There. Wasn´t the call to boycott all of Punch Taverns pubs just a little premature? I must say that I thought so when I read this story earlier. Sometimes we are a little too quick to scream and condemn.. Surely what we accuse others of doing?
What more could this company do than they are doing? The whole pub-chain should not be condemned because of the actions of one homophobic deputy general manager.
I think this company should be PRAISED, not condemned. Their response today, in just over 24 hours, has been swift and extremely thorough. I am pleased and reassured that in this day and age, a company takes such positive steps to counter discrimination in its venues.
Well done Punch Taverns!
Completely agree. This boycott is disgraceful. Damned if they do; this action has little to do with the company unless they can be found to have created an environment which has fostered homophobia. I think punch taverns should be given a chance to finish their so far appaulable reaction to this incident.
At last reasonable comments, based on facts, thought the world had gone mad for a while!! Keep up the good work punch let’s hope the guy gets a fair investigation and is dealt with appropriately, if he turns out to be homophobic he shouldn’t cast an opinion for the group, they seem to be switched on
Right, that’s better.
Agree with the above, blaming the entire chain for the actions of one individual landlord is jumping the gun. They appear to have acted swiftly to repair the damage and it does us no favours to generalise from one bad apple as Brazil Boy hinted.
This is not about an individual. If punch Taverns considered treatment of LGBT customers a high enough priority then this manager would have learned on his training program that this behaviour is not acceptable.
The key here is to make it a higher priority for Punch Taverns.Fear of loss of business may just do this.
This story suggests to me that we’ve got rid of the Labour gov’t just in time to avoid being taken over by witchhunts and the police state. It’s all based on hearsay. Condemning this poor individual in the national media without waiting for investigation for what may have been an off the cuff remark made under who knows what provocation is wholly wrong. Did these eminent politicians really make the rematrks they are supposed to have made about this alleged situation? How come? And how and why did the police turn up so promptly and who called them out? I’ve never managed to get the police to respond when I needed them. The whole thing is very suspiscious and sounds like and engineered story to me. Completely over the top reaction to a cvil matter and much more likely to do harm to LGBT people than to gain any sympathy or respect.
Can’t believe that the labour party are now more interested in trashing the reputation of a company and its employees.. This whole over the top reaction is deplorable. What the hell is wrong in writing a letter of complaint. As for calling out the police on this trivial sitution is beyond me. I was broken into a year ago and it was impossible to get the police out for days. Who actually called the police and do they really have the authority to sort out trivial complaints like this.
In response to the over reaction which i agree in some respects…but your thread also uses hyperbole….` the Labour Party` ! is intersted in trashing …..? bit over the top dont you think? The other point though that you make is that this is trivial. Is it that trivial. if it were a religeous group or a specific race…would that be trivial. mm i think not.
ps sorry about the overuse of punctuation. just a phrase im going through!
Dave – I guess the comments from the labour MP haven’t done them any favours and since this is under investigation and is alleged I wouldn’t have thought it very appropriate for them to make comments yet! So I still believe my word trashing may be appropriate especially if it affects their reputation. As for the word trivials then yes it is trivial since this could have been dealt with by sending a letter of complaint and not publishing the “alleged” story, posting a boycott on facebook etc. Any other discriminatory complaint from any other parties, race , religion etc could also be dealt with in the same , I make no distinction, unlike you. I don’t think one person’s “alleged” behavious merits trashing a company’s reputation and employees in such a way. Yes it is very, very over the top….and don’t worry I didn’t even notice your overuse of punctuation
I wonder where these “reasonable” posters have arrived from?
If my evening had been ruined by being told that my group would not be served in a pub that I had pre-booked then I don’t think I would say. “I’ll write a strong letter of complaint and wait for the outcome of an investigation”. If I were told that I would not be served because of my sex, sexuality or colour then I would call the police.
Nick – I take it you’re never actually employed staff then
A boycott of Punch Taverns is completely over the top behaviour, especially when they own quite a number of gay venues around the country! You’ll be doing yourself out of anywhere to drink!
