Feminist campaigners in Sheffield have won a legal case claiming that the local council failed to consider the impact on the community when it licensed a strip club, paving the way for activists across the country to challenge similar venues.
judicial review in Leeds high court, campaigners argued the council had only considered the impact on women and gender equality at the branch of Spearmint Rhino, and had failed in its legal obligation to consider the impact on the wider community -- the
so-called public sector equality duty.
The council conceded partway through the case that it had not consulted properly, and must now go back to the drawing board.
The new consultation exercise could lead to Spearmint Rhino being forced out
of Sheffield. However, the council said the strip club operator's current licence still stands and would not be removed as a result of the court case.
The judge in the case, Mrs Justice Philippa Whipple, criticised the council, saying it was the
second time its policy on strip clubs had been successfully challenged in court. This is the second judicial review the council has conceded on the same issue, and conceded on public sector equality duties grounds on both occasions, she said. That is
disappointing. I hope council will take it seriously.
Surely everything will have to be banned if such logic is allowed to stand, after all restaurants and take aways contribute to wider obesity issues, pubs contribute to wider health issues,
mobile devices contribute to no end of wider societal issues and most forms of transport contribute to wider climate issues.
Whilst the film has caused some discussion in more recent times, it is important not to gloss over parts of our history that make us feel uncomfortable. Rather than censoring a subject, a viewing could form a basis for discussion
about the deeper themes in the film.
Despite detractors claiming the film is racist, there are only three slight racial epithets used in the entire 130-minute-long show - and one is directed against the Irish. Another slur was
quickly slapped down by another character, while the third was a soldier being called a dozy Welshman because he forgot his rifle.
The classic movie portrays the Zulu warriors as honourable combatants, whose overwhelming numbers
are only narrowly defeated by the indefatigable British Empire forces.
The film has a bit of a history of being censored and banned. BBFC cuts were required for the original 'U' rated cinema release in 1964. Then when released in
Apartheid South Africa in 1964 the film was banned for black audiences (as the government feared that its scenes of blacks killing whites might incite them to violence), apart from a few special screenings for its Zulu extras in Durban and some smaller
Spearmint Rhino, which has been on Brown Street in Sheffield for more than 15 years, has applied for its sexual entertainment venue licence to be renewed.
And now the local university, Sheffield Hallam, has decided to initiate a morality campaign
against the venue.
A Sheffield Hallam University spokesperson claimed the club could seriously undermine its multimillion-pound masterplan for the area.
However not all university students follow the intolerance extreme and PC that once has
come to expect from academia. A female student who wrote to support the application said removing a safe workplace for women is irresponsible. She said:
Removing a safe workplace for a great many women without
consulting with them or whether that is what they want and need is irresponsible at best and at worst will cause direct harm.
However the university said students walk past around the clock and are entitled to feel safe and secure. A
spokesperson also claimed it undermines equality and diversity.
Councillors are due to consider the club's application on 19 June.
Update: Women protest in support of Spearmint Rhino
A Sheffield lap dancing club has had its operating licence renewed despite dozens of objections from feminists on
Spearmint Rhino, on Brown Street, has operated for 15 years without trouble and the chair of licensing, councillor David Barker, said there was no evidence of poor practices at the club. Granting the licence, Barker said:
There was a very strong case against sexual entertainment in general from the objectors. However, we could find no strong evidence of poor practices or detrimental impact on the local area arising from the operation of the
Offsite article: Trashy Swerfs in Licence Objection Failure
A row over Tory MP Christopher Chope blocking a backbench attempt to ban people from taking lewd photographs up women's skirts has spurred the government to adopt the bill.
Speaking in PMQ's this week, Theresa May confirmed the Government was taking
on the upskirting campaign. She said:
Upskirting is a hideous invasion of privacy.
It leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed.
We will adopt this as a Government
Bill, we will introduce the Bill this Thursday with a second reading before the summer recess.
But we are not stopping there. We will also ensure that the most serious offenders are added to the sex offenders register, and victims
will be in no doubt their complaints will be taken very seriously and perpetrators will be punished.
And now extremist feminists are attempting to massively extend the bill to cover their own pet peeves.
