Well, Perhaps You Shouldn’t Have Believed The Hype?

Ian Birrell has had his (unrealistic) hopes dashed:

Tomorrow marks one year since the Paralympics, that glorious festival of sport, began. It ended with highfalutin speeches and proclamations of a seismic change in attitudes. We were told people would never see disability in the same way after witnessing the dazzling exploits of David Weir.

And you believed that? Really? Good lord!

The sad reality is little has changed. Yes, there have been some small steps forward. My profoundly disabled daughter gets perhaps a few more smiles on the street; some sports have seen a small rise in participation from disabled people; a handful of companies have become slightly more progressive. Channel 4 deserves credit for sustained coverage of disability issues on its news.

But life remains difficult for a minority still segregated from the rest of society, the tide of intolerance strong.

Life will always remain difficult – in some respects – for the disabled. Assistance aids and redesigns alleviate things somewhat, but the blind will never see, and the paralysed never walk, short of a medical miracle…

A study this week by the disability charity Scope is expected to reveal that most disabled people have seen no improvement in attitudes since the Paralympics; some say things have actually deteriorated. It is great to open up a few basketball clubs to wheelchair players – although still only one-in-four sports clubs have suitable facilities for disabled people – but this is no panacea for people routinely abused and unable to get dressed, gain jobs, travel on public transport or access local shops.

Well, what would be? Don’t tell me, Ian, is it ‘more money’?

We live in a country where eight in 10 people have never worked alongside a disabled colleague, and even fewer have had a disabled person in their house for a social occasion.


What?!? What sort of comment is that..?

13 comments for “Well, Perhaps You Shouldn’t Have Believed The Hype?

  1. September 3, 2013 at 9:58 am

    He’s trying to offload his guilt complex about having sired a disabled child onto society, ie us. 😡

    • September 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      And it’s utter, unadulterated poppycock!

    • Single Acts of Tyranny
      September 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      My gym has wheelchair ramps up to the platform which has…. running machines (sic).

  2. September 3, 2013 at 10:06 am

    To hell with compassion and other bourgoise ‘feelings’ and Gawd save us from charitable conscience. None of this wretched ‘choice’, freedom and free willingness biz. Wot we need is far more GUILT and a HUGE amount more GOVERNMENT money. It worked for the Feminists and they had sod all wrong wiv’em.

    • September 3, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Sue the British government for transporting your ancestors to Oz, Amfortas. Make Cameron cut his wrists with remorse… 😆

      • September 3, 2013 at 10:30 am

        What I would have to do is demand eeekwalletee. I actually had to PAY my way over here (via LA, Hawaii and Auckland) and even pay for the wife (ex now) and kids. The Transported ancestors of the favoured families in Oz had FREE passage and didn’t even have to endure stop-overs. It’s not fair. There is a transportation gap !!

  3. September 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    In the past I never used to apply for jobs in companies that employed disabled people as I didn’t want to work alongside a disabled colleague.

    I also had a “No disabled people” sign on my front door to stop them coming round for social occasions.

    Since witnessing the dazzling exploits of David Weir at the paralympics, all that has now changed. I’ve requested and been granted a disabled co-worker and all my best friends are raspberries.

    • September 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      It’s an astounding piece of pulled-from-the-arse statistics, isn’t it?

      In my little office alone, there’s several people with specially-adapted chairs, one whose deaf, and a lad in a wheelchair. Makes me wonder just what definition of ‘disability’ they were using!

  4. Errol
    September 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    I’ve worked alongside a chap with no legs – he lost thme in a landmine. Another was blind. Their ‘disabilities’ were physical, not mental. Both were great blokes who I remember well – mainly because they made a kid into an adult in about 5 weeks.

    “I’m in a bloody wheelchair, not Fing Davos you prat” or words to that effect. Great chaps.

    • September 3, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      Indeed! Because they were realists.

  5. September 4, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Not all disabilities are visible: perhaps more than 2 in 10 have worked with people with disabilities but ahven’t knwon it.

    I was impressed by the show about the Welfare State in 1949 where the bloke in the wheelchair got a job in days after trying fruitlessly to get one for four years in the 21st century reality.

  6. September 4, 2013 at 7:42 am

    And you believed that? Really? Good lord!

    Same old naive do-gooding, costing trillions versus a bit of common sense about human nature and dealing with it as it goes.

  7. September 4, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    I have a cunning plan for making a shedload of compo. I’m going to sue shapely 18 year old blondes for not fancying me thanks to age discrimination.

    Mind you it might be climate change which is responsible for my lack of success, in which case I’ll sue everyone who emits CO2, including ….er….myself.

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