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Uniform Discrimination In The UK  
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5689 posts, RR: 44
Posted (2 years 5 hours ago) and read 2802 times:
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Firstly I want this discussion to stay civil and on track.
I want to understand the background to this situation.

Approx 2 months ago a young British soldier died in Afghanistan, back in the UK his comrades were rehearsing his memorial ceremonies in a large regional city.
After the rehearsals they went to a local cafe/bar and were refused service because they were in uniform.

The subsequent protests and social media responses were substantial(and IMO rightly so).

After significant outcry the owner of the establishment apologised and the corporal's young widow graciously accepted his apology.

The owner said if he had been there at the time and knowing the crcumstances he would have served the soldiers despite not explaining nor apologising for the policy that bans customers in uniform.

Is this normal(or at least somewhat common) in the UK?

Would this same establisment be allowed to apply the same policy to someone wearing a Shalwaar Kameez. an Abaya or even a Turban or Dashiki?


If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePs762 From United Kingdom, joined exactly 2 years ago today! , 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 hours ago) and read 2763 times:

Hi!

Sorry I don't know much about the subject but I would think this is pretty much a one-off with a strange cafe owner. Maybe he just freaked because he didn't know the situation and thought a big group of guys all together in uniform might get drunk and rowdy or something. If I owned a cafe I wouldn't turn them down. Anyway this is the UK and at least where I live there is a cafe or Costa coffee or Starbucks for every 20 people!

Sorry that's only from my limited personal experience here.

Thanks,

Pierre


User currently offlinedanielmyatt From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2011, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 hours ago) and read 2755 times:

I said the same thing when this story came out about a month ago and I shall say it now. And I will get shot down, again.
There were notices (according to the linked article on another forum, which I can't find now) in the establishment that no uniformed people would be served, and the owner was just following his own rules when he didn't serve the soldiers. Why should they be treated any differently just because they're in the army?


User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 3982 posts, RR: 28
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 hours ago) and read 2748 times:

Quoting danielmyatt (Reply 2):
Why should they be treated any differently just because they're in the army?

Because...

Quoting stealthz (Thread starter):
Would this same establisment be allowed to apply the same policy to someone wearing a Shalwaar Kameez. an Abaya or even a Turban or Dashiki?

Of course not, he would be shut down immediately.



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 hours ago) and read 2738 times:

If the premises were licensed to sell alcohol there may be a provision that soldiers may not wear uniform.

I am not sure of the Army's regulations but AP 1358, CHAP 1 para 0113 for RAF personnel , for example, states "Occasions on which uniform is not to be worn:....b. Visits to licensed premises (including when not consuming alcohol), except when specifically approved by the Chain of Command."

These rules, published in January this year, arose out of the recurring abuse that RAF personnel had received from some members of the public.

I do recall that while living in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s during the IRA bombing campaign, soldiers were instructed not to wear uniform off-duty for obvious security reasons.

In the specific circumstances of the funeral preparations, adherence to such a policy by the cafe owner seems a bit churlish but I don't know all the details.


User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5689 posts, RR: 44
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 hours ago) and read 2719 times:
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Quoting danielmyatt (Reply 2):
And I will get shot down, again.

I won't shoot you down

But this question, If "and the owner was just following his own rules when he didn't serve the soldiers." then how did he arrive at these regulations?
And if he has those rules I will almost guarantee they do not apply to "someone wearing a Shalwaar Kameez. an Abaya or even a Turban or Dashiki?" because if they did he would be closed down forthwith by the political correctness establishment quicker than he could whip up a machiatto.

If the requirement was imposed on him by the military establishment, then I sympathise with him for the position he found himself in.
If that is indeed the case then the military perhaps need to rethink those requirements, the men and women of our armed services are being asked to make extreme sacrifices(all to often the ultimate sacrifice) for their countries and we should not deny them any small benefits when they are not on the front line.

Increasingly countries such as the UK, USA, Aus, NZ( thoughts go out to the families of the 3 NZ soldiers who died at the hands of an IED bomber in recent days) etc are questioning why we are involved in places like Afghanistan etc ( I know the ADF is involved in many more places than the "rockpile") .. this questioning should not be imposed on the men and women performing the hard part of this Foreign policy "adventure".

The owner of this establishment should count himself lucky I was not present when he turned these young men away!!!

[Edited 2012-08-21 06:34:44]


If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 hours ago) and read 2694 times:

Legally you cannot serve a Police Officer in uniform in the UK. An old lady in Sayers refused to serve 2 Police Officers sausage rolls because they were on duty. Maybe it's due to that - who knows? They apologised about the situation which is the main thing.

User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 hours ago) and read 2684 times:

As far as I know this has been 'standard practice' for British and Commonwealth forces since I was in the army myself (Gawd, over 50 years ago now!  ).

Not sure if it was ever actually a 'rule' - but, in our case, the invariable convention was that if you wanted to go out for a drink in your spare time, you changed into civvies first. This was particularly important if, like me, you had any involvement in occupying (effectively, 'defending') Germany - in those days the poor bloody Germans had seen enough people strutting about in uniform to last them a lifetime!  