Feminist campaigner and
academic Clare Ms McGlynn, claimed the draft law created an opportunity to tackle so-called deepfake pornography. She said:
It would be easy to extend the bill so that it covers images which have been altered too and
clearly criminalise a practice that victims say they find incredibly distressing.
And Labour MP Stella Creasy demanded misogyny is made a hate crime to ensure the law keeps up with abuse of women. She claimed outlawing hatred of women
- by bringing it in to with race and equality laws - would be more effective than one-off bans for offences like upskirting.
One of the country's most senior judges yesterday told police to stop calling those who report rape or sexual assaults victims.
No one in a sex case is a victim until the crime has been proved by a guilty plea or a guilty verdict, Lord Justice Gross
In a powerful rebuke to police chiefs, the Appeal judge said there should be a change of culture in police forces to ensure that allegations are properly investigated and that those who make accusations are not automatically believed.
The criticism of police for failing to deal properly with sex cases, delivered in a speech to criminal lawyers, amounts to a demand from the judiciary to an end to the ideology of victimhood.
Up until this week, I had never heard of a man with the username Sargon of Akkad. Apparently, he is a political YouTube blogger, and seems to have an opinion on everything.
From my research, he is disliked by the far right and the
far left. He gives his opinions in an honest way and invites debate. Nothing I have seen so far shows he is a hateful person. A lot of what he says I totally disagree with, but he certainly has a right to say it.
I heard of him
because he was due to appear last week at Scarborough Spa. The event was cancelled following a risk assessment. The risk appears to be a campaign by a local left wing group to stop him appearing, and it worked.
Rob Barnett said: Scarborough Spa are to be congratulated for refusing to allow their stage to be used. We don't need division -- we need unity to fight for a better society.
Obviously, the society that Mr Barnett wants is one
where censorship rules over freedom of speech. I find it very worrying that a political group should seek to censor those who do not agree with them.
The German Culture Council (Deutscher Kulturrat) is the umbrella organization of the German cultural associations such as groups representing art galleries and TV companies. It is a political and lobbying association and is funded by taxpayers.
Olaf Zimmermann, the head of the powerful cultural body has called for the banning of the nation's multitude of political talkshows for a year, claiming that they have helped fuel the rise of the far right.
Zimmermann said that public broadcasters needed to step back and rethink a format that has helped cement gloom-ridden public attitudes towards refugees and Islam, and propelled the Alternative f3cr Deutschland party into parliament at last
September's election. He said:
I'd suggest for them, take a break for a year ... though the length of the intermission isn't the decisive factor. What is crucial is that they return with new talkshow concepts and try
to come up with more suitable contents with regards to social cohesion in our society.
He particularly singled out public broadcasters ARD and ZDF as being obsessed with refugee-related issues, often framing them negatively.
Last week, ARD's main talkshow
Hart Aber Fair - Hard But Fair - led with the question: To what extent is it possible to integrate young men who have fled from war and archaic societies? How unsafe is Germany as a result of them? The programme was triggered by the murder
of a 14-year-old German girl whose body was discovered in Wiesbaden last week. An Iraqi man is set to face trial.
An outdoor poster ad for Silks of Glasgow, a lingerie store, seen in December 2017, featured an image of a woman in lingerie, leaning forward to emphasise her bust. The image poster featured the woman's body only and not her head or face. The image was
accompanied by the text Tease the Season.
A complainant, who believed the ad objectified women, objected that it was offensive.
Silks did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA was concerned by Silk's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code rule(Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond
promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in the future.
The purpose of the ad was to advertise a collection of lingerie and therefore we considered it was reasonable to feature a woman in limited amounts of clothing. The
ad did not show the model's face, and focused only on her body which was posed leaning over in a way that emphasised her chest. The ASA considered that the model's pose and the image, combined with the text Tease the season, was sexually suggestive. We
considered that, by focusing entirely on the model's body without showing her head, and in the context of a sexually suggestive pose and byline, the image invited viewers to view the woman's body as a sexual object.
reasons, we considered that the ad objectified women and we therefore considered that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Silks not to use ads that
objectified women and that were therefore likely to cause serious or widespread offence. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.
