I think disabled people need to be careful of a kind-of “divide and conquer” approach. I do look at some arguments, and it seems to boil down to “I’m more disabled than you“, which I think is nonsense.

For example, some time ago on a stroke forum, somebody was sounding off about missed doctor’s appointments. Said people should be fined for missing them. As this was a stroke forum, I would assume that this person had either been touched by stroke themselves, or was close to someone who had. I asked whether this should apply to all patients. What about people with mental health issues, or dementia, which might mean they simply aren’t capable of remembering appointments? And, what do you do when people either don’t, or can’t, pay the fine? Refuse to treat them? And how do you gear up the NHS so as to facilitate payments? How much would that cost? All sensible questions, which go far deeper than the original knee-jerk reaction.

I think it’s very easy to buy into the tabloid theory that people who miss appointments are just out to mess people around, to abuse their “right”, or that everybody on the dole is just lazy, say. We need to look beyond the headline and not fall into this intolerance trap.