Feb 022017
 

This driver stopped in the marked disabled bay while he loaded a Christmas tree while two cars with disabled badges had to move on.

By Mark MC.

“I’ll just be two ticks!” A not uncommon response to someone parking where they shouldn’t, but what if that is a disabled parking bay?

The Court has recently ruled on wheelchairs over prams on buses; but is this the right way to go?

Has it gone far enough?

Even now the media and people appear to have different views on what the ruling stated so what is going on?

What has happened to the old-fashioned courtesy, of giving up a seat for someone in more need than yourself….is chivalry dead?

Most of us will get old, some will become disabled, some of us are already there; so should we expect ‘special treatment’, preferential treatment?

This important issue covers far more than just buses or parking bays; there appears to be a basic disregard for people that require more, even if that doesn’t actually cost anything just, simply taking up space that could be used by someone else: the selfish gene?

Unfair appraisal? While it is true that many people would happily give up their seat, how many of those people would take a disabled parking space? The concept behind the aging Goofy cartoon behind the wheel springs to mind; where the perfect gentleman Goofy changes like Jekyll and Hyde.

Whatever your viewpoint there is sufficient concern to raise the question, what is going on? Why do so many feel that it is OK to keep a marked disabled seat or park in a disabled parking space without authority?

These actions can have severe effects on those that need them.

A tent display, clearly far more important than disabled people.

There are too may conditions to list here but lets just look at one, a more generic situation of chronic pain. Chronic pain affects hundreds of thousands of people; that is a pain that is constant over time, it might effect standing, walking, even sitting.

Many sufferers still try to maintain what is as near ‘normal’ lifestyle as they can but in order to do so they need just a little extra help, and that might be in the form of a specialised seat or parking space near to a shop, chemist or doctors. Is that really too much to ask?

A seat and/or a parking space, reserved for someone that needs it, in order for them to be part of the community without being an extra burden?

In the case of the bus court case it should never have gone that far, the bus driver already had the ability to sort it out; the current situation does little to help, the driver can simply wait for others on the bus to get angry about being held up; causing further animosity to either the disabled, elderly or pram pusher.

In the case of the selfish driver taking a disabled bay, even if just for a short time may have caused someone that needs that space to drive on; perhaps even to return home unable to get their shopping or prescription, because their pain to just too much for them to wait or to keep driving around looking for what is often far too few disabled parking spaces close to where they need to be.

Tackle these people at your peril; as even a ‘nice’ approach can be taken as an affront on their liberty, or at least that can be the impression assumed by the verbal abuse or even violent response.

Some countries don’t suffer from the same issues.

Some countries carry real fines, big fines if people disobey, plus they have law enforcers willing to issue fines. In a few countries the locals would never even dream of taking a disabled space. How have they done it?

It would be nice if legislation was not required, but in our current modern selfish age, the situation is unlikely to improve without a big stick….lets hope those people wont need it to get around!

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Nov 042011
 

Old Susannah takes a look at the events of the past week.

After another event-packed week in Aberdeen, Wednesday’s Press & Journal surprised on two counts.  The cover tells me that the Scottish Government, previously strapped for cash, will give us £70 million to make our city garden project dreams come true.
All we have to do is show that we’re all behind Wood/Milne/Craw/Brough and all.  Should be easy enough.

But, the surprising thing was that the story was illustrated with not one but two photographs taken inside the hallowed temple of design which is the Pier, and they clearly showed the exhibitions.

I was chased by security guards for taking a photo of the lovely stripy poster when I stood on Belmont Street, and several of the protestors were told in no uncertain terms that photographs of the great designs were absolutely forbidden. 

I fully expect that Gerry Brough (or Sasha M maybe) will send the security guards straight over to P&J offices and demand that the photos be deleted.  After all, a rule for one should be a rule for everyone.  Otherwise people will get the wrong impression that rules are not uniformly enforced in our fair city.

The other item which surprised me pleasantly was an account of the recent Housing & Environment Committee meeting:  Neil Cooney brought up some of the many reasons why the deer cull and tree planting on Tullos are not as popular with the public as they might be.

One other teeny omission that Ho Malone and other proponents of the bullets for trees scheme forgot to mention in their reports and consultations is the fact we’ll have to spray weedkiller on Tullos for 2-3 years.  Result!  This is jobs creation at its best, although you might not want junior riding his moped any time soon after the spraying has occurred.

One other minor detail – after all this fuss over the deer and press releases saying that everything is in readiness for the saplings – the city has not actually put in its formal bid for the tree scheme.   This makes people like Pete and Ho look just a little foolish for saying that the scheme is cost-neutral. 

