05 Juni 2008

More PC Run Amok

PC seems to be an affliction common to the well-meaning but poltroonish Europeans and Americans alike. Apparently being Eurocentric is now verpönt in Europe itself. From England's Daily Mail:

Police in Cornwall told a witness they could not use the phrase "gypsy skirt"to describe the long floating skirt that someone involved in an incident had been wearing and instead insisted that it had to be referred to as a "traveller skirt".

Mothercare changed the ending of Humpty Dumpty on their nursery rhyme CD in case children found the original version upsetting. After the traditional ending "All the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put Humpty together again" they added "Humpty Dumpty counted to ten then Humpty Dumpty got up again."

Trapeze artists were told by insurers to wear hard hats while performing following the implementation of the European Union's Temporary Work at Heights directive.

The Department of Trade and Industry produced a six-page, 2,000 word document detailing the placement of every yucca plant in Whitehall.

An invitation was issued for a fund-raising event inviting people to come along and share a "Ploughperson's Lunch".

Schools in Edinburgh were told that the scores in football matches should be re-set to 0-0 at half time if one team was five goals or more ahead. Also, the losing side would be able to field two extra players in the second half.

A long-term sufferer of heart disease who planned to bathe in maggots outside a British Heart Foundation shop for charity was told by Hastings Borough Council that he would contravene the authority's Animal Welfare Charter and could be prosecuted if a maggot was caused injury or unnecessary distress.

A children's holiday club had a pirate theme but suggested that helpers did not wear eye patches or hooks on the ends of their arms in case this caused offence to anyone who was disabled.

Staff on a training course were told that if a colleague said that he was going for a 'quick half', for some 'amber nectar' or for a 'swift bevvy' he could well be an alcoholic.

Officials at the Cheddar Caves in Somerset replaced the term "Before Christ" with "Before Present".

The Hart Male Voice Choir was told not to sing the line "Birthday greetings, bottle of wine", when they performed Paul McCartney's song When I'm Sixty Four, in case they caused offence to Jehovah's Witnesses who do not recognise birthdays.

The signs on the Mersey Tunnel were changed from Manned and Unmanned to Staffed and Unstaffed in case they upset women.

The Bishop of Hulme called for the hymn "I Vow to Thee, My Country" to be banned because he thought it was an example of the dangerous increase in nationalism in Britain.

MP Philip Davies in his maiden speech to Parliament said: 'Whoever said 'the customer is always right' never worked for Asda. I encountered the customer who accused Asda of being racist towards Irish people because we sold "thick Irish sausages". Trying to persuade her that "thick" related to the sausages and not to the Irish was beyond me.'

Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax banned visitors from cooing at new-born babies following a staff advice session which highlighted the need for respect and dignity towards patients. Signs were displayed in the hospital saying, "what makes you think I want to be looked at?"

The director of education at Wirral Council told staff not to describe children as gifted or talented because he thought this suggested exclusiveness.

The Board if Visitors at Wakefield Prison suggested that inmates should no longer be addressed by their surname but as "Mr" in response to complaints that the prisoners were being shown a basic lack of respect.

A puppeteer in Broadstairs was rapped for portraying Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein as villains in his Punch and Judy show.

Police in London were told they could no longer refer to people as a good egg or a bad egg as it could be construed to be racist.

Council staff banned a woman from giving daffodils to librarians because the colour of the flowers could be construed as a sign of support for the Liberal Democrats, whose logo is yellow. Medway Council eventually apologised to the woman.

After years of children being encouraged to master the art of penmanship, the risk of swallowing the cap was deemed greater than the desire for good handwriting. Waterman added a warning to their fountain pens - 'These pens are not intended for use by anyone under the age of 14 years'.

A group of performers were banned from calling themselves The Freak Show, in case the name offended anyone.

The Home Office decreed that is Prolific and Other Priority Offender scheme could not be shortened to the acronym POPO after it was discovered that this was Turkish for bottom [i.e., ass.] [It is in German as well.]

A school in Islington was asked to drop the word "Saint" from its title by the local council in case it offended other religious groups - despite protests from the headmaster, teachers, governors, most of the parents and the local Jewish and Muslim communities.

It was proposed that the traditional term used for visitors to the House of Commons should be changed from "strangers" to something less aggressive.

The Christian Union at Hull University was told by Student Union officials that it must allow atheists to help run it, otherwise they would be breaking equal opportunities rules.

Swings in Wiltshire which had been in place for 25 years had to be replaced after an inspection reported that they were too high.

A car that was legally parked and properly taxed was towed away because the windows had been left open half an inch and this was deemed to be a fire risk as a passing child could have dropped a match inside.

A school in Sutton changed the signs in the corridors from "No Running" and "No Shouting" to "Please Walk" and "Please Speak Quietly" as the original signs were thought to have had a negative effect on the children. [Note: What would they have told Teddy Roosevelt?]

The Government asked British diplomats in war ravaged Afghanistan to give a higher priority to gender issues and encourage Afghan tribesmen to have counselling to get in touch with their feminine side.

A woman sued her employer for supplying alcohol at a Christmas party because she was stopped and breathalysed on the way home in her car.

A career criminal was awarded £248,000 in compensation for a freak fall in a prison shower. Despite never having had a job in his life, the compensation payment included a substantial amount 'for lost earnings'.

A man who had drunk ten pints of lager and fell over while changing a lightbulb was awarded £75,000 compensation because his council had, apparently, been 'negligent' by installing a light fitting over a top step.

A woman sued a small shop and put it out of business after her child, who was roller-skating around the shop, hit the door.

A convicted armed-robber who was secretly filmed by police was awarded £1,000 in compensation when the European Court of Human Rights ruled that his rights to a private life had been breached by the police.

Health and Safety inspectors recommended that the Armed Services use chlorine to disinfect the water in an assault course and handrails to stop soldiers slipping on muddy training slopes.

A headmaster in Cumbria banned the use of crash mats in his school because he feared they would encourage pupils to take risks.

A West Yorkshire local council added a non-slip surface to the highly-polished floor of a town hall used by ballroom dancers, in order to comply with health and safety regulations.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-420729/