Friday, 11 February 2011


This is exactly the type of criminal behaviour I was expecting as the financial crisis in this country deepens:; sorry it took so long to let you all know about it – that was baaad manners.

Love hurts

Domestic violence is a two-way thing. Although mostly perpetuated by men, there are a large number of males being beaten and abused by their female lovers and wives. Take, for instance, the case of the man who called an ambulance and the police because he’d been stabbed in the leg. At first his story contained dramatic sequences in which he had been attacked by a number of large and very hairy men. Then, after the police had calmed him down and the ambulance crew had tended to his non-life-threatening wound, he confessed that his wife had done it and that she was generally and commonly abusive towards him.

As is the ritual in these cases (and please don’t come back to me with ‘you don’t understand’ comments, cos I do) he didn’t want any action taken and he was very reluctant to get the police involved and make a big legal thing of it. He’d rather be stabbed in the leg and have a circus gather around him than make his violent partner face the consequences of her actions. She, inevitably, would continue her abuse until, quite possibly, he ended up under the sofa with a meat cleaver stuck in his head…. or something similar. I’ll keep you posted.

Rest Breaks

It’s been a bad start to the year for the profession and although I can’t detail any specifics on a recent problem within my own service, I can highlight this one:, which was brought to my attention last month.

Now, I’m not going to defend this Technician’s actions but there is a point here that is missed; as usual there is a devil in the details. We are told to take rest breaks – we don’t necessarily want them, even though we often need them but European law has forced our hands and our employers are obliged to give us breaks whenever possible. However, during these breaks, we are not ‘employed’ and therefore not covered by the Service. Compromises are agreed, as with my Service, whereby life-saving calls will be attended and our breaks will be interrupted. A small financial compensation is offered and generally there is no problem with the response. However, it may well be that in this particular instance, there is no agreed compromise and the Technician chose to continue his legally-entitled break, as if he wasn’t even there. He could have wandered off in civilian clothes for an hour if he’d wanted to I guess.

This isn’t a defence; I’m trying to provide a less emotional reason for the decision he made. I doubt very much that he refused to go, knowing that the woman was dying. I think other things were in play – the information he was actually given; the historical nature of the calls he’d had in the past that had deprived him of a break… other things. None of which are worth the life of a single human being I know, but I hate seeing Press stories that throw up the dirt on my profession before looking into the facts behind the tragedy.

Of course, I’ve just offered a perspective and I could be entirely wrong. Maybe he just couldn’t be bothered and someone died as a result. That, if it were true, would be a depressing thing to learn.

Speak up

I was asked to comment on aspects of free speech – probably because I’m so free with mine and often get it in the neck from fragile people with no sense of humour – so I decided to look into the subject and see what I could trawl from the bottom of the ocean of humanity. cited a media quote in which someone stated “There is no law against offending people. This applies to all sides of the argument. You may choose to give offense, take offense or neither. I choose to be offended by attempts to replace self-restr¬aint, manners and etiquette with legislation.”

This is true but it didn’t stop one of the most ridiculous cases of ‘racist’ reactionism from taking place at local Government level: This story makes me feel physically sick. The woman making the accusation is the only one who was seemingly ‘offended’ by the remark and yet she successfully pursued a campaign of bigotry against the person who said it. To cap it all, she comes out with ‘people need to think before they say things that could cause offence’. What? Is she our mother or something? And who is she to determine what might or might not cause offence? How on Earth is anybody supposed to try and predict the outcome of what they say? If I said it’s raining cats and dogs today and someone who loves cats… or dogs (or rain) said to me that they found it offensive, would that be a kind of racism/animalism?

That woman’s petty campaign cost the local taxpayer a lot of money and deprived a local service of its funding. She must be very proud. I’d love to know how many names of ‘offended’ people she gathered during her investigations. None, I would guess. She needs a reality check – we are in debt; we do not need people like you spending our hard-earned and easily-taken money on power trips that prove how great a human being you are. We cannot afford your wasteful stupidity any more.

