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Many disabled people complain about the absence of easy access to shops, offices, workspaces, especially from a wheelchair-user’s viewpoint. I have had some personal knowledge of these problems when my wife was still alive, as the only way she could move was, in her later years, in that wheelchair. She loved the possibility of moving out from her bedroom, and I was able to get her into a car, and drive to the Metrocentre in Gateshead. I specify the  Metrocentre because it is extremely wheelchair friendly, with good lift access between the two floors, specially reserved parking for wheelchair users, and absolutely no kerbs anywhere. I only once took my wife into Durham City in her wheelchair, but found that the hills, slopes and kerbs nearly defeated my old muscles. There is a YouTube user who ‘tests’ access to Electric Vehicle charge points in supermarket parking areas; he has a point regarding access to the charge bays, but I cannot see him getting much bite-back, because, as far as I can tell, he doesn’t follow-up any access problems.

But, sometimes, it seems as thought the ‘Disability Lobby’ is either getting ahead of themselves, or not thinking through all the possibilities of things just ‘going wrong’. For example, allowing two wheelchair-bound people to access a boat on Roadford Lake in Devon. Seems there were six passengers on the boat, and the two people seated, as I am led to believe, either in wheelchairs, or were strapped down for safety reasons.

Yep, I know the strangest ideas crop up, but why these people were even allowed onto the craft at all is beyond me; I know and accept that we must make access easy for all disabled people: but strapping down disabled people in a boat, which, for one reason or another, then overturns, drowning the two disabled people who could not get up from their seats, with another passenger gravely ill in hospital! Some six-odd decades ago, I was in water 27,000 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean. I cannot swim a stroke, being shit-scared of the water, but I had a life-jacket on me, and the Captain made me swear to keep within the lee of the ship, as we were drifting at a rate of five knots, or six-odd miles per hour.

No doubt there will be an enquiry, with lots of learned people shoving their oars into the pond, but I would place good money on no-one being charged with either culpable manslaughter, or just being really, really thick!

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