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Sunday 6th June, 2010Posted by on
Already if you google the phrase “Greencoat Boy Gay” you will come across page after page of hectoring coverage by well-meaning but perhaps a bit too over-zealous damnation of the event which transpired yesterday.
According to the Tweet on Twitter yesterday which I caught a retweet of:
Appalling homophobia at central London pub. Manager refusing to serve members of LGBTLabour
Twitter, being the cool, calm, collected voice of the Nation… went ballistic, prompting the scores of Internet Blogs to describe the pub with such stolid phrases as “gay-hating” and “#bigotbar”.
The impression given is that a group of Gay and Lesbian people turned up at this pub, The Greencoat Boy, and were instantly turned away by the sneering Pub Manager with phrases akin to ‘we don’t like your kind round here’, using the line “if I had known you were a Gay group I would not have allowed the booking”.
I responded to one such indignation-jumper with “to be fair, we’ve only heard one side of the story”. He replied with “I agree although Punch Taverns haven’t been denied the opportunity to speak up”, which seems to be true, but…
I’ve done Jury Service. I’ve seen how easy it is to judge someone based on scant information. Until the full facts come out. And then suddenly you’re saying “ohhhhh, so that’s what really happened”. I’ve seen countless movies and tv shows too where an innocent man has the full weight of the law coming down on his shoulders until right before the end we find out the woman responsible for the horrible claims is revealed to be a stalking psycho.
Hell, it’s even the premise for Fatal Attraction, a movie you’ve almost certainly seen. Go watch Pacific Heights, it’s a revelation.
I’ll play Devil’s Advocate and give a possible situation which I’m by no means saying, is what happened.
Pub manager has a large group of people booking out a room. They are served alcohol, it’s a hot day, tempers run a little bit high, maybe there’s some raised voices. A member of staff asks someone to keep it down a bit. One militant/irked overly-dramatic member of the group gets in an argument with a member of staff. Suddenly a war of words and it escalates until out of control. Shouting and jeering. The Pub Manager gets fed up with it, refuses to serve them, asks them to leave. Maybe he throws out the “i wouldn’t have booked you” line in anger, just to rile the people annoying him. It happens. We’ve all done it. A parting shot intended to annoy the people who’ve annoyed you. Don’t say you haven’t, you know you have.
The Pub Landlord, knowing he’s not going to come out of this well does not give an answer to the first enquiries. He gets a call from the Corporate side saying, essentially, “button it you Moron, you’re only going to make it worse by speaking to the press”. Corporate decide to interview the Pub Manager on Monday (it is a weekend after all, the important people are away) and they will punish the manager when they formally speak to him. This is the bureacracy of Business. It takes time, it doesn’t happen instantly. In the meantime Punch Taverns make no formal admission to the Press.
This is one possible scenario. There are others.
I’m not saying this is what happened, remember. It’s entirely possible there has been no confusion and the events which people are blogging about are entirely the facts. I don’t know, and neither do you.
Some notable people in the political world have instantly jumped in to criticise the pub, adding their vocal support on what seems rather flimsy one-sided evidence. Boo to them, I say.
Here are some of the overzealous outbursts you can find by googling:
Why isn’t the Greencoat Boy scandal even on the BBC News website? [It’s a Scandal now? How long before someone adds the suffix -gate to it? Pubgate? Gaygate? You know such lazy journalism is coming]
I’m Boycotting the Homophobic Greencoat Boy pub! is on Facebook
Gay-Hate at the Greencoat Boy | Tankthetories.com
Bigotbar picks the wrong group of gays to mess with
“Review” gay-hating pub the Greencoat Boy here
Pink News has a more considered, responsible report. Go to them and admire their tact.
I know, you’re thinking: “tuh! yeah right, like it could have happened like Rumpio says!” well I’d just like to point out how some innocent event can spiral out of control. Here’s what happened when some people suggested a water fight in Hyde Park on a hot sunny day this summer:
There are two sides to every story. Try not to give in to prejudice. Wait for the facts.