Thursday, 8 January 2009

Possibly the most politically correct shit I've ever seen

From our old friends at, of course, Bristol City Council - here.

This is a guide on arranging "accessible" meetings, and is, in short, fucking hilarious.

The checklist at the beginning gives an idea of what we'll encounter:
A variety of food including food traditional to Black and other minority ethnic communities

Curry, and fried chicken and watermelon at BCC meetings? Wicked, count me in!

First, we start with the usual wheel-chair friendly bollocks:
The venue has either ramped, level or lift access to all meeting areas.

All door widths are at least 860mm wide. (900mm is preferred)
(I think this is fatty-friendly as well?)

Then it gets a bit more ridiculous:
Public transport is within an appropriate distance, eg 500m to a bus route.

Yeah, good luck with that in Bristol.

Then a bit more PC creeps in:
Cultural and religious requirements are taken into account. Ensure meetings or refreshment areas are not in areas with bars serving alcohol.

Nice to see that the religious nutters have BCC by the bollocks, as usual.

Ensure that there is are clear signs informing people with a hearing impairment that there is a loop system and how to use it.

So presumably there is an implication there has to be a "loop system" installed in every meeting venue?

Do not use all capital letters on signs because this makes the sign inaccessible to visually impaired people. Use lower case eg Toilet, Exit, etc.

Really? Really? Are you sure about that, BCC? Because to me, it just sound like steaming bullshit. So now you're saying visually impaired people can't cope anywhere that has all capital letters?

Ensure signs are no higher than 1400-1700mm.

Oh yeah, for the wheelchairs. The specific measurements though, imply you should carry a tape measure to every meeting.

Then it just turns farcical:
It is good practice to provide picture signs where possible, eg for fire escapes. Use pictures of both men and women in picture signs.

Seriously, men and women? So the "man" symbol on a sign isn't enough to just mean "person"? For fuck's sake.

Signs should be placed on seats near the front to reserve places for Deaf people and people with Usher Syndrome. This will enable them to easily access the interpreter.

Usher Syndrome? Is that like "Bride or Groom"? Oh, OK. But of course, they can't be "grouped" with deaf people, can they?

Where appropriate ensure translated signs are provided. As good practice, a welcome sign in different languages makes a positive statement that the service welcomes Black and ethnic minority people.

So does this mean you should have translators for the meeting as well? Or just translate the signs? Seems a bit pointless really.

Allow spaces for wheelchair users, and disperse amongst the other seating.

Oh, of course, you couldn't have them all sitting together, could you? That would be disablist.

Provide a variety of seating including back/neck support and padded chairs.

Seriously? I don't think I've ever been to a conference centre in the real world that has these kind of facilities.

Some cultural groups may require separate seating arrangements for men and women..

Yeah, medieval ones. Fuck 'em, they can sort that out between themeselves, surely?

Allocate rooms/areas for plenary sessions, workshops, refreshments, rest area/room, creche, exhibitions and registration.

Since we're not American, this really does just mean somewhere people can go for a rest, doesn't it. Christ on a bike.

The Equalities and Social Inclusion Team have loop system available, free of charge

They're called something even better now, the Equalities and Community Cohesion Team. You couldn't make this shit up, could you? And pray tell, what the fuck the name change was in aid of? What did it achieve?

Buffets are inaccessible to people with a visual impairment and some other Disabled people, offer one to one assistance.

Would you like some cheese? Maybe some ham? Simper, simper.

Consult with representatives of your targeted audience or the Equalities Team to ensure the programme includes an equalities perspective.

Ahhh, so that's basically what this team does. Sounds very valuable, and not at all a waste of taxpayer's money.

Then it starts to get even less "equal".
Ensure all Disabled participants can claim and be paid travel expenses in cash at the event.

Fucking hell. So not only are travel expenses seemingly only paid to Disabled people and not able-bodied people, but they get it in cash!! When does BCC pay anyone anything in cash?!?

The personal assistant should be introduced at the beginning of the meeting and should wear a name badge or a badge saying ‘personal assistant’. Invite Disabled people to use the personal assistant if she/he needs help in getting refreshments or removing empty coffee cups, holding papers, or needs someone to push their wheel chair.

I think "Personal Bitch" would be more appropriate.

Ensure that non-disabled people at the event are aware not to use the personal assistant.