Glad they dealt with this swiftly an got rid of the homophobe that refused to serve them.
A boycott is perfectly reasonable until the investigation has concluded and the deputy manager sacked.
The company leadership seems to have responded well but how didn’t the ‘company ethos’ filter down to the local management properly? Poor priorities seem to be at fault here.
@14 “A boycott is perfectly reasonable until the investigation has concluded and the deputy manager sacked.”
Sorry, but what utter rubbish. Are we even reading the same story here? What could be ´perfectly reasonable´ about boycotting a company who have acted entirely correctly?
They should be punished only if they remained silent on this issue or blindly backed the pubs deputy general manager.. They did not. They acted swiftly and have taken numerous and wide-ranging actions to prevent anything like this happening again.
Oh, and what can we see wrong with the following statement? “until the investigation has concluded and the deputy manager sacked.”
I see, so we will give you a fair trial…THEN hang you is it? Isn´t that above rather preceeding the outcome of the investigation? IF this deputy general manager DID say this, then he should be sacked.. but is there a little more ´politics´ to this story than meets the eye? I don´t know, maybe thats what an investigation is for? To find out what actually happened, then act of it.
In the meantime, again, well done Punch Taverns. From what I have seen so far of your commitment to equality of treatment to both customers and staff, I´D WORK FOR YOU!
Thanks BrazilBoys can always rely on you to write sensible measured comments. Well said and agree totally with your posts re this story:)
First paragraph: ‘had he have known’? Did you get an illiterate child to write this article? That’s not even English!
@ Sister Mary Clarance
>Nick – I take it you’re never actually employed staff then
You take it incorrectly then. I have been employing staff since 1987.
It seems that good selection and training should enable an employee to know what the law requires of them.
If this is not a sufficiently hight priority then the employer is at fault.
Brazilboysblog: “What could be ´perfectly reasonable´ about boycotting a company who have acted entirely correctly? ”
No they have not acted entirely correctly.
1. They obviously did not emphasise their alleged commitment to equality to their deputy manager.
2. If the deputy manager engaged in homophobia then until he is sacked the company have not acted correctly.
And if this is an internal investigation then it’s highly unlikely this pub chain is going to find against itself.
If Michael Cashman thinks this chain should be boycotted then I would agree with him more than I would believe in the pub chain.
What are the outcomes of their INTERNAL investigation. Has the deputy manager been sacked?
Thousands of our 11,800 members are backing the boycott, perhaps if The Duty Manager himself apologises (according to those people involved he hasn’t), or if the chain Punch Taverns organise events for the next Pride, or to raise money for Gay charities this would be far more acceptable than the usual hastily drafted half hearted apology.
Ok Nick and in that time have you NEVER had an employ do anything you didn’t want them to or do anything you expressly told them NOT to do?
I think the homophobia was a cover, he just didn’t want Labour supporters on the premises eyeing up his tills and the stock.
Who elected Sarah Brown to speak on anything? She is only where she is because she provides sexual services to Gordon – doesn’t make her a bad person but doesn’t make her a sage either.
Comment by thetoblerone — June 7, 2010 @ 12:48
What??? No one has to elect her to say anything. She, like anyone else, is free to comment on this story as we live in a democracy where free speech is tolerated. No one elected you to say anything ‘theToblerone’, yet, here you are making your rather contribution.
As for your remark about her providing sexual services to someone – what a load of crap. She is an intelligent human being who clearly has an opinion (possibly because some of those involved in the incident were personal friends?) This alone gives her the right to comment. I have my doubts that you would write such patronising crap about a man who was the partner of a more famous wife?
You’re clearly not a ‘sage’ by an stretch of the imagination…
(BTW This is a different Nick to the other poster on here)
@MartinM. Sorry, but yes they have acted entirely correctly.
“1. They obviously did not emphasise their alleged commitment to equality to their deputy manager.”
