Re: OT. Freedom Of Speech
- From: real-address-in-sig@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Rowland McDonnell)
- Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 02:25:20 +0100
desert <go@xxxxxxx> wrote:
On Fri, 30 Jun 2006 16:48:08 -0500, csaenemy
Man fined for 'rude' Blair shirt
Mr Wright intends to fight the fine
A Leicestershire trader has been fined for displaying shirts bearing a
rude slogan about the prime minister.
Tony Wright, 60, from Burton Lazars, was told the shirts could cause
alarm or even distress.
He was caught selling them at the Royal Norfolk Show and told to take
down his stand. The shirts have the slogan "B******* to Blair"
emblazoned on them.
He said he would challenge the £80 fixed penalty the police gave him for
causing harassment, alarm and distress.
Mr Wright said: "I am a local country boy - and I don't see anything
wrong with me expressing my opinion about Blair.
"The ticket is a joke - it is for causing harassment, alarm and distress
and I look forward to fighting it all the way."
He said he has been selling the shirts in different parts of England for
months and had never had a complaint from police about them.
Norfolk Police said they were responding to a complaint from a member of
The 'PC' culture has now reached staggering depths of lunacy. This week
came the story that one English school has banned children from throwing
paper planes, except in 'designated target areas'. Children have been
making and throwing paper planes for more than a century with no ill
Erm, whilte I take your point in general, it's perhaps worth noting that
quite a few people have had their eyes severely damaged by paper planes.
Honest. One has to speak to `safety' people to find out about this sort
of thing, mind. I knew a chap who looked after part of a hall of
residence who - well, he knew about the risks, and he used the threat of
eviction to stop *his* students lobbing paper darts down the stairwells.
He wasn't keen on the old `big black bin liner full of water chucked out
of a 9th floor window' either. Some of this stuff can be very iffy,
really (especially when you know you've got a lot of chemical
engineering students [most actual chemical engineers try to avoid
explosions] in the building)
but Emma Savage, head teacher at the Bishops Down Primary School
in Kent, said pupils had been 'over zealous' when throwing them and it
could be dangerous. Ms. Savage sounds far more lethal to me.
Depends, it really does. Quite often, this kind of story is blown up
into something absurd by the reporters. I'd want to get the information
directly from the school myself.
Another school has stopped children playing 'tag', a traditional
playground game, because it is 'too rough', and the ancient and harmless
game of conkers has been banned in some places.
Again, eyes get damaged in that one. To my mind, the question ought to
be `What fraction of the kids suffer what damage, and how does that
compare to the fraction which get damaged in alternative activities?'
Basically, `Just how risky is it?' I dunno - I never saw anyone get
hurt playing conkers myself, beyond the obvious rapped knuckles (etc).
I reckon a good starting point for risk assessments would be looking at
`Tag' (or `Had' as it was called in my school - don't ask me why) as a
sort of baseline for `This kind of risk is okay', look at what the risks
are, and say `If an alternative activity is significantly worse than
this, we ought to think about applying some controls'.
But I don't think its sensible to automatically assume that these safety
Nazis are being over the top - they almost always have a point, and what
one needs to do is look at things a bit more closely to see if they have
a sensible point or not.
For those around the world
who haven't heard of conkers, it involves attaching a string to the nut of
a horse chestnut tree and banging it against another to see which one
survives. It was played by most children when I was a kid, but now it is
considered by some to be too dangerous. Even many schools where it is
still allowed insist that children wear goggles to protect their eyes.
See? The schools know what the problem is. But just how much of a risk
is it? Is enforcing the wearing of goggles sane? Anyone hear ever see
or hear of anyone suffering significant eye damage from playing conkers?
Not me. I suspect that the risks are trivial. But on the other hand,
would you like to explain things in those terms to little Johnny's mum
when she comes to pick up her now one-eyed son from the hospital?
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