Monday, October 14, 2019

Citylink's latest shocking consumer standard

CITYLINK has already been a problem for us. The grassroots compilation book by ANS (Autism Network Scotland) that we took part in, An Ordinary Life Too a guide document for the autism strategy, contained an item on Citylink's arrogant period of unilaterally seizing bus passes when they did not work. Giving up the pass is supposed to be a choice, with paying the fare or not travelling on that bus being other choices: yet stories came from No 6 of folks having their passes arrogantly retained by Citylink, then the replacements taking to come in the week validity of the temporary paper one, resulting in the unjustly unplanned cost of days without a pass. We exposed that.

Now look at this, as written to the Transport department. So Citylink now is not even operating with consumer honesty towards folks who book seats in advance, from smaller stops: actually not honouring their travel. So that it can't be used to travel to anything important that is at all time-critical !!

Oct 14 - Most of the Citylink coach routes are a core part of transport, not a fringe part that could be done without, but one of the essentials joining it up. Keeping them in functional existence therefore is an innate part of transport policy, and transport policy would not exist if that was simply left to the operator as a private sector company. If the operation ceases to be to a consumer trustable standard that folks travelling to important things can rely on, then it is a transport policy public matter to arrange that the services are operated by someone else who will follow a consumer trustable standard. That intervention is part of having a transport policy at all.

When folks travel to Glasgow to take part in the work of an organisation like the Autism Network Scotland or any consulting or researching types of work towards social wellbeing or making findings to influence policy, then the transport's reliabliity affects the doing of that work, for all of the sectors of society it concerns. That gets damaged if transport functions without consumer reliability. That combined with how, in work like ANS's on the autism strategy, transport's consumer reliability is one of the topics it includes. Any piece of transport as infrastructurally key as the Citylink routes are, has its reliable existence in any form be an issue of this impacting nature. When a private sector operator abandons consumer reliability, intervention to replace that operator's services becomes a necessity, towards economic functioning, public sector work as described, and public policy.

If what a Citylink driver said on Oct 12 was right, that drivers are ever simply not informed of prereserved bookings by passengers from internediate stops, not informed to prevent a coach from becoming full before if reaches a prebooked passenger and being unable to pick up that passenger, then such a practice places you in that position. According to that driver it applies to stops on the 900 route, Baillieston being the one where it happened. But if it applies there, how much of Citylink's network does it apply to? and can prebooked pick-ups at remote Highland locations where it would be dangerous if not, be relied on safely? Even on the 900, if prebookings are open to dishonouring and fullness can happen, then rightly timed attendance at important occasions, such as impact on public work, ceases to be possible for attenders to plan.

It happened on the 1015 900 from Glasgow. It was full right from starting point. As a result, if no prebookings were known of it was pointless that it still drove via Baillieston, but it did, and found 3 folks there who had prebooked places on this coach, which the driver was now telling them, was full and they could not board.

The driver was fully on their side that they were suffering a wrong: there is nothing against him. But the position he described to them was shocking. That drivers are not told of passenger bookings at its intermediate stops, and can't know to keep seats for them!! Which makes the bookings a consumer falsehood. Those folks had a need to travel at that time, that was why they had booked. That was the product they had bought and relied on honouring of.

My absence from the coach would not have helped a group of 3, but would have helped a passenger who it could not take at Buchanan. As I was travelling to the "Ratho station" stop (to change to a local bus there), there were 2 simultaneous coaches departing at 1015 and I could have been on the AIR instead. As it had a lot of space on it, clearly I should have been on it, instead of occupying another seat on a full 900. When I arrived at Buchanan I actually did board the AIR first. Its driver should have said they were equally good to catch, and taken me. But instead, he told me the 900 was quicker.

If that happens again, I will know from this experience to argue against it. But as I live in the east, it is rare to travel eastward in the morning, so I had no experience to forsee the 900 being full. So I was on the 900 only because I was directed so by the AIR's driver, directing me off a spacious coach and onto a near-full one to other passengers' detriment! Quickness is trivial in that context even if he had been right. In fact he was also wrong about that, as the 900 was the second coach to depart and the incident with the betrayed passengers at Baillieston itself cost all speed advantage over the AIR's detour at Eurocentral, so this 900 was not quicker. I should have been on the AIR by absolutely any argument. The fullness that hit the Baillieston passengers had been contributed to by wrong organising of passengers!