Italian workers, like their British cousins, do not have a political means through which they might express their interests. Parties that still call themselves left have lost interest in the working class and the poor. The Labour Party, like so many
other social-democratic parties, has become wedded to identity politics. It devotes its energy to promoting multiculturalism, diversity, LGBTQ-related issues, feminism and anti-racism, but seems to find industrial issues boring.
Political correctness is supposed to be based on politeness and equality for all, but it doesn't really work out like that. It turns out to be little more than a glorified pecking order system where those who shout loudest, or can drum up the most
aggressive lynch mob, grab the best PC rules and everyone else can go to hell.
But the rules get a little difficult to rationalise and pin down when they run into officialdom. And the UK press censor had the unenviable task of adjudicating on terms
used to characterise child abuse grooming gangs in the press.
A complaint was lodged by Sikh, Hindu and Pakistani-Christian groups, concerned about the liberal use of the word 'Asian' in the Sunday Mirror s investigation into child-grooming gangs
in Telford. The Sunday Mirror spoke of 'epidemic levels of child sexual exploitation' and 'that up to 1,000 girls, had been abused by Asian men'.
But the term Asian is far too broad and smears innocent communities, said the complainants. But IPSO
rejected their complaint. The regulator ruled that it was not inaccurate to say the men were "mainly Asian". Nor did it give a significantly misleading impression.
An article from Spiked comments that:
The media's use of Asian to describe grooming gangs not only masks the ethno-religious identity of the perpetrators -- it also throws Sikhs, Hindus, Pakistani-Christians and every other Asian under the bus. Gangs of Indian, Japanese and Korean men are
not rampaging across Britain's towns and cities, sexually abusing underage white girls. The men doing so are predominantly of Pakistani-Muslim heritage.
Of course the IPSO logic has to twist around the PC rule of the highest pecking
order, that the word 'muslim' must never be attached to any wrong doing. Surely based on the totally reasonable logic that only a small proportion of muslims are involved. But why then does IPSO rule that it is OK to use the word 'Asian' when only a
small proportion of Asians are involved?
IPSO were on firmer ground when adjudicating on a related complaint. A complaint against The Sunday Times was upheld. IPSO ruled that the paper had published an inaccurate headline when it claimed that
Asians make up 80% of child groomers. The Muslim Council of Britain's Miqdaad Versi called for a correction to clarify that the 80% referred specifically to grooming gangs, not all child groomers.
Beginning on May 10, Spotify users will no longer be able to find R. Kelly 's music on any of the streaming service's editorial or algorithmic playlists. Under the terms of a new public hate content and hateful conduct policy Spotify is
putting into effect, the company will no longer promote the R&B singer's music in any way, removing his songs from flagship playlists like RapCaviar, Discover Weekly or New Music Friday, for example, as well as its other genre- or mood-based
"We are removing R. Kelly's music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly," Spotify told Billboard in a statement. "His music will
still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don't censor content because of an artist's or creator's behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values. When an artist
or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator."
Over the past several years, Kelly has been accused by multiple women of sexual
violence, coercion and running a "sex cult," including two additional women who came forward to Buzzfeed this week. Though he has never been convicted of a crime, he has come under increasing scrutiny over the past several weeks, particularly
with the launch of the #MuteRKelly movement at the end of April. Kelly has vociferously defended himself , saying those accusing him are an "attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy." And while RCA Records has thus far not
dropped Kelly from his recording contract, Spotify has distanced itself from promoting his music.
Earlier this month, Swedish streaming giant Spotify announced, that it would be introducing a policy on Hate Content and Hateful Conduct . The company left the policy intentionally vague, which allowed Spotify to remove artists from its playlists at
will. When we are alerted to content that violates our policy, we may remove it (in consultation with rights holders) or refrain from promoting or playlisting it on our service, the company's PR team wrote in a statement at the time. They added that R.
Kelly -- who, over the course of his career, has been repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct -- would be among those affected.