How do you know this? Because an employee (allegedly) went against company policy, the company is bad? Purlees…
“2. If the deputy manager engaged in homophobia then until he is sacked the company have not acted correctly.”
Again, what total rubbish. Of course they have acted entirely correctly. The important word you used there is IF my dear. That, I believe, is what the investigation is to determine? Are you familiar with employment tribunals? Should a company be allowed to fire anyone they choose, for any reason they like, without due process being followed? (careful what you answer to that one… I can see it being used AGAINST glbt people by some companies)
“And if this is an internal investigation then it’s highly unlikely this pub chain is going to find against itself.”
As far as I am aware, the company is not investigating ´itself´. Their company policy on discrimination seems clear to me.. They are investigating whether a company employee failed to uphold the companies policy and values.. So if they ´find against´ anyone, it would either be the employee, or those making the allegations..
“If Michael Cashman thinks this chain should be boycotted then I would agree with him more than I would believe in the pub chain.”
I am a great admirer of Michael Cashman, Peter Tatchell and others who put themselves in the firing line for our community. However, are they always right? Are they never wrong on an issue? Are we all so clinically brain-dead that we cannot make up our own minds on individual issues without blindly following the herd?
“What are the outcomes of their INTERNAL investigation. Has the deputy manager been sacked?”
God, give ´em a chance! They responded within 24 hours to the alleged incident, Unless the findings of their ´investigation´ are going to lose them a case against unfair dismissal, I am sure it will have to be done correctly.
As a regular user of the GCB, I had to go down there lunchtime today – and I’m happy to say the pub and the group are making a serious effort, which is what counts at the end of the day. In fact, they were going out of their way to be friendly, welcoming and supportive. And we managed to dodge the TV crews camped out on the pavement…if you’ll forgive the expression.
@22. “Thousands of our 11,800 members are backing the boycott,”
So? (see my previous comment about the herd mentality). I have to say that the current trend of rushing to form a Facebook page on every little point really is dumming-down it´s effectiveness for REAL issues? I wake up this morning, find I have developed a black pimple on my nose, so I´ll start a Facebook page to protest that the NHS will not treat it with the same importance as it would a white one? Please, there must be hundreds of thousands of stupid bloody Facebook pages on there now.. As I said, does this not lessen the impact and importance of doing this for REAL issues?
“perhaps if The Duty Manager himself apologises (according to those people involved he hasn’t),”
Again, you are pre-judging the outcome of the investigation? Has the deputy general pub manager actually said these things? Were the comments made in some other context? (ie personal difficulties with those personalities organising the event). I would like to know the answer to all of these questions before I pass judgement on the whole company.
“or if the chain Punch Taverns organise events for the next Pride, or to raise money for Gay charities this would be far more acceptable than the usual hastily drafted half hearted apology.”
Again, at the risk of pre-judging the outcome of their investigation, I read somewhere that they already operate some gay pubs as part of their chain. Do they not already do this? Do those pubs already support their local gay communities? Do you know? or even care?
Honestly, and I really mean this… If I were a business, trying my damndest to be right, fair and correct with everyone (makes good business sense after all…) and I found myself damned if I do, and damned if I don´t, I would be tempted to go the other way! ie, to turn my gay pubs back into ´straight ones´.. Nothing illegal in that. Not refusing to serve gay customers, but not running a specifically gay pub anymore..
IF someone (or some company) wrongs us.. Lets protest. (like the recent b&b case).. Not only did they do wrong, and act illegally, they were unrepentant in doing so.. Take them to the cleaners!
However, when a company seems to be genuinely doing what it can to be fair and equal to all of its customers and staff, yet it STILL comes in for all this stick from the professional critics, it will not be long before the backlash starts.. Soon, we become ´more trouble than we are worth´..
All I am saying is, let´s not pre-judge. Lets see what this company actually does. Lets see what the end result is. Lets be as fair and equal as we are expecting this company to be. Not too much to ask surely?
We are all receiving the same reply ….