With this of course also complained to Citylink: how does Citylink tell you, and me and those passengers conned by worthless reservations, committally not noncommittally that it is fit to continue to be the trunk route coach operator?

Monday, September 23, 2019

aspies in jam-packed tube trains

We just went to London for a weekend meet-up. It is still aspie unfriendly to travel in. We would be supposed to enjoy its labyrinthine layers of transport modes + its dense frequent services. But the density of human bodies in tube trains, even at weekends, is directly at odds with the autistic problem with crowding. You are jammed in almightily thick dense crowd in a confined space.

We found the buses not a solution to avoiding this tube experience. Despite their nominal frequency they were unpredictable. A 188 caught in Greenwich started with a piece of driver impatience, "you can't walk from here to there?" meaning that when he was backed up behind another bus he had expected us to walk up to him to get on, exactly what they don't let us do in Edinburgh, than himself to have to pull up: even though you must be in the right to await the bus at the stop. Message gone in to transport For London about that: drivers expecting unannounced things is wrong both for autistics and for folks from other cities!

The info on the stop illogically failed to tell us it went to Canada Water tube, but showed it went to the Elephant + Castle: much further on but on the tube line we wanted. Then an unknown long duration roadworks in Deptford badly slowed it down, it was over by Canada Water so we did not get off there, but straight after there it hit another delay + lane closure because of a mass charity walk that was on around Canada Water/Bermondsey that day. So we had been on this bus over an hour when we abandoned it at Bermondsey tube station, still far from town, had to pick our way through traffic caps + walkers to get into the station, and for a journey in sardine conditions on 2 lines.

Then yesterday, Sunday! We took a 55 successfully from Old Street to the start of Oxford Street for a walk from there which ended up at the Kensington museums, across city from King's Cross where we needed to get our train home. After only 1 other bus use in the day we were still far short of our daily fare cap, in the Oyster fare system, so that tube would cost twice as much as bus. There was no direct bus, but there almost was: 14, to Russell Square, close enough to King's Cross to walk from. But one going to Russell Square never came. In a half hour wait, the only one that came was only going to Piccadilly Circus! So we had to conclude the route was suffering a problem + not running reliably, + to take our tube journey for £3.30 instead of bus for £1.50 - that by TFL's operational failure instead of our choice, causing us a higher fare - and we were in maximum sardines conditions, carriages packed as full as was physically possible to be, the entire way. On a Sunday! and for 9 stops' distance from South Kensington to King's Cross.

We never had it like that in Barcelona. London continues to live with a crazy problem even as it grows its network bigger and bigger. You could not plan to take there and on the tube, any autistic with an inability to cope at all in the presence of big or heaving crowds. As the buses let folks down as we found, they would need the expense of taxis.

A second city centre seems to be emerging by 2022 in the East End, stretching from around the Olympic Park, where some media + Sadlers Wells plan to open bases, to the Canary Wharf which is already the new banking hub. Will it change the transport experience in the older city? Does the tube overcrowding show the city bursting out of itself? Interested by the parallel, that it seems like modern and much bigger scale version, of the history of how Edinburgh added its New Town to its then-overcrowded Old Town.

Maurice Frank
23 Sep 2019

ahead of some curves

In Germany, we have learned from a contact, telling an employer you are aspie is still a no-no, thing to avoid doing. There is still a judgmentality towards conditions that can be read as a weakness in the worker. Yes there is a support scene working on it: but it has not got as far as here with planting an ethic for society to listen to it.

So even after Brexit there will still be pros and cons in favour of either country, and not a one-way case for which is more progressive. In minority needs for workers, we still are. Much as we must look out for erosions of it, and it works more by the motive of good appearances than by any formal fear of employment tribunals, which have already been given legal cost dangers to intentionally weight them against the worker.

