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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 215

Date:- 22 August 2005

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It's a lion's share for smart owners in the North West

SMART owners in the North West are used to attracting admiring glances from other people, but not quite so accustomed to longing looks from lions… but this is exactly what is happening to smart-driving visitors to Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside.

Knowsley Safari Park is renowned for its authentic African Safari experience, where visitors can drive a five-mile route through the park to see animals including lions, tigers, monkeys, and rhino from their own vehicles. Visitors arriving with quirky smart cars have found themselves experiencing an altogether more 'realistic' taste of Africa as lionesses have been chasing the compact, nippy cars, thinking they are prey!

David Ross, Manager of Knowsley Safari Park, commented:- "The lions are used to seeing saloons and family cars on a daily basis, but they had never seen a smart before.

Because of the cars' small size and unusual looks, the lions were immediately interested and went to take a closer look.

The passengers weren't in any danger as we always monitor traffic very closely.

We won't be excluding smarts from the park, however, but we will monitor their progress and ensure that the lions don't take anything more than a passing interest."

Rob Karecky, general manager of smart Manchester, added:-
"Yes, Smarts always stand out wherever they go, but this kind of animal attraction is very unusual!

It just goes to prove that the car designed with the city in mind is also a head-turner in the country!"

Right or wrong?

YOU just can't get away from it, can you? It's like having to live a nightmare a world where, it seems, even those who are ostensibly intelligent and honest have to think before they link one word with another. The rules of good etiquette have now been replaced by political correctness, no malice or offence is usually meant, it is the way we see things, we say what we see and how we see them.

Critics of Political Correctness argue that advocacy of Political Correctness amounts to censorship and are a danger to free speech. Has it all gone too far? Or do we need these measures so nobody is offended, or is it all down to common sense and politeness, you can't please everyone. Here are a few words before and after they are Politically Correct.

* Fireman - Fireperson
* Chairman - Chairperson
* Black coffee - Coffee with out milk
* Fat - Horizontally challenged
* Half cast - Mixed race
* Blind - Visually impaired

There are now plans to make comedians to sign a contract agreeing to stick to politically correct jokes, but would they still be jokes if they were censored, so to speak. Councillors in Newcastle will be asked to consider banning performers whose acts are branded offensive, racist, sexist or homophobic. The policy followed calls from the Public Sector Union to ban blue comedian Chubby Brown from playing at Newcastle's City Hall. The policy under consideration has come from the equalities board; it recommends the council bans all acts which go against the council's visions, values and social inclusions. Is there a difference in being offensive and funny, sometimes it is a difficult line to judge. The policy will be considered this month.

Is there a difference in how words or actions are interpreted, as in 1998 a Punch and Judy book was withdrawn from a public library service following claims that Mr Punch's "sickening violence" could corrupt children. The book which followed the traditional plot was said to send the completely wrong message. Going back about 20 years ago when I remember seeing the Punch and Judy show, in no way did I associate it with wanting to use violence on anyone or anything, as I knew they where puppets and that it was an act which was about making everyone laugh.

This week the bbc has re-edited some of its coverage of the London underground and bus bombings to avoid labelling the perpetrators as terrorists, which to me is exactly what they are as described in the dictionary the term terrorist means to fill with terror or rule or maintain power by terrorism - terrorism means a policy or system of ruling, seeking to obtain political demands etc by violence and intimidation, therefore they are terrorists.

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