To Pc or not to Pc

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Definition

Here's a selection :

- The avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. (Google)

- Someone who is politically correct believes that language and actions that could be offensive to others, especially those relating to sex and race, should be avoided. (Cambridge on-line Dictionary)

- Conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated. (Merriam-Webster on-line Dictionary)

- The term political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct; commonly abbreviated to PC or P.C.) is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. Since the late 1980s, the term has come to refer to avoiding language or behavior that can be seen as excluding, marginalizing, or insulting groups of people considered disadvantaged or discriminated against, especially groups defined by sex or race. In public discourse and the media, it is generally used as a pejorative, implying that these policies are excessive. (Wikipedia)

- Political correctness is the attitude or policy of being extremely careful not to offend or upset any group of people in society who have a disadvantage, or who have been treated differently because of their sex, race, or disability. / If you say that someone is politically correct, you mean that they are extremely careful not to offend or upset any group of people in society who have a disadvantage, or who have been treated differently because of their sex, race, or disability. The politically correct are people who are politically correct. (Collins on-line Dictionary)

Has it all gone too far and got out of hand?

Just Google the question here and you'll get a slew of comments!

Debate.org says
The Guardian says and then says more
The Huffington Post says
Listverse gives you 10 ridiculous cases
The Independent debates
Yahoo gives you 10 hilarious cases
Forbes gives us nightmares!
Quora gives Millenials food for thought

CHARLIE HEBDO CREATES CARTOONS :

Charlie Hebdo's take on Trump in meeting African politicians

Well yes, it is disrespectful to the Black Community and Tarzan - but then this is POTUS Trump and he wants to build a wall to separate Mexico from the US - which is more sinister?

Mel Brooks says :

Our PC world is the death of comedy, says Mel Brooks: Veteran comedian claims society is 'stupidly politically correct' and that many of his films could not be made today

Veteran Hollywood comedian Mel Brooks says society has become 'stupidly politically correct', which has been 'the death of comedy'. The producer and director said many of his films – including 1974 comedy western Blazing Saddles, which satirised racism – could not be made today. Asked if there was anything he would not parody, Brooks, 91, who dressed as Hitler in 1983 film To Be or Not To Be, told Radio 4's Today programme: 'I would never touch gas chambers or the death of children or Jews at the hands of the Nazis. Everything else is OK. 'Naked people? Fine. I like naked people, they're usually the most polite. We have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy. It's not good for comedy. Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks. Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king's ear, always telling the truth about human behaviour.' Brooks said he thought his 1974 comedy musical Young Frankenstein was among the few of his films that could be made now. He has turned it into a West End show, starring Ross Noble and Lesley Joseph, and said he hopes to do the same with Blazing Saddles.  

'We have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy,' Brooks said. 'It's not good for comedy. Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks. 'Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king's ear, always telling the truth about human behaviour.' Brooks said he knew he was funny from a very young age, adding: 'People would peer down into my crib and laugh. And I said, 'this is good, funny is money'. Somehow I put it together right.' Brooks has turned Young Frankenstein into a West End stage show, starring comedian Ross Noble and Birds Of A Feather actress Lesley Joseph, and revealed his hopes for the same with Blazing Saddles. Among his many credits, Brooks - whose directorial debut The Producers won him an Oscar for best original screenplay - is one of only 12 people to have scooped an Emmy, a Grammy, an Academy Award and a Tony. But he joked that he would like to be remembered for something else - for being taller than he is. Brooks said: 'I don't want to be remembered as me, because I'm too short. 'Age has cut me down to 5ft 5 and a half, 5ft 6 and a half. I would like to be remembered as 6ft 2.' Source : Daily Mail

Charlton Heston says & Draws :

Charlton Heston's view of PC

Not sure if the quote and picture are attributable to Charlton Heston - source : RashmanlyFiles

john 'MASTERMIND' humphreys says :

HUMPHREYS' FURY AT HIMSELF FOR USING 'COMMON ERA' ALTERNATIVE 

Mastermind inquisitor John Humphrys has revealed he was ‘angry with himself’ for using the ‘ridiculous’ PC term BCE – meaning Before Common Era – instead of the traditional BC in a recent edition of the quiz. The slip happened as he asked about an event in ‘the 6th Century BCE’. A rueful Humphrys told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I did use that ridiculous expression and I am angry with myself because I can’t stand BCE and all that sort of stuff. ‘It was a last-minute question or something which I hadn’t had time to check over. So I just read what was in front of me. And then you think, “My God, did I really read that?” ’

In 2011, The Mail on Sunday revealed that the BBC’s religion and ethics website suggested using CE and BCE instead of BC and AD so as not to ‘offend or alienate non-Christians’. Humphrys, 74, said last night: ‘I hope you do not hear myself saying BCE again or anything like it again. ‘Everyone knows where we are when we say BC and AD and that is how I want to keep it.’

George 'Flashman' MacDonald Fraser says :

Flashman author's tirade from beyond the grave at 'fascist' political correctness

- George MacDonald Fraser branded political correctness 'insidious' evil
- Claimed it is as big a threat to free speech as communism and fascism
- Author launched tirade in unpublished memoir just discovered by family

Sir Harry Paget Flashman couldn’t have put it better. George MacDonald Fraser, author of the Flashman novels, branded political correctness an ‘insidious’ and ‘dishonest’ evil as big a threat to free speech as communism and fascism. The author of 12 books chronicling the further adventures of the sadistic bully from Tom Brown’s Schooldays, launched his tirade in an unpublished memoir just discovered by his family.
MacDonald Fraser, who died in 2008 aged 82, wrote: ‘My chief concern is the kind of prejudice rooted in the fear of being thought illiberal. Such attitudes are dangerous and intellectually dishonest. 'But then, political correctness is by definition dishonest and is, I believe, the most insidious doctrine to plague the Western world since those abominable soul mates communism and fascism with which it has more in common than its dupes seem to realise. ‘It cannot face truth; it rejects what is, simply because what is does not suit what the politically correct thinking ought to be.’

The comments are likely to delight fans of his books who love the character’s bad behaviour. Flashman’s womanising, heavy drinking, casual racism, bullying and outrageous cowardice make him one of the most un-PC characters in the whole of English literature. MacDonald Fraser, who wrote several Hollywood film scripts, also recalls how he was forced  to remove a scene based on real events where unscrupulous white whisky traders peddled alcohol to Plains Indians for fears scenes of drunken ‘Native Americans’ would upset their descendants. He writes: ‘They wouldn’t like  to think that it happened, so it musn’t be shown happening, even though it did. God help history.’  His family discovered the manuscript, called The Bug Of Senachie, six weeks ago while sorting out his collection of papers. A Senachie is a teller of tales from the Scottish Highlands.  The manuscript is not dated  but the author’s reference in it to having written 11 Flashman books means it was written between 1999 and 2005. His daughter Caro Fraser, who found the manuscript, said: ‘It hasn’t been published anywhere and I think he wrote it with an eye on posterity.’

