Wednesday, September 28, 2005


The Local Councils of East Anglia are meeting this week to discuss the protocol of communication, and their decisions could have a major impact on the way we communicate as a nation. Although the meeting is to be behind closed doors, a memo was leaked yesterday, detailing the items for discussion. Amongst the most contentious are the following:

- From January 1st, 2007, all forms of communication through glass and any other transparent or translucent material is to be made illegal, due to the implied symbolism of guard-prisoner.
- From June 1st, 2007, spoken communication must be without gestures of any kind, and gestures must not be accompanied by spoken communication, due to the danger of appearing threatening and offending those of other cultures.
- From January 1st, 2008, all words pertaining to the male sex are to be banned (see attached list), due to implied sexism.

Officials from the Central Council in Norwich have refused to comment on the memo, although an anonymous source vouches for its authenticity. The meeting is expected to be held on Friday morning.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


"I believe absolutely that I am correct regarding this matter, and I refuse absolutely to back down."

The words of Brundish Mayor, Sir Dean Irakard, who yesterday collided head on with Suffolk's Local Council on issues of protocol and political correctness. Sir Dean had been asked to moderate the Local Council's Autumn debate, the subject being the supply and maintenance of paper in offices and schools. The trouble started when Sir Dean, having been introduced as the Chair of the debate, corrected the speaker, and asked to be referred to as Chairman. The speaker reportedly refused, and insisted that Sir Dean be called the Chair. The Mayor was in no mood for "flimflamming", in the words of an eyewitness, and refused to participate until he was named accordingly. After a lengthy closed door consultation, the Local Council refused, and asked that Sir Dean stick with the orignal title. Hearing this, the local dignitary then stood up and said "I am a man, and I was going to moderate this debate, so therefore I would have been the Chairman. As it is, rather than stay here and watch the paint dry I'm going to partake in a pub lunch," which was followed, according to some eyewitnesses, by a slow two-fingered salute to the stunned Councilors.

Whether the Local Council will take matters further will become clear once they have debated the issue next week.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Until last week, The Slenderdeer High School newsletter, Reverb, was known only to members of the school's sixth form teachers and students, dealing with light hearted essays and music reviews. That was until Ben Hectares, a sixth form student, wrote a review in his regular movie column that has caught the publics imagination - and fanned their flames.

The review in question was of the 1988 movie Working Girl, and the offending passage was thus:

"... and despite this being a snapshot of the late eighties in terms of fashion and ideas, I can't help wishing that they had crashed those planes into the World Trade Center 13 years earlier to spare us from all that hair."

Apparently the furore started when one of the students took a copy home, and it was read by her disapproving parents, who contacted the school, and things escalated from there. But despite the expected backlash to what is clearly an insensitive aside about the events of 9/11, incredibly the furore centres around the fact that only a small percentage of the film is shot inside the World Trade Center, if at all, and therefore the school newsletter, and thus the school itself, is expected to be sued for libel.

Neither parties were available for comment.