Political Correctness in The Workplace

Political Correctness in The Workplace

Jeremy Cobbold
Jeremy Cobbold

November 21st, 2015, 9:30 pm #1

How do we destroy it? All suggestions appreciated.
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Anon
Anon

November 22nd, 2015, 10:33 pm #2

Jeremy,

Please be more specific about what you mean by "political correctness in the workplace", preferably with some real life examples not just anecdotes which may or may not be true.

Will look forward to your reply to see if first there is a real problem and if there is, perhaps try and help!
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Flowerpot Man
Flowerpot Man

November 23rd, 2015, 6:41 pm #3

How do we destroy it? All suggestions appreciated.
What do you want to do, homophobia, racism or sexism? I'm up for all three. Down with political correctness in the workplace.
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Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes

November 24th, 2015, 3:06 pm #4

How do we destroy it? All suggestions appreciated.
Why would you want to do that?
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Jeremy Cobbold
Jeremy Cobbold

November 28th, 2015, 7:20 pm #5

Jeremy,

Please be more specific about what you mean by "political correctness in the workplace", preferably with some real life examples not just anecdotes which may or may not be true.

Will look forward to your reply to see if first there is a real problem and if there is, perhaps try and help!
What I have in mind is these workplace equal opportunities – or ‘Esteem in The Workplace’ – policies. Unless I’m reading them very wrong, they constitute an outright assault on freedom of speech/expression in the workplace.
Now, I’m not saying that freedom of speech/expression should always override someone else’s freedom not to be offended. We can all think of examples where the latter freedom should prevail, eg if someone were ridiculing a disabled colleague to their face and causing them distress, then they should be asked to desist, and if they ignore that request, action should be taken.
But, unfortunately, those responsible for devising such policies are, it seems to me, saying the exact opposite: that, where someone is offended by the comments or actions of someone else, their right not to be offended should always trump the right of another to express themselves, and that can’t be right. If these policies embrace such a principle, then they are, in my view, incompatible with the principles of a free society.
Indeed, at the time of The Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris (now tragically overshadowed by more recent events), I recall politicians falling over themselves to say that freedom must include the freedom to cause offence, and I thought, at the time, what hypocrites you are when you say this, but at the same time, allow employers to impose policies on working people which deny them that very freedom under all (or virtually all) circumstances.
Thanks to these so-called Equal Opportunities policies, if you work in an office environment, you can no longer make – what many people would consider - the most innocuous of comments without risking getting into trouble.
For the benefit of those who don’t know, there’s a regional news programme in Leeds called Look North. At the end of that programme, there’s usually a humorous exchange between Paul Hudson, the resident weatherman, and Harry Gration, the programme’s main presenter. Hudson will often poke fun at Gration’s age and Gration at Hudson’s lack of height. It’s all light-hearted and good-humoured, not malicious, at all. But, if you were to do what they do, in an office environment, sooner or later, as I say, you’d get into trouble.
