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:
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.