The Tyranny Of Offence-Taking…

A taxi boss has hit out after York council officials told one of her drivers – a devout Roman Catholic – to remove a cross from his vehicle’s dashboard.

Oh, right, this is going to be another ‘Ooooh, everyone’s biased against Christians!’ story, is it?

Well, if the reports are to be believed….not quite!

City of York Council told Clair Cook, owner of AnD Taxis in Blossom Street, that following a complaint by a 15-year-old schoolboy passenger that the cross was a “fake penis,” officers had taken the view it was “very phallic” and should be removed.

I don’t know what sort of, *ahem*, ‘equipment’ those inspectors are packing, but if they think it does indeed look anything like this small blue glass cross, I’d suggest they book into a urito-genital clinic straight away…

Clair also said she believed that if the driver had been carrying a symbol of any other religious faith, the council would have reacted with more caution and investigated fully before any decision was made to ask for it to be removed.

You know, I can’t find it in my heart to say she’s wrong, can anyone else?

And there’s the problem. To my mind, if the state is going to ‘recognise’ religion (I’d rather it didn’t) it needs to recognise religion equally. At the moment, it’s utterly impossible for anyone to credibly claim that it does…

But even leaving out the religious aspect, and taking the claim at face-value, this story just illustrates how utterly hamstrung by ‘procedure’ the state has become:

Colin Rumford, head of Environmental Health and Trading Standards at City of York Council, said: “City of York Council takes any complaints raised by members of the public very seriously.”

Well, then that’s a recipe for disaster straight away, isn’t it? Because some will inevitably be bogus, whether maliciously so, or not. How do you differentiate?

“Careful consideration is always taken when any complaints are received and depending on the nature of the complaint, officers will take relevant action where necessary. ”

What does that mean, ‘depending on the nature of the complaint’?

Is there a sliding scale of seriousness? If so, is this published, so everyone knows what it is?

“In this instance it appears that the taxi operator was wrongly advised to remove the item and our intervention should have been confined to making them aware of the complaint. It would then be a matter for the taxi operator to resolve with the customer.”

So, what action will be taken against the council staff? A written warning? Dismissal? Retraining?

My guess is: none whatsoever. Because they will have ‘followed procedure’, and so are fireproof…

As a commenter points out:

alfie, York says…

Well here we go again it appears you can complain about absolutely anything to york council and they will pursue not only ridiculous complaints but also people that make malicious complaints purely to get one over on another person. I have no doubt that the 15 year old perhaps made some innocent suggestion to his mother who then having nothing better to do with her life than grass an innocent taxi driver up to the council for doing nothing wrong!!! its about time the council got a grip and told these grippers to get a life. …

Yes, alfie. Yes, it is…

5 comments for “The Tyranny Of Offence-Taking…

  1. May 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I wonder when the equality stazi are going to tell the French to remove all the Catholic shrines, crosses and religious statues that adorn the roadsides of almost every french community.

    • May 16, 2011 at 5:52 am

      I’ll get the popcorn when that happens! 😀

  2. May 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    “In this instance it appears that the taxi operator was wrongly advised to remove the item and our intervention should have been confined to making them aware of the complaint. It would then be a matter for the taxi operator to resolve with the customer.”

    The appropriate response being to dismiss it with the derision that it deserves and move on.

    • May 16, 2011 at 5:52 am

      Exactly!

  3. May 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    a 15-year-old schoolboy passenger that the cross was a “fake penis,” officers had taken the view it was “very phallic” and should be removed.

    Hence the choice of which reporter should cover the story, I assume?

Comments are closed.