Festival of Bollox

I think this is another excellent reason not to vote Tory. The p’tahks have announced plans to hold a Festival of Brexit Britain in 2022. They say they want to show Britain off to the world and reunite the country and all that bollocks, when it’s obvious that they just want to waste colossal amounts of money on a self-congratulatory egofest.  2022 will be the queen’s platinum jubilee, as well as the ten year anniversary of the London 2012 olympics, so they obviously want a resurgence of the spirit of national unity we experienced then. But it won’t work: any sensible person now sees Brexit as little more than a crime, and a festival celebrating that travesty will just add insult to injury. At best,  this event will be an opportunity for us to get together and protest.

Visiting Lyn

I just got back from visiting Lyn in Charlton. It was the first time I’d seen her since moving out two weeks ago, and I had been in two minds about going: On the one hand I don’t want to loose contact with her entirely,  but on the other I don’t want to seem clingy by visiting too often. Today, though, I decided to bite the bullet: I’d left a couple of things there I was keen to pick up, so I decided to just go say hi.

I bumped into John in charlton, en route to PA for Lyn, who  confirmed I would probably be welcome. He suggested I wait an hour or so, to give  L time to get  up. An hour later, John was proved right: I needn’t have worried, as Lyn greeted me warmly. There wasn’t a shred of the animosity I’d for some reason been worrying about, and we chatted like two old friends. Not wanting to get in the way I only stayed an hour or so, but Lyn assured me I was welcome to visit fairly regularly, so that was fine. I also told L she was very welcome  to visit me here in Eltham whenever she wanted. As I came home on the bus, it felt like a small cloud which had been hanging over me had been lifted: L   and I  are still cool; going our own way now, but still good friends.

Blue Badge Parking Problems

To be honest I really do not know what to make of this story. Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuiness and his wife were apparently verbally assaulted by a man for parking in a disabled parking bay. They have three children with autism, and therefore have a blue badge, but the man  disputed their right to park there because they didn’t look disabled.

As soon as you start opening this story up it becomes an ethical minefield, Disabled parking spaces are at a premium, so part of me thinks they should be reserved for people whose disabilities effect our mobility. Yet that immediately raises the question, how do you define a mobility impairment? Do  you need to be a wheelchair user? If so, what  about those  of us who can walk short  distances? Aa soon as you start trying to limit blue badge parking spaces to people with certain kinds of disabilities, you open yourself up to  a rhetorical minefield: as the article states, it can be argued that conditions like Autism can effect mobility, or that people with it need the wider, closer parking spaces just as much as people with conditions like cp.

Yet there is a small, cynical voice in my head which has a problem with  that;  which says that disabilities, particularly so-called invisible ones, seem to be in fashion these days, More and more people seem to be claiming to have an invisible disability or mental health problem in order to tap into a  kind of  social position: that of brave, downtrodden outsider persevering against societal oppression. In this case McGuiness’ wife Christine seems keen to assert that all three of her kids have autism, despite only two having been diagnosed: why do I get the impression that this is more a case of a tv star being too entitled and  privileged to park alongside everyone else and demanding a parking space closer to their destination?

Of course I feel guilty for admitting that; I have no right to begrudge anyone their blue badge. Yet if I was forced to park further away from somewhere  because all the disabled spaces were taken up by people who were perfectly ambulant, would that really be fair?The further people with conditions like cerebral palsy need to walk, the harder walking becomes and the more likely we are to fall and hurt ourselves. But then, how does that trump anyone else’s need for the same parking space? The problem is, more and more people seem to be being diagnosed with increasing kinds of invisible disabilities these days, but with only a certain number of disabled parking spaces, some tough decisions might have to be made.

Cheap con tricks by a cheap con artist

Have you noticed how, these days, Nigel Farage walks around in public flanked by two or three big heavy bodyguards? It’s  as if someone was out to get him, or  something. After ail, why would you need such protection if you weren’t an important political figure? Unless, of course, that was just an impression  that you wanted people to get…

The truth is, scumbag though he is, only a fool would want to hurt or assassinate farage, as it would just play into the hands of the far right.  By walking around with these bodyguards, though, Farage is trying to not only portray himself as far more important than he is, but also imply that his political adversaries – those of us on the left – are now so crazy and radicalised that we threaten his safety. It’s a cheap con trick by a cheap con artist. As you can read here, his grip on reality is increasingly tenuous; Farage is an egotistical prick with a greatly  overinflated idea of his own importance. If only the media stopped paying him any attention and left him to his vile, bigoted jabberings. But they don’t, and through little tricks like this Farage draws attention to himself, as if his baseless, uneducated views matter far more than they actually do.

A nonverbal meeting

Something I found quite interesting and noteworthy happened today. I had a meeting with my social worker this afternoon. He’s Deaf so a sign language interpreter usually joins us at our meetings, but today there was apparently no BSL interpreter available. That was, however, not a problem: I typed what I wanted to say into my ipad as usual while he wrote what he wanted to tell me onto a pad of paper. I’m sure you can imagine the scene, both of us sat in a small room in The Woolwich Centre: neither speaking in the usual sense but nonetheless communicating perfectly, the room silent apart from my Ipad and frequent laughter. It worked very well, striking me as a great example of how disabilities should not constitute any kind of barrier. At the very least I thought it deserved noting on here.