Political Correctness

Blood donors and the ‘nanny’ state

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My wife and I have both been blood donors for a considerable number of years, it is a good thing to do, takes little time and makes you feel good! It is also fair to say that we have managed to ‘fall by the wayside’ a number of times, the move of the city centre centre didn’t help (feeble excuse I know), but we have now started going to the Musters Road sessions. This is both handier to home and it means that we are on a list and can book a session ahead – so there should be no more missed sessions.

As part of the move to Musters Road we also talked our daughter Star into giving blood for the first time, it was not a massive issue, but she was quite nervous before hand. However, after the event she was confident that she would now attend regularly which was great news. We are all due for our next session next month – or we were, a recent email has put paid to Star and her blood donor future;

The email is directed at all young donors (under 20). Apparently there is a concern that if you are under a certain height and weight (there is a helpful chart) you might pass out following giving blood. At this point I should explain that Star is not tall (5″2′) and consequently is around 8 stone in weight – she is ‘the correct’ weight for her size – unless of course she wants to give blood!

According to the blood transfusion service she basically needs to be overweight to give blood – not a good message to be giving out to teenagers! Also, she gave blood with no issue previously, so why can’t she do it again? The email is only directed at girls, so apparently it’s only fat girls they want!

Come on! This is stupid, if you get people to donate from an early age you have them for life – and we are told there is a shortage of donors. Turn them away at your peril.


The trouble with iPods

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Now let me say first off that I am a big fan of the iPod as a piece of tech. I use one in my car when I am not using the radio (and missed it terribly when a software update stopped it linking through my stereo). I also use it at work when I want to ‘zone out’ and stop people asking me stupid questions!

Use with caution!

Now I am including any personal music player in this, not just iPods, but like Hoovers, iPod is now the accepted term for any personal digital music player (and the best in my view).

But, getting back to the matter at hand – my problem is where people use them. When listening to any such unit the beauty of them is that you are able to lose yourself in the music – totally unaware of what is going on around you. Great if you are in an office, on an airplane, or train. But not when crossing the road! This phenomenon has a name ‘iPod oblivion’.

Earlier this week I almost ‘took out’ a pedestrian who walked straight across the road in front of me while listening to his iPod. Now I was perhaps a little unkind as I saw what he was going to do from a long way back, and let him get level with me on the road before I blew my horn. Suffice to say he was just a little surprised – but I doubt he will cross roads without looking in future!

We can’t stop people using this type of equipment in this type of location, but perhaps some sort of health warning should be made by the government? After all we don’t have that many health warnings to think about do we!

Seriously though, this is an issue, it appears that there are around seventeen serious accidents a day in the UK caused by iPod oblivion! You have been warned!

Are we too ‘PC’ in this country – is this wrong?

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I am always at a loss over quite why we allowed ourselves to become quite so politically correct in this country. Yes, we need to be caring and thoughtful about minorities and those who suffer challenging ‘issues’. But, sometimes we go too far – often this is highlighted by advertising or even official campaigns from some of our European neighbours.

The video below is a classic example – it is from Norway and has been created by the Norwegian Association of the Blind. It is part of a campaign to get blind people considered by companies as employees. Yes it is perhaps somewhat ‘bad taste’, but considering who has produced it I have no issue with showing it here.

Plus it has green credentials! (OK that may be pushing it!).

But this does pose the question that if people with disabilities are comfortable with something like this does this make it acceptable?

Money for nothing “banned”!

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As you may have heard the song ‘Money for Nothing’ which was a huge hit for Dire Straits back in the 1980’s has been banned in its full form by the Canadian broadcasting authorities due to the use of the word ‘faggot’ in the lyrics.

A scene from the video

Now I am inclined to agree that there are certain ‘sensibilities’ that have to be dealt with in today’s world – which were almost certainly not around in the 1980’s. Yes the ‘F’ word is unpleasant, but does that give us the right to change what is basically a work of art from years ago? Is this not the thin end of the wedge?

We are talking about a song that was penned in a totally different World (just watch Ashes to Ashes on the BBC to see)!

The video was the first to be shown on MTV Europe – thats how long ago it was! Interestingly the Co author with Mark Knopfler was Sting who is possibly one of the music industries most politically correct people of the last 20 years!

Luckily this ‘ubber pc’ attitude does not appear to have landed in the UK yet – lets hope we don’t copy Canada and start changing artists work to suit our political rules! Does this give cartblanche to the authorities to change all artists work from any era? Shakespeare has some interesting phrases, so does Mark Twain.

Come on let’s get a grip!

It’s that time of year again!

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In our wonderfully politically correct world there is always something daft that rears its head around the conker season. It might be a school banning them, or people breaking out safety glasses when playing conkers – I love it, it always makes me laugh.

This year is no different. Nottingham City Council are removing conkers from trees to prevent injury from sticks thrown to knock the conkers down. On the face of it this is a good idea……

But – they are only doing it on one large tree in the Meadows where someone got hurt last year – not on any others in Nottingham or even the immediate area.

I hate to tell them but won’t the kids just move elsewhere to throw sticks? Knocking them down is after all part of the fun!

Perhaps they should propose a ‘conkers season curfew’ – I am sure kids could be kept in for a few weeks until the conkers fall!

Come on – let the kids live!