48 2 mins 14 yrs

harmanPA310506_228x284.jpgWonder what you make of the news that bar managers and store owners face large-scale compensation claims if their customers "ogle" their barmaids, waitresses or check-out staff? (Does this apply if women "ogle" barmen, waiters and male check out staff and what is the precise definition of "ogle" and who says so?) New sex discrimination laws also mean that landlords who allow loud "sexist" jokes or "banter" among drinkers could be taken before a tribunal. The regulations say that bosses are responsible for protecting their staff from sexual harassment by customers – and that those who fail to do so can face unlimited compensation claims. The regulations were pushed through by Women and Equalities Minister Harriet Harman, who has powers under European legislation to amend discrimination law. Miss Harman has used a statutory instrument that does not require a division or debate in Parliament.

The Labour government has many shrews within it, but Harman – or should that be Har-person? – is one the worst. This sort of draconian legislation is just ridiculous. It seeks to imply it is righting a wrong but in fact all it is doing is setting up the possibilities for unlimited legal cases being taken against employers which may well lead to them having to shut up shut just because someone says "Hello love" to the barmaid. The advance of this po-faced neo-puritanism is a menace to our society, it’s like a cancer that spreads by these self-righteous hypocrites like Harman.

So anyway, a man walks into a bar…..

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  1. When I speak to my buddies in London, they seem to think that it’s the US that is the more "PC". That is so not true.

    I think it’s wonderful that men and women occasionally call one another "love" there. A woman ticket seller on the Gatwick Express called me "love" about a year ago, and I still remember it, it was so sweet and pleasant.

    It’s part of what once made England a warm,charming, comfortable place to live in or visit.

    I do not understand any of this. How terribly sad.

    You’re rapidly descending into a joyless, neutered, anxious age. I’m glad I first visited England in the late 1970s, when there was a bit more of the real thing left to enjoy.

  2. >>So anyway, a man walks into a bar…..<<

    and says "Ouch!". It was an iron bar.

    There’s also this phenomenon.

  3. ‘I think it’s wonderful that men and women occasionally call one another "love" there. A woman ticket seller on the Gatwick Express called me "love" about a year ago, and I still remember it, it was so sweet and pleasant. ‘

    Ah that was nice luv. πŸ˜‰

  4. Why not just put in a row of vending machines to dispense the drinks. Then nobody has to worry about saying the wrong thing. Insane.

  5. What a load of nonsense!

    This is my tenth year of working in Bars. Banter is all part of the job and it is expected. Jokes, innuendoes etc is all part of the experience. I work in a nightclub every weekend and when a bloke comes to the bar he is addressed as "mate" and when a lady comes to the bar she is addressed as "love".

    Some people really need to get a life

  6. Isn’t it though. Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end!

    To hell with these people. Live your life and never give in.

  7. Mary Hopkins was brilliant. One of the best memories I have of my sister who died last year is when I caught her with my brothers guitar trying to sing like her.

    Those where really the days phantom!

  8. Cait

    There are some songs that stay in your head for a lifetime. That’s one of them. I even like the Italian version that she sang!

    Believe it or not, I am told that that an incarnation of what was originally an old Russian folk song

  9. I was thinking of Cilla’s "Step inside love"! She’ll be arrested if she ever performs that live. The Mary Hopkins tune was a good one.

  10. Hey, Mahons,

    You’re legal expertise is needed over at the Freedom Isn’t Free thread, but avoid A Question of Debt at all costs.

  11. Phantom,

    "Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end!"

    The blades song of the same name is better.

  12. Harman needs to do something with her hair.And that joyless black thing she’s wearing! Perhaps she’s not getting enough?

  13. Phantom,

    You’re just being provocative, you naughty boy :0)

    BTW did you manage to grab that Fitna file yet?

  14. Dawkins

    Me, naughty? Jamais.

    Yes, I saw it on youtube. It’s an important and true little film.

    Mr. Wilders is a brave man.

    I will investigate that site you linked to.

  15. David – this DM piece is, as frikkin’ ever, nonsense. Or table dancing would be outright banned. (Heaven forbid!). Talk about take general discrimination issues and make it up as you go along Dail Mail!

    Nope. Punters will continue to flirt with the barmaids and the word love will be used as casually as ever, the world will continue to turn and bar staff won’t be running for their cheque books. Phew.

    it’s the US that is the more "PC".

    It pretty much is. Happy Holidays to ya. Good to see Phantom right out the gate with the sweeping statements about the UK. As usual! Take a cab any time you are next over Phantom and you’ll be called love. Don’t forget your high heels when you pop over honey, ya big girls blouse!.

  16. It must be ( no, even I can’t say that )

    Alison, poor Alison. Have you even read the post, or any of the comments that followed it?

  17. Alison,

    Hi! Don’t think the Daily Mail invented the legislation that Ms Harperson has decided to gift us. If the legislation has no impact why put it on the statute book? Harman is a humourless bore and you don’t need a newspaper to see that.

