Taking offence is offensive

Voices | Published:

By Ben Shenton


ANOTHER year. Let’s hope it’s a good one and we see the return of common sense. That said, it’s got off to a bad start with the ridiculous news that the taxpayer must fund a second Magistrate’s Court sitting over the late submission of electoral expenses by a couple of politicians. It was just an administrative oversight – smacked wrists would suffice.

The world continues to go mad. I was on a National Express coach travelling from Heathrow to Gatwick and asked the driver if he could put the radio on. He explained that he was not allowed as ‘someone may say something on the radio that a passenger takes offence to, and then sue National Express’.

To some extent you must blame the lawyers willing to take up such cases, and the general population for allowing this culture to develop. Going forward, I’m going to take offence at anyone who takes offence at anything I say or write. So, if you are one of those people that believes it’s wrong to offend anyone make sure you don’t offend me in 2019 by taking offence.

There is nothing wrong with banter and friendly rivalry. I went to De La Salle College and there was always a bit of friendly rivalry with Victoria College. We used to call past pupils ‘Old Vicks’ – because they got right up your nose! That said, both my daughters did A-level science subjects at Victoria College and the teaching was excellent.

Similarly, I have supported Manchester City since 1969, while most of my friends supported Manchester United. It saved me a fortune as, while they were travelling to numerous cup finals, I was pleased when my club beat Gillingham to get out of the old Division 3.

Just before Christmas I was delighted when my eldest daughter, Victoria (Tori), got engaged. Etienne, her fiancé, did the traditional thing and asked me for permission before he proposed. I told him that she was a fantastic daughter who deserved a good husband, and he better ask her quickly before she finds one!

Of course, I’m joking – they are very well suited, and he is a really nice guy. Parental love comes with a lifetime guarantee.

The only negative is that Victoria has fallen in love with a Manchester United fan – and he must be a genuine fan as he’s happy to admit it, despite their decline.

Life is never boring.


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