But it's only the Disabled people's bitch. Know that, evil able-bodied people.

Ensure that tea, coffee, herbal teas, de-caffeinated coffee, and water/juice is available to participants throughout the event. Artificial sweeteners, as an alternative to sugar, should also be available.

Seriously, when was the last time you saw anything other than a tea urn and a coffee urn at a meeting? Herbal tea is presumably for the Equalities Team.

Publicity information for participants should be in clear, simple English and use positive images. People will be more likely to attend if they see themselves reflected in photographs and images. For example, include Disabled people, Black and other minority ethnic people, and women etc.

Ahhhh so that's the thinking behind every photo on every council bit of literature.


This, people, is what Bristol City Council see as "worthy" expenditure of your Council Tax. Paying for people to do this, and think up policies like this.

Fucking hell. Somehow the planned 3.5% increase in Council Tax seems just that little bit more with it, doesn't it.

Give me strength.

27 comments:

thejuicemakingman said...

Trough Gobbling, simpering, Muslim tickling, Cunts!

Old Holborn said...

Brilliant post

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Dave, I sort of sympathise with you. After all, I spent 15 years in Bristol before moving to Scotland 7 years ago.

It was full of credulous, stinky lefties then and now it seems to have gotten worse.

For some reason, this sort of policymaking attracts the dim-witted. It's like a licence not to think. Nobody says, "Wait a minute, this is insane".

It is of course much worse than this example...like consulting Stonewall about the rights of gay cruisers on the Downs, when, recently, a plan was made to reduce some of the foliage. (It was felt that reducing the amount of tree cover would expose the pervs sucking each other off, thereby abusing their rights as a minority).

My fifteen years in Bristol were generally unpleasant. I will give you an example of how different it is up here..

If you go to a shop and buy something that is a bogof or a twofer, and inadvertantly don't pick up the second item, the assistants run out of the shop and catch up with you and hand you the second item.

In Bristol, well, you know. They would just snigger and say, "Arrr, look at him, he didn't pick up his second oitem. What a fool!"

The Bristol Blogger said...

"As good practice, a welcome sign in different languages makes a positive statement that the service welcomes Black and ethnic minority people."

There's something dodgy here. Are all foreign languages spoken only by black people? Or are only languages spoken by black people supposed to be displayed?

So signs in say Swedish and Dutch are excluded?

Presumably then it's alright to exclude the Swedish and the Dutch because they're white?

And surely if you only allow "black" languages then that makes a negative statement to white non-English speaking people that they don't need to feel welcomed despite the fact they can't speak English because they're not black?

My head hurts.

AngryDave said...

What a bunch of wankers!!!! I dont think there is much i could add to your comments within the blog itself, although i did have a thought. If signs are to show pictures of men and women, the next thing you know they will have to picture some terrorist in a viel as well.

As for the gay cruisers on the downs, does anyone remember when some of the fire brigade got in trouble for disturbing them. A bunch or pervs sucking each other off in a public place, which is illegal, and the ones who get in trouble are the fire brigade.
Those blokes got disciplined and had to go through the stress of all the disciplinary proceedures, then got punished, for breaking up an illegal and public gang bang.

Bristol Dave said...

I remember the downs/cruising incident as well.

If I remember rightly (I'll have a hunt for the news sources) not only were the firemen found at fault, but they had to go on "LGBT awareness" courses or something.

As if they were intruding on the "rights" of people to fuck eachother in bushes!

It's fucking revolting - not because they're gay, but because they're doing it in a public place where lots of people may want to walk their dogs but feel they can't.

wv: dalec - they'd sort the cruisers out.

Anonymous said...

So what you're saying is, basically, that the council should not respect the needs of disabled people and that disabled people should not receive any special treatment.

People who, through a strong religious belief, can not eat a certain type of food should not be catered for?

I could go on but you're really losing it here Dave. Step back, take a look at what you've just typed. Then imagine you were non able bodied - you choose one of the groups you've just put the boot into. And tell me you truly feel that way.

Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Transgender Equality seminar
Release Date: 7 Jan 2009

Would you like to know more about transgender equality?
Do you want to explore what transgender equality means for employees and service users?
Are you unfamiliar with the terminology around transgender?

To find out more you are invited to a seminar on 25 February 2009, 12.00-2.00 at the Council House
The seminar is being run by Gendered Intelligence, a company working creatively with young trans people and which runs professional development and trans awareness training.