Employment coaching in Germany: might help the worker from behind the scenes without the employer being aware of it, or might act as personal development coaches explaining what post will best match the worker's personal needs as they have seen them to be. Workers having such coaches is a thing that seems more familiar in the culture there than here, partly balancing the picture out.

Monday, July 8, 2019


SUPPORT, by definition, includes automatically caring about any perceived-unfair experience anywhere for anyone who you share a support circle with, e.g. fellow member of ELAS. That vulnerabilites are involved and suicidalities could ever be triggered by not following this, rightly forces your hand to agree it - that is the good strong way to hold fairness ethics in place.

Because presumption of innocence matters equally strongly the obligation does not include having to accept at the upset person's word that the place they are upset with is guilty. They have to be simultaneous, and to explain that: observing presumption of innocence towards the upset-with party, and besides that, supportiveness towards the upset party. Holding that their experience MATTERS.

It is always a breach of support to say that any person's social trauma ever matters less than some wider social convenience for yourself. Now, important progress, we can say this also breaches vulnerable groups' safe space. That is a point of law on the honesty of safety + supportiveness in absolutely any aspie organisation. On both counts it illegally risks prompting suicidality. You commit this breach if you ever, ever, tell someone with a grievance against an organisation or service, that your own good experience of that organisation or service makes you upset to hear their angle and that they should not say it. If you tell them that your preexisting belief that the organisation does good work and has done for you, means they should not say anything to you against that organisation.

It is unscrupulous ever to tell anyone that, + if is an abuse crime to do it in a support group. Impacting unfairly on every witness of it as well as the victim. Why is it these things? Because it rejects an unjust experience from getting heard and supported. It's a form of "I'm all right Jack." It announces that your happy good perception shall selfishly kick aside someone else's real situation + suffering, shall annul it from mattering.

Whatever organisation or group you defend when you do this evil, you turn it into a cult. For non-hearing of criticism is a cult situation - and an exploitation relationship, which is another point of the vulnerability law. It does the abuse of making a person feel gagged about their own maltreatment if they want to stay in social favour.

In the Jehovah's Witnesses, members are instructed never to listen to any criticism of their organisation, to automatically believe it comes from Satan! Combined with which, dissension from the leadership's instructions can result in "disfellowshipping", which means complete social cutting off of speaking terms by everyone. To take part in the shunning is itself one of the instructions that it can be a disfellowshipping offence to break! Which set-up obviously keeps their leadership from having any accountability at all from their followers, for anything they decide or do. If obviously works as a social trap upon everyone who has joined JW and complied with its instruction to drop their social ties outside it. Several controlling religions have disfellowshipping, it was the Plymouth Brethren who invented it, Scientologists call it disconnecting.

ELAS in fact has submitted to parliament that there is a public health duty for disfellowshipping to be banned. This was when new science on physical health effects of loneliness prompted a parliamentary consultation on it, in 2015, which ELAS was actually invited to respond to.

So look at the total parallel that is committed, when any aspies declare that their own good experience and opinion of a particular autism service makes them not want the upset of hearing another aspie's bad or critical experience of it. It sets up exactly the same silencing and hiding of any problems at all, as in a cult. It puts the service's managers beyond accountability. But no service, no matter how much good it does, ever deserves that loyal level of character trust. Only with accountability are malpractices + abuses deterred. Compare with the church child abuse scandals where there has been loyal trust in clergy's character. Compare it with patriotism: why is patriotism a discredited nonsense? Because it was the same loyalty to accept, or to refuse belief in, bad things from leaders, and that produced some: produced big wealth disparities and the horrors of WW1. No matter how good a particular government does, democracy always needs to watch out for it doing any bad. Consider whistleblowers, from Chelsea Manning to Peter Gregson's local campaign for them in Edinburgh council. No matter how well an institution is running, blind trust in its character will allow the types of hidden wrongs to happen that whistleblowers are needed to stop. You are a self-endangering fool if you reject the whistleblowing and declare that you would rather comfortably believe your council us above criticism because your own life is okay. When it stops being okay, you will have nowhere to turn, exactly because YOU TOOK AWAY FROM OTHERS ANYWHERE TO TURN.

