Why are we boaters so neglected?

Published: Wednesday, 15 April 2020

I HAVE no experience of domestic abuse, bad as it is, and would not comment on it anyway, writes John Coxon.

But I make the point that why is the government only interested in, and doing something about, one group being at risk at home and not others in a very similar position?

Still a risk to boaters

A different risk it may be but still a risk to boaters in their homes and no one in authority appears to be doing anything about it?  In fact the policies that are being put in place by these so called authorities are only making it worse!

'At home shouldn't mean at risk' they say with the home secretary stating they will protect abuse victims during lockdown.  So what about us boaters that are being abused by all and sundry during the lockdown?  Why are we not being protected to the same degree?  Is it because we don't have the same fluffy bunny sex appeal or public image?

Treated differently by the authorities

Easter Sunday and 26 people have walked past my boat whilst I was writing this.  That's about 15 minutes, I counted them, yet only two dog walkers amongst them!  If this amount of people had walked through their gardens then they would feel vulnerable, abused and at risk would they not?  So why am I and all the other boaters treated differently by the authorities?

I'm not stating domestic abuse victims should be ignored, but neither should we boaters. If others can be protected in their homes, why not us boaters in ours? So it's one rule for them and another for us is it?

Still have to pay licence

Seems we don't count as far as any authority is concerned, mind you they are asking me to pay my licence as it runs out at the end of the month, no mention of a discount yet I see.  Perhaps it will come when we are able to move and they know how long it lasted. (Yes I know we have no chance, just joking.)  Seems that even the bargees association  have caved in and capitulated so who will speak for us now?  Or are we just being fed to the wolves?

I now have absolutely no respect left for anyone in government or CaRT any more.  I have a group of five people who have just met up and are standing next to my boat talking to each other and one has just stated that they have not changed their routine at all except they now walk the towpath instead of the park as it's shut.  Why are they still allowed to come here?  Where's the fairness, where's our protection?