Tag Archives: blue badge

Appalling police brutality in the UK, but was it racism – or disablism?

Police brutality: the man under the two police officers had a blue ‘disabled’ badge for his car. He was parked legally on a single yellow line when these two officers demanded he move the car. He refused so they beat him senseless, breaking a finger in the process.

This is not an incident from the demonstrations against police violence against black and minority ethnic people over the last week or so.

It happened last year – in London.

James McAsh explains it perfectly well in his Twitter thread so I’ll hand over to him:

Youness Bentahar, I’m guessing, is not ethnically “White British”. He also had a blue badge for disabled drivers (or those who drive for disabled people). As such, he was entitled to park where he was and the police had no right or reason to ask him to move his vehicle.

But they still beat him senseless, breaking a finger at one point and using handcuffs as knuckledusters to punch him (in the kidneys?) at another.

Should Mr Bentahar have meekly allowed police to arrest him? Mr McAsh argues that it would mean black people who have committed no crimes should allow the police to harass them or commit violence.

But as a disabled man – or somebody driving for a disabled person – he would also have had a responsibility, either to the disabled person for whom he was driving – to carry out the job he’d been asked to do, or to himself – to avoid being taken to a police station where the extra needs of his disability may be ignored (and let’s face it, that’s what the video evidence here suggests).

Who told these police officers they could behave in this manner towards a person from an ethnic minority?

Who said it was all right for them to victimise a person who was disabled – or was acting for a disabled person?

As this happened in London, we may conclude that these were Metropolitan Police officers.

Their commissioner would be Cressida Dick. Perhaps she would like to answer these questions?

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National Trust closes open spaces to restrict coronavirus – but it seems disabled people were blocked anyway

An attempt by the National Trust to provide an open space for people to enjoy while still observing guidelines on social distancing seems to have failed spectacularly.

The Trust had announced that it was closing its houses but keeping its gated gardens and parks open, to give people a chance to enjoy fresh air and the beauty of nature, in the belief that we will need it more than ever.

But a huge volume of visitors yesterday (March 21) convinced bosses that it would not be possible to ensure that people maintain the kind of distance necessary to protect people from contracting coronavirus.

We should not blame these visitors for coming – but it could be claimed that they abused the offer by staying when it was clear that so many others had also turned up.

In any case, there seems to have been confusion about the situation, with disabled people complaining about the closure of car parks in gated parks.

The trust has waived car park fees for their open countryside areas, but the gated parks were supposed to be remaining open, with their car parks closed.

This site was contacted by a person who relayed a conversation with a National Trust representative about access to one of its parks.

In it, they said: “My elderly parents have been visiting the park twice a week since my mother had a stroke. They do not get out of the car… Simply sit in the park and watch the world go by. It is a source of great comfort especially to my mum who was robbed of so much by the stroke. They live locally but will be unable to access the park because my mother is virtually unable to walk.

“I understand that you need to take precautions but can you have a rethink and allow blue badge holders to access the car park please.”

The response: “In order to allow access to a select few we would need to have the gate manned all day from 8am-6pm as there is no digital way that we can self-select cars.

“In the current climate, we cannot put a staff member in that position. I am sorry that there is not more we can do.”

Were the car parks open or not?

Ultimately, it seems a moot point as cars were reportedly parked along access roads to National Trust parks and gardens as people queued up to get in – making a mockery of the Trust’s attempts at social distancing.

Publicity the Trust received when it announced that it would keep its parks and gardens open was positive.

This Site has been told that people with disabilities took a different view as a result of the apparent car park prohibition.

Perhaps the best way to look at it is as a genuine attempt to help that simply has not succeeded – partly because of the way people reacted to it.

A shame.

Source: Latest statement on coronavirus (COVID-19) | National Trust

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Changes to ‘blue badge’ mean disabled drivers may be fined in EU countries

No longer valid: New versions of the disabled drivers’ ‘blue badge’ have had the EU artwork removed – but users have yet to be told where it will still be accepted.

Disabled drivers using their ‘blue badge’ in foreign countries after Brexit may find themselves hit with a parking fine – because the Tory government hasn’t told them where it is still valid.

The Tory government has changed the layout of the blue badge, removing the EU symbols – but using nine foreign languages to make it appear to be still valid abroad.

But in fact this will vary from country to country.

The details are available in David Hencke’s article (see the link below).

As a disabled person, Mrs Mike has a ‘blue badge’ – but I know that she has not been informed of any changes to its validity in EU countries.

And while it is unlikely that we will go driving in foreign countries any time soon, the government’s failure to notify us of expected changes is an act of extreme bad faith.

It isn’t quite as bad as a lie – but it might as well be.

The Government has sneakily already decided that Britain has left the EU as far as 2.35 million disabled blue badge holders are concerned.

My new card for my wife issued this week has been stripped of its EU symbols even before we have left the EU. It appears to reassure people by using nine foreign languages to describe it as a disabled parking card.

But investigating the real position of disabled driving post a “No Deal” Brexit this is totally misleading and could easily end up with holiday makers being fined in some European countries for illegal parking.

At present as a member of the EU all UK blue badge holders can get concessionary parking in virtually all European countries. If they hire a car they can take the blue badge with them as it is not tied to a particular vehicle.

Once Britain leaves with a No Deal using this card will vary from country to country.

Source: Ministers pre-empt Brexit by changing disabled drivers blue badges putting holidaymakers at risk of parking fines | Westminster Confidential