You wouldn’t even need to offend the person you’re addressing. Some busy-body with nothing better to do could listen into your conversation, claim they were offended by what you’ve said or done, even though the comments or actions were not directed at them, and get you into trouble. And, of course, there’s the additional problem of the absence of any safeguard against people pretending to be offended in order to get other people into trouble.
Now, when you get someone from HR, they always justify such policies by saying they’ve no choice, that that’s the law. I’m convinced that, for some of them, it’s a bit of an ego trip. They like to hear the sound of their own voices, sounding authoritative about something, which, in reality, they don’t have a very good grasp of. They’re like people who get a thrill out of telling ghost stories at Christmas. I always remember, going on that mandatory Equal Opps course in Doncaster about 12 years ago when I worked for DWP. The guy running it was full of himself, declaring that, when The Second Human Rights Act came, you wouldn’t be able to say this, you wouldn’t be allowed to say that. (He also said that employers wouldn’t be able to enforce any kind of dress code, but that’s another story!) Well, 12 years later, all I can say is that, either he was talking out of an orifice not far from the back of his thighs, or Chubby Brown must have some very good lawyers working for him!
The fact is that, if someone complained to the courts about an employer because they’d made a complaint about something that was said or done in the workplace and that employer hadn’t taken the initial complaint seriously, in ninety-nine percent of cases, the matter would be dismissed out of hand and the plaintiff would be perceived as someone ‘trying it on’. But employers are so terrified and paranoid about being sued, rather than take that tiny risk, they prefer to impose draconian policies on staff which try to smother freedom of speech and leave offices as sterile, lifeless environments.
And, I’m afraid to say that a lot of people involved in the trade union movement, in my experience, go along with all this stuff. I no longer work for DWP. I haven’t worked for them since 2003, but let me tell you a brief story. When I started my employment at Quarry House, I always remember a union official approaching me to encourage me to join PCS. I did so, and not long afterwards, wrote to my PCS rep, complaining about DWP’s Equal Opps policies for the reasons I’ve outlined above. I was rebuffed for doing so. They were all so brainwashed into the culture of Political Correctness, I don’t think they could actually believe that someone wasn’t buying into it. Thereafter, the same union official who had encouraged me to join PCS started, more or less, blanking me on the corridor whenever our paths crossed. I never thought about it at the time, but a about a couple of years later, I actually discovered that, after receiving my letter questioning DWP’s Equal Opps Policy, the branch had actually held a meeting (I’m not saying the meeting was exclusively about me), at which my views were discussed and it was concluded that, because of what I’d said, I’d probably had some links with the far Right (though they conceded that it couldn’t be proven, so no action was taken). Just because I questioned that policy, which I would have thought common sense would impel anyone with half a brain cell to question. That’s how out of touch with reality they are.
However, not all is lost. There’s an encouraging footnote to all this. Like a lot of people, I use Facebook and Twitter, and, sometimes I send tweets to Arthur Scargill. The other day, I tweeted: “Arthur, what do think of all these workplace Equal Opps Policies? In my view, they’re about destroying freedom of speech”. The next day, I received a notification that he approved of what I’d said. A least someone on The Left has got some sense!






