Disability rights groups have reacted furiously to the news that, from next week, all new BMWs will come with a disabled parking badge etched into the windscreen. Councils across Britain claim they are simply reflecting the status quo as, since its launch in 1999, not a single X5 has been found in a parking space reserved for the able-bodied.
'At first we cried "what is *wrong* with these people?"' said a government spokesman. 'But then we thought "what *is* wrong with these people?" We've checked with top specialists, and now believe that plonking your German tank across the lawn because you're clever enough to pay for it but too stupid to park it inoffensively should be a recognised medical condition'.
'We accept that an unfortunate minority of drivers may have pinpoint accurate spacial awareness when it comes to trouser pockets and bank balances, but be completely unable to translate that to the physical world of parallel lines on tarmac' said a disabled rights spokesman. 'In extreme cases they may be unable to detect the subtle differences between drop-off- bays and water fountains, but there would have to be a long term study into the health effects of excessive smugness before automatically giving BMW drivers a less pejorative label than "BMW driver". We would encourage them to join our campaign, and work towards developing a reliable test for the new syndrome'.
Rights groups propose that children as young as six should be tested for symptoms of "future Beemer ownership", with telltale signs including temper tantrums, driving toy cars off the road and assuming every seat they sit in has a built in massager. Only kids testing positive would receive the blue badge on purchasing their first joy machine.
Other luxury SUV makers have complained about Munich's preferential treatment, and are looking at the behaviour of their own target ownership group.
'We're considering free IVF with every new Q7' said an Audi spokesman. 'When our drivers get caught in the parent-child places they can claim they are getting used to it, and given that most of them are in their forties, the car could be cheaper than the treatment. Much better value than an X6, and with less stigma'.