The seminar is open to all who would like to know more about transgender equality, to all who work with children and young people, to staff involved in human resources and those engaged in equalities work.

Numbers are limited so please let us know if you would like to attend and if you have any access requirements.



Contact: Equalities and Community Cohesion Team, 922 2658 or 922 3786.

Email: equalities.team@bristol.gov.uk

Transgender equality is part of our gender equality duty to promote equality between women and men and to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment.





Author: Jan Youngs, Equality and Community Cohesion Officer, 0117 922 3786

If you would like an internal news release, please discuss with your departmental news representative.

Bristol Dave said...

Anonymous@23:13:

That's not what I'm saying at all.

I'm saying that the Equalities and Community Cohesion team, in an attempt to justify their very existence and publicly-funded wages, are taking things so far to the extreme as to be utterly ridiculous, and this document illustrates the fact perfectly.

Yes, disabled people should have their needs catered for where possible (and more importantly, where necessary) - wheelchair ramps etc.

But why should disabled people have their travel costs reimbursed in cash, on the day, where able-bodied people should not? Consider that a disabled person may have already arrived in a subsidised vehicle provided by the Motability scheme.

What if I would like to enjoy an alcoholic drink at a meeting? According to these guidelines I am denied that right because someone ELSE'S religion, which I have not chosen to follow, dictates it. If alcoholic drinks were served at a meeting attended by people who are forbidden to drink alcohol by their religion, you'd think they could just choose not to drink it. But no, according to these guidelines, the very existence of alcohol writes off a venue as a meeting choice. The Plymouth Brethren are forbidden to watch television, does this mean a meeting venue can't have them in case someone from the Brethren attends it? It's the same principle with the alcohol, and along with all the other "disadvantaging the many to please the few" directives in this document (e.g. the travel expenses) are illustrative of what makes this document so ridiculous.

And just to humour you, I have put myself in the shoes of a disabled person. If I was offered a "personal assistant" to hold my fucking paper for me rather than just being able to put it on the table and read it normally, I would feel like all my independence had been snatched away from me by hand-wringing Equalities nuts and would probably feel quite insulted.

Anonymous said...

I think anonymous at 23:13 has missed the point of the posting.

The council equalities department document is so desperate to justify its raison d'etre and be PC, all inclusive and inoffensive that it manages to pretty much offend everybody. Disabled, ethnic/religious minority or otherwise.

The document also highlights the shear level of bureaucracy and inefficiency that BCC is prepared to live with at taxpayers expense.

woodsy said...

A guide to how to organise a meeting written by people who couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery? You couldn't make it up!

Anonymous said...

Transgender equality is part of our gender equality duty to promote equality between women and men and to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment.

And the problem with this is, exactly? Will this really appeal to the Muslims or be "Muslim tickling"?

What if I would like to enjoy an alcoholic drink at a meeting? According to these guidelines I am denied that right because someone ELSE'S religion, which I have not chosen to follow, dictates it. If alcoholic drinks were served at a meeting attended by people who are forbidden to drink alcohol by their religion, you'd think they could just choose not to drink it. But no, according to these guidelines, the very existence of alcohol writes off a venue as a meeting choice.

So someone has to tolerate your needs but you are not willing to tolerate theirs? It's called tolerance - get some. Will this effect your daily life? Not one bit.

You may believe these Council "PC brigades" are a waste of time but the alternative of this is sticking your head in the sand and letting the man in the street clash with these topics head on. Then you'll be ranting about rioting and civil unrest, as seen a few years ago, because people feel excluded from our society.

You may judge their work as a wste of tax payer's money but it's a small price to pay.

Bristol Dave said...

It has to be said that I am absolutely flabberghasted that any person, albeit Anonymous, is trying to justify the existence (and expense!) of the Council's PC Brigade, with the threat of the alternatives being riots. Whilst a lot in that document makes sense (e.g. ramps for disabled access), half the stuff is far, far beyond your average "political correctness gone mad!!!" story. The idea of having to have diagrams of both men and women on exit signs, rather than just the non-gender-specific stick man - I mean for fucks sake, it's worse than the (mostly untrue) stories of "person-hole cover". But it's not a made-up story in the Daily Mail, it's there, in fucking black and white, and you not only agree with it but attempt (and fail) to justify it.

