A week in the life …

What do you think?

  • Globalisation or greed causes economic inequality?
  • Are disabled lifts good for you?
  • Are banks exempt from equality legislation?

 It was a presentation by former colleague Professor Roger Brown at Southampton’s Solent University that piqued my interest.  His topic was Equality and turned out to be all about economic inequality and, the causes, impact and solutions.  You can read more here: SOLENT LECTURE 4TH MAY 2016 What staggered me is that the causes of economic inequality include globalisation, computerisation and more – but, as Roger said, economist recognise these levers but don’t really address the human factors that pull them.  To my mind, lust for power and status, naked greed, moral vacuums and absence of social responsibility are the key drivers.  If these aren’t tackled amongst those who have access to and power over the national and international financial structures, how can regulations and other lesser tools ever create change?  People will always find a way around interventions unless their personal goals are re-directed.

And I had the delight of theatre-going too: a farcical version of John Buchan’s “39 Steps” with a multi-tasked cast of four and, apparently, much visual humour.  But I know the book and films so well that I was nearly word-perfect with the lines and could guess what was going on.

The real fun was trying to get out of the bar – like a lamb to slaughter, I was led in to one of those small “platform” lifts for disabled people and we slowly chugged up the four steps.  But the lift wouldn’t open, wouldn’t go back down and the manager, summoned by the emergency button, didn’t have the override key.  I had visions of the Fire and Rescue Service having to cut us out!  Thank goodness a friend re-called the lift back to the bar whereupon we exited (as gracefully as possible) and took the four steps up!  How to look really foolish.

And now I know that visually impaired people like me aren’t really supposed to get full banking services.  I’m off to Italy in a while for a short cooking course so naturally went in to my bank of many years to order some Euros.  They couldn’t do it over the counter and failed on the phone.  The Santander manager said the internet was the only option and wasn’t the slightest bit interested when I explained that any sort of on-line financial transactions are too risky for me.  His ultimate solution was that I should go round the corner and use a Bureau de Change –he didn’t quite say **** ***, but that was the sense of it, and, when a friend did try online for me, it didn’t work anyway.  Is it me?

But I did make a great loaf of no-knead bread – so something more to smile about.

Penny Melville-Brown

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000


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