British taxpayers fund council 'adventures in Sindia and Lesbianandgayland' as part of sessions on equality and diversity
Council bosses are being asked to imagine they are English economic migrants in the fictitious region of Sindia, or go on an `adventure in Lesbian-andgayland' as part of publicly-funded training sessions on equality and diversity. More than 30 managers from Brighton and Hove City Council have been on the two-day `Leading on Diversity' course in the past year - at a cost of several thousand pounds.
In the session entitled Adventures in Sindia, the English Exodus, staff are asked to imagine that it is 2030 and the `world is a very different place'. In this scenario, much of the South-East of England and East Anglia is under water.
Millions of English families desperate for work have been forced to uproot to Sindia, an economic federation which is made up of China and India. All the participants are asked to imagine that they are a seven-year-old child called Sarah Hardy, whose family has just moved to Delhi.
They are also warned that the English are largely despised in India because they have a reputation for `illegality, criminality, cultural conservatism and an inability to learn the host language'.
The course material states: `Your seventh birthday was a miserable occasion. Your parents invited all the children in your class to a party. All but one failed to turn up and none sent an RSVP. `The only child who came was a Jewish girl from Hungary. Somehow you felt that she understood what you were going through, even though you never talked about it.'
The course attendees are told that while in Sindia they can expect to hear comments such as: `Why do you insist on eating that bland food? What you need is a good masala', `Do your parents really force you to drink alcohol at the age of ten?', and `What do you call an English virgin? A contradiction in terms'.
In the other session, staff are asked to imagine that `while asleep one night they have slipped through a wormhole in space' and woken up in a parallel world where it is
normal to be lesbian or gay.
They are told that they are now in a country where `heterosexual teachers are very reluctant to come out', `the ideal family consists of a lesbian or gay male couple', and `that conceiving a child by heterosexual intercourse is viewed with distaste'.
They are then asked to consider how they would respond if people asked them: `What do you actually do in bed?', `Don't you think heterosexuality may be a phase you are going through?', and `Is it possible that what you need is a good gay lover?'
The course for staff at Brighton and Hove Council was organised and run by Aziz Associates, a training consultancy founded in 1996. The company is run by Razia Aziz, 45, a politics graduate, and clients include health trusts, local councils and Government departments. Its website describes Ms Aziz as a `coach, facilitator, and performance and workshop artist' with a `holistic style that embraces the intellect, body and heart'.
A Mail on Sunday investigation also found that other councils which ran equality and diversity projects last year included Preston, which spent œ1,500 sending staff on three Journeys of Faith sessions, Kensington and Chelsea, and Test Valley Borough Council in Hampshire, which spent œ2,800.
Meanwhile, Hertfordshire County Council has produced a Making Our Mark On Equality And Diversity guide that says references to `girls in the office' is inappropriate because it implies `dependence and immaturity'. The same council also has problems with `lady' which has `over-tones of decorum and conformity' and even woman `which has overtones of sexuality'.
Officials at East Devon District Council have banned `little old lady, pensioner, youth and youngster' and guidance to staff states: `White European people are also subjected to prejudice and stereotyping - Swedish ("porn and nudity"), Germans ("Hitlers who want to rule the world"), Irish ("thick"), Scottish ("mean, tight with money").'
A spokesman for Brighton & Hove City Council said: `At a cost that is low by any comparison, our training role-plays are proven to do what they are supposed to do, which is to reduce inappropriate discrimination based on race, faith, disability,
gender, sexuality or age.'