When at some time in the post-apocalyptic future you want to hire an utterly feckless jerk, then look no further than your local friendly Job Centre.
Nicole Mamo is not one of these. She runs a successful private recruitment agency, and uses her local Job Centre’s website to post vacancies (for cleaners) as and when they arise. The site – which probably prides itself on being World Class and doing whatever it takes to find jobs for the unemployed – is called Jobcentre Plus.
The ‘plus’ point of the site is that it is rigorously scanned on a minute-by-minute basis to ensure that all the required equality is present and correct. So when Nicole signed off her post by saying the person must be ‘hardworking and reliable’, the Jobcentre (in Thetford, Norfolk) refused to put up the post – just in case a bone idle and hopelessly unreliable cleaner saw it, got offended, and sued the Centre for discrimination.
This would be nothing more than a vaguely amusing example of ongoing bonkers, were it not for the fact that Nicole also places cleaners in the NHS. Now perhaps we can work out why we have an MRSA problem.
The Department of Work and pensions was quickly alerted when the media took an interest last week. No doubt the same equality policeperson who refused to run the ad then snitched to the Ministry: either way, a very reliable and switched-on DWP spokesperson cheerfully said “We welcome ads seeking reliable applicants”.
It’s nice to have something to rely on. But just have a care when you next need a child-minder: none of that ‘paedophiles need not apply’ nonsense, if you please.
Yesterday brought yet another example of overworked police officers too rushed off their feet to tackle social anarchy.
There is (I understand) a kids’ programme on ITV called Toonattik. It’s fronted by two cheerful presenters Anna Williamson and Jamie Rickers, and they were at work earlier this week filming in South London. Wearing silly flak-jackets and holding shiny, spangly hairdryers, the shoot was in aid of a sketch called Dorkfinders.
As it happens, the filming attracted four dorks almost immediately. Dressed in blue uniforms and screeching to a halt in their souped-up Villainmobile, the four dorks apprehended the actors, and cautioned them under the Terrorism Act.
Anna (who seems to be a bit of a wit) was told her flak jacket and £1.99 pink kid’s walkie-talkie had attracted the attention of the Nutter Squad. These items ‘looked suspicious’ she was told. “Don’t forget the spangly hairdryers” she told the cops, who duly inspected them, all the while taking copious notes.
It’s a funny thing with your Y-fronts bombers: they give themselves away every time with this silly need to be followed around by boom-mikes, cameras, clapper-boys and effete blokes saying ‘let’s go again, love’. And this tendency has not gone unnoticed by the Met’s finest. Thank God we have the Thick Blue Line, rather than merely a thin one.
Still, nil desperandum: if nothing else, the episode proves that the police force is now a model of equality. Dork or not, you’ll still be given a chance to shoot an innocent Brazilian thirty-eight times in the head. Hurrah.