That is the sheer
  • folly for themself,
  • maltreatment of others,
  • irrationality, of openly announcing a choice to live in fantasy,
  • human nastiness,
committed by any aspie who tells another not to speak ill of a particular service or organisation. That is why, on pain of several points of vulnerable groups' law, no ethical support society can ever stand for that wrong.

Maurice Frank
8 Jul 2019

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

travel injustice could not happen if we were getting listened to properly

News story from the Independent and Yahoo news: Man has hundreds docked from wages for boarding train without ticket, despite being in wrong city at the time.

Not an autism story, this is an ordinary person. BUT - this scenario could not happen at all, to ordinary folks, to anyone, if something arising from autism, that I have been raising ever since the noughties, had been acted on. Something that Scottish Autism meaninglessly stated only that it "noted".

That all carrying of physical documents to prove your entitlement when you travel around, is a disability discrimination, because it treats unequally all medical minority groups who have a greater than equal likelihood to lose the document by human error. This includes dyspraxics, and autistics by our condition's effect on fine motor skills and link to dyspraxia. Those medical words mean, our coordination in handling small objects is less than equally good.

If this item is acted on on the principle that discrimination items can never be ignored and that answering minority groups' needs is never a selective choice -principles that the system is only functioning honestly if it follows - then it abolishes tickets. Passes, the identity cards that New Labour wanted: it does away with all physically carried proving of entitlement to mover around.

It abolishes tickets. Passports too.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

success: Scotland is an uncomfortable place to promote ABA

ABA, Applied Behaviour Analysis,the personally controlling penalty-based approach to trying to remove autistic traits actions and behaviours, especially from kids. It leaves a trail of post-traumatic stress, it creates anguish by trying to prevent the person's inbuilt being and limitations. So the autistic self-voicing and self-advocacy movement holds it to be an abuse, fughts is against it as a major moral anger.

Today 5-3-19 we took part in showing that we care enough and get others to care enough, that Scotland is big problem and no-no for ABA' proponents to bring promotional events to. A day workshop promoting child ABA, by "Carbone Clinic", was hosted at Dalmahoy country club hotel, off the road to Livingston, but that venue was successfully shown that the campaign issues for kids' safety mattered, and amicably hosted a protest demo of autistic adults too. Called by national group Autistic Inclusive Meets, and folks came from Clydeside and even from London for it. We showed the attenders an all-day presence got most of them flyered and some of them talking. Showing them there is a big concern from the voices of spectrumite adults, that approaches bssec on personal change do damage and don't work.

ABA is not getting promoted here without our facts heard. As we handed out:

ABA is a conversion therapy. Conversion therapies such as against gay and transgender have been banned in several countries worldwide. Sources that this therapy can cause PTSD in both autistic kids + adults subjectec to it:

Tuesday, February 26, 2019


ELAS is a much SAFER, nicer, all-round better group without, and since seeing the back of, the unscrupulous faction of 4 who split away from it 15 months ago openly opposed to us observing our carefully developed fairness ethic. Including a former chair, who had been brought down from that office by determining on a corrupt breach of that code, they in a faction of 4 openly wanting us to be tough social cynics and not have any binding ethics. Illegal against the law of adult protection, and opposite of the whole point of support society for a communication-troubled minority. Immoral animals weeded out by morally good ethics.

In their split, they dropped cut off and rejected the whole rest of ELAS, nearly all of whom had had nothing at all to do with the events leading to their departure, by it suddenly ending for those folks, some quite vulnerable, some personal support ties that had been well established for years. THIS INCLUDES THE MEMBER WHO RECENTLY DIED, which means they did that breach to him, dumped him, IN THE LAST 15 MONTHS OF HIS LIFE. For something whose causes he had had nothing to do with.

Their presence today, all 4, at the memorial gathering for him was particularly offensive, 15 months after they unscrupulously backstabbed him !!

Trying and failing to erase that they did that. It does not erase it, it compounds it. Towards all of ELAS it compounds all the illegal aspects of their past actions, to have such an offensive height of brass neck. Held in contempt. Underlines them being seriously bad people.

Maurice Frank
26 Feb 2019