Frankly, if someone is offended by anything I say – tough. What is offence anyway? It’s a personal and completely immeasurable emotion that causes no real harm. Yes, constant offensive remarks made in a malicious manner are unacceptable but that’s bullying and nothing more. If we choose to believe this sort of tripe we will cease to function as communicators because we will be too afraid to say something that might be construed as ‘offensive’.

The Americans use the word fanny to describe a person’s rear end – we don’t; to us it’s something quite different and not to be mentioned in polite society. So what are we to do when one of our Atlantic cousins pops over for a Women’s Guild conference and uses the word in a perfectly innocent sentence? I say we weigh her down with bricks and see if she floats – if she does she’s a sexist!

If I used the word in London it would cause offence – if I use it in New York, nobody gives a damn. But if I choose to replace it with a childish euphemism like ‘petunia’ then I’m safe. It’s all kind of stupid.

They’ve tried to remove Christmas from under our noses with their shabby reasoning and I’ve yet to see any evidence, written or otherwise, that our non-Christian brothers and sisters were ever been offended by the celebration. It isn’t really about racism you see, it’s about pandering to people in such a sickly, cheesy way, that you think they’ll see you as a better person and that you are just and fair, etc. It’s about holding on to your council job because you have a large minority voting pool and you mustn’t upset them. In my book, ‘protecting’ people against possible offence – people who had not asked to be protected in such a way in the first place - by harassing and witch-hunting others is the worst kind of racism.

I know Jews who love Christmas and I have Muslim friends who care not a bloody jot that we prance around in white beards and stupid boots and strip our land of trees for the bling. They are too busy honouring their own belief system and cultural heritage. A tiny minority of Brits however, are determined to dismantle ours. They are hypocrites.

And don’t lecture us on equality like it’s a bloody science! We all know what is equal and what is not; I will decide when and when not to give someone something equally – even if that means my respect and courtesy. Stop trying to own our God-given personal points of view and emotions.

If I don’t like one person as equally as I like another and the one I dislike just happens to be Irish, or black or a woman, does that make me racist/sexist? I’m a short-arsed Scot and I occasionally get called a ‘sweat’ or a ‘Jock’ and I don’t give a toss. I certainly do not want Mrs Miggins from the local council deciding on my behalf that I might be offended by it! In fact, I may choose to be offended by the fact that they put subtitles on TV programmes featuring Scottish-speaking (which is English with a Scots accent) people; Trawler men is a good example. Oh and there it is, another example of blatant ‘ism’ – Trawler MEN. Uh-oh. The fact that is a trawler full of men is irrelevant. But it’s okay, because it’s Scotland and we worry about far more important things up there, like quality of life and being able to laugh things off.

Racism occurs when you carry out an act or omit to do something in such a way as to deliberately and with aforethought, discriminate purely on the basis of another person’s race. Isn’t that the real offence, as defined by law? Now, the Deputy Leader of the Council involved states, with pompous authority I should add, that ‘The law makes it clear that what matters is not the intention of the person who uses the phrase but whether anybody is offended by it.’

Does it? Where? The law certainly takes racial discrimination seriously, as it should but I can’t find a damned thing that says you can be jailed or fined or castrated for saying something - especially if it’s an innocuous remark about drums! How can saying ‘you can’t stop the jungle drums’ be offensive to anyone? It’s an expression and is as innocent as saying ‘you can’t halt progress’. It does not mean you can’t stop Africans from telling stories, does it? And even if it did, so what? Show me an African person who is actually offended by the phrase.

Remember when they got rid of bah, bah, black sheep? And when they stopped us from saying ‘blackboard’, even though it was a board and it was black? I challenge any of my readers to find a black person who is not proud to be that colour. Black people are not offended by white people saying ‘black person’ – they are offended by any reference that white is superior to black, which it isn’t. The people who decide we are to be ‘taught’ equality are those in power and those who employ. There has to be a control for any sort of abuse, whether that be racist, sexist or whateverist, I agree – but only when it is fair and measured and logical. The people who push it too far are the ones who are now being exposed in the media as bigots.

