Sunday, 27 December 2009

The One That Is Carrying On In The Same Fashion. . .

I hope you all had a pleasant Public Holiday period. I now have enough stock to open my own branch of Sock Shop.

When the council sent around their cunningly worded invitation for me to surrender huge amounts of my money to them, they included a little booklet, telling me the sort of thing that they'd be wasting my cash on instead of making sure that roads and pavements were gritted during a cold spell and organising a sufficiently regular rubbish collection so my bin area doesn't resemble some Monrovia suburb in summer.

Nowhere in that little booklet did it explain to me that they'd expend energy and resources in making sure I didn't get upset. To be honest, from where I'm sitting, the whole raison-d'etre of the council is to upset me. It's like the Python argument sketch, I'm paying for it. Perhaps it's OK for them to upset me, but not for anyone else to upset me? Perhaps I'm just unlucky not to live in an area governed by the sensitive souls of Suffolk council.

Neither have I ever heard of someone being prosecuted for upsetting someone. I don't recall any offence of 'causing upset'. Bodily harm, certainly. Alarm and distress, yes. Causing upset? No.

What am I whittering on about?

A bingo caller has been advised to stop using phrases such as "two fat ladies" for fear of offending his audience.

John Sayers, who runs charity games in Sudbury, Suffolk, says he was told by a council clerk the traditional bingo call could upset some players.

Oh dear, here we go.

A town council spokeswoman said it was "sad" they had to give the advice but they had to be "politically correct".

Why did you have to give the advice? It's all very well sitting there, wringing your hands, but did it not, perhaps, occur to you to mind your own fucking business and not get involved? As radical as it may sound to you, people do not actually want nor need grey little fucks from the council overseeing every aspect of their lives. It's sad that I have to give this advice, but I have to point out the bleeding obvious, and this could hurt, you really aren't that important or wise and people couldn't give a pair of dingo's kidneys what you think.

The 75-year-old, a member of Sudbury Town Council and former town mayor, said the clerk advised him to cut the traditional comic calls in case the authority found itself facing legal action.

And why would the 'authority' (over what do they have authority? Certainly not me.) face legal action? Is this a council run charity games event? If so, why? As we've already explored, I pay the council to grit the roads and empty the bins, not to run bake-offs and jumble sales.

"The concern was that if there might be two large ladies in the audience when I said 'two fat ladies 88' or someone might think I was looking at their legs when I said 'legs 11'," he said.

"I was advised that someone might take offence and we could end up being taken to court."

Fear is king, let's pick out the key words in those lines, shall we? might, might, might, could. As in 'The Emperor Klang might arrive with his planet destroying starship, and he might have his stormtroopers with him. He might decide to invade Earth and take control of Sudbury council which could lead to significant congestion outside Matalan.

Why would someone take the council to court for offence caused by a fairly standard practice in one of the country's most popular activities? And why would the judge not just tell her to stop wasting his fucking time?

A council spokeswoman told the East Anglian Daily Times: "In particular with John being a councillor we have to be politically correct."

If John is a councillor then there's a very simple way of dealing with him if he pisses you off. You take his job away from him by placing a little X against someone else's name. Good God, does this mean the council is legally responsible for the conduct of its elected officials? Or is it because you just CAN'T HELP STICKING YOUR FUCKING NOSE IN WHERE IT ISN'T WANTED YOU ODIOUS LITTLE TWATS? Just asking, like.

She added: "It is very sad because it is part of the fun of bingo but unfortunately in today's society people take it literally."

No, no they won't. And if they do, so what? What damage is done? None. None at all. Which by happy coincedence is also the degree to which you live your life in the real world. What she meant to say was:

"It is very sad because it is part of the fun of bingo but unfortunately in today's society people in the public sector are shit scared of losing their jobs and so have to do things to demonstrate that we actually do stuff to earn our money, problem is we're so institutionalised that we can't even do that properly so pick on stupid stuff rather than tackling the problem of asylum seekers jumping over garden walls and eating people's trees."

Good grief, anyone reading that news story would think we live in Utopia. 'Hey, Zlargan, look at this place, they've got everything sorted to such a degree they're concentrating on the un-intended offensiveness of bingo. Freedom, no war, no hunger, no-one living in the streets, they must even have sorted out the problem of space refugees jumping over garden walls and eating people's trees.'

'Nice one, Yavvor, let's tell the Emperor Klang and invade, we can cause considerable congestion around Matalan.'

Unfortunately we don't live in Utopia, and it isn't because we've got the big problems sorted, it's because our elected reps don't have the balls, the vision or the intelligence to sort the big stuff out. They make a fuss about the little stuff in the hope we don't see the big stuff hiding behind the sofa and under the rug.

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