Dear Mr O’Neil
Thank you for your email regarding the incident at the Greencoat Boy on Saturday night.
I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that Punch Taverns seeks to provide open and welcoming venues to everyone. We are shocked and saddened that the Labour LGBT did not experience this at The Greencoat Boy and have apologised unreservedly.
Across our estate, diversity and inclusion are a core part of our ethics and are clearly referenced in our recruitment process, our equal opportunities policy and training. We would like to stress that this is an isolated incident; we have a strong track record on equal opportunities and do not tolerate homophobia in our pubs, whether from guests to other guests, or involving our employees.
We are currently conducting a full investigation of the incident and are cooperating with the police. We have also arranged to meet with members of the LGBT Labour group this week to discuss how we can work together to further improve our policies and procedures.
In addition, we have contacted all of our general managers and pub teams to remind them of our equal opportunity policy and our no tolerance approach to discrimination. We will also seek to work with external partners to further enhance our training to ensure that inclusion remains at the heart of it.
Please be assured that we take this incident seriously and we remain committed to ensuring that all of our guests are welcome at our pubs.
Hopefully this company won’t just brush the dirt under the carpet and transfer the offensive manager to another pub, as some other organisations and institutions are known to do.
It is a bit scary – an allegation can lead to the trashing of a reputation very quickly. No pause for thought or investigation. And a visit from the police – for a civil matter that is concerning.
@30, I completely agree.
The previous government managed to equip us with various pieces of legislation and tools to deal with discrimination and homophobic hate crime. Now they are being used for every knee-jerk incident by every professional complainer.
As I said before, if we bitch about every little thing, imagine homophobic companies that are out to get us, (when they are just as committed to equal rights as we are), then expect a backlash..
Then our ´message´ will be lost when the issue IS something important, and when real homophobia exists, and when our REAL enemies are working against us.
Ever heard of the boy who cried ´wolf´ once too often?
The more important LGBT story PinkNews totally missed today!
From the Sun:
A FURIOUS cross-dresser was last night locked in a bitter bust-up with a B&B that banned him – for turning up for breakfast in women’s clothes.
Stunned fellow guests looked on as transvestite Julianne Barradale sat down for his tea and toast wearing a short skirt, tight top and make-up.
Complaints from one couple forced boss Roz Spowage to warn him he wasn’t welcome back.
And now she claims raging Julianne has launched an internet campaign against her guest house.
Last night Roz said: “When he arrived, it was apparent Julianne was a transvestite. But apart from a bobbed wig he had men’s clothes on. When he went out he had men’s clothes on.
“It was only at breakfast Julianne came in wearing over-the-top make-up, a tight top, a short skirt and tights.”
Anxious Roz, 49 – who lists her B&B on a website of gay-friendly services – insisted: “I wasn’t being prejudiced, I was safe-guarding my business.”
Julianne, 41, was staying at Glenuig House, Inverness, with German partner Marion Plath – who’d been a previous guest.
But after last Wednesday’s incident Roz told them not to return for another night they’d booked – fearing Julianne would upset a family staying there with children.
Roz said: “I had concerns because I’m a wee B&B. I emailed Marion. It was perfectly polite. I thought common sense would prevail.
“But she called and all I got was abuse. Then they turned up on my doorstep to get the £55 for the Saturday night. I was happy to pay, but they started arguing.”
Julianne – who calls himself a woman on his Facebook page – is also now allegedly threatening legal action.
Roz added: “I think they are being very, very unfair.
“Marion has stayed with me before and was a lovely guest.
“She emailed to say she would like to come back with her partner, that was all she said.
“Why wasn’t she just up-front and inform me her partner was a transvestite? Why didn’t he say he planned on wearing women’s clothes to breakfast?”
Both Marion and Julianne were unavailable for comment.
This is the account of the victim a very different account:
If you’re full-time and planning a trip to Inverness, don’t stay here: http://www.glenuighouse.co.uk/
I’ve just come back from holiday, 6 nights in Skye and Inverness with my girlfriend and was subjected to direct discrimination due to me being transsexual.
