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.
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: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1990596, 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.
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.
Huffingtonpost.com 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: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1354370/How-referring-gossip-jungle-drums-led-month-racism-probe.html. 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 http://www.map-uk.org/regions/opt/projects/view/-/id/78/ ; http://news.aol.co.uk/world-news/story/taliban-justice-image-wins-award/1581268.
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!