Disabled Bastards Wasting Parking Spaces, Says Mail

There are not many minority groups that the Daily Mail haven’t attacked and disabled people are no different. Today – in a wonderful example of what has become of investigative journalism – the Mail have uncovered the shocking truth about disabled parking bays: ‘Revealed: Why all those disabled bays stay empty‘.

The article seems to sum up everything that makes the Daily Mail and its readers such a depressing force:

Hundreds of thousands of prime parking spaces in shopping centres are unused because of a legal obligation to provide four times as many disabled bays than are actually needed.

Supermarkets, shopping centres and leisure centres must allocate up to 6 per cent of their parking bays for disabled badge holders – even though just 1.4 per cent of the population is registered disabled.

This means the priority spaces – which must be near to an entrance to shops – are rarely full, while millions of mothers and fathers with young children must fight for a meagre number of designated ‘ parent and child’ spaces.

The Daily Mail turns legislation designed to ensure disabled people have access to adequate parking facilities in carparks into the chance for parents and others to whinge about how they don’t receive similar treatment. Last time I checked having children wasn’t a disability and was still a choice people made. I understand parents might want bigger spaces because they have young children and prams etc to get in and out of the vehicle. However, supermarkets do allocate spaces for parents and children and the actual need for this would pale into comparison with someone who is disabled.

The comments are pretty depressing, as is the fact that the article has already attracted 476 of them. This to me sums up the world view of the Daily Mail and its readership. Give them a story about say the need for investigation into whether Britain was complicit in the torture of terror suspects and they manage a paltry 6 comments (most of them barely intelligible rants about how human rights should be scrapped). A cheerful story about the first Winter Olympic gold Britain has won for 30 years and you only get 100 odd comments – and just look at some of them:

tea_tray

The comments on the disabled parking story are pretty soul destroying, some of them from self-righteous, selfish arseholes who smugly claim they have always parked in disabled bays and now they’re even more glad they always did. Others come from people disgusted that ‘positive discrimination’ is allowing disabled people to park nearer to supermarkets than law-abiding-middle-class-families.

If I had to try to specify one quality that the majority of Daily Mail readers have – and I do try to avoid crass generalisations – then I would say it is that they love to whinge and they want to whinge. They buy the Daily Mail so they can read this kind of bullshit and have a bloody good whinge about how unfair the world is when the chap down the road with severe disabilities can struggle into his wheelchair, get himself and it into his car and then drive straight into a parking space almost RIGHT OUTSIDE THE STORE. THE JAMMY, LUCKY BASTARD. IT’S SO UNFAIR ON ME, A TAXPAYER WHO ISN’T LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE DISABLED AND HAS TO PARK IN A SPACE NOT QUITE AS BIG OR AS CLOSE TO THE STORE.

I am extremely thankful that I am fairly fit and healthy and I don’t mind walking across a carpark, in fact I’m grateful that I can. If parking slightly further away from a supermarket means I am guaranteeing that someone less fortunate than myself can park a little closer, have room to get out of the car and into a wheelchair etc, then I’m more than happy to do so. If you don’t feel the same way as I do, then you’re a ignorant, selfish, lazy twat and probably a Daily Mail reader.

A PR Disaster for the Daily Mail

The trouble with Party Politics is that you have to try to ram everything into your agenda whether it fits or not. This is true for individuals with an political allegiance as well as newspapers. Often the constant pressure of looking for things that embarrass your political enemies leads to pretty pathetic stories.

The Daily Mail are pretty susceptible to attacking Gordon Brown, even when it appears that the attack is utterly pathetic. This article for instance: ‘Help for a hero: Another PR setback for Gordon Brown as wounded serviceman falls on steps of Downing Street‘. If you look at the original url for the story: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1247702/Help-hero-Another-PR-disaster-Gordon-Brown-injured-serviceman-Derek-Derenalagi-falls-Downing-Street-steps.html it is clear that originally it was a ‘PR disaster’ which was then downgraded to a setback, which has now – for most of the headlines at least – been changed completely to: ‘Help for a hero: Gordon Brown to the rescue as wounded serviceman falls on steps of Downing Street’. However, when you click on the article the title shown on the top bar of your web browser is still the original ‘PR disaster’ angle.

Why the change of heart from the Daily Mail? Perhaps it was a sudden realisation that trying to make political capital from a soldier who has had both legs amputated after an explosion in Afghanistan was extremely distasteful and shows a complete lack of respect for the soldier. Perhaps it was the amount of comments under the article pointing out what an utterly ridiculous angle to take: ‘Gordon Brown helps up a soldier who falls over’ simply doesn’t translate into a ‘PR disaster’ because he simply did what any decent human being would have done by helping him up.

Perhaps the only element of PR disaster for the Daily Mail was that he happened to be helping up an immigrant black man, which is presumably a social taboo for the average Mail journalist and reader. Mind you, after the recent ‘Is ME real?‘ poll on the Mail website you could get the impression that they aren’t all that keen on those with disabilities either.

What is clear is that the Daily Mail is quite happy to use any event – no matter whose dignity they trample over – to attack their familiar targets and, if their readers do not like it in sufficient numbers, then like any bully they’ll change the story completely and pretend it didn’t happen. Pathetic isn’t a strong enough word to describe this story.

UPDATE:

The print edition of the story had the new angle and didn’t attack Brown in any way:

Gordon Brown helps fallen  soldier