The author’s family are selling his extensive working library of 2,500 books through the Mayfair bookseller Heywood Hill, which will publish the manuscript at the end of May to coincide with the sale of the books from June 2, 2014. Source : Daily Mail

David 'Ducky' McCallum says :

'I am totally against all forms of political correctness, It destroys the language; it destroys freedom of speech.'

Today, 50 years after the original show was shown, and with the Cold War long ago over, what does McCallum think of the new version of U.N.C.L.E? The critics have, in the main, panned it. He's not impressed, it seems clear, despite his gentlemanly assurance that the film is 'worth going to see'. Vaughn had forlornly hoped he and McCallum might get cameo roles.

Certainly, the Ritchie remake seems hamstrung by a suffocating political correctness which ensures there is little by way of casual romping, and foreigners — even baddies — are expected to be treated with respect. By contrast, McCallum's U.N.C.L.E was an organisation where bikini-clad receptionists lounged at their desks under sun-lamps. Women existed largely to be rescued and bedded. McCallum is unrepentant. 'I am totally against all forms of political correctness,' he huffs. 'It destroys the language; it destroys freedom of speech.' Source : Daily Mail

George Orwell says :

http://www.telelib.com/authors/O/OrwellGeorge/essay/tribune/AsIPlease19440901.html

Urban Dictionary says :

A lot so do visit and have a laugh - my favourite section is :

1. The laws of moral and ethical relativism; all systems of cultures and thought are equal in value, steming from a perceived guilt from white liberals who believe that the Western Civilization is the root of all evil to the exclusion of all else.

2. A powerful form of censorship. | abbr: PC

Political correctness has a basic flaw. If all views are equal, why do some who embrace this view feel the need to push this agenda as the "correct" one at the same time demonizing other views as "incorrect"?by tradesman March 31, 2003

'Yes Minister' lampoons 'Equal Opportunities'

Even before 'Political Correctness' was coined!

Series 3 Episode 1 | Transmission 11th November 1982

Synopsis : With his wife's encouragement, Minister Hacker decides he should focus on accomplishing 1 or 2 significant achievements while in office. He decides the time has come to promote more women into the senior ranks of the civil service. Needless to say, Sir Humphrey very much wants to maintain the status quo and arranges for his fellow permanent secretaries to brief their own Ministers accordingly. Hacker nonetheless insists on promoting a woman in his own department, but things don't quite work out as planned. Source : IMDB

Yes Minister Equal Opportunities

Prompted by a schoolgirl's question as to what he has actually achieved in cabinet, Jim searches for a raison d'être. Talking to a particularly intelligent female undersecretary, he's suddenly struck by how few women there are in the Civil Service. Source : Comedy.co.uk

Links : Yes Minister – EO

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080306/episodes
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00784q2
http://www.comedy.co.uk/guide/tv/yes_minister/episodes/3/1/
http://www.veoh.com/m/watch.php?v=v21038635hFeshyYF

A to Z of politically correct madness: The Left's 'Thought Police' continues to censor language as 'manfully' is labelled sexist

Daily Mail - 18th November 2017

NHS hospital consultant accused of sexism after praising a father 
Cambridge academic urged colleagues not to use words such as ‘genius’
Suffolk council has been criticised for using the term 'cat's eyes'
Here is an A to Z of new practices which have fallen foul to political correctness 

Every day, it seems, someone else falls foul of the New Censors. They are accused of either offending the diktats of political correctness or are deemed guilty of so-called cultural appropriation (the act of using things from another culture). The latest example this week was a ‘sin’ committed against the all-pervasive modern creed behind ‘gender politics’, which dictates that anyone who uses language deemed ‘sexist’ must be punished and forced to apologise. An NHS hospital consultant was accused of sexism after praising a father for ‘manfully’ stepping in to bring his daughter for an appointment when his wife was unavailable. The three-year-old’s parents complained, saying the word ‘manfully’ was sexist because it implied ‘women are there to do the childcare’ and that ‘fathers and mothers should have equal responsibility for taking their children to hospital appointments’. The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, and the paediatric surgeon involved had to apologise.

Another example of truly absurd censorship occurred when county council road engineers in Suffolk were criticised for using the phrase ‘cat’s eyes’ — because some people may have thought cats had been butchered, and thus the council was party to animal cruelty. Among the most dangerous New Censors are those found in universities — not only politically over-sensitive students but lecturers wedded to this Left-wing ideology. For example, a woman Cambridge academic urged colleagues not to use words such as ‘genius’, ‘brilliant’ or ‘flair’ for fear of alienating female students because she said they ‘carry assumptions of gender inequality’ as they’re associated with men. Such examples show how political correctness has become an obsession in many sections of the metropolitan, liberal Left. A self-appointed priesthood now ruthlessly polices language and behaviour for any signs of heresy that their diktats state are unacceptable. They have established a code of conduct against ‘crimes’ such as so-called ‘micro-aggressions’ — ‘brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural and environmental indignities’ that are said to communicate hostility. But far from promoting a tolerant society — which is their proclaimed aim — this bullying brand of identity politics simply creates friction between people, as well as discord and suspicion. Crucially, it silences debate — and free speech is undermined and common sense lost.

Here’s an A to Z compilation of some everyday words, practices and concepts that have fallen foul of the new Political Correctness orthodoxy.

A is for avoiding eye contact
Oxford University’s Equality and Diversity Unit tried to accuse people who avoid eye contact with others of ‘racist micro-aggression’ — before it was pointed out that such advice might be seen as discriminatory against people with autism who may struggle to look others in the eye.

B is for ‘born a man’ or ‘born a woman’
Transgender campaigners condemn such phrases as inaccurate and offensive. Even ‘biologically male’ and ‘biologically female’ are deemed ‘problematic’ by the influential U.S. gay rights ‘media monitoring’ group GLAAD (which used to be called the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, because they ‘oversimplify’ the ‘complex subject’ of gender. We’re told the correct usage is to say an individual is ‘assigned’ or ‘designated’ male or female at birth.

C is for cat’s eyes
Suffolk County Council stopped using traditional signs warning drivers ‘Cat’s eyes removed’ after fears that real cats may have been killed to manufacture these reflective road safety measures. Ipswich resident Rebecca Brewer was reported as saying: ‘I have a five-year-old daughter who was very upset the first time she saw the sign — she really thought cruel people were torturing cats.’ Instead, signs across the county now state: ‘Caution, road studs removed.’ A council spokesman said: ‘The term “road studs” is one we now use as standard.’