My partner has stayed at this property last year on her own, liked the place so we booked it up for our 2nd and last nights up there. Everything’s hunky-dory, we leave after the 1st night for Skye, paid the landlady in advance for Saturdays’ fee. Wave our goodbyes and head on our merry way. Upon leaving Skye for Inverness on Saturday, my partner received a voicemail mobile message from her employers stating that the Landlady had rung, stating that accommodation is not available any longer and that an email had been sent explaining why. My partner had given the Landlady her business card that she obviously had used for her messages, but didn’t bother attempting to ring my partner on the mobile No. though surprise surprise! We worry now obviously at this point of our room on a Bank Holiday weekend Saturday night being hard to find. My partner phoned the Landlady and was told that residents had complained to the Landlady about me being Trans and that they thought it wasn’t “that kind of a place”. She had a family with young children coming so couldn’t accommodate us now and that she’s send our refund as a cheque!!! Needless to say, we were stunned and upset, both of us in tears.
I headed straight for the Scottish Tourist Board accommodation desk in Inverness and explained our situation, they were as shocked as we were! We get another place organised finally at a higher cost and a complaints form to hand back in to the S.T.B despite it being a property not on their books, bless them! They hinted that it may well end up going off to Trading Standards. We enclosed a copy of the email!!!
Anyhow, we turn up at the property this morning before flying back to have it out with her and get our money back/compensation for the higher B&B bill/inconvenience and she still stuck to her guns and refused to make any further amends after thrusting our £55 back at us!!! We were furious! So.. As things stand, I have emailed the Scottish Trans Alliance about this and the complaints form has been submitted. This isn’t the end! Grrrr…
Maybe we should be getting angry about this
its not a civil matter, get your head out of the clouds!
Its a criminal matter. Doh! Honestly, where do you lot come from?
at what point do we stop being “more trouble than we’re worth” and have a genuine case?
When we hear grumbles behind our backs
when we hear insultes behind our backs
When we’re insulted by staff?
When we’re refused service?
When we’re thrown out?
Obviously it depends how thick one’s skin is, but I would always apply “if I sustitute ‘black’ for ‘gay’, would this stand?”
This would appear to be a civil matter: discrimination (less favourable treatment, based on sexual orientation) contrary to the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007. Discrimination is a civil matter, meaning that the legal remedy would be for the affected person/people take the pub to court to claim compensation.
Although in England the public order criminal offences seem to be rather wider than in Scotland (where we are), I can’t from this report see how the actions of this deputy manager constitute a criminal offence.
I agree with Tim. We should take these matters seriously and use the remedies available to us. But I can’t see a criminal offence here, unless you take the view that every contravention of the 2007 Regulations is hate speech. It isn’t – and we should make sure we take advantage of the correct remedies.
> devillers. Its not a civil matter, get your head out of the clouds! Its a criminal matter. Doh! Honestly, where do you lot come from?
I’m not sure that it is a criminal matter. Regulation 4 of the SI 2007/1263 Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 states:
4 Goods, facilities and services
(1) It is unlawful for a person (“A”) concerned with the provision to the public or a section of the public of goods, facilities or services to discriminate against a person (“B”) who seeks to obtain or to use those goods, facilities or services—
(a) by refusing to provide B with goods, facilities or services,
(b) by refusing to provide B with goods, facilities or services of a quality which is the same as or similar to the quality of goods, facilities or services that A normally provides to—
(i) the public, or
(ii) a section of the public to which B belongs,
(c) by refusing to provide B with goods, facilities or services in a manner which is the same as or similar to that in which A normally provides goods, facilities or services to—
(i) the public, or
(ii) a section of the public to which B belongs, or
(d) by refusing to provide B with goods, facilities or services on terms which are the same as or similar to the terms on which A normally provides goods, facilities or services to—
(i) the public, or
(ii) a section of the public to which B belongs.