The alternative to this ridiculous PC shit, in case you hadn't worked it out, is common fucking sense, but the Council (and yourself it seems) appear to believe people should be denied that right or decision making.

Riots are far more likely if the council carry on along this guise, especially if times get really tough and they still seem to be showing undue preference to the needs of minority groups - then the shit will really hit the fan. Wait until people struggling to survive believe (rightly or wrongly) that the council are favouring (for example) immigrants over the indigenous population.

Now stop getting so offended on other people's behalf, you sound ridiculous.

thebristolblogger said...

The argument that if you don't sign up to this expensive, superannuated bureaucratic piffle you're prejudiced is rubbish.

There's more prejudice and offensive assumptions in that document than you'll find on the streets of Bristol.

CommonSense said...

Oh dear. To the anonymous poster at 23.21 posting an invite to the 'Transgender Equality seminar’ have you noticed that although the council have their very own ‘Equalities and community cohesion’ team all paid for at the tax payer’s expense… the council are paying an EXTERNAL COMPANY called Gendered Intelligence to actually deliver this talk!?

So what do the council team actually do? Sit around all day thinking up this mad stuff, only to get another company to do any actual work. Any consultancy / training company is not going to be cheap, but hey-ho it’s not the council paying for it, it’s the tax payer again.

“So someone has to tolerate your needs but you are not willing to tolerate theirs?”

Now hang on a minute, if you actually read Bristol Dave’s post he is asking why his CHOICE to buy an alcoholic drink should be taken away and excluded just because there are some people who may choose not to buy an alcoholic drink. I have no problem with other religions and what they may or may not want to do, however why not allow them to choose not to drink rather than forcing nobody to drink? Are you insulting them by saying that if you offered drink at your venues they would suddenly embark on a praise-Allah style drinking binge due to a lack of self control? I hope you’re not saying that.

Also what do you think the chances are of the Transgender Equality seminar having ALL of the facilities and ridiculous nonsense dictated in the document? Do you think we will be treated to fire exit signs where someone has drawn a little stick-man cock on one and an attempt at a skirt and tits on the other!?

But maybe they have a point, in which case what about transgender, hermaphrodite, transsexual, etc people. Surely they are now being excluded and we should have fire exit symbols for them too?

Now notice the words ‘unlawful discrimination’ have been used. Perhaps this is just a way of emphasising that discrimination is unlawful – as it should be? But no, actually there is LAWFUL discrimination. For example the Police have recently been allowed to give lower pass marks for black / minority / ethnic candidates. So if a white English person attends an interview and is slightly better qualified and does slightly better in tests than a black disabled Muslim, the latter is going to get the job. This IS discrimination however you look at it and it is happening and legal. Although the reasons behind this may be well intentioned, be aware that it can be perceived by some as favouring the non-English resident… because it is.

So before everyone has a PC mad spaz-attack, please remember that we need to be sensible about this, resources aren’t limitless and with the state of everything from schools to public transport being poor in the single star Bristol Council area, perhaps there are better things the money can be spent on.

Finally I have spoken to a professional equalities trainer who is good friends with the head of a leading UK epilepsy society. The trainer was speaking at the Welsh Assembly and was given a PC bullshit leaflet on what not to say in order to avoid offence. This genuinely stated that ‘thought shower’ was a suitable replacement for the words ‘brain storm’. I had thought this was another Daily Mail story, but please check with the Welsh Assembly that this really is their advice.

The trainer’s friend assured her that none of the society’s members had ever been offended by the words brain storm and that the society’s official position was that this was not offensive and had no problems with it being used. The trainer was able to deliver the good news to the Welsh Assembly, however she was told that they would continue to use thought shower because and I quote ‘in case any epileptics were to be offended in the future’. Personally this kind of money wasting PC crap is what gets the whole situation a bad name. Common sense, please.

Elby the Beserk said...

Weasel ... or, "our friend in the North", should I call you? ... I lived in Bristol for 21 years. Loved it. Council a heap of shit the whole time, as are all those long-entrenched Labour councils, but it is a splendid City to live in as far as cities ever go, and in many ways has integrated immigrants as well as can be done. Much of that time I live in Easton, with a largely Muslim population who happily mingled with all faiths - and non-faiths - were very aware that community included everyone, and contributed hugely to the economic regeneration of the area.