Now, following a backlash from artists and label executives, Bloomberg reports that Spotify has decided to back off the
policy a little. That means restoring the rapper XXXTentacion's music to its playlists, despite that he was charged with battering a pregnant woman.
Part of the blowback has to do with the broad scope of the company's content policy, which seemed
to leave the door open to policing artists' personal lives and conduct. We've also thought long and hard about how to handle content that is not hate content itself, but is principally made by artists or other creators who have demonstrated hateful
conduct personally. So, in some circumstances, when an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or
Spotify says R Kelly will remain banned from its playlists.
A New Zealand university has apologised after it seized hundreds of copies of a campus magazine that featured a cover on menstruation, sparking anger from students saying the move reinforced social stigmas and amounted to censorship.
The University of
Otago said its staff this week removed 500 copies of the latest edition of student magazine Critic -- which included a cartoon character bleeding from the genitals on the cover -- over claiming that it would be objectionable to many people.
Noting it a censorship, editor of the weekly magazine, Joel MacManus, said the menstruation issue was meant to debunk common myths, and it included articles on free sanitary products and the availability of sanitary bins on campus. The intention was to
break taboos and encourage open discussion about menstruation.
The university said in a statement posted on Twitter that the decision to remove the issue was regrettable, ...BUT... added that it was aware of some views that the
magazine cover was degrading to women.
Frankie Boyle has accused BBC television producers of editing out comments he made about last week's Palestinian deaths on the Gaza border and his joke about Israel being an Apartheid state.
The outspoken comic called out the censorship after he was
screened discussing left-wing antisemitism with guest David Baddiel on last Friday's episode of his New World Order chat show series on BBC2.
Responding to criticism from viewers that he had failed to address the deaths of over 60
Palestinians following demonstrations in Gaza, Boyle tweeted:
There were, of course, various jokes in this weeks's New World Order monologue about the situation in Gaza, and about Israel being an Apartheid state.
Edited out for reasons nobody has yet explained to me, despite assurances to the contrary.
Ok. Happy to quote this sentiment, which I've had from literally hundreds of people, that anti-semitism in Britain should not be discussed
while Israel commits warcrimes. The idea that Jewish people have collective responsibility for Israel is racist. Have a great day
The world of political correctness is a pretty nasty sort of world. It should be a place of politeness and consideration, but ends up being populated by aggressive bullies and those with a chip on their shoulders. Granted there has been some past
unfairness to put right, but what should be a shared interest in a quest for equality, turns out to better characterised as quest for revenge.
For instance, the rules of PC demand polite words for all those groups favoured by the cause, whilst insults
and disparagements are positively encouraged for those groups that are not so fortunate.
And of course white men are the main whipping guys who are not allowed any modicum of politeness or respect. It is somehow perfectly correct for them to be
referred to as 'pale male and stale' or to infer that all men are rapists, particularly if they are enflamed by porn videos or a lap dance.
And the latest derogatory term for middle aged white men is 'gammon', alluding to going pink faced when
The term was at the centre of a political row this week when it was used to describe middle-aged, male Brexit voters. The insult has been increasingly used by Labour supporters to mock right wing males in favour of Brexit. Northern Irish MP
Emma Little-Pengelly sparked a war of words on Twitter by noting that the term was being used to single out white people. And her rather straight forward observation was considered to be totally heretical by the PC lynch mob.
columnist Owen Jones is a strident left winger who is notably intolerant of views contrary to his own. Ironically he is probably best known for being a prime example of a gammon. He got angry and walked out of a TV show live on air when he got
annoyed that the presenter wasn't quite 100% onboard his pet identitarian peev.
He inevitably took the stance that gammon is a perfectly good derogatory term for white men who do not agree with him, and wrote in a
Guardian piece :
No, gammon is not a racial slur. Now let's change the conversation
The crybullies of the right are hamming it up over a term of mockery to deflect from their own poisoning of the political discourse
et your hankies ready, for I am here to share a story of woe and oppression. The nation's truly subjugated minority, affluent middle-aged white men in the shires who turn pink with rage at the thought of immigrants or taxes, are under siege. Golf clubs across the land abound with dark mutterings: you can't even racially abuse Diane Abbott on Twitter, or call for Muslims to be deported, without the fascist left crushing your rights and freedoms by disapproving of things you've said. But the cruellest oppression since Jim Davidson left his prime-time Big Break slot has come to pass: the left are now calling socially reactionary, affluent England gammon.