C is also for clapping - Applause was banned by the National Union of Students’ Women’s Campaign over concerns that it could ‘trigger anxiety’ among nervous students. Whooping and cheering have also raised concerns. Instead, politically-correct students now show support for a speaker with a bizarre display of ‘jazz hands’, a form of exuberant but silent manual acclamation taken from musical theatre.

D is for dreadlocks
Use of this braided hairstyle by white people is said to represent cultural appropriation. When the designer Marc Jacobs was criticised for using a group of predominantly white models wearing dreadlocks in a show, he argued — not unreasonably — that this was similar to black women straightening their hair. This was met with further outrage from (mostly white) commentators who complained that hair-straightening had been ‘forced upon the black community due to beauty ideals based on white archetypes’.

E is for ‘Exotic’
A word some social justice warriors claim carries ‘nasty racial underpinnings’. U.S. fashion editor and blogger Katie Dupere says ‘exotic’ is ‘a major verbal micro-aggression’.

<F is for ‘Fat’
An unacceptable term, which, according to so-called ‘fat-liberation activists, is used ‘to shame people who might not fit the conventional beauty standards of our society’. Contradictorily, though, anyone with a fuller figure is allowed to ‘reclaim “Fat” as an empowering identity’.

F is also for ‘forefathers’ - A word that Cardiff Metropolitan University’s code of practice states is sexist (because it includes the gender-exclusive ‘fathers’) and should be replaced by ‘ancestors’ or ‘forebears’. The code lists 34 words and phrases to be avoided as part of efforts to ‘embrace cultural diversity’.

G is for ‘girls’
A sexist word according to Cardiff Metropolitan University, which said that it should never be used about adult women, as it is a way of belittling them.

G is also for ‘genius’ - one of the words that Lucy Delap, a lecturer in British history at Cambridge, says should be discouraged as it ‘carries assumptions of gender inequality and also of class and ethnicity’

H is for Hate Speech
Any view that departs from the social justice agenda is at risk of being seen as ‘hate speech’. Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s speech to last year’s Tory party conference was reported to police as a ‘hate crime’ by Left-wing Oxford professor Joshua Silver. The speech — which the academic later admitted he hadn’t actually watched — had included promises of tighter controls on immigration. Credulous police duly recorded Rudd’s speech as ‘a non-crime hate incident’.

I is for ‘Illegal’
This is apparently a pejorative word and therefore unacceptable when applied to migrants — even to describe those who have, indeed, entered a country illegally. One set of guidelines in the U.S. states: ‘Actions are illegal, people are not . . . The word ‘illegal’ has been applied and abused by those advocating harsh immigration policies that are undoubtedly racist and xenophobic.’ The politically correct terminology is ‘undocumented immigrants’.

J is for Jamaican Stew
This traditional Caribbean dish became a recipe for a race row when chefs at Pembroke College, Cambridge, were ordered to rethink the menu after ethnic minority students complained that the ‘Jamaican Stew’ — as well as other dishes including ‘Tunisian Rice’ — constituted ‘micro-aggressions’ against them, since such offerings did not properly represent the foods of their native lands.

K is for Kilts
Some Scots have suggested any non-Scot who wears one is guilty of cultural appropriation — particularly considering England’s long history of ‘oppression’ against its northern neighbour.‘Scottish Gaelic culture has been subject to rampant cultural appropriation for centuries as a result of its subordination to Anglophone culture in an Anglo-centric British Empire,’ laments Michael Newton, author of Warriors Of The Word: The World Of The Scottish Highlanders.

L is for ‘Lame’
A word deemed offensive by some disability campaigners, particularly when used in the sense of being ‘ineffectual’ or ‘unappealing’. According to the ‘Ableist Word Profile’ (an online guide that ‘explores a variety of feminist issues through a disability lens’), use of the word ‘lame’ is ‘pejorative’ as it ‘reinforces ableism in our culture by reminding people that disability is bad’.

M is for ‘mother’ (AND ‘MANFULLY’)
Mother is a word that’s far too old-fashioned in our modern world where there is sensitivity about transgenderism. In January, the British Medical Association advised members that mothers-to-be should be referred to as ‘pregnant people’ to avoid offence and ‘celebrate diversity’.Another previously innocuous M-word frowned upon by the PC brigade is ‘man’: censors at Cardiff Metropolitan University have stipulated that ‘manpower’ should be replaced by ‘personnel’, ‘human resources’ or ‘staff’ to avoid offence to women. ‘Sportsmanship’ and ‘taxman’ should not be used, either.

N is for Native American headdress
Another victim of the cultural appropriation police. Singer Ellie Goulding was accused of racism after tweeting a picture of herself wearing one. ‘Don’t mock a dying race, you insensitive and ignorant excuse of a person,’ screeched one virtue-signalling critic. David Beckham’s son Brooklyn was the target of similar howls of PC anger over his tattoo of a Native American Indian. Actor Colin Firth’s wife Livia faced online abuse for wearing a Native American headdress at the Isle of Wight Festival.

O is for ‘Land of Opportunity’
This phrase — often used to refer to America — is said to constitute verbal micro-aggression because it ‘asserts that race or gender does not play a role in life’s successes’.

P is for party costumes
Last year, a senior professor at a college at Yale University had to resign after he and his wife were accused of downplaying concerns over ‘inappropriate’ Halloween costumes. He was accused of ‘creating space for violence’ and of trivialising students’ concerns because he suggested people could turn away if they felt offended by students in ‘culturally inappropriate’ fancy dress such as Mexican or Native American outfits.

P is also for pronouns - Sussex University Students’ Union warned members against using the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’ to avoid assumptions about identity. ‘They’ and ‘Them’ are said to be the correct, gender-neutral terms.

Q is for queens
Drag queens were banned from a Gay Pride event in Glasgow in 2015 in case they caused offence to transgender people.

R is for ‘real men’ and ‘real women’
Jenni Murray, presenter of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, upset transgender lobbyists when she said men who had undergone sex-change operations could not claim to be ‘real women’ since they did not have ‘the experience of growing up female’.

S is for Sombreros
The Students’ Union at the University of East Anglia in Norwich banned a local Mexican-themed restaurant (Pedro’s Tex Mex Cantina) from handing out sombreros to students in 2015 as part of a marketing drive. Union officials claimed the hats breached a policy forbidding stall-holders from handing out materials including ‘discriminatory or stereotypical imagery’.

S is also for ‘sensitivity readers’ - increasingly employed by publishers to check manuscripts for ‘racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content’.

