

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The BAFTAS the other day seemed to have two related themes:

  1. Don’t dare get rid of the BBC and Channel 4. Apparently some MP mentioned this in earnest
  2. TV and film-making needs to keeps funds so they can continue to be diverse – both with subject-matter and those they can employ.

Do we really need to be saying this in 2016? Seems so.

Readers familiar with my posts might ask, What’s she going to rant about this time?

Ramps, parking, help at airports, general support for those who struggle. Are we that callous that we refuse to accommodate them?

London? Forget it. Your blue badge means nothing. A disc to assuage the do-gooders’ sense of guilt that the system doesn’t really work.

This is the reality. Difficulty walking? We’ve put a ramp near the toilets so you can use them. What no one has thought of is the five flights of stairs (part of the way with no banister) to get to the loo. How the hell is this supposed to work?

There can be few who are unfamiliar with uneven paving. Round our way (Bucks – glorious, educated, middle England… pah!) it doesn’t matter anyway: drivers mount the kerb to get where they’re going. One day very soon, a parent pushing their child or someone in a mobility scooter is going to be hurt. Badly.

In the meantime, anyone using the pavement (on foot) is going to be challenged. Children, those whose sight isn’t what it used to be, anyone whose mobility isn’t what some bacon-headed councillor thinks it should be, older people, those who are recovering from illness or injury… We’re denying an awful lot of people access.

London? Forget it. Your blue badge means nothing. A disc to assuage the do-gooders’ sense of guilt that the system doesn’t really work. Can’t find a disabled parking space. Can’t park in double or single yellow lines. Like those plastic funfair tokens: I want to go on the big wheel again! Sorry love, should’ve got here before half five. Not valid now

Looking like we’re doing the right thing by disabled and less able citizens, well,  we seem to be able to get away with it. What we’re doing is depriving everybody.

What are we really saying to the people in this country – both able and less able?

If ethnic minorities or children or older people were stopped from taking part and contributing to society, we’d probably be hauled in front of a European court. Looking like we’re doing the right thing by disabled and less able citizens, well,  we seem to be able to get away with it. What we’re doing is depriving everybody.

If a teacher was prevented from working because of this, half-baked ‘awareness’ of the needs of the less able, who would lose out? The teacher and the students. Same with everyone in the creative, legal and medical professions. Those who are homosexual, heterosexual, depressed, have hearing or speech difficulties… And in fact anyone with skill in any profession or service. How can this be allowed to happen? Access all areas? Only if you’re young, fit and able.

When there really isn’t equality between those who maybe have full use of their movement and those who don’t, we’re failing. Failing the population and as a country.

Making do with second or third best just because those people can climb stairs/ walk on raised paving slabs or see without help for example. Great Britain? I don’t think so.

We’re paring our society down horribly by not doing enough to include the many who find getting about harder. We’re dismissing talent and ability by not catering for those with mobility problems. We’re not using their gifts. Not using the best, most able and qualified people in their field. Making do with second or third best just because those people can climb stairs/ walk on raised paving slabs or see without help for example. Great Britain? I don’t think so.

This grates on me. We’re holding a referendum next month on whether or not to stay in Europe soon: a big topic. What I want to see is the country taking care of its own. Caring for them. Using their wealth of skill and knowledge. Accommodating its people and making sure everyone has access to all the facilities the country offers.

Too much to ask? Let’s drop the ‘Great’ then and just say it like it is. A small, little island that is, as Ofsted might class it, improving. I think even that’s optimistic.

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