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Anorak | No Leg To Stand On

No Leg To Stand On

by | 31st, July 2002

‘FINE words butter no parsnips, as a wise man once said.

New Zealand celebrate their goosing gold

We’ve heard a lot about how this year’s Commonwealth Games is an inclusive event, to which all are welcome, and it is the first occasion upon which disabled athletes have been included in a major sporting tournament. (Athletes disabled before the event, that is, rather those like England’s sprinters, who disable themselves during it.)

Yet for all the fine words, what do we find? Persecution of the disabled, that’s what.

The case of 60-year-old John Davies is typical. John has a prosthetic leg, and has come all the way from his native New Zealand – hopping much of the way – in order to compete in the bowls.

Now, the Guardian reports, he is on his way home following an ”incident” in which he ”commented on the size of a volunteer’s breasts and then touched her bottom”.

Where does one begin when dealing with such a blatant example of political correctness gone mad?

Such behaviour is of course completely acceptable in New Zealand, which still has an agreeably 1950s mind-set when it comes to social affairs.

Here, however, things are different, and the team’s chef de mission David Currie has accepted that it was behaviour that ”falls within the domain of sexual harassment”.

He added that the fact that it took place in a public area was a serious error of judgement.

”The New Zealand team cannot condone what has happened,” he concluded.

Indeed not. But questions remain. Are we to take it that a quick goosing is OK, so long as it is not administered in a public area?

And what are we to make of the fact that the lady in question was a ”volunteer”? Does the phrase not suggest some basic level of availability when it comes to this sort of mildly lascivious overture?

With such a profusion of mixed messages, it’s hardly surprising that Mr Davies was confused. But as he has learned to his cost, when it comes to the PC police, you don’t have a leg to stand on.



Posted: 31st, July 2002 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink