District councillor Liz Peters to attend course after using racist phrase

Councillor Liz Peters (Con, Chalford) will have to attend an equality and diversity course after a complaint was made about her using a racist phrase

Councillor Liz Peters (Con, Chalford) will have to attend an equality and diversity course after a complaint was made about her using a racist phrase

First published in News Stroud News and Journal: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

STROUD District Councillor Liz Peters will have to attend an equality and diversity course after a complaint was made about her using a racist term.

Cllr Peters (Con, Chalford) was referring to herself when she used the term ‘the n**** in the woodpile’ while speaking to a member of the public after a licensing committee meeting at Stroud District Council.

The grandmother, 70, who has organised the Grand Village Fete at Brimscombe and Thrupp playing fields for more than 20 years, told the SNJ she used the term during a private conversation after the meeting to describe herself.

“I wasn’t speaking about her or anyone else, it just slipped out, but I obviously upset her,” said Cllr Peters.

“What has upset me more than anything is that I wrote an apology which was accepted by the complainant and I thought that was the end of it but someone has decided to go to the press.

Cllr Peters now has to attend an equality and diversity course at her own expense, which is believed to be around £150, however she doesn’t think the course addresses what she said.

“The course addresses issues such as stereotyping, labelling and prejudice however the phrase was not used to stereotype or label someone nor was it used in a prejudiced way,” added Cllr Peters.

“It was just a phrase that I used and now the situation has just gotten out of hand.”

“I know the word isn’t very nice but it is just a saying – a colloquial term that was used when I was a youngster.

“It wasn’t a personal thing.

“People blaspheme all the time. They use sayings like ‘OMG’ which I find offensive but I know that it is just a common phrase which is used by a lot of youngsters today.

“They don’t use it in a way to get at God – it’s just a saying.

“It’s just upsetting that someone has taken it to the press, it just feels like a witch hunt.”

“It was a very costly mistake and I won’t be doing it again.”

A spokesman for SDC said: “We received a complaint on this matter and raised it with Cllr Peters.

“She apologised unreservedly to the complainant, to their satisfaction, and they have subsequently withdrawn their complaint.

“Cllr Peters has also agreed to go on a course covering equality and diversity issues.”

Comments (14)

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1:10pm Wed 30 Jul 14

jaytee8937 says...

It is a worry when you become an anachronism in your own lifetime!
It is a worry when you become an anachronism in your own lifetime! jaytee8937
  • Score: 1

3:33pm Wed 30 Jul 14

struggling pensioner says...

I am deeply concerned, since I have just found that the now unacceptable "n" word is clearly printed in our copy of the Oxford English Dictionary. Should I destroy the whole book or would it be politically correct just to tear out the offending page. This does however create a problem, since the "s" word, as used by Jeremy Clarkson and many civil engineers is also in the dictionary. perhaps we should all ask for new politically correct dictionaries to be provided, paid for by the one or two people that manage to complain about racist comments. Their names should also be published so that we may seek guidance from them when any other new word becomes offensive.

The use of once acceptable words is now becoming a major problem, since many listeners to Radio Gloucestershire will know of the fate of David Lowe , who accidentally played a 1930s record that contained the dreaded word. Note, he did not use the word, he just played a record containing. it. It is reported that just one (1) complaint was received but this lost a gentleman his job. We used have justice in this country , but now we have politically correct persons controlling our lives and thoughts. I would like to print the accurate definition of " politically correct" , but it would not be allowed. W.Cdr Guy Gibson must be turning in his grave , those that have seen the Dambusters will understand why.
I am deeply concerned, since I have just found that the now unacceptable "n" word is clearly printed in our copy of the Oxford English Dictionary. Should I destroy the whole book or would it be politically correct just to tear out the offending page. This does however create a problem, since the "s" word, as used by Jeremy Clarkson and many civil engineers is also in the dictionary. perhaps we should all ask for new politically correct dictionaries to be provided, paid for by the one or two people that manage to complain about racist comments. Their names should also be published so that we may seek guidance from them when any other new word becomes offensive. The use of once acceptable words is now becoming a major problem, since many listeners to Radio Gloucestershire will know of the fate of David Lowe , who accidentally played a 1930s record that contained the dreaded word. Note, he did not use the word, he just played a record containing. it. It is reported that just one (1) complaint was received but this lost a gentleman his job. We used have justice in this country , but now we have politically correct persons controlling our lives and thoughts. I would like to print the accurate definition of " politically correct" , but it would not be allowed. W.Cdr Guy Gibson must be turning in his grave , those that have seen the Dambusters will understand why. struggling pensioner
  • Score: 6

9:38am Thu 31 Jul 14

Rock Cake says...

struggling pensioner wrote:
I am deeply concerned, since I have just found that the now unacceptable "n" word is clearly printed in our copy of the Oxford English Dictionary. Should I destroy the whole book or would it be politically correct just to tear out the offending page. This does however create a problem, since the "s" word, as used by Jeremy Clarkson and many civil engineers is also in the dictionary. perhaps we should all ask for new politically correct dictionaries to be provided, paid for by the one or two people that manage to complain about racist comments. Their names should also be published so that we may seek guidance from them when any other new word becomes offensive.

The use of once acceptable words is now becoming a major problem, since many listeners to Radio Gloucestershire will know of the fate of David Lowe , who accidentally played a 1930s record that contained the dreaded word. Note, he did not use the word, he just played a record containing. it. It is reported that just one (1) complaint was received but this lost a gentleman his job. We used have justice in this country , but now we have politically correct persons controlling our lives and thoughts. I would like to print the accurate definition of " politically correct" , but it would not be allowed. W.Cdr Guy Gibson must be turning in his grave , those that have seen the Dambusters will understand why.
The word "c*nted" (along with others based around the “c” word) was actually added in March this year to the OED. It is not a legacy entry from previous editions of the OED, but a nice, shiny new one making its debut in the very latest. I take it then that because that word is now in the OED you see it as an acceptable word for everyday public use?
Clarkson loves controversy and regularly sails close to the wind generating such; he purposefully chose a rhyme for his TV show which he knew contained the "n" word, and even though he half-heartedly mumbled that word when it came up, it was clear enough in both its use and intent to justify the complaints made to the BBC.
I do agree the DJ losing his job for playing "The Sun has got his hat on" was atrocious.
The truth that Gibson of 617 Squadron had a dog called "N*****", is irrelevant. That was over 70 years ago. The "n" word is no longer, and has not been for decades, acceptable to society in its use as a derogatory term towards black people.
It’s quite depressing that I even have to make that last point.
[quote][p][bold]struggling pensioner[/bold] wrote: I am deeply concerned, since I have just found that the now unacceptable "n" word is clearly printed in our copy of the Oxford English Dictionary. Should I destroy the whole book or would it be politically correct just to tear out the offending page. This does however create a problem, since the "s" word, as used by Jeremy Clarkson and many civil engineers is also in the dictionary. perhaps we should all ask for new politically correct dictionaries to be provided, paid for by the one or two people that manage to complain about racist comments. Their names should also be published so that we may seek guidance from them when any other new word becomes offensive. The use of once acceptable words is now becoming a major problem, since many listeners to Radio Gloucestershire will know of the fate of David Lowe , who accidentally played a 1930s record that contained the dreaded word. Note, he did not use the word, he just played a record containing. it. It is reported that just one (1) complaint was received but this lost a gentleman his job. We used have justice in this country , but now we have politically correct persons controlling our lives and thoughts. I would like to print the accurate definition of " politically correct" , but it would not be allowed. W.Cdr Guy Gibson must be turning in his grave , those that have seen the Dambusters will understand why.[/p][/quote]The word "c*nted" (along with others based around the “c” word) was actually added in March this year to the OED. It is not a legacy entry from previous editions of the OED, but a nice, shiny new one making its debut in the very latest. I take it then that because that word is now in the OED you see it as an acceptable word for everyday public use? Clarkson loves controversy and regularly sails close to the wind generating such; he purposefully chose a rhyme for his TV show which he knew contained the "n" word, and even though he half-heartedly mumbled that word when it came up, it was clear enough in both its use and intent to justify the complaints made to the BBC. I do agree the DJ losing his job for playing "The Sun has got his hat on" was atrocious. The truth that Gibson of 617 Squadron had a dog called "N*****", is irrelevant. That was over 70 years ago. The "n" word is no longer, and has not been for decades, acceptable to society in its use as a derogatory term towards black people. It’s quite depressing that I even have to make that last point. Rock Cake
  • Score: 6

10:40am Thu 31 Jul 14

struggling pensioner says...

It is not irrelevant. The film was shown within days of David Lowe being removed.
It is not irrelevant. The film was shown within days of David Lowe being removed. struggling pensioner
  • Score: 1

11:58am Thu 31 Jul 14

Crow says...

David Lowe should have been sent on an equality and diversity course.... :p

I think a lot of people will agree he was treated badly.
David Lowe should have been sent on an equality and diversity course.... :p I think a lot of people will agree he was treated badly. Crow
  • Score: 6

12:10pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Rock Cake says...