T is for ‘trigger’
This refers to anything the hyper-sensitive might find upsetting. Universities now widely use ‘trigger warnings’ to advise students that something may cause them distress. This kind of alarmism even extends to classic literature such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, which is said to feature ‘gory, abusive and misogynistic violence’. Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway needs to be treated with caution because of the ‘suicidal inclinations’ in the text — a warning that would rather ruin the book if you have never read it.

T is also for ‘twerking’ - The provocative, rump-grinding dance style which singer Miley Cyrus has been accused of culturally appropriating from black musicians. Lily Allen, too, has been criticised for using black women dancers twerking in a pop video — ironic, as she sees herself as a cheerleader for right-on behaviour.

U is for Uniforms
In an attempt to appease the transgender lobby, some police forces are scrapping traditional men’s and women’s uniforms. In response to its ‘Gender Identity Working Group’, Dyfed Powys constabulary in Wales switched to ‘gender-neutral’ outfits, including a unisex hat and neckwear. ‘We have learnt there may have been times when practices and procedures have adversely impacted our trans communities and their engagement with us,’ said Dyfed Assistant Chief Constable Liane James. Northamptonshire Police now issues U.S.-style baseball caps which they think will somehow encourage transgender recruits.

V is for ‘violate’
A lecturer at Harvard Law School (whose alumni include Barack Obama) was urged by a student not to use this word — as in the phrase ‘does this conduct violate the law?’ — as it might trigger traumatic fears about rape. It was even suggested that rape law should not be taught to protect students from ‘distress’.

W is for ‘Where are you from?’
Even the most innocent verbal exchange can become a minefield. Guidance from the University of California, Berkeley, has decreed that asking ‘where are you from?’ or ‘where were you born?’ could be racist micro-aggression — because the phrases are ‘a covert way to say you don’t belong here’.

X is for X Factor
On the ITV talent show last year, Saara Aalto from Finland was accused of cultural appropriation for dressing in a Japanese kimono and a long wig, like a geisha. With the pious relish that typifies Twitter comments, one viewer said: ‘I found Saara’s performance very offensive. A culture is not a dress up costume.’

Y is for Yoga
Another victim of the appropriation puritans: in 2015, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa banned yoga sessions. The teacher was told it amounted to Western ‘cultural appropriation’ of a practice with its origins in Indian Hinduism. She was told: ‘There are cultural issues involved in the practice’ because of ‘oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy’.

Z is for Zero Tolerance
Defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as the ‘act of punishing all criminal or unacceptable behaviour severely, even if it is not very serious’.

It is the key policy of many lobby groups in their drive to outlaw language and behaviour they decree insensitive. The ultimate irony is that in the name of tolerance for minorities, all concept of essential and hard-won freedoms enjoyed by the majority are in danger of being lost.

The most important of these losses is, of course, freedom of expression.

Banning AD and BC isn't just bonkers, it's an insult to minorities: As schools replace Christian date system with 'Common Era', CHRISTOPHER HART expresses his fury

Daily Mail - 2nd October 2017

A growing number of educational authorities in this country are ditching the use of the traditional calendar terms BC and AD in favour of the more bland and neutral BCE and CE. Their anxiety is that the older terms might upset ‘non-Christians’.

BC stands for Before Christ and AD for Anno Domini — Latin for ‘In The Year Of Our Lord’. The new terms stand for Before the Common Era and Common Era. You can spot immediately what a silly and bogus move this is by our educational apparatchiks. Only the letters are being changed, as if to disguise something shameful. The date — 2017 — will still mean 2017 years after the birth of Christ, as calculated by the Church. So the new terms really alter nothing. What they do indicate are some quite absurd preconceptions and delusions on the part of those decreeing the changes. Enslaved as they are by the dictates of that pernicious form of ideological idiocy known as Political Correctness, the guidelines for schools in East Sussex, for instance, state that ‘BCE and CE are now used in order to show sensitivity to those who are not Christians’.

This throws up any number of questions, the first of which is: What about those who are Christians? What about their sensitivities, and perhaps their preference for terms which reflect their own faith in a supposedly Christian country? Why should their sensitivities be secondary to those of other religions? And what members of other religions are actually offended anyway? Ibrahim Mogra, a Muslim leader from Leicester and assistant secretary general to the Muslim Council of Britain, says of the use of the Christian calendar in Britain: ‘I don’t believe it causes Muslims offence.’ Similarly, a spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews says: ‘I don’t think anyone would mind if in mainstream schools they use BC and AD.’ Well, we seem to have rubbed along with those terms for several centuries well enough.

So who are these mysterious people who might take offence at these time-honoured Christian terms, which have been around since at least the time of the Venerable Bede? He used them throughout his wonderful Ecclesiastical History Of The English People, writing in the early 8th century AD. If a system has lasted well for some 1,300 years, why change it now? And if no one actually is offended by these terms, why are our schools fiddling around with them? Shouldn’t they be concentrating on larger issues — such as the fact that so many school-leavers are functionally illiterate? Behind this move to abolish BC and AD is a much wider crusade to rid Britain of any Christian echoes whatsoever: a task that is of course impossible, even if it were desirable, which it is not. Christianity runs through British history and identity like a golden thread, giving us everything from mince pies to Easter eggs, the majority of our most beautiful and historical buildings, and many of our Christian names — sorry, first names. To eliminate all traces of the faith of our British ancestors would be effectively to strip away our history altogether: something which at times it really does seem our schools and universities are actively seeking to do.

Yet this intolerant and sinister move to de-Christianise our culture meets with barely a murmur from our Church establishment, more concerned as it is with global warming or social justice. A rare exception is Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, one of the staunchest defenders of our religious traditions. He has spent much of his life meeting members of other faiths, and says: ‘I have never met a Muslim or Jewish leader who is offended by the Gregorian calendar.’ Of course not. The idea is absurd. But what a shame that it is only an Archbishop who has retired from the front line who feels compelled to speak out.

Another prominent voice raised against this latest attempt at the abolition of Christianity is Radio 4 and Mastermind presenter John Humphrys. ‘I can’t stand BCE and all that sort of stuff,’ he says in his usual forthright manner. Everyone knows where we are when we say BC and AD — and that is how I want to keep it.’ He said this in response to the fact that he inadvertently used the term ‘BCE’ when reading out a question on Mastermind. In fact, Mr Humphrys’ employer has been leading the way in this eradication of the Christian calendar for some years. It was accused of ‘absurd political correctness’ in 2011 after dropping the terms BC and AD, and employing the trendy replacements on programmes such as University Challenge and Radio 4’s In Our Time, hosted by Melvyn Bragg. The Beeb’s response at the time might have come straight from the mouth of the spoof Head of Inclusivity in the TV satire W1A: ‘As the BBC is committed to impartiality, it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians.’ The supposed ‘offence’ caused by these perfectly innocuous terms is entirely confined to the warped imaginations of the Left-wing establishment, terrified that anything, anywhere in Britain might appear to be … well, British.

