'Ere, Sarge, What Rhymes with Gender Sensitivity? Incredulity at the Yard over Politically-Correct Poetry Contest

Daily Mail (London), February 18, 2012 | Go to article overview

'Ere, Sarge, What Rhymes with Gender Sensitivity? Incredulity at the Yard over Politically-Correct Poetry Contest


Byline: Stephen Wright

IT'S enough to make the hard men of the Sweeney choke on their cigars and double whiskies.

Scotland Yard officers have been asked to enter a poetry competition on the theme of 'gender equality'.

The prize is a chance to have 'elevenses' with the Met's head of diversity Denise Milani, who is renowned in Britain's biggest police force for her touchy-feely initiatives.

Officers are told their poems must focus on 'recruitment, retention or progression' at the Yard, creating a 'gender-sensitive working environment' or 'successfully managing gender-diverse teams'.

They must also provide Miss Milani, 54, with insight on the progress made with the 'Gender Agenda' from a male or female perspective and suggest a 'positive vision' for the Met.

Details of the extraordinary competition were leaked to the Police Inspector blog, prompting a furious reaction from serving officers who accused the Met of wasting taxpayers' money.

Inspector Gadget, the anonymous author of the blog, wrote: 'I can categorically say that this is the maddest diversity nonsense we have ever featured.

'I would like to hear from more female officers to see what they think of this, in between making tea for the lads of course!'

Within minutes of his posting, Inspector Gadget was inundated with examples of possible entries, some of which were obscene.

Another outraged policeman said: 'Now that this is in the public domain, can a member of the public write a letter of complaint to BHH (Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe) about this scandalous waste of their taxes?' The poetry competition has been launched to coincide with next month's International Women's Day. On the force's internal Intranet, officers and civilian staff are urged to 'get creative' in the run-up to the event.

Miss Milani, the daughter of West Indian migrants, originally qualified as a teacher and joined the Met in 1999.

She is believed to be paid more than [pounds sterling]80,000 a year, although Scotland Yard refuses to reveal her exact salary. …

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