Is there nothing so trivial

That some idiot won’t try to ban it?

“We need to look at why doorknobs are not suitable for disabled people,” Alan Norton, chief executive of Assist UK, an organisation that provides products and equipment to people with disablities, told The Independent.

“When you look at people with arthritis or those who have little movement of their hands, a lever is easier as you push down on it. However, automatic doors would be the better solution. I agree that we should ban doorknobs in the UK.”

Ban doorknobs? As opposed to, I dunno, setting up an organisation to aid those with arthritis or little movement of their hands to retrofit their homes. We could call it, say, Assist UK and appoint someone called Alan Norton to run it. I’m sure, in this infinite universe of universes, that there’s one where that does happen.

As I’m sure that there’s this one, where a certain Alan Norton obviously isn’t getting laid enough. Such pent up sexual frustration is the only explanation I can think of to explain the idea of banning sodding doorknobs. What next? Banning doorbells because they’re no use to the deaf?

19 thoughts on “Is there nothing so trivial”

  1. “an organisation that provides products and equipment to people with disabilities”

    With an income of 250K and 123K in salaries (1 full-time and 4 project workers), they ain’t buying much equipment. Put this down as a fake charity.

  2. There was a story on similar lines in The Economist the other week, only that was in Canada — there, it was pointed out, bears can use door handles too.

    In the past , I’ve retrofitted doorknobs for similar reasons — to keep the cat downstairs at night.

  3. Whilst there might be an argument for levers on public buildings which could be used by the disabled, there should not be a ban. Banning it from homes is just plain stupid because it’s so easy to put a lever on a door for those who are disabled, leaving the abled to have the door opening mechanism of their choice. This is just typical of single issue campaign groups – the whole world is their single issue and everyone must bow down to their single issue.

    I would call for the banning of levers, I know of one dog kennel where they had to install knobs because the dogs learnt how to open the doors which had levers. I think I’ll set up a single issue campaign group called “Knobs For Dogs”.

  4. This is a shameful post Mr Worstall. If you had arthritis and couldn’t use a doorknob you woul feel EXCLUDED. Have you no social conscience?

    P.S. Some stranger has just rung our doorbell at 8am this Sunday morning, bringing birthday cards to the wrong address! So yes, I’d ban fucking doorbells right now if I could.

  5. ” However, automatic doors would be the better solution” Thereby increasing the carbon debt of society. Another unintended consequence from the bedwetters. Won’t Anybody Think Of The Grandchildren?

  6. Already banned in Vancouver, by whim of the State.

    But this is inevitably where you end up if you believe- as apparently most people do these days- that it is the job of the government to make the world a better place. They will ban, and ban, and ban.

    One fundamental cleavage between the liberal view and the authoritarian view, IMO, is that liberalism is “additive” and authoritarianism is “subtractive”. A liberal wants maximal freedom so that more and more new things can come into existence. The authoritarian’s focus is entirely on what exists already and deleting as much as possible of it, normally while trying to prevent any new things as well (particularly acute in ultra-reactionaries like Greens, and generalised puritans).

    So, no doorknobs. Sigh.

  7. Our cat learnt how to operate the door knocker (one of these). He’d stretch up to full length and flick it with his paw, sounded exactly like someone knocking. Took us a few times to work out what was happening – we’d go to answer the door, nobody there and suddenly the cat appeared; and since he was coming in anyway, why not some food? Finally I spotted him doing it through the laundry window. Dad thought it was mounted high enough that the cat couldn’t reach until I showed him.

    After a couple of embarrassing incidents when legitimate visitors were greeted with a shout of “Piss off you bloody animal” Dad had to turn the knocker upside down to put the swing out of reach.

  8. Given that he’s saying “automatic doors would be the better solution” & therefore presumably not referring to the cupboard under the stairs in your house, I’m guessing this is more of a “public space” issue rather than “private space” . Without having to go through the Building Regs to quote page & para, I’m pretty sure access requirements do require door furniture to be of a type can be operated by people with reduced hand functionality. So he’s actually asking for something’s been provided for some time.

  9. So they’ll take responsibility for all the injuries and damage caused by people getting their clothes and baggage inadvertently caught on door levers?

  10. Can I say that the fitting of ramps is harder on those of us with a problem with ramps? We prefer stairs, less difficulty going up or down them.
    Can take doornobs or handles, no problem using either. The automatic doors can leave something to be desired however, they don’t allow enough time to go through – locally our banks have them and been caught in them a few times with a stick or in one case came up against my back.

  11. Steve Scissorhands

    “When you look at people with arthritis or those who have little movement of their hands, a lever is easier as you push down on it.”

    What about people with scissors for hands, you insensitive ableist bastard?

  12. @Noel,

    Christ almighty. Where do these charidee workers get off?

    I run a voluntary with 3 times the income yet dramatically lower staffing costs than they have. And our grunt work is done by an association management company with hourly rates, as you would expect, rather higher than equivalent in-house staff. Aaah – our management is unpaid – that must be the difference.

  13. An ex-girlfriend had a friendly, intelligent collie cross dog. If you were in the bath or taking a shower, the dog would operate the door handle lever, bouncing across the bathroom to join the fun.

    Of course, it would have been possible to fit a dead lock on the door or to change the handle for a knob. But if you have awkward kids or adults in the house, locks are a bad idea.

    My point is that perfect technological solutions rarely exist for problems involving humans (or animals). When you fix something for one group, you break it for another.

    Can I also get my problem with so-called automatic doors off my chest? Doors cannot be “automatic”, they just exist as panels of solid material. They can be button operated, on-push power assisted or operated by sensors, and only the latter type approximate to “automatic”. For those who need assistance opening doors, a new problem has been created: how does this so-called automatic door operate?

    I think BiS is about right regarding how UK building regs apply wrt ramps and doors. New work on public buildings requires that accessibility aids are considered (no doubt with consideration to history, listed building status etc). Accessibility aids can be retro-fitted optionally. I don’t know the threshold (number of customers) which might legally apply. The local supermarket retro-fitted a button operated door, but all of the small shops have steps and doors that you push to go in (an example of informal standardisation).

  14. @Charlieman

    It’s covered under section M, para 2,16 of current building regs.
    For inevitable reasons, the pdf doesn’t allow copy to paste so you’ll have to download yourselves..

    Bearing in mind the organisation this jerk-off is CEO of, you’d think he’d be au fait with the building regs that concern their interests….er..sorry. Why would I presume this? Why would the organisation employ someone who understood the affairs of the organisation? It’s illogical. Of course he’d know FA about it.

  15. That can’t be true. Surely any door that’s optimised for dexters on one side must be better for sinisters on the other.

    We used to have a dog that figured out how to turn doorknobs with her mouth. Impressive. More recently, I had a dog who simply ate the door.

  16. This post is a straight feed for my favourite insult from the film Dodgeball when the coach comments on his team’s performance – “It’s like watching a retard trying to fuck a doorknob out there.”

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