Of course much of the world also now uses the BC/AD system for practical purposes. Otherwise there would be chaos. But for religious purposes, there are many variations — with none of the others feeling that they have to conceal or ‘apologise’ for their faith. In the Hebrew calendar, we are currently in the year 5778. In the Islamic calendar, it is now 1439, since Muslims calculate the date from the year Mohammed left Mecca for Medina, in our own AD 622. In Nepal it is 1134, while trying to work out how the traditional Chinese calendar works will give you a better mental test than a cryptic crossword. Yes, the world is full of a wonderful richness and diversity, but for major historical reasons, most agree to use the Western standard of 2017 in all things secular. But it is this very ‘Western-ness’ which worries the arbiters of what is and is not acceptable in Britain. Because according to them, the West is sinful and oppressive. Barely a day goes by without some jaw-dropping new example of Western apology for past sins or current offences. Perhaps the most fashionable is to do with slavery: that is to say, people who have never enslaved anyone, apologising to people who have never been enslaved. Meanwhile the rest of the world looks on in bafflement, as Western countries like modern Britain tie themselves in knots trying not to give offence where none is taken. Just as with an individual, a country so delusional could well be classed as mentally ill. But while there is a certain bitter comedy in the absurd spectacle of po-faced PC educationalists promulgating their deluded and loony views, there are serious issues here as well.

Squirming over ‘BC’ and ‘AD’ only fuels the sense — mistaken, but understandable — that there are indeed numerous vocal, ‘difficult’ religious minorities in our country, demanding that we, the native British, continually make way, self-abdicate and surrender to their delicate sensibilities. Yet no such demands are being made. Britain’s minorities continue to call the year 2017 in all but religious matters, to enjoy Christmas just as much as the rest of us, eat mince pies, and not resent one whit our fondness for bacon butties and sausage rolls. Muslims continue to revere Jesus as a major prophet, and Britain’s Hindus love a knees-up at Christmas just like the rest of us. In other words, by worrying needlessly that terms like BC and AD might be offensive to non-Christians, our thought-police are actually painting those very minorities as being far more intolerant and prickly than they really are. Is that really contributing to our national harmony? Or is it, by a terrible irony, genuinely insulting to our minorities to represent them as being so hyper-sensitive and hyper-critical of our traditions and customs?

Now schools are ditching AD and BC in RE lessons to avoid offending non-Christians... but critics blast the 'capitulation to political correctness'

Daily Mail - 1st October 2017

- The traditional terms BC, Before Christ, and AD, Anno Domini, are being ditched for BCE – Before Common Era, and CE – Common Era 
- The new terms still denote the periods before and after the birth of Christ 
- Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey said the rulings by the religious education committees were a ‘great shame’ 

Schools across the country have stopped using the terms BC and AD in religious education lessons for fear of offending non-Christians. The traditional terms BC, Before Christ, and AD, Anno Domini, are being ditched for BCE – Before Common Era, and CE – Common Era. The new terms still denote the periods before and after the birth of Christ.

Local authority committees drawing up religious education syllabuses say the old terms may upset minorities or non-believers. But critics blasted the move as a ‘capitulation to political correctness’. Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey said the rulings by the religious education committees were a ‘great shame’. Muslim and Jewish leaders were also mystified, saying they were not offended by the familiar terms. Local authority committees – known as Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education (SACREs) – from Brighton and Essex are among a growing number urging heads to ditch BC and AD.  The syllabus for schools in East Sussex, for example, reads: ‘BCE and CE are now used in order to show sensitivity to those who are not Christians.’

Lord Carey said: ‘I have never met a Muslim or Jewish leader who is offended by the Gregorian calendar’ while leading Imam Ibrahim Mogra said: ‘I don’t believe it causes Muslims offence.’ A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: ‘I don’t think anyone would mind if in mainstream schools they use BC and AD.’ Chris McGovern, the chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: removing BC and AD ‘is a capitulation to political correctness’. National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education chair Paul Smalley said: ‘Individual SACREs and schools can make a judgment over which form of dating is appropriate.’

A.N. WILSON on the new dark age of intolerance: You must believe in gay marriage, you can't question abortion and as for transgender rights...

Daily Mail - 30th September 2017

The great French writer Voltaire famously said: 'I disapprove of what you say and would defend to the death your right to say it'. In this way, he encapsulated what it meant to be an enlightened human being — someone prepared to consider all points of view. But in recent years the principle of freedom of speech, sacred since Voltaire's 18th century, has been lost, and this is surely one of the most sinister features of our times. It is as if we are entering a new Dark Age of Intolerance. The irony is that this intolerance has come about as a result of what were initially good intentions. One of the things which makes me happy as I grow older is the thought that during my lifetime we have all tried to become a kinder society. When I was a boy and a young man, for example, racist jokes were the norm on radio and TV. Now they would be unthinkable. Mockery of homosexuals, and the equation of being gay with being limp-wristed and camp, were absolute norms of comedy when I was growing up. Now no longer. Such jokes have gone the way of boarding-houses which used to put 'NO BLACKS. NO DOGS. NO IRISH in the window'. Obviously, all civilised people feel pleased by this.

But somehow those initial good intentions — to be kinder to and more tolerant of others — have morphed into a political correctness that has had the very opposite effect.

Two notorious recent examples of this concerned the treatment of a Christian baker in Northern Ireland, and some Christian bed and breakfast owners in Berkshire. The baker had not wanted to make a wedding cake for a gay couple who were getting married. The B&B owners had refused to let a gay couple share the same room in their establishment. In each case they were successfully sued for unlawful discrimination. Now, a gay activist would no doubt say this was a good thing, arguing that the baker and bed and breakfast owners' behaviour was comparable to the racism of the past. Yet this is surely getting things wholly out of proportion. The baker was not persecuting homosexuals, as Hitler did. He was not saying they should be put in prison, as all Home Secretaries in Britain did until the Sixties. He was merely saying that, as a Christian, he thought marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that two chaps tying the knot were doing something rather different, which is contrary to traditional Christian teaching. Whatever you think about this matter, the Northern Irish baker and the B&B couple were merely holding on to Christian beliefs.

