04 Aug 2010

Good Thing They Got That Cleared Up

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4500-year-old henge and stone circle cleared of discrimination

Isn’t it comforting to know that in this time of economic crisis, Western governments still manage to see to it that the public’s vital interests are protected? Take Scotland, for instance.

Earlier this year, Dean Herbert reported, in the Scottish Daily Mail, that the government of Scotland had successfully completed an Equality Impact Assessment involving audits by consultants on the Neolithic Ring of Brodgar in the Orkneys.

Happily, the stones passed their assessment.

To the outsider, they are a weather-beaten circle of rocks that have stood on a remote Scottish island for thousands of years.

But for officials at the Scottish Executive, the prehistoric ruins on Orkney are a potential hotbed of homophobia and racist hate crime.

The ancient Neolithic ruins have caused no discernible trouble since 3,300 BC but civil servants decided to investigate the ‘equality issues’ surrounding them – in case they discriminated against gays and ethnic minorities.

Now their findings on The Ring of Brodgar have been published in a nine-page taxpayer-funded report, one of many ‘Equality Impact Assessments’ (EQIAs) carried out over the past two years, costing the public purse up to 1 million pounds sterling.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Executive concluded the stones presented no immediate threat to gays and other minority groups – but recommended another check should be made in five years’ time. …

Last year, they conducted an assessment to find out if Scotland’s canals were homophobic. Again unsurprisingly, the canals were found to be reasonably gay-friendly.

photos of tolerant stones.

3 Feedbacks on "Good Thing They Got That Cleared Up"


What little I remember from British history lessons in English girls’ schools about all those stone circles was that nasty things went on there. Druids and the like were equal opportunity sacrificers, tho they perhaps gave too much opportunity to young maidens and outsiders. Then again, seeing “The Wicker Man” as a child may have given me a warped sense of that part of history…

I’m perhaps 3/4 Scots back in the mists of time: Highlands losers fleeing to the New World one step ahead of the bailiff or the King’s soldiers or off to found colonial plantations oppressing East Asian indigenous people (horrors….actually when relatives visited our former estates in recent years, said indigenous peoples were not managing them nearly as well as us imperialist swine, and the place was seedy beyond belief).

Scotland is a beautiful and gloomy landscape and all those grey skies promoted barbarous religious practices. I suspect that gays, etc. would have been given short shrift…


After the favorable EQIA outcome, how are the efforts to incarcerate or institutionalize officials of the Scottish Executive progressing?


I’ll sleep better tonight knowing those rocks aren’t oppressing minorities. But I’ll bet they are depressing little rocks under their jack booted heels.


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