The Age of Overreaction

In a time when people are lightning-fast to take offence where none is intended and councils ban events which have been going on for centuries just in case of some freak accident the likes of which has never, ever happened before, the following examples of overreaction are probably unsurprising. Just very annoying.

Colin Atkinson is a 64 year-old former soldier who works for Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) and has kept a palm cross on his company van’s dashboard.

WDH said he failed to comply with company policy which prohibits employees from displaying personal items in vehicles.

The company said it had started an investigation into the incident which could result in disciplinary action.

So, if someone puts, say, a cuddly toy beside the windscreen or displays a small plastic Homer Simpson on the dashboard, or for that matter, hangs up a novelty air freshener then they will be subject to an investigation?

Can you imagine the news story?: “A Yorkshire housing association has suspended one of its employees after a Homer Simpson toy was found in his van. A spokesman for the company said that they didn’t want to give anyone the impression that they had a sense of humour.”

It doesn’t happen, does it? It happens when it’s a cross, whether worn by a BA employee or an NHS nurse.

Mr Atkinson said of his case:

“I’m really shocked and surprised by all of this. I have always had that cross in my van. It’s a symbol of my personal faith. It’s not offensive. It’s in a discreet place and I am acting lawfully.”

Sounds reasonable in a fair and free society, yes? But…

WDH, where Mr Atkinson has worked for 15 years, asked him to remove the 8ins (23cm) cross and started an investigation after a tenant complained about it.

I never know whether to believe this excuse. Did a tenant really complain, or does someone want Mr Atkinson out? Maybe at 64 he isn’t as quick as he once was and they can’t sack him because of his age.

Or maybe someone really did complain. What was the person’s problem? I know that a few people out there have as serious a reaction to seeing a cross as Dracula in the noonday sun.

I knew a man who delivered those teensy Bible tracts round this area. You’ve probably seen the type. Maybe even benefited from them. These ones were A7 size, so an eighth of A4. He was telling me that he was popping these through the letterboxes in a village up the road when a man he had just delivered to chased after him, shouting all sorts of obscenities and warning him to stay away.

A short time later, this old friend of mine was enjoying a well-earned cuppa in the village cafe when the other fella walked in. My friend asked him if he could buy him a cup of tea, to which the reply was, “[Bleep] off!”

Maybe this was the sort who complained about the cross in the van. Maybe staff were scared of him and thought they better “comply” with his demands. Or maybe the complainer was of a different faith and the staff felt that the easy option was to stick the knife into their colleague. Or maybe it was one of the army of the professionally offended, who on spotting the cross, nearly fainted at such an obvious display of homophobic and Islamophobic hatred!

Here is some more dramatic overreacting with Birmingham Cathedral’s decision to ban the public from taking pictures of the choir.

Birmingham Cathedral has erected a notice near its entrance saying that ‘for child protection purposes photography and videoing is not permitted during services and rehearsals’.

But a child protection charity called the ban ‘ludicrous and unenforceable’ and anti-censorship campaigners have accused the cathedral of ‘hysteria’.

But if you want to see overreaction at first hand, you could always burn a Koran and have someone video it. A BNP candidate for next month’s Welsh assembly elections, Sion Owens, was charged with a public order offence, after police were passed a video appearing to show him burning a copy of the Koran.

The case was withdrawn last week, but the inquiry continues.

Why? If religious things are so offensive, surely it’s good to get rid of them? You would think that the “authorities” would praise Mr Owens for disposing of something horrible and in a way that it couldn’t be used again.

Or is it just cross-shaped items which are offensive and must be got rid of?

It makes me wonder if I should carry a garlic bulb with me anytime I have contact with the local council or police. Vampirism seems to be on the increase among the powers that be.

The really ironic part is that the things people should be getting angry and upset about, like the loss of freedoms and soveriegnty and the re-engineering of our society are seen as mostly irrelevant to the majority. If they think about them at all.

I guess that’s the idea. To fill our minds with utter tosh to deflect our attention away from the important things. The things that really matter.

Everyone is now supposed to live in fear of terrorists and perverts and that means that the likes of Islamists and paedophiles are setting the agenda.

Not by their actions, but by our overreaction.

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9 Responses to The Age of Overreaction

  1. Leg-iron says:

    I’ll put a tenner on the table and say the complainer would describe themselves as Christian or of no faith. Not of a different faith. (I know you’re avoiding gambling, so don’t. I’ll win this one anyway).

    Muslims, Hindus etc have not demanded we ban Christmas, that we eat only their precribed forms of food, that we put Diwali as a vital publically-funded event and ignore Easter, none of it. It’s all done by guilt-ridden morons who are offended by proxy.

