A market stall holder has been banned from having a stand in a town centre because she was selling…
Drugs? Guns? Knives to children?
…’offensive’ Knights Templar coffee mugs.
Wait, what? Who gets offended by the Order Of The Poor Knights Of The Temple Of Solomon?
Speaking to MailOnline Miss Gayle, 56, said: ‘It’s very unfair. The council told me about the complaint about the mugs and them being offensive to Muslims. They asked me to remove them. I said that was ridiculous and told them “no”.
Oh. I might have known.
‘They then printed off a letter on Friday at 4pm and said I’m banned. You’re meant to have three written warnings before expulsion and they didn’t do that. It was apparently something so bad they were banning me completely.’
Hmmm, well, a bit economical with the truth there, as is often the case:
Miss Gayle had previously been warned by the council for selling Nazi memorabilia.
She said many of her customers are actors who take part in WWII re-enactments and explained how items she sells, such as a book that shows detailed descriptions of soldiers’ uniforms, can help them accurately portray characters.
Speaking at the time she said: ‘It will be such a shame if they take away the chance for an ordinary citizen to research whatever historical information they wish. You’re taking away an individual’s rights.’
You might ask why a council thinks this is the sort of thing it’s equipped to regulate.
A spokesman for Charnwood Borough Council said: ‘We received a complaint in August about the trader selling Nazi memorabilia.
‘We want the public to have a safe and enjoyable experience when visiting our markets and we have a duty to ensure that items sold do not cause public offence, a threat to safety or that could bring the market into disrepute.
You don’t think this ridiculous spat brings the market into disrepute, then? Well, of course you don’t. Or you’d have to ban yourselves.
‘We visited the trader at her stall and found that some of the items being sold were modern mugs with Nazi symbols, and not historical or vintage items.
‘We spoke to the trader and advised that she would need to remove the mugs from the stall.
‘The trader agreed to remove the mugs and stop selling new items or items which could be offensive to customers.
Which, when you think about it, is an impossible request.
‘We sent a letter on August 18 to the trader to confirm this decision.’
She added: ‘On Friday, October 6 we received a further complaint that the trader was selling contemporary Knights of the Templar mugs.
Well, she could hardly be selling genuine ones, could she!
‘We visited the stall and spoke to the trader again to ask her to remove the mugs.
‘It’s not for us to comment as to why the mugs were offensive to the complainant, however we had previously asked the trader not to sell contemporary mugs or items which could cause offence so we asked for them to be removed.
And how can she possibly comply with that, since anyone can take offence at anything? It gives people far too much licence to interfere with lawful trade. Didn’t you realise this?
‘The trader refused to remove the mugs from the stall so we issued a second letter which excludes the trader from all Loughborough markets.
‘This decision is in line with our market regulations which state that if a trader has displayed serious misconduct, they can be immediately excluded from trading, with no further warnings required.
‘Serious misconduct includes bringing the market into disrepute and selling items which could be offensive.
‘The trader can appeal this decision, and we would ask her to write to us to confirm she wishes to do so.’
You’ve built a charter for busybodies, to keep yourselves in employment. And now you’ve brought the market into disrepute yourselves. What an own goal!