Sunday, 11 April 2010

Political Correctness - No Longer So Amusing...

There's a lot of fun to be had at sites like Political Correctness Watch, where political correctness is highlighted for the absurdity that it is.

But forgive me for not being in much of a laughing mood, after reading this:
A medical technician killed himself after being suspended from work after someone complained that he made a politically-incorrect joke about a black friend.
Note that: not the friend himself. Someone else, who took it upon themselves to be offended on his behalf.
Roy Amor, 61, who was devastated at the prospect of losing his job making prosthetics, shot himself in the head outside his house.

He was facing a disciplinary investigation after suggesting to the black colleague that he ‘better hide’ when they noticed immigration officers outside their clinic.
That's it? That's the remark? Jesus wept..! For that, a man is dead? Driven to his death by some anonymous coward?
It is understood that the man was a close friend of Mr Amor and was not offended. However, it was overheard by someone else who lodged a formal complaint.
And we'll never know who that person was. I hope they are suffering the torment that the totally-innocent, not-at-all-offended friend of Mr Amor is going through:
The black man, who is believed to have attended Mr Amor’s funeral and had known him for many years, is said to be ‘shattered’.
But I rather doubt it. I doubt that anonymous coward has half that man's integrity, compassion and ability to laugh at himself and the world. I wonder if he or she even has friends, and knows what harmless banter between friends looks like?

And what does the firm have to say for itself? Are they bravely standing up for their diversity policy, and insisting that they are right to take action?

Are they hell. They are in full, craven, 'oh god oh god oh god what if the family can sue say nothing oh god' flight:
Last night, the female manager at the Manchester Opcare centre and a spokeswoman at the company’s Abingdon head office in Oxfordshire said they were unable to make any comment.

David Warlow, one of Opcare’s directors, was also approached by The Mail on Sunday. ‘I’m unable to comment on the matter,’ he said.

Opcare chief executive Michael O’Byrne admitted that Mr Amor had been suspended over the joke.

He added: ‘It’s an enormous tragedy and we are all in mourning. I knew Roy personally and he was an excellent technician.’

Asked if he had any regrets about suspending him, he replied: ‘I don’t want to comment further.’

Well done. Even if the anonymous coward that made the complaint will never be named, your names will go down in infamy.


Witterings from Witney said...


And where was the 'commensense' approach from the employer - too busy ticking the necessary boxes in their equality and diversity, racist manuals!

Anonymous said...

More blood on Brown and Harpic's hands. They might even be entirely unaware of this case. Not that they would lose sleep over it.

Don't you just love O'Burne's:

‘I knew Roy personally and he was an excellent technician.’?

Nothing about his personality. He is defined by what he does and not who he is.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Another case of the anonymous complainant being King.

Of course, if you anonymously complain about something which is not on the unapproved list, you get ignored.

Senior said...

The firm may have overreacted, but Roy Amor's response to being suspended was the most over-the-top reaction I think I've ever read about. What a daft thing to shoot yourself in the head over.

James Higham said...

It never was amusing, Julia, never was.

Witterings from Witney said...


Far be it for me, on someone else's blog, to say that I find your comment disgraceful and distasteful.

"over the top"???!! How do you know what was in that poor man's mind, what he thought, how he felt?

Shame on you!

Senior said...

Because I live in the real world, where people have been suspended for a lot worse and not committed suicide, where people suffer real pain, real agony, real stress and don't commit suicide.

In the real world, people outlive their children. Soldiers risk their lives in Afghanistan and get treated appallingly back home, young women are raped, people are terrorised by neighbours, ... and a man shoots himself because he was suspended over a joke?

I doubt you would be so outraged if an illegal immigrant committed suicide because he was racially abused every day and every night, and obody helped him. If you would, link to the posts on your blog which prove it.

JuliaM said...

"And where was the 'commensense' approach from the employer..."

Common sense? Not at all common, these days...

"Nothing about his personality. He is defined by what he does and not who he is."

Good catch! Sums up the typical NuLab attitude.

"Of course, if you anonymously complain about something which is not on the unapproved list, you get ignored."

Or actively persecuted, as several NHS staff have found out..

"What a daft thing to shoot yourself in the head over."

We can never know why a person did what they did. Were their other factors?

Perhaps. Perhaps this was merely 'the last straw'. Does that make it less monstrous?

I think not.

"If you would, link to the posts on your blog which prove it."

It isn't necessary to condemn every ill in the world, even ones you are unaware of, in order to condemn this one.

Is it?

John Pickworth said...

"I hope they are suffering the torment that the totally-innocent, not-at-all-offended friend of Mr Amor is going through?"

Not a chance. That person probably STILL believes they did the 'right thing' and is no doubt hoping the man's unfortunate death won't inconvenience any future disciplinary hearing.

David Davis (Libertarian Alliance) said...

There cannot be a limitless number of employees of "Opcare". And there is a list of them all in the Human-Remains-department".

Could such a list be got? Only some on it, perhaps a few dozen at most, will have been able to be in hearing distance of Rory Amor, when he made the joke.

It ought to be possible to find this person, or PC-droid, identify it, and make his/her life hell.

