This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
Folks in the UK have my deepest sympathies. After the first of July,no smoking in pubs,and now this.
Move to outlaw pub banter
Written by: Graham Ridout
Licensees who allow customers to flirt with or pester barmaids could face legal action under new equality laws being drawn up by the Government.
The Single Equality Bill will give staff new rights to take action against employers who fail to stop customers harassing female bar staff and waitresses.
Lawyers have warned the new legislation could create a legal minefield for licensees and pub operators.
Any customers who crack jokes, make lewd comments, or call a barmaid "love" could give staff the opportunity to haul licensees before an employment tribunal.
The Government is moving to bring in the new laws following a court judgement earlier this year, which ruled that current legislation did not comply with EU directives.
Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations chief executive Tony Payne described the proposals as "another bout of political correctness."
"Licensees need to know that if customers are clearly harassing female staff and they fail to take any action they now run an increased risk of legal action.
"In the past, certain forms of banter might have appeared acceptable, but times have changed and hosts now have to demonstrate that they are looking after the interests of their employees.
"It's another graphic example of the politically correct climate in which we now have to operate," he said.
Chief executive of the British Hospitality Associa-tion Bob Cotton said: "The trouble is that one person's harmless banter is another person's sexual harassment.
"You could suddenly find yourself with an incident and the employer stuck in the middle of it."
Cotton added: "You would like to think common sense would prevail, but sadly it does not always work out that way."
The Single Equality Bill proposals were published by the Department for Communities & Local Government last week with a consultation period ending on 4 September.
Wow, that would outlaw most of Yorkshire...
Well beyond most of Yorkshire ...
I think this process should be accelerated.
The quicker this stupidity is tested in the public legal domain the better. If the public see is as complete BS there will be an upwelling and feeling and it will disappear (for a while at leastlike the Poll tax).
If, on the other hand, the public have become so passive that they don't care it will be a clear sign that the time has come to depart.
Sadly I fear the latter since many people in the country these days are unlikely to understand or care about the 'tradition' of public house banter or, indeed, even understand the language in use or the regional variations.
But the answers to Gary's question is:
The footnote, however, is that the other side of the pond seems to be in the lead still in many areas.
This is an example of what we might call the "Advanced Billing" technique developed by none other than Gordon Brown with his two budgets a year mechanism for implementation.
The French, of course, do it differently.
You will have noticed how casual Californians are about minor earthquakes. So it is with the French and uprisings. So much so that they can accurately judge just to what extent the erection of barricades and blockading of the channel ports represents a real threat or simply blowing off of steam. The age of revolutions probable gives the French a connoisseur's appreciation for such things.
Thus the French government will blandly announce some new and universally unpopular piece of legislation and then stand by while the expected barricades are thrown up. Out come the Gendarmes to do nothing more than watch and prevent some hapless foreigner from doing something silly that would upset the whole process.
After a while the population either gives up and goes home or the government recants and everyone goes home.
In the latter case the government waits a decent interval and then re-enacts the legislation in a marginally deviant form and no one can be bothered to oppose it.
In the UK we lack necessary experience of limited revolution for this approach and until now governments have had to have some kind of respect for the British Peoples sensitivities.
Then along came Gordon.
Stage one: a leak (unofficial briefing) which sets before the people some outrageous proposal. Irate of Tonbridge writes letters. The tabloids seethe.
The government denies any actual intent but admits that it may well have been a topic for discussion, it is their duty to consider any such nonsense, not for that they propose actually doing anything of the sort but so they can do something else (can't remember what, it doesn't mater).
This is the first stage of venting the public anger.
Next some slightly lesser version is proposed and Gordon then announces what he will do. Not now, but at some future date.
The more draconian the measure, the greater the advance billing and the longer the interval between announcement and activation..
Of great benefit is the double budget which allows him to use one budget to announce and the next to enact so that less contentious nonsense can be enacted rapidly.
In this way there are never enough of the public incensed at the same time to create a dangerous "ignition point".
The closest Gordon came to misjudging the mood was with the Lorry Drivers protest.
Gordon temporarily borrowed the French solution. He recanted and then, after a decent interval, re-enacted his tax hike.
Now that he is PM we may expect more of this sort of thing and in more avenues of legislation than budgetary.
In this case, perhaps we should wonder just what nonsense will be imposed. The signs are there that something is coming.
It is not just fancy; this is Gordon’s Modus Operandi in evidence.
As a population we should perhaps take more note of how the French do things. Not because it does them any good legislation wise, but they must have an awful lot more fun than we do.
Is it true?
I hear that you give the inmates the keys to the cells in your prisons now?
Further to the previous observations - there are some really unacceptable ideas floated by all Govt. departments on a regular basis. These are usually smokescreens to cover something else that is going on and are used to distract the media. Many are withdrawn within days.
The secondary effect they seek from this is that the public can then be told (though maybe not persuaded) that the Govt. is 'listening' to them. The alterntive secondary effect, much like the post barricade French outcome, is that the public feel better about having 'won' something when really all they have done is re-define their loss. (At best.)