Saturday, September 09, 2006

Answering the wrong questions

So, I emailed the Commission for Racial Equality here in the UK to ask for advice over and above the standard 'ask them to stop, then ask them to leave' response to racist behaviour.

Here is the response I received:
Thank you for your email to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).

In addition to informing customers that you find their comments offensive you may find it helpful to draw up a race equality policy statement and communicate this to staff, customers and suppliers. You may also decide to ask customers to leave your establishment if they are causing offence to others as you have obligations under the race relations act. I would refer you to the Racial Equality and the Smaller Business Guide for guidance on the law and for details on what to include in a race equality statement.

You may find it useful to view the CRE website as it contains further information on the law and other material that may be of interest to you.

This was followed by 18 lines of disclaimers, security and privacy statements etc.

My reply was, I admit, fairly short, not to say pointed:
Unfortunately, providing customers in the pub with a written policy
statement will simply result in an increase in the number of paper
darts in the pub.

I don't think you've quite understood the nature of the licensed trade!

I will continue as I have been.

Strangely, no-one from the CRE has responded to that email yet....

As I suspected, I ran out of yarn about 6cm above the hem of the jacket I was designing, and my supplier appears to have gone out of business. Drat.

I have remade the jacket using some white acrylic I happened to have, and am now working on the matching hat. Then comes the fun of writing up the pattern, submitting it to The Knitting Vault and waiting to see if anyone likes it as much as I do.

Pictures will follow once it's done.


Anonymous carlarey said...

Ya gotta love governmental solutions. Yeah, hand out a printed Racial Equality Statement to someone who is blind rum-running drunk and mouthing off about "foreigners". Brilliant.

10/9/06 02:17  
Blogger Dez Crawford said...

Having spent some time as a bartender, I heartily agree with what would happen to paper copies of such a document! I would, however, go to the trouble of posting the racial equality policy in a frame osmewhere on the wall, perhaps near the restrooms or in some other place. I don't know how the laws are in the UK but in the US you just have to post appropriate notices, in a place accessible to the public. Usually this is near the door, near the restrooms, or near the cigarette vending machines in a pub. Here, the notice does not have to be a huge sign, just large enough to read. I would simply state a policy something like "We operate in accord with the Racial Equality Act and reserve the right to refuse service, or to eject, any patron(s) expressing views or taking action not in accordance with this policy."

I know some places who put a copy of their "house rules" over the urinal in the men's toilet and on the backs of the doors in the women's.

That way you don't have to worry about handing out notices to drunks.


Just sayin.'


10/9/06 19:26  
Anonymous Janine said...

"as you have obligations under the race relations act" Hah hah hah hah hah. You ask for help and they tell you your obligations. Beautiful.
Hi L, it's J :) Googled "LornaJay" after you asked me if I'd seen your blog lately and yours came up at the top of the search results. Nice.

13/9/06 11:39  

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