Soldier turned away from petrol station

#1
In todays Sun.



AN ASIAN worker at a BP filling station provoked fury by turning away a soldier because he was in uniform.

The shocked Army officer – wearing combat fatigues – was told to go away and change before he could buy beer from the service station shop.

But witnesses claimed the snub was due to the attendant’s antiwar views.

The incident is the latest in a series of blows to Forces personnel, who feel neglected by the nation.


The officer is a captain with 16 Air Assault Brigade, whose 5,000 troops fought heroically against the Taliban in Afghanistan last summer.

He said the public snub – at Wisley South Connect station on the A3 near Guildford, Surrey – left him humiliated and shamed in front of a dozen other customers.

He asked to remain anonymous in case of reprisal attacks by extremists, but reported the incident to BP and to the Army Families Federation.

The federation’s spokeswoman Melanie Pullan told The Sun: “I talked to this officer, and it was very disappointing to hear his experiences. It made our blood boil.


“We would ask the nation to get behind their troops, considering the sort of sacrifice so many are making.

“Their war has never been against Muslims. It’s a shame people can’t respect their service to the country, whether you agree with the politics behind it or not.”

BP last night issued a grovelling apology to the officer, claiming it was a bungle over the licensing laws and NOT a result of prejudice or politics.

A BP spokeswoman said: “We apologise sincerely to the Army officer for the inconvenience and embarrassment that has been caused.

“None of our staff has the right to discriminate on who they serve, regardless of what they are wearing.

“We investigated the incident and believe it was caused by an error in interpretation of the licensing laws. Retraining of staff is now taking place.”

BP insisted the snub was a simple misunderstanding.

A spokesman claimed the attendant thought it was illegal to sell alcohol to cops in uniform, and assumed the same rule applied to squaddies.

But witnesses who saw the incident are adamant it had nothing to do with licensing laws, and was based instead on the worker’s political views and prejudice against soldiers.

There is a growing feeling among military personnel that their huge sacrifices are no longer valued by their nation.

Worried Army chief, General Sir Richard Dannatt last month warned of a growing gulf between the public and our Armed Forces

Speechless :x
 
#3
That's outrageous! That stations 10 mins from where I live too.
 
#4
Lets hope as many serving colleagues as possible make a point of visiting the Wisley South Connect station on the A3 near Guildford, in uniform, on a regular basis from now on?
 
#5
smudge67 said:
That's outrageous! That stations 10 mins from where I live too.
careful you don't accidently drop your zippo , next time you visit Smudge
 
#6
Then do me a favour and pop round and 're-educate' that individual.
 
#7
Murphy_Slaw said:
smudge67 said:
That's outrageous! That stations 10 mins from where I live too.
careful you don't accidently drop your zippo , next time you visit Sudge
Tempting, problem is the whole A3 will be closed for days and I don't want the soot falling in my garden, so make sure the winds are southern :wink:
 
#8
Anyone got a map? Convoy visit would be good - half a litre for each vehicle just to make sure you're well topped up.

Well done BP -condemn, apologise and retrain. To sack immediately would have been racist of course
 
#9
How about nobody ever goes there again. place gets shut down and sh1tlips has to find another job.

Not easy when you have the "tosspot" branded on your forehead.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#10
This is not unheard of. The Tesco Metro near to my TAC has invoked the same rule, based on the belief that the laws applying to Police also applied to the military.

One of the blokes works for Tesco, raised the matter at work, and the problem went away.

Sorry not to jump on the "stone him" bandwaggon, but there a very real possibility that a genuine error is being used for political means.
 
#11
Sadly there is a bit of an anti-forces feeling in certain establishments due to personnel.

Recently I have had to apply to Royal Mail for a refund of parcel costs to a sandpit after being charged when it should have been free. The reason? The attendant each time begrudgingly handles the parcel and barely disguises her opinions. Complaints have been politely made and noted. Yet, on our street a Kurdish guy who we've barely spoken to but is aware of my family member's work and location always asks after him and more than once has thanked us for him and his work.

Frankly I think there needs to be a greater sense of respect built up by encouraging servicemen and women to wear their uniforms more so that people realise just how many people are serving. Also, those who abuse servicemen and women should face the same punishment as any other discriminatory action. It would also help if national and local newspapers carried more articles about when troops are returning so civvies can turn out and show some respect.

There are a great many who do respect the forces and such behaviour should be encouraged.

Just my tuppence.
 
#13
I wonder if the re-training of the staff is using such tried and tested methods such as "The Big Stick" approach.

Without taking The Sun's opinion to heart, could it have been a simple "He is in uniform, can't serve him alcohol" and the Office blew up because of that?
 
#14
I'm sick to death of our forces getting a raw deal.

A chav gets pregnant and the goverment can't do enough to help, house, healthcare, you name it, they get it.

A serviceman/woman comes home from a war zone and gets absolutely bugger all but abuse.

Sorry you had your legs blown off mate, but you will have to join the queue because this junkie needs help first.

Sorry your homeless after serving our country, but this pregnant chav needs a house first, so join the queue.

Sorry your missus and kids are being terrorised, but we're too busy playing with our speed camera to attend mate. Here's your crime number.

Makes my flaming blood boil :x

If the assistant was unsure about serving then he shouldn't have been doing the job to begin with. It was nothing to do with guidelines and everything to do with 'soldierism' in my opinion. He should have been sacked....after HE apologised IN person to the soldier in question.
 
#15
I must admit I am finding it hard to swallow the "I didn't know I was allowed to serve him while in his uniform" excuse.

Surely he had training before he started the job?

It's not like he's never seen/served a soldier in uniform before, the Hants/Surrey border is crawling with them
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#16
Going for a world record in the "high blood pressure" and "righteous indignation" entries are you Bossyboots.

Roll up, roll up. Get your bags of gravel here! Stone him!
 
#17
I'm quite calm with a nice cup of tea now Duke.

Though it still makes me flipping angry :x
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#18
I've used that petrol staton many, many times in Uniform, and as part of a conoy stop (first one after you leave the M25, useful for gathering stragglers) and never had any bother. Sounds a bit odd, because the majority of staff in places like this are Tamils, and therefore likely to be Buddhists, certainly few are Muslims. They have their own terrorist problems, but not really involving the UK (apart from raising funds, that is: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1687495.ece )
 

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