I’m no accountant, but if you’ve not got any funding for a plan that failed before to the tune of £44,000, you might be just a little bit premature to announce that the great plan is ‘cost neutral.’  Neil also has this wild idea that the wildlife we already have on Tullos should be kept, and the hill be designated a meadowland / grassland – possibly deer park.  Watch this space.  (Thank you Neil from a great number of people).

The best events of the week save the Housing Committee meeting were the Pumpkin Procession and the Mooring’s Alternative Design Competition Award night.

At the Pumpkin Procession in UTG, a great selection of pumpkins were on display in the near darkness.

A particularly frightening carving of a witch disturbed the group greatly; this was of a famous witch named Margaret Thatcher.

Over two dozen bright, vibrant, dynamic, forward-looking, connectivity-rich, level-access, city-saving schemes for boring Union Terrace Gardens were on display at the Moorings on the night.  These are still available for viewing on that Facebook thing the kids are using today.
See: Alternative-City-Gardens-Design-Contest

Believe it or not, I was allowed to take photos without security accusing me of any felony offence.

And I got to drink some nice beer called ‘Alhambra’ – named after a rather boring bit of architecture in Spain which has far too much garden space incorporated, and actually no parking or shops.  Shocking.  No one will ever go to the Alhambra just for a visit (unlike our forthcoming glass worm).  The Moorings winner didn’t get £135,000 (which is what I believe you get if you were shortlisted for your monolith or Teletubby habitat), but got a bottle of drink instead.

All things considered, I think the finalists at the Moorings should have been given great wads of money and the official designers should have been told to stay off the drink when working.

The winner’s design had suggested putting AFC’s stadium in UTG, but this leaves the problem of what then to build in Loirston, which has for far too long just been a meadow.

But at this rate there won’t be any definitions, so here goes.

Outburst

(noun) an uncontrolled, sudden verbal attack, usually unsuspected.

Dear oh dear.  The credit crunch is having a devastating effect on so many of us.  I can’t even get to BrewDog as often as I’d like for openers.  But spare a thought for those less fortunate than us who are really feeling the strain at this difficult time.

Do you know someone who’s having to sub an unprofitable football team?  Someone who’s year-end profit wasn’t all that big (although whether or not that’s true outside of the UK is anyone’s guess)?  Someone perhaps who is facing a big legal action over a land purchase deal?  And you thought you had problems!

Some of us are down to our last 60 mill or so.  Such strains could easily make you tear your hair out.  Or be grumpy.  Or even have a wee outburst.  Before you make fun of such a person because they seem like a child who’s thrown his toys out of the playpen, just think : it could be you who’s lost your temper/grip.  The last thing we should do is call attention to such a temporary lapse of reason/class/reserve.

Therefore, if someone sends you a link to a video where such an outburst is captured, best thing you can do is stay clear.  For purposes of illustration, I have just such a link here, wherein a normally lovely bloke has an uncharacteristic outburst and makes something of an exhibition of himself.  So pity such a creature.  They may have come from a broken home.
See:  Stewart_Milne_Outburst_Video_Article

Nanny State

(modern English phrase) a derogatory term to describe an overly interfering government, particularly from the UK’s past.

I am eternally grateful to those wiser heads than ours in government who want to protect everyone from the ills and evils of drink.  There are people who have problems with drink; and drink driving is a threat to everyone – I say without any sense of sarcasm; I’ve lost too many loved ones to drink drivers.  Rather than helping people with drink problems, the best thing to do is make drink more expensive for everyone.

The SNP previously tried to save us all from the great evils of Marks & Spencer’s ‘eat in for a tenner’ scheme (as I previously detailed).  This was a plot by the sinister M&S to give us affordable four-dish meals to eat at home with another person.

It’s clear to  see where this kind of thing could lead – one thing leads to another as you progress from a ‘herb’ salad to a rump steak with onion ‘rings’ on the side while sharing a bottle of red wine before moving on to dessert (I had profiteroles with my meal last week – it was delicious.  OOPS!)

Having been as successful at banning these society-destroying balanced meals as they were at making Scotland independent, the SNP have decided to raise the price of alcohol.

This will immediately result in alcoholics quitting booze cold turkey.  Kids will no longer wish to experiment with alcohol, and the world will be a better place.  Since Scotland doesn’t have much of a vibrant or dynamic alcohol presence in the world’s drinks market, there will be no economic repercussions at all.

Nanny Goats

(noun type of goat; female)

I don’t know where we would be without the ‘new-look’ Scottish Natural Heritage agency to make sure we have a perfect natural world with as few deer, foxes and goats as possible.  For the movers and shakers (or ‘empire builders’ and climbers if you will) of SNH want to destroy the Tullos Hill deer (and other deer), and they are making sure we don’t have too many goats on the remote Isle of Rum.