Perhaps he/she could be bullied on Facebook. Or perhaps the beast's windows could be broken periodically, with the words "humourless murdering Nazi snitch" spray-painted all over its house and car, both, once or even more times a week. (I presume it's got a car?)

One could bribe the other children at its child's school to shout the above phrase at its child: "OI! Is your mum/dad a humourless murdering Nazi snitch, Eh? Eh? Eh?"

Of course, in a "real" community of "local people" all the "little local shops" will refuce to serve him/her, ever, ever again.

Bus queues could be persuaded to turn their faces away, and withdraw the hems of their garments.

He/she could be barred from all surviving pubs. Not that he/she's the sort that would go in a pub anyway, so I suppose that's out.

And, I expect we won't have much success in getting it barred from faux-ethnic restaurants in Islington, run by white women (I fully expect most of them are - I have happily not been into Islington for eleven years, but I can imagine exactly, eidetically, what it is like.)

Apoligies for that hate-rant, but things really are getting to the pass where "ordinary" methods of normal interpersonal discourse and conflict-resolution are no longer working. A professional diplomat would opine that we are sliding towards war.

Junican said...


I do not much like the tone of your post. But I agree that someone must know who made the complaint. I cannot believe that Mr Amor would have been suspended on the basis of a totally anonymous complaint. If anyone knows who that person is, merely naming and shaming would be enough. This may seem cruel to the person who complained who 'only wanted to help', but is this process not the process used by the powers that be to crush dissent?

All these incidents must make us all us dissenters stronger. We must never surrender. (Now who said that before?)

JuliaM said...

"Of course, in a "real" community of "local people" all the "little local shops" will refuce to serve him/her, ever, ever again. "

That's the key. Shame.

Without shame, these people are able to ruin the lives of others with utter impunity.

JuliaM said...

"This may seem cruel to the person who complained who 'only wanted to help'..."

Oh, I guarentee you, if this person is ever identified, this will be their excuse.

But it'll be false. The only person they will have wanted to 'help' will be themselves...

And DD is right. It's about time we stopped meekly taking such behaviour on the chin, in the good old British way, and started taking the fight back to the Righteous.

Independent Brit said...

It always seems to be the PC brigade who are offended on behalf of someone else. Interfering, patronising nannies.

Anonymous said...

I am popping this idea around the sites that I frequent. I am sorry if this post is not 'on topic'.

On 29th May 2011, the Independent published a blatant, propaganda attack on Tobacco Companies. I must say immediately that I have no personal involvement with Tobacco Companies whatsoever other than buying cigarettes.
In the article, it was stated that a study by the Office of National Stats shows that more people are going to pubs. In fact, the study shows nothing of the sort. It shows only that, of the people surveyed, some said that they THINK THAT they go to pubs more often. Also, the same survey showed that women especially feel inclined to go to pubs less, as a result of the smoking ban. It is very obvious, therefore, that the findings of this survey in no way justify the claim that more people are going to pubs, which is what Tobacco Control claimed. In any case, pub closures affect the people in the immediate neighbourhood of that pub. Even if it were true that more pubs are opening than are closing, it does not mean that the opportunities for people to meet together are not, in a large part of our country, being decimated by Tobacco Control. On this basis, I have complained to the Press Commission about the misuse of the Office of Nat Stats statistics in this article published by the Independent. I claim that the Independent should ensure that the facts stated in the article are correct.

When I found out about this article (via....sorry, I do not remember), I made various comments at the Independent - albeit rather late. But what is really important is that I decided to make a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. I have done so. I have complained about the misuse of the ONS statistics. I have complained that the Independent should check that the ONS statistics are being correctly interpreted. I have complained that the Independent has not checked the facts stated in this article (an article which is promoted by the Independent) before publication.

This thought then popped into my mind: how much more likely to succeed is a complaint to the Press Commission as compared with a comment on a newspaper article in the newspaper's comments section? I asked this question elsewhere, and someone said, " Should we not also be applying this idea to the Charities Commission (words to that effect)?"

I agree.

We must ask ourselves about the efficacy of complaints to the Press Complaints Commission and the Charities Commission. I propose that 100 complaints to those organisations are worth 10 000 comments in newspaper articles. I am therefore proposing that we make as many complaints as possible to these bodies. But, of course, the complaints must be real and genuine and factual. Do not make make complains based upon emotions (stinks, for example).

I believe (with no evidence whatsoever except gut feeling!) that organisations such as the Press Complaints Commission and the Charities Commission are the Achilles Heel of Tobacco Control and Alcohol Concern and other such special interest groups. Complaints to MPs and to Newspapers do not instigate a process, whereas complaints to commissions do. One could also complain to the Health and Safety Executive, it you can figure out how to do it.

There are thousands of us. If we all complain to the appropriate COMMISSION, sensibly, about what ASH et al are causing to be published, then 'the authorities' will be forced to take note. We must complain as often as possible and upon every subject where 'freedom' is being eroded.

I commend this idea to everyone.

As I said, I am going to spread this idea around. I hope that people do not mind. I hope that it bears fruit.