• Mrs. Patricia Lavery: A victim of small minded stupidity.


    Above: Brookeborough Primary School & St Mary’s Primary School on an outing in 2008 (apologies on the part of the unknown photographer who clearly has problems with camera shake).

    The British Gazette has been and will continue to be a critic of political correctness. From time to time a case will crop up which will generate the response in the tabloid media of “political correctness gone mad”.

    It would however be a mistake to assume that all such cases have been “sanctioned” by our political masters. Generally, what occurs is an over zealous interpretation of and Act of Parliament of the Statutory Instrument Regulations – and often ludicrously so – on the part of a bureaucrat or some “jobsworth.” These intolerant, small minded cretins are generally the cause. It is these people who make the lives or ordinary decent Britons who happen to cross their path so difficult. It is also these people who are the ones that ensure the European Union Directives (which constitute over two thirds of this nation’s laws) are applied with a rigour unknown elsewhere in the European Union.

    NB: European union Directives are enacted in this formerly sovereign nation through the issuance of Statutory Instruments – which require no vote in Parliament, only an announcement in Parliament to the effect that the Statutory Instrument has been enacted and with it notification of the instrument’s details.
    One of these victims has been a Mrs. Patricia Lavery of County Fermanagh in Ireland.

    Mrs. Lavery’s ordeal began in January 2008 when she was working as unit catering supervisor at St Mary’s Primary School, Brookeborough, Co. Fermanagh. A pupil at the school, who was also a relative, asked for a biscuit and Mrs Lavery told a catering assistant who was serving biscuits at the time to give one to the child. The next day, however, the acting principal came to the kitchen and informed Mrs Lavery that under the Child Protection Act, her actions could be seen as “grooming a child”. Mrs Lavery had to attend three meetings, firstly with the acting principal, then two with the school principal. One of the meetings with the principal lasted over an hour and he wanted her to attend a fourth. She then decided to leave her job as she felt she had been subjected to a “grilling” and made a complaint to the Western Education and Library Board (WELB).

    Of course, Mrs. Lavery was entirely innocent of any wrongdoing and was exonerated in subsequent enquiries. In a statement, St Mary’s Primary School said the issues between the individuals involved had been resolved using mediation through the Labour Relations Agency. “A confidentiality agreement was signed by all parties involved so it would not be appropriate to comment any further,” it said.

    British Gazette comment: We earnestly hope that a large sum in damages for the undoubted stress and worry has been paid to Mrs.Lavery. On a more general level, there is clearly a problem here: That problem is a cultural and human one that will be with us even following that glorious day when the European Union will be a relic of history – along with all other previous empires. This problem is that of the over zealous official. The authorities can start to ensure that this problem is tackled by removing one of the main reasons why these zealots are encouraged to act the way they are. By seeking to remove the compensation culture that has been for too long a cancer in the British body politic.

    The British Gazette suggests a controversial and money saving way to begin to tackle this problem. This is by removing the ability for lawyers to act on a contingent fee basis (no win no fee) and also to cut/reduce the level of legal aid allowed to pursue civil cases. This would very much be rough justice – as this would mean that only those with sufficient disposable income to commence litigation would be able to embark on such. The British Gazette is in NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER that this would be a tremendous setback for those on the left and centre left of politics who want to see a more equal and less equal society. The British Gazette is not unsympathetic towards seeing a more equal (in terms of income distribution and opportunity) society but feels that the eradication of the cancer of intolerance and zealousness is more important.

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