Friday, July 27, 2007

Equal Opportunites Commission celebrates over thirty years keeping out men

Institutional gender discrimination had been alive and kicking at Britain’s Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC] ever since its inception. Arguing relentlessly for “targets” for all other employers it has resolutely failed to act to bring about fair employment policies in its own organisation. Successive government paymasters have failed to bring the organisation to heel. The annual report of the government funded £9.438 million quango reveals that male staff has been reduced in its final year to just 17.6% - down even from last year’s derisory 18.2%.

It is surely the lack of a male perspective that ensured that the EOC last year let Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire Police Services get away scot free with their recruitment scam excluding almost 300 men in favour of women.

We don’t read about these “achievements” in the EOC’s annual reports. Who knows what other initiatives doing down men will be lost down the memory hole when the EOC in October metamorphoses into the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Does Britain need a Libertarian Party?

Maybe, or maybe not. The argument bubbles up regularly in the forums and now the Libertarian Alliance makes it the subject of the first £1000 Chris R Tame Memorial Prize.

Dr Tame was the dynamic founder of the Libertarian Alliance whose contribution to British politics and political thought was not fully appreciated until his premature death last year. It is now and in his honour The PROMIS Unit of Primary Care has established a major yearly £1,000 essay prize.

It is open to everybody. The deadline for receipt of essays is 1 October 2007.

Details of the prize can be found here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

European Commission updates offensive Tintin cartoons

The European Commission has had on its website now for almost seven years offensive images of African European young people. The artist for the publication "What me a racist?", Sergio Selma, illustrates "sympathetically" a black mother and her son with the same enormous mouths used by Hergé in his 1931 book Tintin in the Congo that has now been reported to the British police.

The most offensive illustration in the ezine is a cartoon showing a middle aged white couple looking fondly at a little black boy and girl with enormous offensively caricatured mouths stating: "Aren't they cute? They're just gorgeous at that age." with the reply "Pity they have to grow up."

The cartoon magazine crassly designed to combat racism can still be seen on the European Commission's website.

Civil liberties group Liberty and Law has reported the website to the Commission for Racial Equality asking it to use its good offices and European contacts to get the European Commission to take it off the website and to pulp all remaining copies of the document published in all the official European Union languages.

The European Commission in a forward to the document claims that "it is determined to combat discrimination based on sex, race, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability , age or sexual orientation". It goes on to claim that "the humorously written and informative pamphlet has been designed for teachers to use when addressing the subject of racism with young people".

Liberty and law director Gerald Hartup commented: "It is astonishing that this comic has circulated so widely for so long without any action being taken especially given the sheer size of the race relations industry in Europe. We are contacting the European Commission directly to have it taken off its website."

What me a racist? can be seen here.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The modalities of an offer from Europe too good to refuse

Rt Hon David Miliband MP
Secretary of State.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA),
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
16 May 2007

Dear Secretary of State,

My friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I would now like to join the "not rearing pigs" business.

In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on, and which is the best breed of pigs not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy. I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this is not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many people already not rearing these?

As I see it, the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate record of how many pigs I haven't reared. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this?

My friend is very satisfied with this business. He has been rearing pigs for forty years or so, and the best he ever made on them was £1,422 in 1968. That is - until this year, when he received a cheque for not rearing any.

If I get £3,000 for not rearing 50 pigs, will I get £6,000 for not rearing 100?
I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 pigs not raised. which will mean about £240,000 for the first year? As I become more expert in not rearing pigs, I plan to be more ambitious, perhaps increasing to, say, 40,000 pigs not reared in my second year, for which I should expect about £2.4 million from your department.

Incidentally, I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradable carbon credits for all these pigs not producing harmful and polluting methane gases.

Another point: These pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2,000 tonnes of cereals. I understand that you also pay farmers for not growing crops. Will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals to not feed the pigs I don't rear?

I am also considering the "not milking cows" business, so please send any information you have on that too. Please could you also include the current Defra advice on set aside fields? Can this be done on an e-commerce basis with virtual fields (of which I seem to have several thousand hectares)?

In view of the above you will realise that I will be totally unemployed, and will therefore qualify for unemployment benefits.

I shall of course be voting for your party at the next general election.

Yours faithfully,

This genuine letter on not rearing pigs was sent to Eurorealist by Cyril Randle, the Walsall Pensioner who was almost prosecuted by Walsall MBC for not throwing chewing gum out of a car window he could not open at the time.