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Jeremy Cobbold
Jeremy Cobbold

December 1st, 2015, 7:38 pm #6

Jeremy,

Please be more specific about what you mean by "political correctness in the workplace", preferably with some real life examples not just anecdotes which may or may not be true.

Will look forward to your reply to see if first there is a real problem and if there is, perhaps try and help!
What I have in mind is these workplace equal opportunities – or ‘Esteem in The Workplace’ – policies. Unless I’m reading them very wrong, they constitute an outright assault on freedom of speech/expression in the workplace.
Now, I’m not saying that freedom of speech/expression should always override someone else’s freedom not to be offended. We can all think of examples where the latter freedom should prevail, eg if someone were ridiculing a disabled colleague to their face and causing them distress, then they should be asked to desist, and if they ignore that request, action should be taken.
But, unfortunately, those responsible for devising such policies are, it seems to me, saying the exact opposite: that, where someone is offended by the comments or actions of someone else, their right not to be offended should always trump the right of another to express themselves, and that can’t be right. If these policies embrace such a principle, then they are, in my view, incompatible with the principles of a free society.
Indeed, at the time of The Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris (now tragically overshadowed by more recent events), I recall politicians falling over themselves to say that freedom must include the freedom to cause offence, and I thought, at the time, what hypocrites you are when you say this, but at the same time, allow employers in your countries to impose policies on working people which deny them that very freedom under all (or virtually all) circumstances.
Thanks to these so-called Equal Opportunities policies, if you work in an office environment, you can no longer make – what many people would consider - the most innocuous of comments without risking getting into trouble.
For the benefit of those who don’t know, there’s a regional news programme in Leeds called Look North. At the end of that programme, there’s usually a humorous exchange between Paul Hudson, the resident weatherman, and Harry Gration, the programme’s main presenter. Hudson will often poke fun at Gration’s age and Gration at Hudson’s lack of height. It’s all light-hearted and good-humoured, not malicious, at all. But, if you were to do what they do, in an office environment, sooner or later, as I say, you’d get into trouble.
You wouldn’t even need to offend the person you’re addressing. Some busy-body, with nothing better to do, could listen into your conversation, claim they were offended by what you’ve said or done, even though the comments or actions were not directed at them, and get you into trouble. And, of course, there’s the additional problem of the absence of any safeguard against people pretending to be offended in order to get other people into trouble.
Now, when you get someone from HR, they always justify such policies by saying they’ve no choice, that that’s the law. I’m convinced that, for some of them, it’s a bit of an ego trip. They like to hear the their own voices, sounding authoritative about something, of which, in reality, they don’t have a very good grasp. They’re like people who get a thrill out of telling ghost stories at Christmas. I always remember, going on that mandatory Equal Opps course in Doncaster about 12 years ago when I worked for DWP. The guy running it was full of himself, declaring that, when The Second Human Rights Act came, you wouldn’t be able to say this, you wouldn’t be allowed to say that. (He also said that employers wouldn’t be able to enforce any kind of dress code, but that’s another story!) Well, 12 years later, all I can say is that, either he was talking out of an orifice not far from the back of his thighs, or Chubby Brown must have some very good lawyers working for him!
The fact is that, if someone complained to the courts about an employer because they’d made a complaint about something that was said or done in the workplace and that employer hadn’t taken the initial complaint seriously, in ninety-nine percent of cases, the matter would be dismissed out of hand and the plaintiff would be perceived as someone ‘trying it on’. But employers are so terrified and paranoid about being sued, rather than take that tiny risk, they prefer to impose draconian policies on staff which try to smother freedom of speech and leave offices as sterile, lifeless environments.
And, I’m afraid to say that a lot of people involved in the trade union movement, in my experience, go along with all this stuff. I no longer work for DWP. I haven’t worked for them since 2003, but let me tell you a brief story. When I started my employment at Quarry House, I always remember a union official approaching me to encourage me to join PCS. I did so, and not long afterwards, wrote to my PCS rep, complaining about DWP’s Equal Opps policies for the reasons I’ve outlined above. I was rebuffed for doing so. They were all so brainwashed into the culture of Political Correctness, I don’t think they could actually believe that someone wasn’t buying into it. Thereafter, the same union official who had encouraged me to join PCS started, more or less, blanking me on the corridor whenever our paths crossed. I never thought about it at the time, but a about a couple of years later, I actually discovered that, after receiving my letter questioning DWP’s Equal Opps Policy, the branch had actually held a meeting (I’m not saying the meeting was exclusively about me), at which my views were discussed and it was concluded that, because of what I’d said, I’d probably had some links with the far Right (though they conceded that it couldn’t be proven, so no action was taken). Just because I questioned that policy, which I would have thought common sense would impel anyone with half a brain cell to question. That’s how out of touch with reality they are.
However, not all is lost. There’s an encouraging footnote to all this. Like a lot of people, I use Facebook and Twitter, and, sometimes I send tweets to Arthur Scargill. The other day, I tweeted: “Arthur, what do think of all these workplace Equal Opps Policies? In my view, they’re about destroying freedom of speech”. The next day, I received a notification that he approved of what I’d said. A least someone on The Left has got some sense!