Indeed, whilst Oxfam were pulling Xmas trees from their shops to avoid insulting ... who?, our Muslim neighbours would always wish us Happy Christmas on Christmas Day.

It is too fast for me now tho' - and am happily ensconced in a small Somerset market town, where everyone, as far as I can tell, LOATHES New Labour.

The simple fact is that the use of PC is simply an indication of an inability to think clearly or accept reality. PC is shit, and has been distilled into a poisonous destruction of language as a tool of political ideology.

Anon 11:08 ... you are putting words into BD's mouth. He says NO SUCH THING. He simply says that this is not the way to go about promoting anything, and he is quite right. Were I a Bristol council tax payer, you can be damn sure they'd be hearing from me. You are as challenged as the authors of the claptrap he exposes.

Take the cunts out and ridicule them I say. And in that light, great post. Just one thing - you refer to "able-bodied people" - don't you mean "non-disabled"?

Ampers said...

Personal to Bristol Dave

Could you email me the link to this utter rubbish as I am going to do my damndest to make sure it gets a wider audience. Newspapers and also send it abroad.

ampers at gmail

Old Holborn said...

Ampers.

Here is the link

http://www.bristol.gov.uk/ccm/cms-service/download/asset/?asset_id=6517011

CLICK for the pdf

Stunning.

BCC employee said...

I get paid good money to write this bollocks, so fuck off.

Just think about it for a minute. If I wasn't employed here, I'd be at large in the community FFS.

Tuscan Tony said...

What a hilarious crock. I especially enjoyed completing the survey popup which I was lucky enough to get.

Henry North London said...

The BCC employee has it down to a tee

He gets paid for making up this bollocks so that the government can waste our council tax on someone who can make stupid statements for a living

Honestly its like bullshitting for a living Snake oil has nothing on these guys, they have an advanced form of expressive scatophasia or should that be faecophasia talking shit sounds about right

From scat (ie shit) and phasia speaking

Anonymous said...

Political correctness is cultural Marxism: http://www.academia.org/lectures/lind1.html

OwlHoot said...

People can't have changed their basic personalities in recent years, and there must have always been types who would revel in all that PC shyte. So how and where did people like them fit in to society before this hyper-sensitive PC BS took hold?

I can only conclude they are basically just neurotic ultra-conformists. In bureaucracies, the guiding principle is "don't rock the boat", and bureaucrats generally vie with each other to affirm shared values (which sounds like a PC buzz-phrase itself!)

In the Middle Ages they'd have probably been devout monks or nuns, and back in Nazi Germany they'd doubtless have been just as happy working as clerks in Gestapo HQ or secretly informing on anti-Nazis.

Sorry of this post is boring pr too long. But I'm just thinking aloud, trying to figure out what makes these idiots tick.

AngryDave said...

On the subject of police recruitment, i got turned down by avon and somerset for being a white heterosexual male in 2004.
The anonymous comments justifying this pc bollocks only go to prove this person is as gutless as they are dumb. Either that or they are some dickhead trying to get a rise.

thebristolblogger said...

Just read the whole document. Hilarious.

The last time I went to a Bristol City Council meeting I informed them in advance I'd be late (due to childcare actually - no cash offers of help offered though) and on arriving I was ignored, not offered any of the drinks or refreshments they were all tucking in to and not even offered a seat when the meeting restarted.

Then every time I tried to speak (as I had arranged to) I was shouted at to shut up!

Presumably that's all OK though because I'm white, got two legs and don't wear a silly hat?

When I complained later, they told me I was stood at the back of the meeting shouting.

How the fuck else do you get yourself heard at the back of a hall where you've been left without a seat?

Tossers.

Shades said...

Sorry to disappoint, but this sort of thing has been hidden in plain view, I imagine it is the Disability Discrimination act(1995) 2005 amendments starting to kick in.

I'm aware that disabled people get paid to attend consultations in Yorkshire.

Word verification "wooki"

SP said...

I recall listening to an interview with Bert Massey who chaired the Disability Rights Commission when the DDA 2005 came in. He was lauded as 'the man behind the DDA'.

To my surprise he stressed how much the new guidance should be put into context rather than taken literally, and he answered several real-world scenario based question with rather sensible real-world answers.

I have little doubt that he himself would read this crock of shit from BCC and weep.

We shouldn't blame the DDA for this bollocks.