NB In the latest reshuffle Mr Miliband has been promoted to Foreign Secretary
The modalities of an offer from Africa too good to miss

How are you and your present health condition I hope all is well with you?
I am Mr Asumugah Weah. I am from Liberia in West Africa but I am residing at Dakar Senegal at the moment. I am contacting you on this business venture that I would like to associate with you, My late father Dr George Weah Deposited some capital valued at US$15.5 million dollars that was deposited in bank of Senegal by my late father and the statement of account is with me please I would require your urgent concern on this matter because, the Senegalese bank, has issued me a notice to claim the money or have the fund confiscated within the next twenty Official working days, please my current statue now does not permit me to have full access to the money or to deal with the bank to claim the money, So I will be needing your urgent assistance please to recover the money from the bank, and for you to help me start up a good investment in your country with the money.

Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer. I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for the claim. All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect both of us from any breach of the law.
NOTE: On your request the Senegalese bank will released all the details of the account for your verifications.
Awaiting to hear from you in earnest.
Best Regards,
Asumugah weah

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asumugah weah

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

How many Shami Chakrabatis does it take to change a light bulb?

Liberty has come up with a super idea to protect citizens from terrorism in the UK. With their experience they should really be handed the job of security if the paying public want to really feel safe.

As a spokeswoman put it: "If stop and search powers are applied even-handedly, without racial profiling, they will have the support of Liberty and, hopefully, the whole community."

Just the ticket. Under no circumstances use other than hard intelligence to stop and search unless done on a random basis. That means stopping 90 white people for every 10 minority ethnic people. And make sure you get a fair share of kids playing on the swings too.

This may take a little longer to get results. But, hey, better safe than sorry, surely?

The Scotsman 3 July 2007 Terror, bomb scares, arrests - and births at the Alexandria

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Is it really time to sack smokers?

If you want to know about employment matters log on to Personnel Today. They have a very good selection of informative articles on smoking in the workforce and smoking by members of the workforce.

On 6 May they ran an article Smoking is not the only addiction that must be tackled in the workplace in which the following mainstream advice was given to employers: "…you should adopt a robust approach to your recruitment strategy and find out at an early stage whether a candidate is a smoker, or likes more than a glass of shandy after work. If so, reject them - unless you are prepared to spend the time tackling future issues that may arise."

These major issues are productivity and absentee losses associated with smoking and alcohol related accidents in the workplace.

This is already being done by some employers. A Sunday Times October 3, 2004 Job vacant ... but not for smokers explained: "BRITISH companies have started to refuse to employ smokers, even if they promise not to indulge their habit during working hours." It reports Kalamazoo-UCS of Northfield, Birmingham that employs 400 people and Kershen-Fairfax, a London accountancy firm as leaders."

Using google "smoking sacking" gives a good introduction to such trends.

Personnel Today’s Employment law: smoking ban special 26 June is cautious about sacking existing smokers "Sacking someone because they smoke in their spare time would be an unfair dismissal…" but as they go on to point out of the United States "… twenty states give employers the right to sack employees who smoke away from work in their own time."

The European Commission provides no protection for smokers. According to Commission equal opportunities spokesperson Katharina von Schnurbein "The Commission can legislate on age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, race and gender . For all other areas, it's the member state's responsibility."

Under these circumstances civil liberties group Liberty and Law is asking the Commission for Racial Equality [CRE] and the Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC] to investigate any companies who refuse to employ smokers as well as any recruitment companies or media outlets that accept advertisements proclaiming such discriminatory intent.

Companies refusing to take on smokers are certain to be indirectly sexually and racially discriminatory because of the differential smoking patterns related to the sex and race of Britain’s workforce. The penalties for such discrimination are potentially massive and trade unions can be expected to support affected members at employment tribunals.

Action on Smoking and Health, ASH provides evidence of widely differential smoking patterns by race and sex. It shows that Bangladeshi men for example under a no smoking regime will be turned down almost twice as frequently as Chinese men. Irish women will be turned down 13 times more frequently than Bangladeshi women.

Liberty and Law is contacting recruitment companies to check that they have not and will not accept commissions from companies that refuse to hire people who smoke outside working hours and that they will report such companies to the CRE and the EOC.

It will also directly report companies advertising their intention to exclude smokers to the CRE the EOC and libertarian smoking rights group Forest.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup stated: “We must have zero tolerance of businesses that would indulge in repressive bullying. Their hectoring intolerance must be stubbed out. If necessary they need to suffer the consequences of their anti-social pretensions in the courts or in other ways that affect their bottom lines.”