To ensure that we have a perfect balance of nature, it seems SNH had a nice quantity of the goats shot, as reported in the Sunday papers.

What intelligent method was used to get rid of the corpses?  Were they fed to birds of prey?  No, they were allegedly thrown off cliffs into the sea.  The SNH denies this, but it is their word against the word of observers.  Seeing as how the SNH wrote to Aberdeen City Council encouraging a sneaky approach to the Tullos Hill deer cull, I might not be inclined to believe them all the time. 

It is almost as if someone at SNH wanted to make a name for themselves and was running around getting as much media coverage as possible, and was using draconian, cruel animal slaughter to get press attention.  But remember, the world was a far less balanced, manicured, less managed place in the days before SNH got into the killing, sorry, culling or ‘managing’ game.

We now have targets as to how many animals a patch of land can hold.  This is of course not control-freakery.  If the animals don’t stick to the figures, well then, they become the targets for hunters. 

Of course if such a person existed, they would have quite a job of silencing other experts who clung to old-fashioned ideas about not shooting animals to maintain the new population figures.  This would never happen of course.

However, if you want to ask any questions to reassure yourselves that all is right and proper in the world of animal ‘management’ at the SNH, feel free to write to Jamie Hammond.  He really does have all the answers, and is in no way faddist or revisionist in his proposals for animal management.  Tally Ho!

Next week:  more definitions and an update on our poor stressed out friend.

Sep 092011
 

By Bob Smith.

Noo the AWPR,  
Jist a ribbon o tar
Is bein built so fowk can gyang faister
Fae Stoney ti Dyce,
27 minutes they’ll slice
Aff the time on the clock fit’s oor maister

We maun get there quick,
Some spoot oot real slick
Time is money ye surely can see
Some steerin wheel huggers,
Are aa silly buggers
Fleein aroon fae the Don ti the Dee

We’ve aa heard the notion,
Aboot time an motion
Far fowk staun an peer at watch face
Ti see fit wye’s quicker,
Ti damage yer ticker
As fowk jine the bliddy rat race

The warld his geen mad,
Iss is affa sad
In a car some growe horns an a tail
Wi great bulgin een,
Rude signs ti be gien
Feenished aff wi a rant an a rail

Time ti slow doon,
Dee awa wi the froon
Live life at a less frantic pace
If ye maun drive yer car,
Ower iss ribbon o tar
Hae an attitude fit’s less “in yer face”

Een o life’s sins ,
Nae hae use fer yer pins
Can ye think o onything sadder
So git on yer bike,
Or gyang fer a hike
Or ye micht slither aboot like an adder

Some tak things ower far,
An worship the car
Car showrooms are noo the new kirks
Div the salesmen aa kneel,
At the eyn o each deal
Syne waak aboot wi satisfied smirks

A micht tak the piss,
Bit jist think o iss
A car’s only a box on fower wheels
We’re layin doon a tar bed,
Ti tak a  muckle tyre tread
Costin millions o poonds-we’re aa feels

 ©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2011
Image Credit: © Morteza Safataj | Dreamstime.com 

Sep 012011
 

By Bob Smith.

Fin walkin doon the fairway
T’wis jist a fyow days syne
A gowfin freen he did declare
Decorum’s noo in decline

Decency an gweed mainners
Are less aften ti be seen
Be it in oor aingranite city
Or awa doon in Gretna Green

Nae decorum in oor dress sense
Some fowk they look like tramps
Faa hiv bin draggit backwyse
Throwe the funns ower in the Gramps

Young chiels in torn troosers
Some quines dressed like tarts
Ample bosoms are on show
Even eens  o some auld farts

A lot o skyrie heids ye see
In orange, mauve or pink
Some fowk  try their best ti be
A maist orra bliddy tink

TV soaps they dinna help
Fowk aye bawlin an yellin
Faa’s shackin up wi faa
Ye’ve  gey difficulty in tellin

Young bairns ye aften hear
Lit oot an oath or twa
Div they learn iss in the nursery
Or fae their ma or da

Car drivers hiv nae mainners
As they drive aroon oor roads
Wi road rage aa aboot ye
O twa fingers ye see load

At  maist fitba matches nooadays
Fae the stands they hurl abuse
Fin a player he maks a bad pass
Fans dinna tolerate ony excuse

Am nae sayin things war perfect
Fin ma freens an I war loons
Bit we didna ging aroon actin
Like a bunch o bliddy goons

So let’s hae some mair decorum
As we gyang aboot oor chores
Even jist sayin a thank ye
Fin a bodie huds open doors

Listen ti anithers pint o view
Withoot aye snarlin “yer wrang”
Decorum ye see costs nithing
We need decency afore ower lang

©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2011
Image Credit: © Paul Prescott | Dreamstime.com