Anyway the always witty and polite Britisher has offered an eloquent repost to the Own Jones piece:
ASA's code writing arm, CAP, has launched a public consultation on a new rule to tackle harmful gender stereotypes in
ads, as well as on guidance to advertisers on how the new rule is likely to be interpreted in practice. The purpose of today's announcement is to make public the proposed rule and guidance, which includes examples of gender portrayals which are likely to
fall foul of the new rule.
The consultation proposes the introduction of the following new rule to the ad codes which will cover broadcast and non-broadcast media:
Advertisements must not
include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.
The consultation comes after the ASA published a report last year -
Depictions, Perceptions and Harm - which provided an evidence-based case for stronger regulation of ads that feature certain
kinds of gender stereotypical roles and characteristics. These are ads that have the potential to cause harm by contributing to the restriction of people's choices, aspirations and opportunities, which can affect the way people interact with each other
and the way they view their own potential.
We already apply rules on offence and social responsibility to ban ads that include gender stereotypes on grounds of objectification, inappropriate sexualisation and depiction of
unhealthily thin body images.
The evidence does not demonstrate that the use of gender stereotypes is always problematic or that the use of seriously offensive or potentially harmful stereotypes in advertising is endemic. The rule
and guidance therefore seek to identify specific harms that should be prevented, rather than banning gender stereotypes outright.
The consultation on guidance to support the proposed new rule change provides examples of scenarios
likely to be problematic in future ads. For example:
An ad that depicts a man with his feet up and family members creating mess around a home while a woman is solely responsible for cleaning up the mess.
An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to
achieve a task specifically because of their gender e.g. a man's inability to change nappies; a woman's inability to park a car.
Where an ad features a person with a physique that does not match an ideal stereotypically
associated with their gender, the ad should not imply that their physique is a significant reason for them not being successful, for example in their romantic or social lives.
An ad that seeks to emphasise the contrast
between a boy's stereotypical personality (e.g. daring) with a girl's stereotypical personality (e.g. caring) needs to be handled with care.
An ad aimed at new mums which suggests that looking attractive or keeping a home
pristine is a priority over other factors such as their emotional wellbeing.
An ad that belittles a man for carrying out stereotypically "female" roles or tasks.
Ella Smillie, gender stereotyping project lead, Committees of Advertising Practice, said:
"Our review of the evidence strongly indicates that particular forms of gender stereotypes in
ads can contribute to harm for adults and children by limiting how people see themselves and how others see them and the life decisions they take. The set of standards we're proposing aims to tackle harmful gender stereotypes in ads while ensuring that
creative freedom expressed within the rules continues to be protected."
Director of the Committees of Advertising Practice, Shahriar Coupal said:
wide-ranging views about the portrayal of gender in ads is evidence that certain gender stereotypes have the potential to cause harm or serious offence. That's why we're proposing a new rule and guidance to restrict particular gender stereotypes in ads
where we believe there's an evidence-based case to do so. Our action is intended to help tackle the harms identified in the ASA's recent report on the evidence around gender portrayal in ads."
Universities minister Sam Gyimah hosts free speech summit and calls on higher education leaders to work together to create new guidance on free speech
Free speech on campus should be encouraged and
those attempting to shut it down must have nowhere to hide, the Universities Minister will make clear to sector leaders at a free speech summit he is chairing today (Thursday 3 May).
Sam Gyimah will call on higher
education organisations to stamp out the 'institutional hostility' to unfashionable views that have emerged in some student societies and will urge them to work with the government following recent reports of a rise in so-called 'safe spaces' and
'no-platform' policies that have appeared on campuses.
He will say that the current landscape is "murky", with numerous pieces of disjointed sector guidance out there, creating a web of complexity which risks
being exploited by those wishing to stifle free speech.
