An unpleasant man abuses a wheelchair user

Someone who I must assume from his Twitter timeline is a Scottish nationalist (also ‘Dons fan and occasional oil worker’) posted a photo today on Twitter of my former MP,  Labour’s Anne Begg, a wheelchair user. It shows her in her wheelchair sporting a natty ‘I’m saying No’ polo shirt and clutching some ‘No’ literature. A middle-aged man is crouched down on the pavement beside her, smiling and seemingly chatting. He is carrying a tabloid-style newspaper whose words, to me at least, are not visible. It is angled away from Ms Begg, who wears spectacles, and towards the camera. The caption ‘Dons fan’ has given the photo, obviously in response to some earlier comment, is:

What like this? Oh wait that’s SLAB Anne Begg and leader of the NF in Scotland.

Someone remonstrated with him and he said ‘Why doesn’t she move away then?’ The wheelchair being pointed out he came back with ‘Well, she could wheel herself away’ and the exchange continued pointlessly, he declining to back down in his condemnation of Anne Begg.

The exchange made me exceedingly cross, not because he seemed to be a nationalist but because of his sheer lack of common humanity.

The photo was taken back in September. I know because I saw Anne Begg on the Saturday before the referendum at the very spot, the junction of Union Street and Union Terrace in Aberdeen. I was on the other side of the street and the pedestrian light was red so I was able to watch her for a few minutes. Notwithstanding the drubbing Labour got in the general election she was a popular and well-known figure in Aberdeen. I saw her on a number of occasions over the years. Folk were always chatting to her and she responded in the way I saw her do on that Saturday and as she is shown in the photo – with a smile and a few polite words. The fact (sorry, unfounded claim) that the guy who’s engaged her in conversation in the photo might be from the National Front and she might know is pretty cheap. To compound that by suggesting she’s some sort of wheelchair athlete who could have shot away from the man concerned is about as low as you can get without using foul language.

The tweeter concerned is one @mcbainne, Neil apparently to his friends. I’ve muted him. He deserves muting by everyone. A man who can’t see beyond his political convictions to a basic humanity.

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6 Responses to An unpleasant man abuses a wheelchair user

  1. mrsabbyj says:

    Reblogged this on mgwebbuddy.


  2. Mike Braun says:

    Reading this article leaves me asking 2 questions

    1) Is a disabled person above scrutiny?
    2) Does being in a wheelchair make you any less able to move away from someone whom you do not want to be next to?

    The gent in question was on Anne Begg’s campaign team that day, seen (in many photos available online) manning the Labour Mp’s stall.

    He’s not a new face in the area – he was the NF’s candidate for the Aberdeen Donside by-election last year, and he’s been politically involved with the NF in the Aberdeen area since at least 2003. It would be absolutely absurd to suggest that Anne Begg didn’t know who he was.

    No doubt Anne Begg was one of the better MP’s but on this occasion she got it wrong.

    By defending her just because she is disabled is doing her a disservice.


    • Roger White says:

      I disagree strongly with what you say but since I said I’d only ‘trash’ comments if they were abusive yours gets through – just. I notice Wings had virtually the same information that the site you link to includes, and published the same day. The delightful Rev entitles his version ‘The Best of Friends.’ And that’s why I find the whole thing objectionable. It’s what a friend of mine used to call ‘insinuendo,’damning by association without any proof. The only thing you can conclude about the NF guy is that he turned up, had or took some ‘No’ literature and cosied up to the MP. I have seen no proof that as you claim he was on her ‘campaign team that day.’ Do you have evidence of that? You’re decent enough to say that Anne Begg was ‘one of the better MPs’ (though that perhaps damns with faint praise) but to suggest that she is somehow sympathetic to the fascist right is bizarre beyond belief.


      • Mike Braun says:

        “The fact (sorry, unfounded claim) that the guy who’s engaged her in conversation in the photo might be from the National Front and she might know is pretty cheap”

        Well it IS a “fact” that he is the leader of the National Front not an “unfounded claim”

        It is also a “fact” that he has been active in Anne Begg’s area for some time so to think that she would not know who he was is doubtful. The only person however that will really know the answer to this question is Anne herself.

        the main jist of my post is that

        1) It is a FACT that he is the leader of the National Front in Scotland
        2) your claim that it is “unfounded” is wrong
        3) You can no more deny that Anne Begg knows who is is than i can confirm. given the fact he operates within her area and that he is the type of person one would like to be warned about it is up to others to make up their own mind whether or not she (or someone close to her) would have known who he was and what he stood for.
        4) Being disabled does not make you immune to scrutiny.
        5) Scrutinizing someone who is disabled (especially someone who put themselves into the public domain) does not make you “inhumane”

        I have to admit that i was surprised that you approved the post, generally people who hide their own political allegiance whilst openly attacking others (as you do) dont partake in fair debate.

        I am not suggesting that Anne Begg agrees or is friends with this person.


    • Roger White says:

      (Reply to your second comment … ) I accept now that the guy concerned is part of the NF – first time I’ve seen the claim substantiated, so thanks. On some of your other points, I never claimed being disabled makes folk immune from scrutiny. You may not have seen the original twitter exchange a few days ago where one individual was saying unpleasant things based on her disability about an ex-(presumably)politician and about something of ambiguous intent that happened nine months ago. His purpose was to tar not only Begg but other unionists (literal sense, not cap ‘U’) through association. As to this blog I write everything myself so ‘approved’ the post in that sense only. And the only political allegiance I have is to the union. I’m not and in my (long) adult life have never been a member of any political party. You’re welcome to post further comment but I don’t feel I have anything else to add to my response. Thanks for the time you’ve taken to comment.


  3. Gareth says:

    Whats this? Oh, its nicola sturgeon shaking david camerons hand! And whats this, why its alex salmond cosying up to rupert murdock again!

    Liked by 1 person

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