I don't happen to share their views myself, and think that if two people are rash enough to promise to live together for the rest of their lives, good luck to them, whether they are gay, straight, trans or anything else. But surely you can understand both sides of this dilemma, can't you? Well, the answer, more and more in our intolerant society, is 'No'. My concern here is not about the rights and wrongs of gay marriage, transgender rights, our colonial history, or any of the other emotive issues that are subject to endless debate in the modern age. It is about freedom of thought and speech; freedom to disagree in a liberal society; freedom to have thoughts which are different from the current orthodoxy. What began as our very decent desire not to be nasty to those of a different ethnicity, or sexual proclivity, from ourselves, has turned into a world as intolerant as monkish Christianity in the days of the Dark Ages, when any freedom of thought is questioned. Tim Farron, leader of the Lib Dems during the General Election, was asked repeatedly about his views on gay marriage. As a fairly old-fashioned Christian, he did not believe it was possible — marriage should be between a man and a woman. As the leader of a modern political party, he knew that it would be political death to admit this. He was finally forced to resign. This was a signal to the world that if you want to succeed in modern politics, it is simply not allowed to hold views which, until a very short time ago, were the consensus among the great majority of people in the Western world.

I use the words 'not allowed' advisedly. What is sinister about living in the new Dark Ages, however, is that it is by no means clear who is doing the allowing and not allowing. In Mao's China, it was obvious: thought crimes were ideas which contradicted the supreme leader. In Britain today, however, it seems an army of self-appointed censors — from internet trolls to angry students, lobby groups, town hall officials, craven politicians and lawyers and Establishment figures, as well as a host of other sanctimonious and often bilious busy-bodies — have taken it upon themselves to police what we can and cannot think or say. Not believing in abortion, like not believing in gay marriage, is now, unquestionably, a thought crime. It was hardly surprising that the Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg recently said he did not believe in abortion, because he is a man of conviction as well as a Roman Catholic, and this is the teaching of his Church. Yet his view was treated with incredulity and disdain by everyone from trolls and women's groups to the higher echelons of the political Establishment. As in the case of abortion, debate is no longer allowed on transgender issues. There was a BBC2 Horizon Programme last Tuesday night called Being Transgender. The close-up shots of transgender surgery in a Californian hospital will not easily leave the mind.

We met a number of nice people who had decided for one reason or another that they were not the gender which they had once supposed. They were all undergoing some form of transformative medical treatment, either taking hormones or having surgery. What made the programme strange as a piece of journalism was the fact that it did not contain one dissenting voice. Not one psychiatrist or doctor who said they doubted the wisdom of some of these procedures, especially in the very young. Still less was there anyone like the redoubtable feminist and academic Dr Germaine Greer who once expressed her view that a man did not become a woman just because he had undergone transgender surgery — and was, as a result, decried from the rooftops with everything from petitions launched to stop her from speaking at university campuses to death threats.

The use of the word 'fascist' is commonplace in our new Dark Age for anyone with whom you happen to disagree. You hear it all the time in the Brexit arguments which rage all around us and which I dread. As it happens, I voted Remain. But I do not regard Brexiteers as 'fascists', and many of their arguments — wanting to reclaim the power to make our own laws and control our own borders — are evidently sensible. Yet I have lost count of the number of times I have heard Remainers say that Brexiteers are fascists. As a matter of historical fact, many of the keenest supporters of a united European superstate were actual fascists. The only British politician who campaigned on the ticket of Europe A Nation during the Fifties was Sir Oswald Mosley who was leader of the British Union of Fascists. But then, today's PC censors don't let facts get in their way of bigotry. Branding anyone you disagree with a fascist; hitting people in the face; tweeting and blogging abuse behind the cowardly anonymity of the internet — these are the ugly weapons used to stifle any sort of debate. And it is often in the very places where ideas should be exchanged and examined that the bigotry is at its worst: our universities.

This week on the Radio 4's Today programme, we heard James Caspian, a quietly-spoken, kindly psychotherapist, describing what has become a cause celebre at Bath Spa University. He has been working for some years with people who for one reason or another have begun the process of gender-transition, and then come to regret it. Caspian is evidently not a judgmental man. He wanted to write a thesis on this subject from a sympathetic and dispassionate point of view. What makes people feel so uncomfortable with their own apparent gender that they wish to undergo painful and invasive surgery to change it? What makes people then come to reassess their first idea? These are surely legitimate questions about a subject many of us can't quite comprehend. I have two friends who started out as men, and decided in mid-life that they were really women, or wanted to become women, which is what they have done. I do not really understand what has happened to them, even though they have tried to explain it to me. Surely a man like James Caspian, who has worked with transgender men and women, should be encouraged by a university to explain this area of medicine or psychology?

But no. The university, having initially approved of his idea for a thesis, then turned down his application. 'The fundamental reason given was that it might cause criticism of the research on social media, and criticism of the research would be criticism of the university,' he told Radio 4 listeners. 'They also added it's better not to offend people.' This is all of a piece with students at Oxford wanting to pull down the statue of 19th century imperialist Cecil Rhodes from his old college, Oriel, on the grounds that he was racist. Rather than having a reasoned debate weighing the evils of racist colonialism against Rhodes's benevolence, the student at the forefront of the movement — who had actually accepted a £40,000 Rhodes scholarship funded by the fortune the colonialist gave to Oxford — wanted to pull down the statue. This is the same attitude of mind as that which led monks in the Dark Ages to destroy the statues of pagan gods and goddesses, or the Taliban to do the same to age-old Buddhist artefacts.

Reason, debate, seeing more than one side to an argument, surely these are the foundations of all that has fashioned the great values of the West since the Enlightenment started in the 18th century with an explosion of new ideas in science, philosophy, literature, and modern rational thought that ushered in the Age of Reason. Realising that human actions and ideas are often mixtures of good and bad — isn't this what it means to have a grown-up mind? Surely we should be allowed to discuss matters without being accused of thought crime? In universities, as at Speakers' Corner and in the public at large, there used to be the robust sense that sticks and stones may break our bones but words can never hurt us. Now, the 'hurt-feelings' card is regularly played to stifle any debate.

Little by little, we are allowing the Dark Ages of intolerance to come again. We should not be letting this happen. We should be able to say: 'We disapprove of your views — on Europe, on Transgender Issues, on Islam, on absolutely anything, but we defend to the death your right to express them'.

