A liberty too far? Public outcry at ‘obscene’ charity bus calendar
Island in turmoil after local transport provider goes blue for 2019
Liberty Buses has been forced to defend its position after its 2019 calendar, in partnership with local charity EYECAN, featuring drivers, engineers and management staff in various states of undress, has been lambasted by sections of the community as an ‘insult to common decency’.
Jersey Police have joined the Bailiff in appealing for calm after campaigners from Reputable Jersey heckled Liberty Bus office staff as they arrived for work this morning at their St Helier headquarters, and waved banners ‘aggressively’ at passing motorists.
‘‘Calendar Girls’ they were billing this production as!’ explained EYECAN’s director of public affairs, Gillian Tourniquet, ‘Not Fifty Shades of Gray! I was appalled when we got one sent through to us yesterday! I’ve never seen such filth.’ ‘The only saving grace’ she said ‘is that many of our members will be spared from actually seeing it.’ ‘And to think!’ she then shouted ‘They offered us a braille edition!’
And it is not just EYECAN who feel aggrieved at the nature of the release. We spoke with one driver, ‘Dennis’, who, on condition of anonymity, described how he felt he had been coerced into appearing in the production.
‘There had been pressure from the outset’ Dennis explained ‘As soon as management knew that the calendar was going ahead, it was made clear to us that we were expected to put ourselves forward. I couldn’t get out of it. Dave still had holiday left and quickly booked the time off. Kenny said that his back was bad again and managed to get a doctor’s note. Paulo suddenly got called back to Maderia on ‘an emergency’. Bastard. And then there was me. I was assured that it was all going to be light-hearted and just a bit of fun. But I was dreading it. And when the day finally came, I felt terrible. I had to meet a photographer: Fritz, and someone who I was told was going to be a director - up at Noirmont. It started off okay. She seemed very nice, the director. Helen. But not long after we had done a few shots with me holding my satchel and with my shirt removed, she then asked me if I had ever tried to squeeze into a dog cage. I said no; and that I hadn’t, and that it had never been something I had even considered. She then suddenly jumped off the bus, and before I knew what was happening, was then dragging one up onto the vehicle. I told her that I couldn’t do it. That I wouldn’t do it; and that I had already done more than I was comfortable with. But she then, without warning, whipped me on the buttock with a riding crop that she had hidden under her jacket. She screamed at me: ‘It’s me that makes the decisions!’ she said. ‘And then she said that I was ‘pathetic’…. and that I was a ‘worm’.’
Dennis took a moment to compose himself.
‘I just wish’ he then said ‘that the whole thing would go away.’ He sighed. ‘I still can’t do my shoelaces up on my own’
In the face of controversy, Liberty Buses have today defended the calendar.
‘We have our limits!’ explained head of communications, Denise Tremberth ‘We didn’t include any with the gym horse or the stocks. Or the ball-gags! We’re in the twenty first century!’ she said ‘Not a Jane Austin novel. All of this was outlined with EYECAN previously. I’ve seen stronger stuff on Hollyoaks’
Despite the calendars flying off the shelves from as early as 8am this morning, a mystery individual has pledged that for every one that is removed from circulation and handed in to a local parish hall for pulping, they will donate four times the cover price to EYECAN.