Jeremy Vine caller argues calling people 'love' is not offensive

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A Jeremy Vine caller has slammed Judge Feeney’s ruling that names such as babes and hun are “demeaning and infantilising”, calling her out for not liking “working-class culture”. The slamming came after the sacking of a funeral firm manager who used inappropriate language towards female staff following the Judge’s ruling.

Calling on Jeremy Vine on Five, Peter from Wolverhampton said: “It’s a class issue, not a gender issue!”

Presenter Jeremy Vine chipped in: “Right and so North-South as well- is that what you are thinking?”

The caller answered: “Yeah, well, I go into the cafe in the morning for breakfast and we’re all working-class together.

“And the girl will be on the counter saying ‘there you go, thank you, sweetheart’.

“And I say ‘thank you darling’ and we’re all happy.”

He continued: “We’re all friends because we’re all working.

“But if a middle-class person comes in we all start saying Sir and talking out b*****ks.”

Jeremy Vine said: “No you don’t. Don’t be ridiculous.

“So if a so-called middle-class person comes in and says, ‘Can I have two sausages, darling’, would you say ‘you can’t talk to her like that?’.”

The caller replied: “I wouldn’t dream of it but I mean I don’t think he would or she would because it’s a working-class code!

“’Love’, ‘darling’ and ‘sweetheart’.

“If you find it offensive like this Judge then it is just because you don’t like working-class culture.”

Employment Judge Pauline Feeney said: “Calling someone ‘mate’ or ‘lad’ is not a ‘pet’ name in our opinion, it is a nickname.

“They are not demeaning… however, chick, babes, bobs, honey, hun and sweetie are all demeaning and infantilising ways of referring to women.”   

Judge Feeney ruled at a tribunal that Mike Hartley, a funeral firm manager, used inappropriate language towards female staff.

Mr Hartley regularly called women ‘sweet’, ‘love’, ‘chick’, and ‘honey’, which he argued was the same as calling male counterparts ‘mate’ or ‘lad’.

However, the tribunal found it was inappropriate to compare the two.

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