A Linguist explains the Hi-Jacking of Political Correctness

Dr. Anna Szilagyi - 18th January, 2017

Not long ago, political correctness stood for an ideal of fairness and open-mindedness. Yet today, “PC” is a widely bashed catchphrase, with politicians gaining popularity worldwide by destroying its rosy image. The list includes US president-elect Donald Trump, Russian president Vladimir Putin, and leaders of populist radical right parties in European countries, among them France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, and the UK. In theory, political correctness simply functions as a neutral, descriptive reference to the principle of avoiding utterances and actions that can marginalize or offend certain groups of people. However, because it includes the word “correctness,” PC can also be used and perceived as a normative expression. The noun “correctness” connotes approval and radiates authority. It indicates, with an imperative tone, that something should be done in a particular way. In this regard, the term political correctness can evoke the feeling of being talked down to and even subordinated. Politicians who aim to discredit the notion of PC point to its moralistic connotations. Implicitly endorsing traditional social conventions and hierarchies, they commonly portray political correctness as a norm that is imposed on society in a top-down manner. By constructing political correctness as an arbitrarily enforced, biased agenda, anti-PC politicians adopt common discursive strategies across the globe in their attempt to undermine and discredit PC.

Political correctness as an extravagance

In the recent American presidential campaign, Donald Trump consistently described PC through metaphors that refer to the cost of things: “We just can’t afford anymore to be so politically correct.” The metaphor of “affordability” allowed Trump to talk about political correctness as if it were something expensive (e.g. a high-priced car, a designer bag). This was a way of creating the impression that political correctness is a non-essential extravagance. Politicians who portray PC as something superfluous and unnecessary also evoke anti-elite sentiments. Trump’s metaphor of “affordability” implied, for instance, that political correctness is a privilege of a tiny group of affluent people. Additionally, by portraying PC as a luxury, speakers can create the impression that they represent the many and not the privileged few. Trump, a billionaire businessman, also introduce himself as an average American who cannot “afford” PC: “I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either.”

Political correctness as elitism

The European populist radical-right parties also associated PC with the elite. At a joint press conference in 2016, the French National Front president Marine Le Pen, the Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders, and the Italian Lega Nord secretary Matteo Salvini referred to “Brussels’ politically correct élite.” In this case PC was used as an “epithet.” This rhetorical tool is utilized when an adjective accompanies a name to describe someone’s most important quality (e.g. Ivan the Terrible). The label indicated that the European Union is led by elites who have one single, specific concern: political correctness. By reducing PC to an elite concern, politicians suggest three things. First, that political correctness is irrelevant to the actual social and political realities. Second, that the power holders are incapable of addressing the real problems of societies; Widers argued that citizens of Europe are “tired of governments that don’t listen to them and of Brussels imposing decisions that are not put under scrutiny,” for instance. The third implication is that politicians who attack PC side with the people.

Political correctness as an obsession

Critics of PC also use terms associated with extreme behavior to describe those who are concerned with being PC. Radical right parties in Europe frequently talk about the media’s “obsession with political correctness.” According to Trump, his political rivals “have put political correctness above common sense, above your safety, and above all else.” Following the same logic, critics of PC also accuse it of defending deviant behavior. Russia’s powerful President, Vladimir Putin sad: “The excesses of political correctness are leading to the point where people are talking seriously about registering parties whose goal is legalizing the propaganda of paedophilia.” These statements suggest that PC could occupy people’s mind, leading them to tolerate ideas and actions that are irrational, harmful, and abnormal. Putin’s statement discredits the actual causes of PC—including the rejection of discrimination based on sexual orientation—through associating them with sexual deviance. The implication is that tolerance of gay marriage, for instance, is just one step away from being understanding of paedophila. If the concern with PC is described as a symptom of a mental disorder that imposes a fundamental threat to the life and values of societies, the anti-PC agenda can be represented as a protective measure to restore normality and the status quo. For example, on such grounds, Putin called for the “defense of traditional values”.

Political correctness as intimidation

Possibly the most common way of attacking political correctness is to present it as tyrannical. Covert speech strategies may also support this construction. For instance, anti-PC politicians often utilize adjectives for fear (including “afraid,” “frightened,” “scared,” “terrified”) to describe how PC affects the behavior and feelings of people. The former leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage claimed, “I think actually what’s been happening with this whole politically correct agenda is lots of decent ordinary people are losing their jobs and paying the price for us being terrified of causing offence.” Suggesting that the British are “terrified” because of political correctness, Farage urged his listeners to think of PC in terms of intimidation. At the same time, the fearsome vocabulary provides a background for anti-PC populists to present themselves as brave and courageous saviors of their victimized societies. The next quote by Nigel Farage exemplifies this trend: “I think the people see us as actually standing up and saying what we think, not being constrained or scared by political correctness.” In a similar fashion, Wilders declared, “I will not allow anyone to shut me up.”

Political correctness as censorship

As the previous quotes have illustrated, the tyrannical image of PC is also widely reinforced by the suggestion that the principle violates the right to free speech. Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán identified PC as a “muzzle” and as “captivity.” These metaphors present PC as a form of censorship that is enforced through coercion. “Muzzle” triggers frightening associations of being silenced by force, through the degradation of humanity (horses and dogs wear muzzles). The term “captivity” also indicates that PC physically limits people’s right to free speech. Such tropes trigger bodily discomfort and evoke the immediate urge to resist by the listeners. If PC is constructed as censorship, the anti-PC agenda can fascinate people by offering them the liberating feeling of regaining their right to speak freely. Accordingly, Orbán argued that with Trump’s victory in the US, Western civilization “can return to true democracy, to honest talk, away from the crippling restraints of political correctness.” While implying again through a metaphor (“crippling restraints”) that PC involves coercion, Orbán attempted to enhance the appeal of the anti-PC agenda. Much like the adjectives used for fear, this allows speakers to position themselves as outspoken, authentic, and brave for rejecting PC speech. If political correctness is defined as tyranny, then offensive, derogatory, or discriminatory rhetoric can be presented as heroic: “Not politically correct, but I don’t care,” commented Donald Trump on his plan to ban Muslims from the US.

Political correctness as deception

Within the framework of the censorship narrative, PC is also presented as deception. On such occasions, the implication is that PC forces people to live in an artificial world in which actual problems become taboo. A recent article by the leader of the Alternative for Germany party, Frauke Petry, is a typical example of this speech strategy. Similarly to other populist radical right figures in Europe, Petry cheered Trump’s presidential victory in the US for marking “the end of political correctness.” She justified her enthusiasm by identifying PC as a “euphemism,” the “distortion of reality”, and the “cover-up of problems,” of which people are “sick of.” By constructing political correctness as a deception and a lie, politicians like Petry can picture their agenda and themselves as genuine, sincere, and authentic. As Wilders put it, “It is my duty, to talk about the problems even when the politically correct elite prefers not to mention them.” As we have seen before, Hungary’s Orbán also lures his public with “honest talk.”

