More vital issues to worry about

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It is fair to say that, right now, there are plenty of things in the world to get hot under the collar about.

Anyone who doesn’t live in a cave will be concerned by all manner of burning issues: unstable world leaders, famine, Aleppo, not to mention terrorism.

Then we have the pressing matters at home which include a large chunk of a nation watching in horror as a band of swivel-eyed loons (a phrase coined by an aide of a former Prime Minister) march us toward the brink of exiting the EU. This is now likely to be made even more complicated by Scottish nationalists’ demands for a second ‘once in a lifetime’ independence referendum in three years.

With all this going on, everything else must pale into insignificance right? Wrong. Last week a small, but very vocal, number got their collective knickers in a twist when a 73-year-old politician referred to his female staff as ‘the girls’. Sir Roger Gale (pictured) used the term several times, during an otherwise forgettable radio interview.

I listened to the BBC broadcast, while stuffing packed lunchboxes, and my sensibilities weren’t troubled once.

But the interview did cause temperatures elsewhere to rise, prompting accusations of sexism to be levelled against Sir Roger. The ‘story’ lived for well over 24 hours, with the Today Programme returning to the issue, this time by way of a head-to-head between one of the ‘girls’, a 40-something by the name of Debi, and an affronted academic.

Poor Debi was clearly bewildered by the fuss, after all she quite likes being referred to as a girl and pointed out that Sir Roger was a good boss. But this was too much for the female prof, who argued that the use of such a term was “demeaning”. When it was pointed out that many talk about having a ‘girls’ weekend’, she dismissed this argument out of hand.

I wasn’t fussed about this row until I listened to this pointless piece of radio, then I got cross because I had been forced to give a monkey’s. How consenting adults refer to one another really is nobody’s business other than their own.

Some people really don’t have enough to worry about.