  18. David

    No but they invented part of the story. Quelle surprise. The legislation has been in place in Oz now for a while ‘protecting’ staff from customers and there were no cries of ‘what no more love or leering?!’It’s nonsense. The legislation protects staff from repeated un-wanted sexual harrassment where a manager fails to take an interest in a staff member alleging consistent issues. Not merely being called ‘love’. It also applies across the board in employment eg not just for barstaff.

    Phantom poor Phantom – yes honey. I did. I read your first comment. Maybe you got off to a bad start. Now please be consistent and start blabbing on about ‘them how joyless Australia is!

  19. Alan: I’ve gone to both threads. As the superhero that I am I always go where needed to fight for truth, justice etc.

  20. Alison

    ( and this is not said for effect )

    You appear to have a great deal in common with this Harriet Harman. As respects the joyless hypersensitivity.

    I’m not talking about Australia, and David did not make the post about Australia. Whataboutry is not helpful, and being a harridan in half your conversations is not helpful either.

    And my point remains — the US is supposed to be more "PC", yet we are free of such neutering legislation. If the purpose of such legislation was to prevent sexual harassment, there are plenty of preexisting UK/EU laws that take care of that. This is targeted at something new.

    As all, or as all but one, can see.

  21. Phantom

    Your first comment is what i responded to. To respond to your joyless comment is ‘joyless hypersensitivity’. Makes sense. I was being a bit tongue in cheek honey, ya know, like dem punters in a bar.

    ‘Whataboutery’ here is helpful – for one its interesting to see where this all comes from. In the article it specifies the EU. I don’t recall Australia being a part of the EU.

    And two, um.. that’s the crux of the article. A big fat joyless dose of whataboutery. Joyless joyless, terribly sad. LOL.

    You are a PC nation as much as anywhere else. And compensation cases are hardly unheard of in the US. You seem to miss the overall point about what this legislation targets specifically. But then the article was devoid of the facts so can’t blame.

    By all means do take a black cab in your next visit to our joyless nation tho’!

  22. Phantom,

    Alison has a point. This is the daily mail we are talking about. I would take their opinion of what the law means with a large grain of salt. In fact without any other information I would conclude that it doesn’t ban the use of ‘love’ or ‘darling’ simply because the mail said it does.

  23. Alison

    No thanks


    Well, I’ll only make the comment that here in NYC, the newspaper of record is the NY Times, which is very PC. The scruffier NY Post is very un-PC, and is much looked down upon by Times readers (other than the large number of people. such as myself, who read both every day ) The NY Post is similar in many ways to the Daily Mail.

    And they scoop the NY Times every day of the week. And they usually have their facts right–precisely because of the fact that they know that the proper classes or those who think they are, look down on them. ( Recently, they led the major Spitzer scandal story –the Times followed )

    I won’t dismiss something out of hand because it appears in a tabloid. Not at all. They don’t have the same political filters as the proper papers, which is very often a good thing.

  24. Phantom: Great. I look forward to a lot less 1970s based anecdotes about your view of the UK also. TFFT.

  25. Frank

    That’s basically it, yup. They kind of made it up (whataboutery en large) and avoided a few pertinent facts. Any HR dept in any org can put you straight on what it actually means. But the DM in particular likes the angle because of its pc baiting nature.

  26. Yes the Mail is not exactly the truth in the news. A quick news google failed to turn up the story on any of the serious papers.

    Maybe an ATW field study is called for.

  27. Phantom,

    "I won’t dismiss something out of hand because it appears in a tabloid"

    It’s not a matter of dismissing it out of hand but rather waiting to hear it somewhere credible, preferably with reference to the actual legislation rather than what it ‘could mean’. Out of deference to Colm I won’t use the word for that. I don’t like this kind of legislation as it is so vague, but the EU legislation is already very vague and the sky has not fallen yet.

    Anyway if you can manage scepticism when the world’s scientists tell you there is a problem and provide supporting evidence, then I’m sure you can manage it when the Daily Mail tells you there is a problem and provides none. After all the Daily Mail does that most days. If we all rushed out and paniced in the street every time the Mail told us to we’d never get anything done.

  28. Frank

    Do you deny

    the requirement for posting a sign

    the estimate of 10 million pounds a year in claims by the Govt Equalities Office

    the quote from an industry consultant, who expresses unease as to its effect

    the quote from the Federation of Small Businesses- they’re the ones affected, right? Or are their views to be dismissed?

  29. Lawyers said yesterday that businesses will need to show they have tried to clamp down on sexual harassment of workers by customers if they are to guard against the risk of compensation claims.

    They advised pub operators to put up warning notices telling drinkers that "harassment is not tolerated".

    What law firm gave this free advice?

  30. Phantom,

    If I brought the same quasi-solipsism that some AGW ‘skeptics’ bring to propositions that have been proven in physics labs, I would deny that the Daily Mail even existed.

    In fact I am just waiting for more detail as to what the laws actually say without the right-tinted glasses.

