I was reading the Huffington Post this morning and came across an article on disability issues written by the Labour MP Lisa Nandy.
Ms Nandy was elected to Parliament for the first time in 2010. She is a member of the Public Bill Committee studying the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Amendment) Bill.
Her story starts out in an intense and meaningful way, citing the Disability Discrimination Act and mentions that 16 years on "my disabled constituents still cannot travel to work, shop or see friends without risking indignity, humiliation and abuse."
I can understand the Labour MP refers directly to her constituents with disabilities; however, the situation appears to be more or less the same across the Kingdom.
As I make my way through her article, my hopes start fading. All of the sudden, I hit the phrase where the cookie crumbles:
"On Wednesday MPs from across the House of Commons united to tell Government they demand progress by 2020, the deadline by which companies must make the bare minimum of adjustments set out in law. We cannot allow this deadline to be missed, and the Minister accepted my request for a working group comprising Government, transport companies and people with disabilities to drive this forward."
Nine Years! The "so-called" Honourable MP Lisa Nandy thinks it is fair game to wait nine more years to allow companies to make "bare minimum adjustments" set out in law 16 years ago.
I read this and my hopes fade. I find myself to be reading words of yet another cruel person who thinks disabled people can go about nine more years of indignity, humiliation and abuse.
My advice to the Labour MP Lisa Nandy is to go on a wheelchair for one day, and try to go about living her everyday life. At the end of the day, report back and say, with a straight face, that waiting nine more years for changes that should already be in place, is acceptable.
Meanwhile, since she is a member of the Public Bill Committee studying the Paralympic Games Bill, she may want to take note that the U.K. does not comply to EU Regulation 1107/2006, because Labour first, Coalition after, have yet to implement civil enforcement powers. These powers should have been in place since 2008. If it were something of relevance to MPs, this could be rectified in a matter of weeks. Apparently it is not a priority, since these changes will be introduced sometime in 2012.