The Universities Minister will demand further action is taken to protect lawful free speech on campus and will offer to work with the sector to create new
guidance that will for the first time provide clarity of the rules for both students and universities -- making this the first government intervention of its kind since the free speech duty was introduced in 1986.
guidance signals a new chapter for free speech on campus, ensuring future generations of students get exposure to stimulating debates and the diversity of viewpoints that lie at the very core of the university experience.
Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said:
A society in which people feel they have a legitimate right to stop someone expressing their views on campus simply because they are
unfashionable or unpopular is rather chilling.
There is a risk that overzealous interpretation of a dizzying variety of rules is acting as a brake on legal free speech on campus.
That is why I am bringing together leaders from across the higher education sector to clarify the rules and regulations around speakers and events to prevent bureaucrats or wreckers on campus from exploiting gaps for their own ends.
The free speech summit will be hosted in London and brings together a wide range of influential organisations, including those that have existing guidance in this area, such as the Charity Commission, UUK
The Office for Students, which came into force on April 1, will act to protect free speech and can use its powers to name, shame or even fine institutions for not upholding the principle of free speech.
Michael Barber, Chair of the Office for Students, said:
Our universities are places where free speech should always be promoted and fostered. That includes the ability for everyone to share views which may
be challenging or unpopular, even if that makes some people feel uncomfortable. This is what Timothy Garton-Ash calls 'robust civility'. The Office for Students will always encourage freedom of speech within the law. We will never intervene to restrict
Alistair Jarvis, Universities UK Chief Executive, said:
Universities are committed to promoting and protecting free speech within the law. Tens of
thousands of speaking events are put on every year across the country, the majority pass without incident. A small number of flash points do occasionally occur, on contentious or controversial issues, but universities do all they can to protect free
speech so events continue.
As the Joint Committee on Human Rights recently found, there is no systematic problem with free speech in universities, but current advice can be strengthened. We welcome discussions with
government and the National Union of Students on how this can be done.
The Joint Committee on Human Rights launched an inquiry on freedom of speech on 22nd November and issued its report on 25th March. The
roundtable attendee include:
Home Office -- Matt Collins, Director of Prevent
Office for Students (OfS) -- Yvonne Hawkins, Directer of Universities and Colleges
Charity Commission -
Helen Stephenson, Chief Executive
NUS - Amatey Doku, Vice President
EHRC - Rebecca Thomas, Principal, Programmes
Universities UK (UUK) -
Chris Hale, Director of Policy
iHE - Alex Proudfoot, Chief Executive
GuildHE - Alex Bols, Deputy CEO
Offsite Comment: Banning students from banning speakers is beyond stupid
So, the government has finally come up with a solution to the scourge of yellow-bellied censoriousness that has swept university campuses in recent years: it is going to ban it. Yes, it is going to ban banning. It is going to No Platform the No
Platformers. It is going to force universities to be pro-free speech. Which is such a contradiction in terms it makes my head hurt. You cannot use authoritarianism to tackle authoritarianism. This is a really bad thinking.
A volunteer lifeboatman who served with the RNLI for 15 years was sacked alongside his junior colleague for having mugs with naked women on them in the office.
One featured the lifeboatman's head superimposed on a naked woman's body (with modesty well
When a senior female member of staff found them at the headquarters in North Yorkshire, their jobs were brought into question.
The pair were initially told to destroy the mugs and that they would face no further action. But the
men, who are not paid for their work with the RLNI, then had to go through a disciplinary hearing that looked through their private Whatsapp messages. They were eventually let go, sparking resignations from four of their colleagues in protest, reports
An RNLI spokesman spouted PC bollox telling the BBC:
The lifeboat station should be an environment where people can expect to be treated with dignity and respect. We cannot allow bullying,
harassment or discrimination in what should be a safe and inclusive environment and there will be serious consequences for anybody who demonstrates this behaviour within the RNLI.
Our dedicated volunteers represent the values and
principles of our organisation and we will not allow any behaviour that brings the work of the RNLI and our people into disrepute.
A petition has now been started by locals to revoke the sackings, which the men themselves are also
believed to be appealing.
What is that makes PC bullies want to extract such vengeful and extreme punishments over trivial transgressions? It is extreme injustice to disregard extreme bravery and selflessness in saving lives in favour of easily
offended PC extremists being all offended over a trivial mug.
