[Image: Transport for London].

[Image: Transport for London].

What was I thinking? I can only blame yesterday’s lapse of judgement on the medicine I have been taking for the cold I caught last week.

Of course badges indicating disability – hidden or overt – are a bad idea. If Transport for London thinks differently, perhaps a reminder of the infamous ‘black triangle’ badges in Nazi Germany is required?

The black triangle badge was used in Nazi concentration camps to mark out people deemed to be “asocial” or “workshy” and experience suggests that ignorant people here in the UK would consider TfL’s “Please offer me a seat” badges as sure signs that the wearers are scroungers of some kind, rather than genuinely in need.

Only today I was reminded that too many people still consider people on sickness or disability benefit to be there due to choice, rather than genuine incapacity – despite official evidence showing that benefit fraud is practically non-existent in this area.

Remember what happened when refugees in Cardiff were given armbands, or the ‘red door’ controversy in Middlesbrough,in which asylum-seekers became clearly-identifiable to the public – and were then targeted for abuse?

That’s what this policy will do to people with hidden disabilities. It will make them targets for aggression when all they want to do is sit down.


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