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Bob
Bob

December 3rd, 2015, 11:34 am #7

What I have in mind is these workplace equal opportunities – or ‘Esteem in The Workplace’ – policies. Unless I’m reading them very wrong, they constitute an outright assault on freedom of speech/expression in the workplace.
Now, I’m not saying that freedom of speech/expression should always override someone else’s freedom not to be offended. We can all think of examples where the latter freedom should prevail, eg if someone were ridiculing a disabled colleague to their face and causing them distress, then they should be asked to desist, and if they ignore that request, action should be taken.
But, unfortunately, those responsible for devising such policies are, it seems to me, saying the exact opposite: that, where someone is offended by the comments or actions of someone else, their right not to be offended should always trump the right of another to express themselves, and that can’t be right. If these policies embrace such a principle, then they are, in my view, incompatible with the principles of a free society.
Indeed, at the time of The Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris (now tragically overshadowed by more recent events), I recall politicians falling over themselves to say that freedom must include the freedom to cause offence, and I thought, at the time, what hypocrites you are when you say this, but at the same time, allow employers to impose policies on working people which deny them that very freedom under all (or virtually all) circumstances.
Thanks to these so-called Equal Opportunities policies, if you work in an office environment, you can no longer make – what many people would consider - the most innocuous of comments without risking getting into trouble.
For the benefit of those who don’t know, there’s a regional news programme in Leeds called Look North. At the end of that programme, there’s usually a humorous exchange between Paul Hudson, the resident weatherman, and Harry Gration, the programme’s main presenter. Hudson will often poke fun at Gration’s age and Gration at Hudson’s lack of height. It’s all light-hearted and good-humoured, not malicious, at all. But, if you were to do what they do, in an office environment, sooner or later, as I say, you’d get into trouble.
You wouldn’t even need to offend the person you’re addressing. Some busy-body with nothing better to do could listen into your conversation, claim they were offended by what you’ve said or done, even though the comments or actions were not directed at them, and get you into trouble. And, of course, there’s the additional problem of the absence of any safeguard against people pretending to be offended in order to get other people into trouble.
Now, when you get someone from HR, they always justify such policies by saying they’ve no choice, that that’s the law. I’m convinced that, for some of them, it’s a bit of an ego trip. They like to hear the sound of their own voices, sounding authoritative about something, which, in reality, they don’t have a very good grasp of. They’re like people who get a thrill out of telling ghost stories at Christmas. I always remember, going on that mandatory Equal Opps course in Doncaster about 12 years ago when I worked for DWP. The guy running it was full of himself, declaring that, when The Second Human Rights Act came, you wouldn’t be able to say this, you wouldn’t be allowed to say that. (He also said that employers wouldn’t be able to enforce any kind of dress code, but that’s another story!) Well, 12 years later, all I can say is that, either he was talking out of an orifice not far from the back of his thighs, or Chubby Brown must have some very good lawyers working for him!
The fact is that, if someone complained to the courts about an employer because they’d made a complaint about something that was said or done in the workplace and that employer hadn’t taken the initial complaint seriously, in ninety-nine percent of cases, the matter would be dismissed out of hand and the plaintiff would be perceived as someone ‘trying it on’. But employers are so terrified and paranoid about being sued, rather than take that tiny risk, they prefer to impose draconian policies on staff which try to smother freedom of speech and leave offices as sterile, lifeless environments.
And, I’m afraid to say that a lot of people involved in the trade union movement, in my experience, go along with all this stuff. I no longer work for DWP. I haven’t worked for them since 2003, but let me tell you a brief story. When I started my employment at Quarry House, I always remember a union official approaching me to encourage me to join PCS. I did so, and not long afterwards, wrote to my PCS rep, complaining about DWP’s Equal Opps policies for the reasons I’ve outlined above. I was rebuffed for doing so. They were all so brainwashed into the culture of Political Correctness, I don’t think they could actually believe that someone wasn’t buying into it. Thereafter, the same union official who had encouraged me to join PCS started, more or less, blanking me on the corridor whenever our paths crossed. I never thought about it at the time, but a about a couple of years later, I actually discovered that, after receiving my letter questioning DWP’s Equal Opps Policy, the branch had actually held a meeting (I’m not saying the meeting was exclusively about me), at which my views were discussed and it was concluded that, because of what I’d said, I’d probably had some links with the far Right (though they conceded that it couldn’t be proven, so no action was taken). Just because I questioned that policy, which I would have thought common sense would impel anyone with half a brain cell to question. That’s how out of touch with reality they are.
However, not all is lost. There’s an encouraging footnote to all this. Like a lot of people, I use Facebook and Twitter, and, sometimes I send tweets to Arthur Scargill. The other day, I tweeted: “Arthur, what do think of all these workplace Equal Opps Policies? In my view, they’re about destroying freedom of speech”. The next day, I received a notification that he approved of what I’d said. A least someone on The Left has got some sense!





Jeremy,

Firstly your postings should have been headed “Equal Opportunities” or “Esteem in the Workplace”, and not “Political Correctness in the Workplace”.

Then my answer to your question would have been “Why would we want to destroy it?”

You go onto say that “you can no longer make – what many people would consider - the most innocuous of comments without risking getting into trouble”.

Have you any evidence of this?

Will you provide specific,actual examples please?

You say that you have not worked in DWP since 2003 so you are probably not in a position to comment on that Departments policies and practices so it would be helpful when you reply to quote which employers and which policies please.

You are obviously still aggrieved at what you say happened to you at DWP all that time ago. Well my advice to you is to copy the example of Paul Hudson, and Harry Gration, and move on, as they apparently do on a daily basis. Jeremy, 15 years of bearing a grudge, what would Paul and Harry have to say, probably make a joke out of it!!!!

Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don't tie no bows
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Wash the plain clothes
You don't need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows.
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Twitter
Twitter

December 3rd, 2015, 1:01 pm #8

What I have in mind is these workplace equal opportunities – or ‘Esteem in The Workplace’ – policies. Unless I’m reading them very wrong, they constitute an outright assault on freedom of speech/expression in the workplace.
Now, I’m not saying that freedom of speech/expression should always override someone else’s freedom not to be offended. We can all think of examples where the latter freedom should prevail, eg if someone were ridiculing a disabled colleague to their face and causing them distress, then they should be asked to desist, and if they ignore that request, action should be taken.
But, unfortunately, those responsible for devising such policies are, it seems to me, saying the exact opposite: that, where someone is offended by the comments or actions of someone else, their right not to be offended should always trump the right of another to express themselves, and that can’t be right. If these policies embrace such a principle, then they are, in my view, incompatible with the principles of a free society.
Indeed, at the time of The Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris (now tragically overshadowed by more recent events), I recall politicians falling over themselves to say that freedom must include the freedom to cause offence, and I thought, at the time, what hypocrites you are when you say this, but at the same time, allow employers to impose policies on working people which deny them that very freedom under all (or virtually all) circumstances.
Thanks to these so-called Equal Opportunities policies, if you work in an office environment, you can no longer make – what many people would consider - the most innocuous of comments without risking getting into trouble.
For the benefit of those who don’t know, there’s a regional news programme in Leeds called Look North. At the end of that programme, there’s usually a humorous exchange between Paul Hudson, the resident weatherman, and Harry Gration, the programme’s main presenter. Hudson will often poke fun at Gration’s age and Gration at Hudson’s lack of height. It’s all light-hearted and good-humoured, not malicious, at all. But, if you were to do what they do, in an office environment, sooner or later, as I say, you’d get into trouble.
You wouldn’t even need to offend the person you’re addressing. Some busy-body with nothing better to do could listen into your conversation, claim they were offended by what you’ve said or done, even though the comments or actions were not directed at them, and get you into trouble. And, of course, there’s the additional problem of the absence of any safeguard against people pretending to be offended in order to get other people into trouble.
Now, when you get someone from HR, they always justify such policies by saying they’ve no choice, that that’s the law. I’m convinced that, for some of them, it’s a bit of an ego trip. They like to hear the sound of their own voices, sounding authoritative about something, which, in reality, they don’t have a very good grasp of. They’re like people who get a thrill out of telling ghost stories at Christmas. I always remember, going on that mandatory Equal Opps course in Doncaster about 12 years ago when I worked for DWP. The guy running it was full of himself, declaring that, when The Second Human Rights Act came, you wouldn’t be able to say this, you wouldn’t be allowed to say that. (He also said that employers wouldn’t be able to enforce any kind of dress code, but that’s another story!) Well, 12 years later, all I can say is that, either he was talking out of an orifice not far from the back of his thighs, or Chubby Brown must have some very good lawyers working for him!
The fact is that, if someone complained to the courts about an employer because they’d made a complaint about something that was said or done in the workplace and that employer hadn’t taken the initial complaint seriously, in ninety-nine percent of cases, the matter would be dismissed out of hand and the plaintiff would be perceived as someone ‘trying it on’. But employers are so terrified and paranoid about being sued, rather than take that tiny risk, they prefer to impose draconian policies on staff which try to smother freedom of speech and leave offices as sterile, lifeless environments.
And, I’m afraid to say that a lot of people involved in the trade union movement, in my experience, go along with all this stuff. I no longer work for DWP. I haven’t worked for them since 2003, but let me tell you a brief story. When I started my employment at Quarry House, I always remember a union official approaching me to encourage me to join PCS. I did so, and not long afterwards, wrote to my PCS rep, complaining about DWP’s Equal Opps policies for the reasons I’ve outlined above. I was rebuffed for doing so. They were all so brainwashed into the culture of Political Correctness, I don’t think they could actually believe that someone wasn’t buying into it. Thereafter, the same union official who had encouraged me to join PCS started, more or less, blanking me on the corridor whenever our paths crossed. I never thought about it at the time, but a about a couple of years later, I actually discovered that, after receiving my letter questioning DWP’s Equal Opps Policy, the branch had actually held a meeting (I’m not saying the meeting was exclusively about me), at which my views were discussed and it was concluded that, because of what I’d said, I’d probably had some links with the far Right (though they conceded that it couldn’t be proven, so no action was taken). Just because I questioned that policy, which I would have thought common sense would impel anyone with half a brain cell to question. That’s how out of touch with reality they are.
However, not all is lost. There’s an encouraging footnote to all this. Like a lot of people, I use Facebook and Twitter, and, sometimes I send tweets to Arthur Scargill. The other day, I tweeted: “Arthur, what do think of all these workplace Equal Opps Policies? In my view, they’re about destroying freedom of speech”. The next day, I received a notification that he approved of what I’d said. A least someone on The Left has got some sense!





Arthur Scargill is NOT on Twitter. Don't be fooled!
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