These are petty, jumped-up people with high-paid jobs that have no place or function in society today. Most of us (that’s the majority and we are a democracy) are fed up to the back teeth with little people telling us what we can and cannot think, say or do. This is clearly a woman who has never and could never, go to a comedy club. She’d been writing up reports for years!

I love a good rant but this is a very serious issue. Let me know what you think. If you can find a law that states offending someone is actually illegal, please let me see it. If I’ve offended you with this post, by all means, keep it to yourself. There are much more important things to worry about these days if you want to worry about minorities and the dispossessed ;

And just to prove that the world needs fewer idiots, a recent emergency call was taken from a Mr Ivan Gravy stating that he had splashed burger sauce in his eye!

Be safe.


Charbob said...

Makes me laugh when people ask for a black coffee and then make a big scene 'OH am I being offensive sorry'. No it isn't offensive the COFFEE is black! It isn't refering to the colour of someones skin.Its out of context and not relevant so no it isn't offensive. Diversity training is backwards when we are told to not say certain words, they are missing the point. I will continue to say blackboard, manhole cover, father christmas and whatever else because as far as I am concerned I am not prejudice and I don't discriminate and these words are not used in an 'offensive' manner.

Mjolinir said...

Good rant, XF.

James R said...


Very good points eloquently argued. I too am a Scot living in London and am regularly subject to stereotyping based on my homeland... often by myself. Some of them are even quite funny! The people making them are usually friends, sometimes not and it's a way of forming relationships and bonding with people. Far from being offensive, this banter is fun and usually met with an opposing barbed comment about their big nose/ginger hair/chosen football club/etc... Why must boring people who have had their sense of humour and common sense bypassed stop this? Of course malicious discrimination must be stopped but this must be done with common sense and humanity not legislation and orwellian supervision.

Furthermore, would wearing my kilt be regarded as offensive as it's asserting my national identity and difference from others? I suspect it would but that's more due to the sight of my legs!

Thanks for bringing up this topic and hopefully facilitating discussion.

James (or Jimmy I suppose)

JustSomeKid said...

racist hate crime is "Any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race." (

this is from the CPS, and is thus likley to be corect information.

this only applies if another criminal offence has been committed, but this law is most likley the basis on which the comment was made. in this case, from the information given, i think this statement is incorrect.

merinz said...

I agree with you - some of the current PC climate just produces resentment and further divides the population. So much for the freedom of speech that our soldiers died for!

On the subject of sheep stealing. Here in New Zealand the farmers will shift their ewes and lambs way from roadside pastures at Christmas time.
I well remember my father finding a ewe standing by a pool of blood waiting in vain for her lamb to reappear. It was (and still is I believe) quite common for people to drive by and grab a vulnerable lamb for their Christmas dinner.

Xf said...


Thank you but read it carefully -it says 'any criminal offence'; that means an offence must first have been committed. And, as you agree, saying 'jungle drums' in a public place is probably not a criminal offence!

Ant said...

The legislation the councillor is referring to came in on Jan 1st this year. We were heavily warned about it at work.
We work as a very close-knit team, and spend a LOT of time together. We know each other very well, which means we basically take the piss 24/7.

HOWEVER, although we know that 'John' won't take offence by calling him a 'short arse', if we are overheard by someone else, they can now launch official disciplinary procedures, and legal if they wish on 'Johns' behalf, whether 'John' was offended or not. This person can even just be a member of the public who happens to walk past at that time.

I watched a stand up comedian recently who said it pretty well. If there is something on TV that offends you, change channel. If someone says something that offends you, don't listen.

On a side note, I have been working in Glasgow this week (from Cornwall), and could have really done with some subtitles!! ;-)

Fee said...

Good rant. I'll keep my seat in the "Too busy living my life to be perpetually offended" section, and continue to treat people in the way I'd like to be treated.

I have friends and colleagues of all faiths and various colours, and we all manage to rub along quite nicely - often while exchanging the sort of banter that would render Sonia Carr incoherent with rage!

Xf said...


