Sunday, March 16, 2003

Hot Buns Banned!
No, it's not just another cheesy ploy to increase my search engine hit rate. Chris Hastings and Elizabeth Day report in the Telegraph that:
Schools across Britain have been ordered by local authorities to abandon the ancient tradition of serving hot cross buns at Easter so as not to offend children of non-Christian faiths.

Some councils are refusing to hand out the traditional treats because they fear that the symbol of the cross will spark complaints from Jewish, Hindu and Muslim pupils or their families.

Officials in the London borough of Tower Hamlets decided to remove the buns from menus this year after criticism over its decision to serve pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. A spokesman for the Labour-run council claimed that there had been "a lot" of complaints but did not have a figure.

The spokesman added: "We are moving away from a religious theme for Easter and will not be doing hot cross buns. We can't risk a similar outcry over Easter like the kind we had on Pancake Day. We will probably be serving naan breads instead."
Naan breads? Naan breads are traditionally used as an accompaniment to Indian cuisine, particularly Balti recipe dishes. Many Naans are often teardrop shaped and include kalonghi seeds (black onion seeds) or fennel as an added seasoning in the standard recipe.
Liverpool council, which is controlled by the Liberal Democrats, also told The Telegraph that the symbol of the cross had the "potential to offend" and buns will no longer be served to children.

Despite this ruling, the council confirmed that it will continue to organise special menus to celebrate events as diverse as the Chinese New Year, Italian National Day and Russian Independence Day.

Other councils not serving hot cross buns include York, where Labour is the largest group, and Wolverhampton, which is Labour-run. Officials in Wakefield, which is also controlled by Labour, have decided it would be more appropriate to tailor the Easter menu to information technology.

"We are not serving hot cross buns at all," said a spokesman. "Each term we try to come up with a menu which encourages children to think about different issues. This Easter term we chose information technology and did not even consider putting hot cross buns on the menu."
I''ll bite - does the information technology menu have "chips" instead?

Hmmm, something occurs to me.
Ann Widdecombe, the Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary who is a Roman Catholic convert, described the ban as "appalling and absurd". "These people are silly asses," she said.
Thanks Ann, that's what I was thinking.

More foolishness by following the link. And the Common Sense Door Prize goes to the Muslim Council of Britain who called the decision "very, very bizarre".