Brentwood, 9.56am: 15°C, mist

It’s another New Year – Welcome to 2019

It may be a New Year but the same old daftness is still with us.

For our first foray into the world of the absurd this year, we started out by looking at a London shipping centre that has just introduced “politically correct” car parking spaces.

The all new 24 white painted signs have apparently been created to ‘celebrate modern families’, and include spaces for same-sex couples, single parents, gay couples with a child, a male and trans couple with a baby, split families with more than two parents, and older couples with a child.

Some rather obscure signs designed for ‘grandparent, guardian and child’ and ‘pregnant mother with female partner and baby’ are proving difficult for some motorists to know whether or not they are eligible to use the spaces without incurring a fine.

So if two straight males were together in a car, could they park in the space designed for gays or would they have to sign some sort of affidavit to avoid getting a ticket, I wonder!

Apparently the idea behind the scheme is an attempt to challenge the rather more traditional spaces for mother and child and invalids, and is the brainchild of car maker, Volvo as a gimmick to launch a new family estate car.

A company spokesperson said that over the years ‘the definition of family has evolved, hence the icons profile different examples of family within society, including same-sex couples, single parents and nuclear families’. 

I have to say that I’m not quite sure what a nuclear family might be? Maybe it’s a family that falls out of the car when the doors are opened!

Some years ago “ladies only” bays were introduced at a car park in Bolton but when one of the vehicles was seen to have been reversed neatly into a bay, someone joked that it must have been parked by the lady car owners’s husband, which comments brought forth a torrent of abuse suggesting that the writer was both uneducated and sexist.

Next up came news of violent inmates at a prison in Kent, receiving therapy from goats!

Apparently the idea is to teach inmates how to take responsibility for others. The treatment involves allowing prisoners suffering from mental health issues to look after two pet Pygmy goats named Karen and Faye located in a farm area within the jail grounds. 

It seems that in December 2016, 60 inmates at the prison involved, took over a wing of the jail before riot-trained staff won it back, so last year the prison was one of four jails to receive greater security funding to keep inmates under control.

Perhaps if it happens again, they should set the goats on them!

See you once more next week,

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