There were Government fears today that increased publicity given to Paralympians and others with disabilities will leave able-bodied people feeling persecuted and marginalised.
The Paralympic opening ceremony received praise from every quarter for raising the profile of those with disabilities. But the same evening the ceremony was broadcast, reports began to emerge of incidents involving wheelchair users in verbal clashes with other members of the public.
Mr Bob Treadwell of Cricklewood was travelling on the Tube when he encountered a group of youths in wheelchairs on the concourse at Paddington Station.
"It started off with pitying looks and uncomfortable eye contact," Mr Treadwell said. "Then I heard one of them laugh and say 'where's his wheels then?' Another shouted 'Need some calipers sonny?' It all got very uncomfortable – I think they may have been drinking.
"Then they all got on to the train really easily using the ramps provided. Whereas I had to be careful to mind the gap. The last I saw they had formed a circle around another unfortunate passenger and were singing 'Spasticus Autisticus' really loudly."