Tuesday, 9 December 2014

PULL UP A CHAIR - IF YOU'RE ABLE...



The goalposts are shifting again, it appears.  The disabled,
whose plea was once that they be treated the same as more able-
bodied folks, now seem to expect preferential treatment.  The cause
of the most recent stramash is that a woman with a pushchair on a bus
refused to relinquish her seat in response to the demands of a man in a
wheelchair who wanted to board the vehicle.  As far as I understand,
the woman was already on board (in an area usually available for
prams, pushchairs and wheelchairs) when the bus pulled into
a stop where the wheelchair user was waiting.

The woman's baby was asleep, but presumably her refusal to
move was because there was no space to relocate to, rather than
from a lack of empathy for her would-be fellow passenger.  Or per-
haps his manner in 'requesting' her to move was overbearing
and ruffled her feathers somewhat.  

Regardless of the precise details in this particular case, it gives
rise to an interesting question.  If you've paid your fare, should you
be obliged to give up your seat or leave the bus to allow someone else
a space who feels that their need to get to the shops (or return home)
is greater than yours?  I seldom use a bus, but I have a congenital liver
disorder that leaves me constantly fatigued, meaning I often have to
sit down when I'm out and about.  Should I be compelled to give up
my seat to an older person who might be far fitter than me, just
because it superficially appears that they're more in need
of it - or simply just want it?

If you're able-bodied and there are no seats on a bus, surely
you just wait for the next one?  Shouldn't it be the same for those
who are disabled or impaired in some way?  Or are they within their
rights to demand that everyone else should give way to accommodate
them?  Am I being too harsh in thinking that being 'treated the same
way as everybody else' entails having to put up with the same in-
conveniences and disappointments that the able-bodied do?

What are your thoughts on this controversial subject?

17 comments:

DeadSpiderEye said...

I think we know, this kind of thing happens to everyone, imagine if the courts had purview over every dispute over a place on on public transport or parking spot. For the moment it seems, some sense of reality has returned and the case has been overturned, he was originally awarded £5000 as compensation for waiting for the next bus. I'm not pretending it was a great day for the guy, I'm not sure how long he had to wait but are we to infer that his right of travel supersedes all others, including that of a mother with child? I think: actually I know, that in some minds, that is case. We've given up on the simple principles like: treating others with courtesy and respecting the rights of all and exchanged them for the belligerent hammer of legal process enforcing preferential rights in a game of Topp Trumps.

I know it's not a perfect world, people are always going to be willing to show you how much of an a******e they can be but there's a lot worse than missing a place on a bus out there. Quite frankly anyone advocating that these incidents should be subject to legal sanction, isn't just an idiot, they're working real hard, toward the destruction of human civilisation.

Kid said...

You know, DSE, I often have difficulty in thinking how to respond to your comments because, so succinct and pertinent are they, there's usually not much I can add that you haven't already covered in your thoughtful, well-considered summations. This is another such occasion.

Colin Jones said...

I'd never heard of this case but unfortunately we live in a compensation culture and some people will always see a chance to make a fast buck - this moron just gives other disabled people a bad name. I'd be happy enough to give up my seat for a disabled person (give up my seat not leave the bus) as long as they were polite and not demanding or aggressive. I'm more p*ssed off about handing out free TV licences and winter bloody fuel payments to millions of well-off middle class pensioners to be honest. Sorry to hear about your health problem Kid, I don't think you've actually mentioned that before.

Kid said...

Thanks, but it's no big deal, Col - it isn't life-threatening, just leaves me feeling absolutely knackered most of the time. I tend to agree with you on the pensioners angle, although it's perhaps not as simple as it seems. Are they getting these things because they've paid into the system all their working lives? In that case, how do you exclude those who are, by law, entitled to such 'aid', even if they may not need it?

Colin Jones said...

Well, free TV licences and winter fuel payments only came in with New Labour and in my opinion it was mainly done to secure the pensioner vote - in the last election about 23 per cent of pensioners voted Labour so they took the benefits and then kicked Labour in the teeth. I think this government would like to remove these pensioner handouts but with 11 million pensioners (and growing by the day) that's rather difficult especially as pensioners are far more likely to vote.

Kid said...

Sure, but presumably they justified giving pensioners these things on the grounds of their financial contributions to 'the system' over the years, and I'd assume that the more well-off oldies made at least the same contributions. I think they should have thought things through more at the beginning.

John Pitt said...