(2) Paragraph (1) applies, in particular, to—
(a) access to and use of a place which the public are permitted to enter,
(b) accommodation in a hotel, boarding house or similar establishment,
(c) facilities by way of banking or insurance or for grants, loans, credit or finance,
(d) facilities for entertainment, recreation or refreshment,
(e) facilities for transport or travel, and
(f) the services of a profession or trade.
(3) Paragraph (1) does not apply—
(a) in relation to the provision of goods, facilities or services by a person exercising a public function, or
(b) to discrimination in relation to the provision of goods, facilities or services, where such discrimination—
(i) is unlawful by virtue of another provision of these regulations or by virtue of a provision of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 (“the 2003 Regulations”), or
(ii) would be unlawful by virtue of another provision of these Regulations or of the 2003 Regulations but for an express exception.
(4) For the purposes of paragraph (1) it is immaterial whether or not a person charges for the provision of goods, facilities or services.
Regulation 19 states:
19 Restriction of proceedings
(1) Except as provided by these Regulations, no proceedings, whether criminal or civil, may be brought against a person on the grounds that an act is unlawful by virtue of these Regulations.
Regulation 20 then states:
20 Claims of unlawful action
(1) A claim that a person has done anything that is unlawful by virtue of these Regulations may be brought—
(a) in England and Wales, in a county court, by way of proceedings in tort, or
(b) in Scotland, in the sheriff court, by way of proceedings in reparation,
for breach of statutory duty.
As far as I can see, the only remedy is by way of an action in the county court. Parliament has deliberately created no criminal liability. The only criminal offences created appear to relate to the making of false statements.
@34 “at what point do we stop being “more trouble than we’re worth” and have a genuine case?”
Good point, and obviously for the individuals concerned to decide. The possible problem I see comes with everyone else immediately jumping on the homophobic bandwagon. The fact of this company being the subject of a ´lets boycott this business´ campaign and virtual screaming hysteria… (even before the company had a chance to respond), then people STILL maintaining some homophobic conspiracy theory even after the company HAS responded is clearly crazy.
My comment was not about whether or not what was said was homophobic… If someone says “Sorry, we do not serve gay people here” or “Sorry, we do not accept bookings from gay people” then yes, of course that is homophobic.. No dispute there..
My comment was in regard to the actual article? The actual article is about Punch Taverns response to the incident. That was what I was commenting on, not whether or not it was homophobic.
I have already made it clear that we should be offended and protest when confronted with homophobia.. The point at issue is that people just do not seem to accept what Punch Taverns say… Despite acting quickly, suspending the offending staff member, re-affirming the companies commitment to equal rights and anti-discrimination, starting an enquiry into the incident, calling every one of their managers to stress the importance of their equal rights policy, asking for a meeting with those people directly concerned to work out how they can move forward with this…. need I go on?
Clearly YES would be the answer for some people.. Okay, perhaps the management of Punch taverns should go down there, take all of the beer barrels and bottled spirits and pour them out into the street? Completely tear out the pubs interior? or maybe they could have a ritualistic burning of the bar as I am sure that this would be the only way appease some people?
I am saying that I do not see what more this company can do. Their response (to this homophobia) does not seem homophobic to me.. and certainly does not warrant a boycott of the whole pub chain.
You asked “at what point do we stop being “more trouble than we’re worth” and have a genuine case?”
Not the question I am asking.. What I would ask is.. Do we BECOME more trouble than we are worth when a business just cannot win with some of us, when they are not homophobic and do everything they possibly can to be right with us?
I had to flee Punch taverns after working for them for only 5 months… It was horrendous working for them. As a gay man, it would be easy for me to jump on the bandwagon of this story… I was indeed treated differently and bullied by my manager, he was homophobic, but he was also sexist and just a down right tyrant. Punch pub company on the whole seem to be quite an ‘accepting’ company to work for so I wouldnt brand the whole chain just by the actions of a few of their lowsy managers… would love to know what happened to the manager in this story tho… surely he must have been given his marching orders?.. be sad if he wasnt.