For it to be relevant, you would have to prove a causal link between the DJ being sacked and the film being shown. If you can make that argument on this board then I shall be receptive to reading it. Grateful though that my overall point would appear to have been accepted if it is only an issue of relevance of the showing of a film with an unfortunately named dog in it to the sacking of a local DJ that would appear to be up for debate.
You will see that I agreed that the sacking was over the top.
For it to be relevant, you would have to prove a causal link between the DJ being sacked and the film being shown. If you can make that argument on this board then I shall be receptive to reading it. Grateful though that my overall point would appear to have been accepted if it is only an issue of relevance of the showing of a film with an unfortunately named dog in it to the sacking of a local DJ that would appear to be up for debate. You will see that I agreed that the sacking was over the top. Rock Cake
  • Score: 6

7:35pm Thu 31 Jul 14

struggling pensioner says...

"but someone has decided to go to the press."

Would the complainant care to join in this discussion
"but someone has decided to go to the press." Would the complainant care to join in this discussion struggling pensioner
  • Score: 4

10:01am Fri 1 Aug 14

Salendine says...

Given how much of her life Liz has given to helping the local community, its a real shame that this has happened. She made a mistake and apologised, she isn't a racist. The SNJ have shamefully capitalised on this mistake, an example of the press once again showing no responsibility. Now move on.
Given how much of her life Liz has given to helping the local community, its a real shame that this has happened. She made a mistake and apologised, she isn't a racist. The SNJ have shamefully capitalised on this mistake, an example of the press once again showing no responsibility. Now move on. Salendine
  • Score: 4

11:31am Sat 2 Aug 14

struggling pensioner says...

I wish that the politically correct brigade could differentiate between a simple remark made by a 70 year old and a genuine racist comment. The comment that has caused so much trouble was in wide use decades ago, I am 10 years older than Liz and it was widely used without causing offence, it was used as a simple complex noun. Unfortunately language changes, a few years ago this remark may have caused a "difficult problem" , now of course these do not exist, we have " challenging issues".

The fundamental problem with this matter is to ask what good will this course, that she must attend, will do. She is not racist but just made a simple mistake, that even a decade ago would not have raised an eyebrow. If the politically correct person that made this complaint had considered the context in which it was made, this storm in an (expensive) teacup could have been avoided. Perhaps he or she would care to join this discussion. Being another expression from my youth I hope that the words storm and teacup cause no offence, you just cannot be too careful in these politically correct times that are turning this country into a poor imitation of the East Germany of yesteryear, where everyone was expected to be in informer
I wish that the politically correct brigade could differentiate between a simple remark made by a 70 year old and a genuine racist comment. The comment that has caused so much trouble was in wide use decades ago, I am 10 years older than Liz and it was widely used without causing offence, it was used as a simple complex noun. Unfortunately language changes, a few years ago this remark may have caused a "difficult problem" , now of course these do not exist, we have " challenging issues". The fundamental problem with this matter is to ask what good will this course, that she must attend, will do. She is not racist but just made a simple mistake, that even a decade ago would not have raised an eyebrow. If the politically correct person that made this complaint had considered the context in which it was made, this storm in an (expensive) teacup could have been avoided. Perhaps he or she would care to join this discussion. Being another expression from my youth I hope that the words storm and teacup cause no offence, you just cannot be too careful in these politically correct times that are turning this country into a poor imitation of the East Germany of yesteryear, where everyone was expected to be in informer struggling pensioner
  • Score: 4

10:35pm Sun 3 Aug 14

Bonkim says...

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Bonkim
  • Score: 0

11:56pm Sun 3 Aug 14

kjag23 says...

I can't believe people are excusing this.
When I was a kid, we played "Eenie, meanie, minie, mo, catch a n****r by the toe".
I wouldn't dream of singing that now! and I'm not even in a position of power.
Yes, certain words were acceptable in the old days, but they aren't any more. And if you're in a position of responsibility and in the public eye you should be especially careful.
Stop being such a bunch of closet racists.
I can't believe people are excusing this. When I was a kid, we played "Eenie, meanie, minie, mo, catch a n****r by the toe". I wouldn't dream of singing that now! and I'm not even in a position of power. Yes, certain words were acceptable in the old days, but they aren't any more. And if you're in a position of responsibility and in the public eye you should be especially careful. Stop being such a bunch of closet racists. kjag23
  • Score: -2

4:32pm Mon 4 Aug 14

struggling pensioner says...

Not closet racists but overt possessors of common sense
Not closet racists but overt possessors of common sense struggling pensioner
  • Score: 4

4:55pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Cuthbert Thickett says...

Overt possessors of common sense 1930's style maybe. Don't you miss those days of Empire, when everyone knew their place.
Overt possessors of common sense 1930's style maybe. Don't you miss those days of Empire, when everyone knew their place. Cuthbert Thickett
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Wed 6 Aug 14

struggling pensioner says...

Yes, and we did not have a Stroud branch of the Stasi
Yes, and we did not have a Stroud branch of the Stasi struggling pensioner
  • Score: 3

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