Category Archive 'Ring of Brodgar'

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.


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