In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.
Do you remember Dirty Dancing? You know, Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner? All that nonsense?
For better or worse, those camps belong to a bygone era. The post-war days where camps can pre-package a week’s R + R for happy campers are a thing of the past. Mostly. A couple of chains in the UK have managed to adapt, and by modernising their offering they seem to be doing quite well.
Another thing of the past – fifty years ago in the UK it was not uncommon to see signs such as “No Blacks. No Irish. No Dogs.” Even though the economy needed the stimulus provided by immigrant labour, these people were still regarded as second-class citizens. Well, not even that. Dog-class, if you go by the quote.
Fortunately, something good to have fallen by the wayside with the passage of time.
Or, has it?
My story this weeksurrounds a UK holiday firm called Pontins. Formed in 1946, they are one of those to have moved with the times and currently have six camps in the UK.
Poor old Pontins were in the news this week because, in a move reminiscent of the Fifties, they produced a list of “undesirable” guests. As in, staff were to refuse booking requests from people with certain surnames. And guess what? Those names were all Irish. I won’t list them here, but they are listed in my link if you are interested. The move was seen widely as an attempt to prevent travellers from staying with them.
Using all the benefits of modern technology, Pontins then placed this list onto their intranet, where it was leaked to the outside world by a conscientious employee.
Fortunately, the rest of society has moved on from the Fifties and we have laws now to combat many -isms. Last week, it was revealed that this had happened, and that an investigation had taken place. Pontins had settled with the UK’s Equalities and Human Rights Commisioner, presumably to save the bad publicity of a court case.
But my winner this week is not Pontins, although I will say very frankly that if these fuckers are still trading, they certainly won. If it were down to me, they’d be bankrupt and on the streets.
But think about it. This problem was discovered because somebody leaked it. And that’s the problem with conspiracies. For a conspiracy to work, everyone has to keep their mouth shut until the story has blown over. For the big stories, UFOs, who downed the twin towers, who shot JFK, that is basically “forever”.
Everybody keeps mum. Forever. What are the chances?
My winner this week is just the whole subject of conspiracy theories.