In defence of Political Correctness.

So, if we’re looking for a political attitude that is about as popular as piss-flavoured ice lollies, you can’t go very far wrong with a stout defence of Political Correctness. Tony Parsons, Richard Littlejohn, Peter Hitchens, Garry Bushell, Melanie Phillips and countless others have made a living out of writing down their fairly putrid and immature opinions and then accepting pats on the head from fuckwits. These people, we are told, are brave defenders of free speech. It is reckoned that they perform the important service of “saying what everyone else is thinking but is too afraid to say”. Permit me to interject: Shut the fuck up.

The very phrase “Political Correctness” conjures up, in many minds, an image of paedophile asylum seekers being given council houses and free basket-weaving classes out of OUR TAXES. It is about scenarios such as these that the shock-jocks bellow with incandescent anger, criticising this “Nanny State” in which we live and the “Thought Police” who prevent decent, hard-working people like you or I from expressing our perfectly reasonable desires to gas a field full of gypsies (I dunno how that would work practically. Maybe a marquee.) What these stout defenders of free speech do is actually quite clever – they invent or exaggerate a story, hold it up as an example of how our rights are being taken away, and then accept the applause of a grateful audience of total cunts.

The enemy, as these columnists see it, is a Politically Correct “Elite” against whom one cannot speak for fear of being labelled a fascist. Don’t worry! Richard Littlejohn’s here to speak out on behalf of you, the “silent majority”. How would we live without him? Well, quite easily actually. Do you remember the Winterval Controversy? We were invited to gawp and shake our heads sadly as Birmingham City Council BANNED Christmas and replaced it with “Winterval” – a non-denominational festival – so as not to offend people of non-Christian faiths. Shit! We can’t even have Christmas presents anymore. You’re going to be arrested, then shot, and then sent to a gulag for re-education, if you say “Merry Christmas” to a friend. It’s an outrage, I tell you!

As it turns out, the most shocking thing about this story is that it was a complete and utter lie. To quote the Guardian’s article: According to an official statement from the council, Winterval – which ran in 1997 and 1998, and never since – was a “promotional campaign to drive business into Birmingham’s newly regenerated town centre. It began in early November and finished in January. During the part of that period traditionally celebrated as Christmas, “there was a banner saying Merry Christmas across the front of the council house, Christmas lights, Christmas trees in the main civil squares, regular carol-singing sessions by school choirs, and the Lord Mayor sent a Christmas card with a traditional Christmas scene wishing everyone a Merry Christmas”. Amazingly, these facts were not given much prominence by the anti-PC brigade, who were more interested in providing a scare story. This is not an uncommon practice. Invent a threat, stand up against it, look like a hero. The truth is that it is more socially acceptable in this day and age to express eye-wateringly intolerant views about Muslims, asylum-seekers and gay marriage (not an exhaustive list) than to stand up and say “actually, I agree with the spirit of Politcal Correctness”.

Which is what, exactly? Well, leaving aside the political Right’s efforts (largely successful) to smear it as an excessively tippy-toed approach to sensitive political issues, I would agree with Wikipedia’s description: “a term used to describe language, ideas, policies, or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offense to racial, cultural, or other identity groups”. What’s the harm in showing a bit of basic decency? Political Correctness, for me, has never been about singing “Baa-Baa Rainbow Sheep” (another myth), nor any other bollocks story thrown up by the press. It’s more about not characterising people negatively on the basis of their race, sex, sexuality, nationality or whatever. But I suppose that wouldn’t suit the purposes of the anti-PC brigade who, let’s face it, just want to be allowed to say “nigger” freely when it comes down to it.

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