It started with a presentation with members of the audience given a handset to allow them to select answers to questions flashed up on a screen.Bet you can guess what happened next....
A police authority worker who was acting as presenter then told them: "Let's start with an easy question to get us going: Press A if you're male or B if you're female."
One member of the audience in Wolverhamtpon responded by asking: "What if you're transgendered?"
Mr Yardley, a quantity surveyor, who is married with a 13 year old daughter, said: "I quipped that you could press A and B together. There was much laughter."
Unbeknown to him there was a man dressed as a woman in the audience whose male partner had raised the question.In other words, a member of the professionally-aggrieved just looking for an excuse. After all, there’s no reason for asking that question in the first place, is there? If they believe they are born into the wrong sex, they’ll be only too happy to vote as one of the distaff side.
This wasn’t a genuine question – this was a ‘Look at me! Look at ME! Pay attention to me!’ from the person eager to prove his credentials as one of the caring people.
Mr Yardley, Wolverhampton city council's cabinet member for neighbourhoods and safer communities, said: "Several days later a complaint of homophobia was made. I was asked to go to the local police station, questioned for two hours by a sergeant and an inspector and let off with a warning.‘Homophobia’...? Who’s equalling transgender issues with homosexuality?
Are our oh-so-politically-correct plod not aware that they aren’t the same thing? Back to the diversity vats you go, plod!
"I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. They explained the legal process and what had happened and how the complaint had been made and they said I could be subject to a civil prosecution.Nope, you can’t. You just have to sit there quietly in your home, not smoking, drinking or eating red meat, not reading, watching only the news, and saying absolutely nothing to anyone else. At all. Ever.
"There are much more important issues that the police should be spending their time on. I have so much treouble with crime and anti-social behaviour in my ward. I'm not homophobic, I just said it as a joke. It's a sign of the times we live in, you can't make jokes any more."
That’ll keep you out of trouble in NuLab’s NuBritain. Well, as long as you have energy-efficient lightbulbs...
The WMP are fielding a crack team of PR flacks to make this latest embarrassment go away:
West Midlands Police have "strongly refuted" the version of events described by Mr Yardley during and after the meeting last October.We know it caused ‘offence’ to one member of the audience. Where’s your proof that people didn’t laugh as the man claimed...?
It disagreed with his assertion that the remark about transsexual people was met with general amusement, claiming it actually caused offence to members of the audience and provoked a complaint to the force.
Chief Superintendent Richard Green, head of police in Wolverhampton West said:"The local sergeant had held meetings with the councillor before and after the one referred to. One of the many issues that were informally discussed included the matter he now refers to.So what..? Is there a statute of limitations on feeling aggrieved? If little Mr ‘Am I Arthur or Martha?’ had come to you with their complaint, would you have told them ‘Ooh, no, sorry, that was over six months ago, we can’t do anything about it now’?
"At the time he thanked the officers for discussing the matter with him and the appropriate and proportionate way that they dealt with the matter. We are at a loss to understand why this has been raised now almost six months after the event.
I don’t think so....
"West Midlands Police would not wish the public to be left with the impression that this matter occupied a large amount of police time, as the contrary is true.Mmmm, if you say so.
We spend our time successfully tackling crime, anti-social behaviour and arresting criminals, as the public quite rightly expects us to."
Because it seems to me you spend a hell of a lot of your time chasing down thought crime, ensuring the laws of free speech in this country work in favour of only one group, harassing journalists telling the truth about mosques and actively assisting criminals.
So I think 'the public' have your number, don't they? And it isn't '999'. Though if you were to turn it upside down...