    “You can’t do that, it might suddenly offend Mr Patel who has not given a pickled platypus pancreas about the matter for the last sixty years and still doesn’t”. That’s what we have to deal with now. Astoundingly weak people who demand that we regard everyone else as being similarly spineless. The really sickening part is that they are our people.

    If I was of one of these other religions, I would be enraged at the patronising attitude of these people. As it is, I have been searching for that ornate cross I had, and am sure I still have, with plans to wear it openly even though I consider myself an apathist. I also have a pocket-sized edition of the King James Bible and would delight in causing consternation with one or two of the very small tracts you describe.

    I have read the Bible, and as evidence on my behalf I presnt the words to the Byrds song ‘Turn turn turn’ in Ecclesiastes (chapter 3) and some microbiologically very sensible advice in Leviticus when dealing with the infected in the times it was written.

    If you look up ‘X-chromosome Eve’ and ‘Y-chromomose Adam’ you will find that they are thousands of years apart so cannot have been contemporary. ‘Adam’ came later. No, they would not be contemporary. Because on the Ark there were Noah, Mrs. Noah and their three sons and their wives. All the sons would have one or other of Mum’s X’s but their wives would have two X’s each and they would all be different. There were eight different X chromosomes on the Ark.

    All three sons inherited their Y chromosome from Noah. There was only one Y chromosome. So tracing the X chromosome would pass right throught the Flood, but tracing the Y would stop there. They found Y-chromosome Noah, not Adam. Science, in this case, does not refute the Bibilcal account but in fact provides evidence for it even while trying to disparage it.

    There’s a lot more of this, that atheists won’t hear. There are also things creationists won’t hear. I’ve never done anything with any of it because as an apathist, I don’t care.

    I don’t consider myself Christian, nor do I consider myself religious at all. But my grandmother was and she would approve, I’m sure, if I caused damage to the anti-Christian movement on her behalf.

    Currently, Christianity is the underdog. You’re not allowed to bite but I am. I won’t do it for Christianity.

    But I’ll do it for Granny.

    So, Stewart, you want a demon on your side? ;)

  2. Vee says:


    A man has been jailed for 70 days today after he burnt a copy of the Koran just over a month after a Muslim got away with a paltry £50 fine for a similar offence.

    Andrew Ryan, 32, stole a copy of the holy book from Carlisle Library then set it on fire by a monument in the city of Carlisle.

    Last month Emdadur Choudhury was fined after he burned a poppy outside the Royal Albert Hall in London on Remembrance Day while shouting ‘British soldiers burn in hell’.

    As he was led down to the cells, Ryan shouted at the judge at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court today: ‘What about burning poppies?’.

    Read more:


  3. Stewart Cowan says:


    I wouldn’t take that bet because chances are that the grass is “our own” and yes, it is sickening. I think these people would rather suffer under sharia law. We have all been under decades of conditioning, but these sorts are probably hyper-sensitive to it.

    I don’t take anything at face value from the evolutionistas. The OT cannot be written off at all. If the evolutionists were a fraction as intelligent as they think they are, they would admit it as you do.

    What are the things Creationists won’t hear? I’m all ears. ;)

    If you upset someone for being a “Christian” and it came to light that you aren’t. Well, that would be an interesting court case. The judge would be stumped and the whole system could end up in meltdown!

    I’m sure you’re not as demonic as the devils I encountered while on the drink. That’s why it took a holy God to get me away from them.

  4. Stewart Cowan says:


    Everyone seems to think that the holy (sic) Koran is above reproach. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with the bloke’s actions, but in a free country, burning a book should not be an offence. He did steal it though, which is! Not worth a jail sentence though. Scaredy-cat judges.

  5. English Viking says:

    Why can muzzies burn churches, with people in them, but get all uppity over their special comic?

    Stupid monkeys don’t even realise that the Bible is supposed to be sacred to them too.

    Mass deportation would do. As a start.

  6. Stewart Cowan says:

    Yes indeed, Lionheart. Now for the Housing Association’s apology!

  7. Jude says:

    The complaint was anonymous. The person didn’t put their name on it ‘because their son might be angry at them interfering as they didn’t live there’ the letter also referred to the cross as an afterthought ‘there was a palm cross in the van and someone might be offended if they saw it’. No one was offended for 15 years until an anonymous letter arrived….The letter was more about the persons perception about wasted resources in general not the palm cross.

  8. thinker says:

    some parties want the muslim vote to keep them in power, and will not do anything to offend them, but they will victimise the indigenous people of the UK, so they look good in the muslims eyes.
    I wonder how they will react if the muslims get into power and treat these same parties with contempt, as they are not muslim,
    maybe they have not thought about this yet.
    If it is not islam then they destroy it EV

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