Update: Finalised and indeed the sacking was over a jokey mug
Following a fair and robust investigation and appeal process, we have upheld our decision to stand down two crew members from Whitby RNLI.
Volunteers are entitled to appeal against our decisions and each case is considered on
an individual basis. In this case, no new evidence was presented to us and we stand by our original decision.
We recognise the years of dedication it takes to become a crew member and do not stand volunteers down lightly. But,
like any emergency service, the RNLI sets high standards and expects all its volunteers and staff to set an example, not just in terms of their maritime expertise but also in their behaviour and respect for others.
was stood down for social media activity which targeted a member of RNLI staff without their knowledge and produced graphic sexual images which went far beyond banter.
The other volunteer produced a hardcore pornographic image of
a fellow crew member on a mug. Some newspapers created their own image of a mug, but the actual image produced by the volunteer was so graphic that no newspaper would be able to print it without breaking the law.
We will continue
to challenge any inappropriate behaviours and practices by staff or volunteers, and we do this for the thousands of volunteers who are committed to doing the right thing as they operate our 238 lifeboat stations 24/7.
remaining volunteer crew at Whitby are working closely with the RNLI to operate an effective lifesaving operation at Whitby lifeboat station. We would ask the local community to continue to support our volunteers, in what has been a challenging time, as
they remain dedicated to saving lives on the Yorkshire coast.
Transport for London (TfL) has apologised for an 'insensitive' body shaming message written on a service information whiteboard at Blackhorse Road Underground station
The sign, which was posted as a quote of the day read:
During this heatwave please dress for the body you have... not for the body you want!.
The PC lynch mob accused TfL of body-shaming, branding the message gross and disgusting , contrary to the usual
insightful and witty quotes shared with commuters on its whiteboards.
No doubt the person who posted this didn't understand the complex PC pecking order of who is allowed to bully who. They will surely suffer 'appropriate', probably meaning
extreme, punishment for their innocence. A TfL spokesperson told i:
We apologise unreservedly to customers who were offended by the insensitive message on the whiteboard at Blackhorse Road station.
Our staff across the network share messages on these boards, but in this instance the message was clearly ill-judged and it has been removed.
An investigation is underway to establish who thought such an
unacceptable message was a good idea, so that the appropriate action can be taken.
A woman from Liverpool has been found guilty of sending a supposedly grossly offensive message after posting rap lyrics on Instagram.
The post referenced lyrics from Snap Dogg's I'm Trippin' to pay tribute to a 13-year-old boy who had died in a
road crash in 2017. It is not clear exactly which words were deemed to 'hate crimes' but the words 'bitch' and 'nigga' seem to be the only relevant candidates.
Merseyside Police were anonymously sent a screenshot of the woman's Instagram update
(on a public profile), which was received by hate crime unit PC Dominique Walker. PC Walker told the court the term the woman had used was grossly offensive to her as a black woman and to the general community.
The Liverpool Echo reported that the
woman's defence had argued the usage of the word had changed over time and it had been used by superstar rapper Jay-Z in front of thousands of people at the Glastonbury Festival.
The woman was given an eight-week community order, placed on an
eight-week curfew and fined £585.
Prosecutors said her sentence was increased from a fine to a community order as it was a 'hate crime'.
Offsite Comment: Now it's a crime to quote rap lyrics? Censorship in Britain is out of control.
Brendan O'Neill notes that these are the lyrics she quoted:
Off a whole gram of molly, and my bitch think I'm trippin. Now I'm clutchin' on my forty, all I can think about is drillin''. I hate fuck shit, slap a
bitch nigga, kill a snitch nigga, rob a rich nigga.'
We now live under a bizarre tyranny of self-esteem, where hurt feelings can lead to court cases, and where the easily offended
can marshal the state to crush those who dared to offend them. An unholy marriage between our wimpish offence-taking culture and a state desperate to be seen as caring and purposeful has nurtured an insidious new censorship that targets everything from
comedy and rap to criticism of Islam or strongly stated political views.
The BBC has defended a decision to air Enoch Powell's 1968 Rivers of Blood speech on Radio 4.
The Archive on 4 programme, presented by BBC media editor Amol Rajan, will on Saturday broadcast the right-wing MP's anti-immigration speech -
voiced by an actor - in full, for the first time.
The decision to do so was criticised as an incitement to racial hatred. The peer Andrew Adonis has called for the broadcast to be banned, and has written to the TV censor Ofcom. He wrote: What
is happening to our public service broadcaster? He said the speech was the worst incitement to racial violence by a public figure in modern Britain. He added: Obviously this matter will be raised in parliament should the broadcast go ahead.
Presumably critics are worried that the concerns voiced by Enoch Powell still exist today, and so may chime with listeners. Surely if this is the case, then it would be better if views were aired so that the authorities could address the concerns.
For instance if politicians had been better aware of such opinions, they would not have called the incredibly divisive Brexit referendum.
The BBC said there would be rigorous journalistic analysis and the show was not endorsing controversial
Delivered to local Conservative Party members in Birmingham, days before the second reading of the 1968 Race Relations Bill, then MP Powell referenced observations made by his Wolverhampton constituents including in 15 or 20 years' time the
black man will have the whip hand over the white man. He ended with a quote from Virgil's Aeneid, when civil war in Italy is predicted with the River Tiber foaming with much blood.
The anti-immigration speech ended his career in Edward Heath's
Archive on 4 will broadcast on Radio 4 on Saturday at 8pm.
We received complaints from people who feel it is irresponsible to broadcast Enoch Powell's 1968 Rivers of Blood speech.
BBC Radio 4's well
established programme Archive on 4 reflects in detail on historical events. Many people know of this controversial speech but few have heard it beyond soundbites and, in order to assess the speech fully and its impact on the immigration debate, it will
be analysed by a wide range of contributors including many anti-racism campaigners.
This is a rigorous journalistic analysis of a historical political speech. It is not an endorsement of the controversial views and we believe
people should wait to hear the programme before they judge it.
It's getting harder and harder to be a good leftist these days. As the high priests and priestesses of the PC cult keep narrowing acceptable points of view, reasonable liberals are finding it difficult to toe the line
Steve Allen presents the early weekday morning breakfast show between 04:00 and 07:00 on the speech based radio station LBC 97.3FM. The format of the programme is based on the
presenter expressing his views on a range of topical issues and encouraging listeners to interact and express their opinions via text message and online.
A listener complained that presenter Steve Allen made discriminatory
comments about the traveller community during this programme.
We noted that during the programme, the presenter, Mr Allen, made reference to a news story in which businesses in the village of Parkend, Gloucestershire, were
instructed by police to close following violent disturbances from a group of visitors to a holiday village. Mr Allen said the following:
“’Brawling travellers shut down a holiday village’. Why do we have to start being
nice to travellers? Every time I read a story in the newspaper its either thieving, robbing or brawling. And this one was terrible, all the businesses had to close and everything else. We had them moving in to a hospital car park a short while ago, it
was all very odd. What is the matter with them? What is the matter with them?”
We considered Rule 2.3:
“In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that
material which may cause offence is justified by the context…”.
Ofcom decision: Breach of rule 2.3
Mr Allen was responding to a news story about violent disorder in a Gloucestershire town
which, according to the Licensee, Mr Allen had believed at the time referred to members from the travelling community.As a result, Mr Allen went on to ask rhetorically:
Why do we have to start being nice to travellers?
Every time I read a story in the newspaper its either thieving, robbing or brawling206what is the matter with them? What is the matter with them?
In Ofcom's view, these remarks could be interpreted as offering a
highly pejorative and generalised view about members of the traveller community, a protected racial group under the Equality Act 2010, and as such had the potential to cause offence to listeners. The likely level of offence in this case would have been
increased by Mr Allen's repeated and emphatic use of the rhetorical question what is the matter with them?. In our view, this would have served to reinforce Steve Allen's attribution of a clearly negative stereotype of certain forms of anti-social and
criminal behaviour (i.e. thieving, robbing or brawling) to all members of the travelling community.