now I've heard everything. Can this really be happening? transport minister Norman Baker says it is, so it must be true. Hat-tip Norm (Geras, the clever one).
The transport minister has intervened to stop guide dogs and their blind owners from being ordered off buses because Muslim drivers or passengers consider the animals unclean.
The refusal, for religious reasons, to carry even guide dogs has become so widespread that it was raised in the House of Lords last week by Lord Monson, a crossbench peer.
Last night Norman Baker, the transport minister, signalled to bus companies that a religious objection was not a reason to eject a passenger with a well-behaved dog.
"If dogs are causing a nuisance, a driver has every right to ask the owner to leave," he said. "It is much more questionable to be asked to remove a dog for religious reasons. One person's freedom is someone else's restriction."
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association said that, although refusing to take a blind person with a dog in a bus or taxi was illegal under disability discrimination law, it received constant complaints from members.
There had been so many reports from blind people with guide dogs who had been thrown off buses or refused a ride by cab drivers that it had held talks with Islamic organisations about the problem.
Don't you just love those LibDems? "questionable", says Normie Baker. Nothing to question. Very simple. If a bus driver refuses to take a guide dog that is a disciplinary offence. If he or she does it again they get sacked. End of.