I suspect that this is a 'hangover' from those far-off days. Trouble is, though, back then the only place that you could get a proper drink was in an authentic pub - nowadays, all sorts of cafes and restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol as well. But if we wanted a drink while on duty and in uniform, we had quietly to buy the stuff in a bottleshop and drink it in camp.

My own view is that the same 'civvies only' convention should probably 'continue in force.' If it doesn't, there's always the 'equal and opposite' risk - that a few blokes will get crazy drunk and 'bring the uniform into disrepute'..........



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2562 times:

Quoting danielmyatt (Reply 2):
Why should they be treated any differently just because they're in the army?

Well, they're being treated different because they're in the army.

But apparently it stems from military rules and I can understand that, both for security and "disrepute of the uniform" reasons.

Also, we don't ask for their sacrifice, sorry, but it's their job and they chose it.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5499 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2549 times:

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 4):
If the premises were licensed to sell alcohol there may be a provision that soldiers may not wear uniform.

I think it is a similar situation over here. But it's not the business but rather the service personnel that are barred from it. I can't remember ever seeing a person in uniform drinking at a public bar. The military aren't supposed to go shopping and other stuff while in uniform even if it is while on their way to duty or home (though I believe there are a few exceptions such as allowing them to fill up their cars with gas on the way to/from their duty station etc.).

I can imagine a they would actually get in trouble for drinking while in public and in uniform. Not a good image.

However other than a place serving alcohol, if any business that actually refused to serve a uniformed service member in a situation where it was allowed would face a severe backlash from the public. Even if the the military did forbid it with their own policies.

Tugg

[Edited 2012-08-21 16:56:04]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5592 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2504 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 8):

Also, we don't ask for their sacrifice, sorry, but it's their job and they chose it.

You'd be asking for it pretty quick if they just decided to up and quit one day.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7873 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2394 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 8):
Quoting danielmyatt (Reply 2):
Why should they be treated any differently just because they're in the army?

Well, they're being treated different because they're in the army.

I'm not so sure... they weren't banned because they were in the army, just because they were in uniform



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2379 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 10):
You'd be asking for it pretty quick if they just decided to up and quit one day.

More probably conscription would be reinstated.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 11):
I'm not so sure... they weren't banned because they were in the army, just because they were in uniform

Do you think that bartenders don't like the look of someone in uniform ? I think the rule is there because it makes evident that someone is military.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5499 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2366 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 12):
Do you think that bartenders don't like the look of someone in uniform ? I think the rule is there because it makes evident that someone is military.

While I understand what you are saying, they are actually not being denied "because they are in the military". Anyone might be in the military, and whether it is known or not they are served just fine, so it's not because they are in the military.

One element is often self-imposed by the military itself because it can bring disrepute to "the State" if one is in uniform, and thereby a representative of the State. If someone gets drunk in public while in uniform it is embarrassing to "the uniform", i.e. the State. And even if one is just seen drinking while in uniform some may assume that they are drinking while on the job, and that too is not what the State wants.

Now I also would not doubt that many bars wouldn't want people in uniform there because people get drunk and do stupid things. Some drunk might take umbrage to an obvious thing like a person uniform and decide that since they don't like "x" country they will take it out on this person that is obviously a representative of said country.

So it's not whether someone likes or dislikes "the uniform/the military". It is the uniform and what it means and all the baggage that it brings along with it.

Tugg

[Edited 2012-08-22 16:09:47]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5592 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2339 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 12):

More probably conscription would be reinstated.

So you wouldn't be asking for it, you would be demanding it under penalty of law.

So much better.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlinebongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3547 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2313 times:

It all probably stems from a slight predeliction of young soldiers to consume too much alcohol and start fighting, in their defence it has to be said that our nation employs them and encourages them to be potentially lethal to perceived enemies !!

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13985 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2295 times:

It is an old story in the UK, coming partly from the time when British Army soldiers were often recruited from the dregs of society. British squaddies HAVE the reputation of liking to get drunk and wild (just check about the current "scandal" of Prince Harry in Las Vegas. An impromptu party in the hotel suite with local girls and somehow everybody ended up drunk and naked (strip pool). Just google it (Doc, here is a chance to see Prince Harry bum naked   ). Unfortunately somebody took pictures and sold them to the press. The press is outraged, but the squaddies love him for it. For them it shows that he is just a soldier like them and many said on a forum that they would like to have him as a platoon leader).
They often have a strange and very dark sense of humour and tend to go rowdy, which often puts them at odds with civilians. I´ve never been in the British Army, but I know a few ex-squaddies and I like their humour.

TOMMY

by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)



I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

BTW, the smalltown in Germany next to my village is the home of a Bundeswehr signals unit. You can often see Bundeswehr soldiers in uniform in the streets and shops, though I think they also have a ban on going to a bar or pub or drinking alcohol in public while wearing uniform. AFAIK the only time they can go into a restaurant in uniform is when they are on a duty trip away from home or their garrison and then just to have a meal and no alcohol permitted.

Jan


User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2288 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,

My late father, who spent 22 years in the British Army, used to recite that. Thanks for the memories.


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