Monday, 12 April 2010

Can We Stop Calling Them 'Charities' Now..?

Well, with the usual suspects clamouring for more regulation of mobility scooters, at least the disabled can count on their disability groups to fight their corner and argue that their lives don’t need yet more regulation and unnecessary government paperwork to compl…

Oh:
A disabled charity in Essex has welcomed calls to consider a mobility scooter driving test.
Has he, indeed?
Richard Boyd, chairman of Disability Essex, said he was glad a group of MPs looking into the safety around mobility scooters said a fit-to-drive test had to be considered.
Really?

Well, he’d know, I suppose. Being ‘in the business’, so to speak…
Mr Boyd said: “This is long overdue and we have been pointing out the dangers since 2004. The number of accidents is under reported.

“These are wonderful devices that liberate people and give them the freedom and dignity they deserve. But the problem is it’s unregulated and anybody can buy and sell them.
Hmmm, I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this…
Other actions Mr Boyd said were necessary were to make sure mobility scooters were covered by insurance policies, and regular checks of the vehicles’ road worthiness.
And who, I wonder, would do this?

Well, if you check out his website, you’ll get a bit of a clue:
Safety first for mobility scooters

Disability Essex remains concerned at lack of regulation for users of mobility scooters. Following a recent accident in the Southend area, Chief Executive Richard Boyd reflected that this was not an uncommon event.

‘The current regulations, or to be more exact, the chaos of lack of cohesive regulation, have featured in the media for many years.

Many scooter drivers carry no specific insurance, are not tested before they drive and the vehicles are subject to no regular checks.

We have suggested to the Government some simple cost effective solutions:
  • All scooters should be registered (in actual fact some classes are required to register with Swansea but no-one enforces it).
  • All drivers should have a permit to drive and the testing should be done by qualified registered charities.
  • All drivers should carry insurance, not just for themselves, but for the people who may be injured by them.
  • Scooters should be checked by qualified registered charities.
The result would be safer drivers, safer pedestrians, better equipment, and a quality service provided by the voluntary sector at a fraction of the cost of further Government administration.’

Printed in the Southend Standard, 2.5.07
‘Qualified registered charities’, eh? Well, how fortunate for Mr Boyd that he runs one!

Now, maybe I’m being, to coin a phrase, uncharitable, but why, exactly, should we pay attention to someone who is lobbying the government to introduce legislation that his own organisation would benefit from?

Has Mr Boyd actually considered the needs and desires of the people he claims to represent? Or is he simply hoping to add to the list of training courses (with eye-watering prices) his organisation offers?

There’s a tendency for people to view charity spokesmen as fearless guardians, speaking up for the powerless. These days, it seems they have the same sort of relationship to their audience as a farmer has to his cattle…..

8 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

In the words of Bob The Builder, Yes we can!

WV: awaits

Anonymous said...

I think it might just gradually dawn on people that quite a few charities are in fact businesses - and that others are fed money by Ministers keen to have bodies that are "nothing to do with them" happily taking the dosh and feeding back opionions that amazingly chime exactly with intended government policy - to pick on two areas at random (not!) where I really really get annoyed is the contunied funnelling of cash to "anti-smoking" and "anti-alcohol" "charities" - successive governments have made it clear enough - they don't like either smoking or drinking (but love the duties they generate) and we've got the message, honestly we have, we are beyond the pale and have no place in polite society if we smoke or drink, ok - so how about cutting off the cash-lifelines to these hectoring, self-righteous, controlling bas .. I have no objection to anyone being righteous and telling me about it - I can walk away and ignore them, after all - but when theyt use my money to fund lecturing me - that is an insult !

adamcollyer said...

I think I've just realised why Gordon Brown so generously introduced the GiftAid scheme to encourage giving.

Anonymous said...

All I can gleam from this story is simply that it is SLEEZE and nothing more.
This is a blatant example of corruption ,stealing from the taxpayer .
It is fraud.

Anonymous said...

The visual recommedations for riding the scooter are the same as the legal requirement for the car driver: You must be able to read a standard size number plate from 20.5 metres.

However, these are at the moment only guidelines and so people visually impaired still have the freedom to drive scooters much to the chagrin of their GPs.

As none have actually hit a number plate I believe it is a one-up for ability over charityparacitis, the dependency-culture created to make a living off their beneficiaries.

I wonder if people will one day be unable to walk the pavements unless the AA give out a permit... to prevent accidents over uneven surfaces of course.

John Pickworth said...

"There’s a tendency for people to view charity spokesmen as fearless guardians, speaking up for the powerless."

Not a view I've held for an awful long time.

Modern day Highway Men meets job creation scheme. Self interested non-productive busybodies and fatcats. Most enjoying the double delights of spending huge amounts of tax payers money while exempt from contributing to the same funds.

Funny old world isn't it? Running a drugs charity is more lucrative than dealing in the drugs themselves.

JuliaM said...

"In the words of Bob The Builder, Yes we can!"

It's not going to be too long before they start lobbying to have this information hidden from public view, I suspect...

"I think it might just gradually dawn on people that quite a few charities are in fact businesses..."

It's taking a long, long time coming, but it'll be welcome when the penny finally drops.

"I wonder if people will one day be unable to walk the pavements unless the AA give out a permit... "

If they could tax us for walking, they would!

"Funny old world isn't it? Running a drugs charity is more lucrative than dealing in the drugs themselves."

Good point!

Macheath said...

I wonder if people will one day be unable to walk the pavements unless the AA give out a permit... to prevent accidents over uneven surfaces of course.

Anon - you may be joking but, under at least one health authority, those needing a walking frame from the NHS aren't allowed out with it until they've had official training (for which, naturally, there is a waiting list).