* * *

In many contexts, political correctness can indeed counter and discourage deep-seated thinking and speech patterns in society. The current rise of anti-PC politicians both signals and fosters this trend, with important implications. Through portraying PC as something forced down the throats of societies, anti-PC politicians not only discredit an expression but also undermine the idea behind it. In principle, political correctness intends to contribute to greater social equality and fairness. Yet this notion of PC has become obscure in contemporary political discussions. In this situation, it is harder than ever for the idea of PC to win hearts and minds. However, one thing seems to be apparent: those who would like to stick with the ideals of political correctness, should consider giving a new name to their cause. Political correctness might not be what they mean anymore. Source : Quartz Media

How the BBC's dark forces of political correctness threaten the Christian era

The Guardian - 25th September 2011 (so ahead of its time!)

The BBC haven't banned AD/BC, but outraged Christians seem perplexed and annoyed by the idea of personal choice. Before Jesus, nobody could count. Then the son of the Magic Man in the Sky came along, and suddenly everyone wanted to count everything, from commandments (10) to disciples (12) via fishes and loaves (YMMV). Most of all they wanted to count years. Unfortunately humans didn't know how many years there had been, and God lost count during the same bender that led to the creation of the cannabis plant, so they figured they'd just start again from scratch. Of course the number zero wasn't invented until 1973, when Dennis Ritchie was looking for ways to make array-handling in C even less intuitive, so they started with '1'. That was fine, but what would they call the years before '1'? The Chinese still owned all the negative numbers, so they settled on the letters BC ('Before Christ') and AD ('Anno Domini', Latin for 'year of our Lord'). For almost two thousand years literally everyone on Earth was happy.

Then along came political correctness. Bloody political correctness gone mad. You can't innocently grope a secretary's bottom any more for fear of the politically correct brigade jumping on your back. You can't kick a sinister-looking Arab off a flight any more for fear of getting called 'racist'. You can't even celebrate Christmas any more since the gays banned it in favour of Winterval. And now, to add hideous insult to grave injury, the Daily Mail have revealed in a front-page 'scoop' that the BBC are coming for our beloved, Christian calendar.

"BBC turns its back on year of Our Lord: 2,000 years of Christianity jettisoned for politically correct 'Common Era'"

So reads the headline of this frothing story, written by the Mail's Chris Hastings. The Mail are of course staunch defenders of Christian values with their slavish editorial devotion to pictures of scantily-clad women. Sir Hastings is their noblest knight, his recent work including a high-brow review of "Kinky Keira's whipping yarn," and a compelling philosophical treatment of the perennial question "What does a bikini-clad WAG have to do to stop her man playing with his gadget?" The story that the BBC have banned AD/BC turns out to be as fictional as Kinky Keira's tale, as the Mail eventually admit in the final paragraph, when they let someone sensible from the BBC get a word in edgeways:

"The BBC has not issued editorial guidance on the date systems... Both AD and BC, and CE and BCE are widely accepted date systems and the decision on which term to use lies with individual production and editorial teams."

So the BBC haven't dropped the terms, just allowed people to go with their own preferences. Terrifying stuff. The 'new' terms became standard in schools nearly a decade ago, with a spokesman for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority pointing out to the Evening Standard at the time that, "CE/BCE is becoming an industry standard among historians," and "pupils have to be able to recognise these terms when they come across them." Fair enough, but in spite of this Hastings seems mystified that the BBC's education sites use them, describing them variously as 'obscure' and 'alien'. Who is behind this great blasphemy? The BBC's "politically correct, Europhile agenda" is haphazardly invoked, although it's not clear how either applies here. It's hardly 'political correctness' to tell people to use whatever words they like, and I can't even begin to work out where Europe factors in to the equation. The biggest clue though is in the picture that features halfway down, a picture of... a Muslim!!1! Aaqil Ahmed has been the BBC's Head of Religion and Ethics since 2009, when his appointment caused a frenzy of pant-twisting among the right-wing press and their readership, but as far as I can make out he has nothing whatsoever to do with the story.

That doesn't stop some pretty dodgy innuendo about him, and the caption that originally appeared below his image seems to have gone a bit too far, as it was swiftly replaced. In the screen-grabs below you can see how it appeared when the article was first published, and how it appears now. The caption was changed shortly after the article went live, from...

"End of an era: BBC head of religion Aaqil Ahmed, the Corporation say, bizarrely, the change has nothing to with Mr Ahmed"

to...

"The website for BBC Religion and Ethics, headed by commissioning editor Aaqil Ahmed, who is a Muslim, is littered with references to Common Era and Before Common Era."

The second version isn't much better. Why single out a Muslim guy who doesn't seem to have much to do with the story? Why make pointed reference to his personal faith? No satisfactory explanation is given, but the highly-charged innuendo attracts the usual parade of BNP-style nonsense in the comments. Personally, I don't think it matters that much if we call it AD, CE, AC or DC. The Guardian's style guide, for what it's worth, sticks with the traditional AD/BC. I tend to go with that tradition as well, mostly because it's what I grew up with, but I'm happy for others to make their choice, and choice is what this is all really about. The BBC's approach is more laissez-faire then ours, essentially saying, "both are common, so use whichever you prefer." When you realize that, you see that the Mail's article is not just wrong but actually quite sinister. The rage directed at an organization that has simply dared to allow its staff choice is a reminder of the sort of 'cosy' totalitarianism that a some Christian elements seem determined to inflict on our society. It's not enough that the BBC allows staff to use AD, they must use it, always, or face the wrath of the crusaders. It's not enough that the BBC has a head of religious programming, that head must always be Christian, or purple-faced campaigners with an overwhelming sense of entitlement shout and stamp their feet in anger. We must all celebrate Christmas, and woe betide any public figure or authority who dares deviate from the conventions prescribed in honour of our Dear Leader Jesus.

You can't even use an innocent old term like Common Era any more for fear of offending some bloody Christian minority and ending up with the thought police on your back. It's political correctness gone mad.

MY PET HATES

To be expanded on later but bullet points are :

- Areas/Belifs/Traditions I value being put down/criticised/marginalised
- Dual nationality and the prejudices and discrimination it brings
- Refusal to pronounce name - insulting to refuse to recognise the differences (doesn't pc tell you to VALUE differences
Jad (the j as in jedi knight not soft like a y in Yad vashem / wig as in the hairpiece not the v sound as in Viggo Mortensen and the a pronounced er instead of short and sharp as in at)
- So a beautiful name like Jadwiga becomes jadwigger instead of Yadviga - the native English language speakers are particularly prone to wilfully learning alternative pronounciations of those they consider 'foreign'. Biggest sinners NHS staff and BT Sport commentators.
- Using made up words like criminality / incentivise etc.
- Refusing to accept that a first name (formerly Christian name) is not the name used on a daily and/or regular basis and refusing to check that a 'preferred' appellation is the norm.

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