If you've ever watched the movie "The Matrix", yesterday felt very similar for me, as I left home just before 7am and sped across Kent to be in Canterbury an hour later. I was due to be interviewed live on Radio Kent, at exactly 8.20 by telephone from the boardroom at Kent Business School on the University campus. The phone would ring precisely two minutes before the interview, and if I wasn't there to pick up, listeners across Kent would know I was late!
The fog was atrocious, as I travelled across the county to Maidstone, up Detling Hill, then down the A2 towards Canterbury. I turned off onto the Canterbury road at five to nine, and got to the edge of the university campus at five past. I broke into a sweat as I turned into the car park, and was duly greeted by someone from Kent Business School, who showed me into the boardroom. Just time to scribble the three or four main points I needed to make, and the phone rang. "Morning Kevin, John will be with you in a moment" said the producer, leaving me to listen to the show over the phone until John Warnett announced the proposed closure of the Canterbury Day Opportunities Centre.
I was quite content that I'd put across all the points I needed to, and that John has given me a fair hearing. Of more surprise when I got home last night at around 11.30pm and checked my emails was a particularly biased, spiteful, personally insulting message referring to the interview.
Was the writer affronted by our plans to close the Day Centre? Were they morally assaulted at our treatment of adults with disablities?
No. They were aggrieved that my vision of choice, freedom and opportunity for disabled people seemed to be along similar lines to that of the Labour government, and that this might cost Conservative votes at the next election. How very, very sad.