Can you let me see the actual legislation, as written into law because the whole concept is ridiculous and potentially means anyone can take anyone else to court and destroy their lives just by saying they said something 'offensive'. I find it impossible to believe that the law lords, many of whom speak their minds plainly, would pass such a law. It kills free speech.

If I am wrong, then I have even more to dislike about this country but if I am right, I suspect it is NOT law but some kind of stupid civil action agreement that authorities can write into their equality practices.

It still doesn't make the whole 'jungle drums' comment an offence.

Gingy said...

Wow, that's some rant! And I wholeheartedly agree.
I'm a London Paramedic too, and my ethnic origin is often a point for comment, question and sometimes ridicule. Why? Because I'm an unusual breed in the LAS - an Orthodox Jew. I wear a kippa (skullcap) to work, so am easily identifiable for who I am. Banter in the messroom is regularly close to the mark, and may be interpreted to be anti-Semitic, but is nothing of the sort - it's banter. Comments about matters being "Kosher" is a common phrase in everyday English. Should we stop using that too just in case a Jew thinks you're refering to breakfast?
There was a guy who used to work with us who used to refer to the junk food I'd bring into work as Jew Chews. One day, someone else in the messroom heard him use the phrase, took me to one side, and asked if I'd like them to make a complaint on my behalf.
I stood in disbelief. No harm was meant, no offence was taken by the person who was the actual butt of the joke, and yet a do-gooder looking from the outside decided to take offence on my behalf.
Grow up people. A joke's a joke. True racists will always show their true colours (am I allowed to say that?) and they are the ones we need to fight.
Innocent comments, or even "malicious" ones made in jest, are not there for anyone to take offence to. They're just that - innocent comments. Jokes. Questions.
The problem is: Common Sense.
It just ain't all that common...
Oh, and as an aside, I obviously don't celebrate Christmas. But I sure am pleased that there are those who do, and are proud of it!

Xf said...


Thank you for that! It's very valuable to hear from a member of society that is included in the group-set known to be 'protected' by outsiders, as if they need it. A group of people who managed to survive annihilation at the hands of Hitler but who somehow, according to the do-goody minority, need their sensibilities guarded!

I'm glad that you see banter for what it is and you would be in the wrong job entirely if you didn't. I don't believe there is a place for true racism and bullying in any workplace but the sort of thing you talk about is part of the stress-management process that people like us; people who see dying children and the fallen elderly on a frequent basis, need just to get through the day.

I'd like to hear from other so-called minorities from all walks of life and all ages - I want to know how you feel about this.

Oh, and Gingy.... nice name mate - not at all coincidental for the subject matter! :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm an American born Chinese living near San Francisco USA. First to respond to the legal aspect, here, there has to be either the intent to harass or intimidate, or a resulting hostile environment. An example of that being no intent of harassment was there between friends making all kinds of jokes, but other members who are of ethnicity being teased who are intimidated because they are not aware if the recipient of the jokes is going along with it because they believe they have to. And even then, if a complaint is raised, there is no case unless the so called perpetrators continue with disregard for feelings of those who complained. That being said, Americans are such a sue happy lot that most people in US companies are afraid to even say Merry Christmas.
There are those who think that minorities should be treated with kid gloves(fast way to remove all fun out of social interaction), flat out racists from all races and walks of life, and the rest of us who love to have fun with our ethnic similarities and differences. Many times I've had kind strangers say things to me that could be interpreted as "racist" when really all they were trying to do was relate and in some areas of the country I am the first minority they have met. I take it in the spirit it was intended. It's been everything from genuine inquiries about whether my great grandparents worked on the railroads(they didn't but I wouldn't be embarrassed if they did) to, "Doooo yoooo speeeek Eeeeenglish?" to which I respond, "Yes I do, do you?" and go from there. If someone really is an ass, it is usually apparent in a short time, but most aren't. With friends and colleagues, we laugh a LOT about our various cultures. I have worked with mostly European and Australian companies and we have never worried about offense being taken. If anything, we are the first to poke fun at our own ethnicities. This is not to make light of racism, minorities of all sorts get murdered here regularly for no reason other than their appearance. But as a minority, it frustrates me when other minorities unjustly use race as an excuse. If you are robbing a store, and the owner shoots you in self defense, it was not the color of your skin, it was the semiautomatic weapon you put in his face. If you are Asian and you are running stoplights, you got pulled over because you suck at driving, not because you are Asian. Sorry this is so long, but it is very refreshing to see this topic being discussed honestly without the BS of political correctness.

