Don’t mention the S word

I think I’ve had a rant or two about our friends in Brussels and Strasbourg before haven’t I?!   I’ve probably also mentioned my aversion to politics on more than one occasion, and don’t get me started on political correctness (PC).

So how about this for the start of a circular from an insurance company this week: 
“Gender Neutral EU legislation comes into force on the 21st December 2012”
Where do I start?!    Well how about the actual wording?   I’m sure someone in the PR department spent a few hours agonising on how to keep the word ‘sex’ out of the whole article.   It could have been because they know how infantile the sense of humour of many of their target audience is and they didn’t want any distractions from the message.   It’s sad but true – you still see furtive smirks when a speaker starts their second point with “Number Two”.  I digress.   No, the real reason was PC.   I can honestly say I do not know ONE person who would have been offended if it had said “Sex Neutral”.   
Next:  The message.    Your sex cannot be used as a rating factor when insurers put a price on your insurance.   This will have most effect on young drivers.   Fact One:  On the whole, young men have more accidents than young women.   Fact Number Two (who’s grinning?):  In general, when young men have accidents they tend to be driving faster and are more likely to have other young people in the car with them, so the cost of the claim will be substantially higher.  However, despite this, the EU have agreed that it is unfair to rate men and women differently!
It seems that my tirade on this subject in March 2011 Nova News couldn’t halt this ridiculous EU Directive (surely NN is required reading in the corridors of those splendid examples of modern architecture in Alsace?).   It seems to me that these so-called ‘directives’ don’t actually give enough direction at all, and allow member states to interpret them in different ways.   UK insurers are also left to interpret them themselves, and as I write this at the beginning of November we are still awaiting any firm news on how each insurer will apply this directive and how their rates will be affected.    How many will be tempted to increase the rates for women without decreasing them for men?   They could easily argue their case because they continue to make losses on motor insurance ….
Finally, what use Politics or Politicians?   My understanding of the role of a MEP is to represent the people of our country with a modicum of common sense.   Were they all on holiday when this was on the agenda, or asleep at the back of the room, or just not listening because they were giggling with each other after they got to the second point on the agenda?   
As always, one thing we can all rely on is that my colleagues will guide you to the best solution they can find with some common sense – Peace of Mind that you have been treated as fairly as possible within the restrictions of our crazy world!     
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, and here’s to a happy, healthy and more prosperous New Year from us all at Henshalls
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