  31. >>Harman needs to do something with her hair.And that joyless black thing she’s wearing! Perhaps she’s not getting enough?<<

    Funny how that kind of comment invariably falls when a woman is being derided.

    Maybe Phantom would like to post a pic of himself and let the rest of us judge how joyful his clothes are and how much/little sexual satisfaction his face betrays.

  32. What a politically incorrect thread, full of gender based harrasment, I feel violated just reading it. Who can I sue ? πŸ™‚

  33. Hmmm…..it’s oft said that feminists have no sense of humor.
    I wonder why that is…why feminism can’t laugh at itself….

  34. Patty
    Yep-often said, because by God, it is so often true!

    Now that I’m back from the opening day that didn’t happen today at Yankee Stadium, I’ll close my thoughts for now on this subject.

    I offer a reward of two pints of Guinness or other quality beverage, deliverable in either London or New York City, to the person who provides evidence of actual "Anti Harassment Notices" in any pub or restaurant in the UK ( as advised by industry counsel, according to the Mirror, which is always wrong )

    Which I’ve never seen in any bar anywhere in the world.

    And which will be construed as proof positive that the UK has edged the USA in the PC sweepstakes. And a minor proof that the newspaper in question is not always wrong. Two pints are waiting. Get moving, guys.

  35. Blimey, Harriet has attracted a lot of disdain on the Daily Mail comments section with that one.

    I just don’t see how they could effectively enforce this kind of thing. It’s rubbish.

    It’s taken me a good long while to suss the DM out, but I have to say Alison has got a point. That paper deliberately and consistently overblows and exaggerates this kind of story, in order to generate sales from its intended audience. Note the language in the article: "COULD be taken before a tribunal".
    It’s ad-speak. Just like the way they always say "New Soluprox COULD stop your headache in 15 minutes"., they never ever say that it WILL, just it could. So they can’t be sued if it doesn’t.

    Still, having said that, I’ve no doubt at all that Labour wants to see us all cowering as much as possible under their totalitarian, 1984-esque legislation as far as is possible. They really are a nasty, anti-libertarian bunch.

  36. Tom – exactly right. it is a holy load of old rubbish! But that doesn’t stop some people from wanting to believe it sooo bad – because it suits a specific set of opinions.

    Phantom – don’t get all joyless and cry into your beer about this or anything but…

    In the US, under Harrassment blurb bar and restaurant owners must ensure their premises do not present what you call a "hostile environment" – for employees. And you are one ahead – a Hooters waitress sued her employers for harrassment because a patron slapped her arse – under harrassment legislation, drafted in allowing employees to sue. (I mean, how very bloody dare she not accept that working in said delightful American establishment, she must be subjected to a bit of the physical, y’know, …your jokey hands on action)

    You can be held liable in NYC as a bar owner if one of your patrons is involved in a drink-drive and was found to be drinking in your bar prior to the accident. Yowza.

    And speaking of signs, in the US you have slew of weird ones. You have to, by law, display a sign warning of the dangers of drinking whilst pregnant. Why should the bar owner have to give a shit and sign it!? And which PC nonsense I’ve never seen in any bar anywhere in the world btw.

    A quick google on the subject is all that’s required to measure your constant determined comparisons. You guys hold the torch πŸ™‚

    (On the money Noel)

  37. Alison

    Hope you had fun looking that stuff up.

    All employees here are supposed to be provided a harassment free workplace –much as the UK was, even before the issuance of this regulation…which seems to intend to take things further.

    I am the number one critic of crazy US liability laws and practices, which are the worst in the industialized world. The concept of "Punitive Damages", which vary wildly by state (some don’t have them at all) , and where mega-awards based on whim depend on uneducated jurors, is completely unique.

    Australia and yes the EU are slowly following the bad example that the US has set there.

    But that’s not the topic.

    My reward of two pints for proof of this particular signage stands.

  38. Well yeah that is the topic here: the whataboutery, silliness and generally wrongheadedness of this DM post and subsequent bad opinions that arose. I criticize issues here in the UK all the time but when its BS you gotta call it, no matter how reluctant some are to be put straight. You do the same.

    I didn’t need to look it up because basically that law would help people like me. It pertains not just to pubs, restaurants and bars. I just had to ask HR who work both here and in the US who gave examples – that drink drive thing is something else.

    I work in a customer facing industry with some aggressive types and where bosses are reluctant to upset them as clients, so what do you mean by harrassment free? For some but not all areas?

    It doesn’t take the law further. It merely underlines what already exists here and in the US and provides for that exact ‘harrassment free’ work place. Or attempts to – it isn’t that easy to bring forward so the DM piece is crap. Basically the article left out a slew of facts.

    That Hooters case was pretty damn big. Id wager the same business here should be worried – except that this law in the UK makes it much harder to sue than in the US.

  39. I should probably add that those signs already exist voluntarily in table dancing and strip joint land so no pints for signs found there.

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