Council warns staff to steer clear of the cannibalism website
Jobsworths at Birmingham City Council have compiled a fascinating list of websites that local authority staff are banned from using while at work.
The five-page document contains many of the usual suspects – adult material, sexual content or nudity – but also covers a vast range of subjects that make you wonder quite what the people who compiled the list get up to in their spare time.
Verboten subjects include, in no particular order of ghastliness: “Sites promoting witchcraft, Satanism, occult practices, atheistic views, voodoo rituals or any other form of mysticism. Sites that offer methods to affect or influence real events through the use of spells, incantations, curses and magic powers.
“Sites that revel and glorify in gore, human or animal suffering, scatological or other aberrant behaviours, perversities or debaucheries. Salacious sites bereft of historical context, educational value or artistic merit created solely to debase, dehumanise or shock. Examples include necrophilia, cannibalism and amputee fetish sites.”
There’s also some nanny-state stuff about not looking at anything that is likely to “promote, glorify, review or in any way advocate the use of tobacco or tobacco-related products including, but not limited to, cigarettes, pipes, cigars and chewing tobacco".
A person describing herself as the information security rep for the chief executive, who distributed the list to colleagues across all council departments, adds somewhat optimistically: “If you have any comments, concerns or a need for access to any of these types of websites within your service areas please let me know with details of the category you are referring to.”
Iron Angle will offer a suitable prize to the first council employee to come up with a plausible reason for accessing the voodoo rituals or curses and incantations sites, and to have the request approved by senior management.
Meanwhile, just in case anyone should think the council is run by geeks who regard the workforce as a bunch of dangerous weirdos, the internet police have also drawn up a list of topics that may be viewed during lunch breaks between 12pm and 2pm. These include sites that feature “jokes of an adult nature” and “contain images of swimsuits or intimate apparel or other types of suggestive clothing”.
And who said life at Birmingham City Council is boring?
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A strange silence from the Labour group on Birmingham City Council about the Liberal Democrats’ failure to fulfil a promise of an inquiry into the “scurrilous” conduct of Aston councillor Ayoub Khan and his mate Saeed Aehmed, whose ability to climb lamp-posts despite claiming invalidity benefit for 27 years amazed Elections Commissioner Timothy Straker QC.
It is clear by now that the “inquiry” announced two months ago by Lib Dem deputy council leader Paul Tilsley into Straker’s finding that Khan, a cabinet member, attempted to frame Labour councillor Muhammad Afzal for non-existent witness nobbling is not going to take place.
You’d think Labour would be all over this. A complaint to the Standards Board, at the very least. A debate in the council chamber, certainly.
Perhaps the lack of interest has something to do with Labour’s own potential for embarrassment.
News reaches me that the chairman of Birmingham Labour Party, one Mahmood Ahmed, acted as the 2004 election agent for the three Bordesley Green councillors who were subsequently expelled from the council after being found by Elections Commissioner Richard Mawrey QC to have taken part in massive postal vote fraud.
Obviously, Mr Ahmed knew nothing about the corruption that was going on under his nose and is fully deserving of the position he now holds.
In another strange twist, Mr Ahmed’s daughter, Shabana Mahmood, has been controversially selected as prospective Labour parliamentary candidate for Ladywood, beating Councillor Yvonne Mosquito along the way.
A strange incident before the selection meeting saw Mosquito dumped by her colleagues as Labour’s representative on the West Midlands Police Authority – a move which, it is claimed, dented her chances of winning the Ladywood selection.
And who, do you suppose, helped count the vote at the Labour group meeting which sacked Coun Mosquito from the police authority?
None other than her Dad, Mahmood Ahmed. A possible conflict of interests, you might think?