IN VIEW of my comment on these pages on February 15 that the decision to charge Blue Badge holders for parking should ‘be based on fairness and equality, and never clouded by emotion’, it is disappointing and regretful (some might even say self-centred) that Mr Rolfe has not heeded these words and has succumbed to his emotion by interpreting my letter to the Boston Standard solely as a response to his letter published the previous week.
My letter regarding parking fees for Blue Badge holders was a personal view on the introduction of said fees in general, aiming to give a more balanced response to various letters and articles published on this subject over the course of the past few months, while my only reference to Mr Rolfe was intended to show, by example, how some are too readily willing to jump on the ‘That’s discrimination!’ bandwagon, having no points of substance of their own to add to a debate.
It seems the point of my letter ‘was not grasped’. (I stress at this point that my letter was ‘a personal view’, as I wish to make it clear to readers that the ‘C’ in ‘Mr C. Richmond’ is not an abbreviation of ‘Councillor’! I imagine at this point the frustrations and confusions of being called Mr John Smith!)
Generalisations in a debate are always dangerous, and Mr Rolfe made at least two of them in his letter of February 22 thereby, directly or indirectly, attempting to distort the debate somewhat or at least detract from it.
Number one: that all Blue Badge holders use wheelchairs; and, that all non-Blue Badge holders are able-bodied.
Some of us may not have a Blue Badge, but may not be able to walk far; while others (parents with young babies and pushchairs are one example) would ideally benefit from wider bays.
But the truth is that we can’t always have what we want, especially in the current economic climate.
That’s life, and throwing toys out of the pram (unless you’re one of those tiny babies being squeezed like a sardine through a very narrow opening of a parked car door) won’t change that.
Generally, in response to other letters on this subject, it seems that Blue Badge holders are considering the (threat?) option of spending extra money on petrol to travel to other towns to shop (where they will most likely have to pay to park, as many other towns have already introduced fees for disabled parking) or of taking advantage of the right to park on double-yellow lines for a limited time, with the possibility of causing a hazard to pedestrians or fellow motorists (double-yellow lines are there for a reason).
When fully considered, are these viable or sensible alternatives?
Or is it just petty?
Finally, ‘touché’ was originally a term used in fencing to acknowledge a hit by one’s opponent. In order to make a hit, Mr Rolfe, one has to start by pointing one’s sword in the right direction.
MR C. RICHMOND