I would think that your medical condition has made all the present upheaval even more difficult for you. I wouldn't fancy carrying 200 boxes up into the loft, so look after yourself.
As for the disabled person in question, sounds like a miserable greedy git to me. We all have to wait our turn.
But as for this government, it's absolutely EVIL the way they are bleeding the poor, sick and vulnerable in this country today. A pox on the bastards!

Kid said...

Absolutely slayed me, JP. Actually, I'd started packing stuff away about a year or so ago because I knew the work was inevitable, but then the boiler burst, making it an emergency situation. Added to that, I wasn't fit to move the boxes I'd previously packed because I was due to go into hospital for an operation and couldn't exert myself. The op kept getting postponed because I wasn't in a condition to undergo it with minimal risk, but eventually I was attended to. The recuperation period had just passed when the recent situation kicked off, but I had to delay the emergency work for over a month (I was without central heating and hot water for all that time) to allow me to complete the packing and move the boxes into the loft. I've been exhausted for the last couple of weeks as a consequence. What can I say? That's the last time I buy any lucky white heather.

And you're spot on about those politicians - especially 'IDS'.

John Pitt said...

All I can say is, "Take it easy, take your time, etc.", but you know all that. Don't hurry getting your boxes down on our account. You can come on here and talk about anything ( there's loads in your brain - mutant memory, remember? )
It is an endurance trial when you have no heating& hot water, as we know only too well. We had a 2 week stint when our old boiler was condemned, only to be followed the next year by a 3 week spell whilst waiting for a new circuit board ( which it didn't even NEED!! ) for our new boiler!
As for IDS - he's a total C_ _T! - he took great delight in changing the law, so that those few who were actually exempt from the bedroom tax then had to pay it. He'll get his one day.
Check in tomorrow, take care and all that. ( please excuse my rants on your blog! )

Kid said...

Your 'rants' (as you call them) are always very welcome, JP.

Colin Jones said...

I agree with every word John says about IDS and this government but I blame New f***ing Labour for a lot of what's happening - as soon as they came to power they started demonising single mothers, the disabled, mentally ill and benefit claimants in general by inventing that divisive new phrase "hard working families" so anyone who wasn't in work was condemned as a scrounger - of course behind the scenes Labour MP's and government ministers were all helping themselves to thousands of pounds a year of "expenses". The Tories and their Lib Dem lackies would have found it a lot more difficult to attack the welfare state if Labour hadn't spent years undermining the foundations. Somebody on the radio recently said "this government is dismantling the welfare state but it was New Labour who loosened the bolts".

Kid said...

Well, we all know that there are people on benefits who do rip the system, but, overall, they're a minority. The majority of people on benefits just scrape by. To live a life of hedonistic luxury, one needs to be on a politician's wages. What gets me is the snide question they ask - "Is it fair that a hard working person is worse off than someone on benefits?" Of course not, but that's not because benefits (in most cases) are too high - it's because wages are too low. As testified to by the amount of working people who need their wages topped up by benefits because they don't (and can't) earn enough to live on.

John Pitt said...

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a labour party any more. Tony Blair, who I always believed was a Tory plant put pay to that! So the choice is vote for Tory A or Tory B!
What really infuriates me is the way "benefits" has become a dirty word now. Propaganda has turned people against ALL claimants with with these programmes portraying them all as lazy, dishonest, chain-smoking, permanantly drunk, drug-addicted, scrounging shop-lifters! I suspect them ALL to be actors!
WHERE are the honest people who spend their benefit on their bills, food and nothing else?

moonmando said...

All this fuss over a wheelchair user.If only they would devote as much effort into keeping their buses clean and safe to travel on for the majority of their passengers. The last two times I travelled on a bus,i had to sit across from a crowd of teenagers who felt it their right to sit with their dirty footwear on the opposite seats whilst at the same time eating chips and disposing of their wrappings by throwing them on the floor.On another occasion,having to endure foul language from another group of young folk. Driver on each occasion either helpless or unwilling to get involved.If i had done so myself then in all likelihood I would probably be the one to get arrested!

Kid said...

Those ones aren't considered interesting enough to make a programme about, JP - especially as they don't suit the programme-makers' agenda.

******

Thing is, Moony, I'd assume that the buses must originate from their starting points in a relatively acceptable condition, so it's the passengers mucking them up throughout the day. Unless there's an on board cleaner, how are the standards to be maintained past the first half hour? That's why I don't like using a bus 'though - they're usually manky.

moonmando said...

Bring on Bus Marshalls,complete with shotguns.I would enrol tomorrow.Never get tired of shooting the little Shits.

Kid said...

Bus Marshalls? You mean like conductors used to be, before they were got rid off? 'Progress', eh?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...