Xf said...


I'm glad you have used this as a platform for debate. Good to hear yet another sane argument in favour of common sense and humanity.

Let's continue with this...

Kath said...

At high school we had a debate on this, and my deputy head stood up, and said that as a black person, he was only offended by one part of the whole "Baa baa black sheep row".
The fact that people in authority apparently have such a low opinion of black people that they presumed they would be stupid enough to be offended by a nursery rhyme.

Xf said...


And isn't that the whole point? We offend people more by patronising them and offering them 'protection' they simply do not need.

Equality dictators - these people exist only to tell us what to do; that's what they enjoy - the smug self-satisfaction of thinking they are holy and righteous.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Xf for your post and for your reply to my prior comment. You touched upon a reality that few wish to admit. Those who are most vocal about racism on either side, can often be the real racists. What better way to keep groups separate and resentful of one another than by protecting one group unfairly and saying it is all the other side's fault? It's like favoring one kid and expecting the siblings to be happy about it, both sides suffer with the real resentment that is created.
Many minorities have bought into the victim mentality and cripple themselves. And any minority that says only white people discriminate is full of crap, my white friends who go to Chinese restaurants all say they have to bring me to get better service and bigger portions.
In all seriousness, there was a case here in US where a black man was shot while face down on the ground by a white policeman. The black man was heralded as an innocent victim by the public, killed by a racist policeman. During the trial there were riots of people breaking shop windows and screaming in the streets that the officer should be convicted of first degree(premeditated) murder. Never mind that the man who was shot had multiple felony convictions, and was committing a violent crime at the time of his detainment(he along with a large group of other men were fighting on public transit, much of which was captured on video, as well as the shooting). Did he deserve to die? No. But the officer's face immediately after he fired showed his shock and horror. It can be heard on the recording that he states he is going to tase the man (the man had fled once and was reaching back). The officer later explained that he grabbed his gun by mistake. He risked his life to protect the public and had it ruined by what appears to have been a tragic accident compounded by unjustified vengeance. How can minorities expect to be taken seriously when they use their minority status to victimize the majority? And if they really believe that a convicted felon in the midst of a crime is completely innocent, then how can they say the discrimination is undeserved? Let's face it, we all have biases, pretending that they don't exist doesn't fix anything. Instead work hard enough to be in a position to influence others, and use that power responsibly, not just to further your own cause, but to protect those who are truly helpless regardless of race. Life isn't fair. Get over it and do what you can.
With all this seriousnees I have a real temptation to include a wicked Chinese joke but I shall resist!
Again, sorry for the length of this, I won't be offended if you don't enable this comment.

The same Anon from the previous comment!

Nicky said...

Totally agree about the most of this - had a very similar (rather heated) debate with a friend the other day as he had decided what everyone who uses a wheelchair is offended by. When I called him on it, it transpires he doesn't know anyone who uses a wheelchair he just knows you have to be PC!

You can tell if someone means to offend - genuine racists, or sexists or bullies of any description will always show themselves. Its patronising to suggest that people are so weak minded as to be offended by such nonsense.

BUT I also don't like a lot of the 'PC gone mad' arguments - when I've investigated some of the claims that certain schools etc 'aren't allowed' to say blackboard or celebrate christmas etc it's turned out to be rubbish peddled by people with their own agendas. Not saying this is always the case clearly there have been some high profile rules but its always worth a check to see who is actually telling you that you can't say or do things.

jcewhitaker said...


If you use any form of racial slur r swearword in a public place once, even if no-one else is around to hear it except a police officer, then your may be arrested under section 5 of the Public Order Act and for inciting racial hatred. it becomes a criminal offence as soon as you say it so no other crime needs to have been committed.