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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! 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

Mac never lets us down :

Mac Cartoon depicting a very PC Valentine

Well done Mac and the Daily Mail for posting this extremely apt cartoon on 14th February 2018 - how the PC brigade love to take the fun out of everything!


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?

On a light-hearted note :

Trump Profile Wordle

Excellent piece of artwork by and © to StudentLifeGuide

We're not deceiving you, betrump is our favourite long-lost word: Term is runaway victor in poll ahead of ear-rent and rouzy-bouzy

- Of those polled 42 per cent voted betrump as their favourite long-lost word 
- It means deceive or cheat but could've regained popularity due to the President
- Third place was 'rouzy-bouzy' meaning boisterously drunk then by 'slug- a-bed'

By James Tozer for the Daily Mail |Published: 22 November 2017 | Updated: 22 November 2017

For five centuries, the word 'betrump' has languished on the scrapheap of forgotten English words. But now the term – meaning to deceive or cheat – could be set for a return after winning a poll to choose our favourite long-lost word. Whether or not it is a reflection on our opinion of the current occupant of the White House is unclear, but the use of President Trump's surname to signify a liar won hands-down, attracting more than four out of ten votes. The campaign to highlight how long-lost words are still relevant today was devised by a team of language experts. They selected a long-list of 30 obscure terms which were then put to the public vote, with the winning word being submitted to the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary in the hope of being included.

A whopping 42 per cent of people voted for betrump, which had not previously featured in the English language since the 16th century – almost six times the number of votes for the runner-up. That was apart from a single newspaper article which suggested the word's origins are in fact from the Scots dialect and poked fun at the irony that President Trump himself has Scottish ancestry. Trailing in second place with a mere 7.5 per cent was the colourful concept of 'ear-rent' - meaning the figurative cost of listening to trivial talk. In third place was 'rouzy-bouzy' meaning boisterously drunk, followed by 'slug- a-bed' - one who lies long in bed through laziness – and 'merry-go-sorry', meaning a mixture of joy and sorrow.

Dr Dominic Watt, senior lecturer in language and linguistic science at the University of York, said: 'The word 'betrump' had almost completely fallen out of use for nearly 500 years, until it's very recent re-emergence as the nation' s favourite 'lost word'. 'The Lost Words campaign has allowed us bring back an interesting but - until this year - exceptionally obscure word.' His team spent three months scouring historic texts and etymological dictionaries to find forgotten terms which they felt would fit into today's English.

The word betrump can be traced back to the Oxford English Dictionary in the 16th century but the team were unable to find any further examples of its use until this year. It also features in a dictionary of Old Scots which quotes from a 1513 translation of Virgil's Aeneid the reference 'betrumpit suythly Hyr spows, hir son, and all the cumpany'. 'The premise of our research was to find lost words that were still relevant to modern life and it appears that 'betrump' has captured the imagination of the nation and allowed people re-engage with language of old,' Dr Watt added.

See the complete list of lost words here - source : York Press

Words which didn't make the top five include 'losenger' meaning false flatterer or lying rascal and 'fumish', meaning hot-tempered. Others were 'wlonk' which comes from Middle English and could mean proud, 'snout-fair' meaning comely or handsome and a 'dowsabel' or sweetheart. Dr Watt has now written to Dr John Simpson, Chief Editor at the Oxford English Dictionary, to advise him of the result and petition for betrump's re-inclusion. The project was organised by Privilege home insurance. Christian Mendes, head of Privilege, said: 'We are constantly presented with new additions to the English language, but we rarely discuss the words that are leaving and becoming obsolete.

'That's why the Lost Words campaign became so important – it allows us to understand the constantly evolving nature of the English language, with as many words entering as leaving. 'The nation's choice of word is interesting, relevant, and fitting with the world we currently find ourselves living in.' Source Daily Mail

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' humphrys says :


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 :

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, stemming 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 :

Links : Yes Minister – EO

So, basically, at the end of the day... the phrases that drive YOU mad (Part 2)

00:17, 19th March 2018 | 00:38, 19th March 2018 by Daily Mail Reporter

Last week the Mail’s Quentin Letts listed the modern phrases that drive him round the bend, and we asked readers to send in their pet hates. The response was enormous, with an outpouring of irritation at the way language is being used and abused in everyday speech. Today, we present the figures of speech you think are plaguing the English language.

Follow up cartoon to Quentin Letts article

The linguistic pet hate of the general readership includes 'jumping in the shower' - image courtesy & © of the Daily Mail (there's something decidedly unsavoury and un-pc about this image)

- ‘Comfortable in their own skin.’  Who else’s skin would they be in? - Maggie Barrett
- ‘Safe haven.’ Aren’t they all? - Brian and Ella Hargreaves
- ‘Literally.’ As in ‘she was literally disintegrating before my eyes’. She wasn’t - Vivien Sheldon
- ‘Guys.’ It seems to be in regular use in restaurants. It should refer to a male or a boy. I am neither - Patricia Hobbs
- No, I don’t have a ‘window in my diary’. Only in my house - Peter Burke
- ‘I have to say.’ No you don’t. - Jackie Hedges
-‘You know what I mean?’ If I did I would not have asked. - David Smith
- ‘Free gift.’ Of course it’s free. It’s a gift. - Tony Towers
- ‘Unchartered territory.’ It’s uncharted. - Robin Kaye
- At this moment in time.’ Now. - Neil Gough
- ‘An unexploded bomb.’ Surely all bombs are unexploded. Once they have exploded they are just bits of shrapnel. - Richard Armand
- ‘Lay down.’ You lay a table. You lay an egg. But you LIE down. - Sarah Stephenson
- Newsreaders who insist on saying ‘pleece’ should be reported to the police.  - Lyn Jones
- ‘I’ll just jump in the shower.’ Sounds dangerous. - Carole Russell
- ‘Do you know what?’ at the beginning of every sentence. - Anna Sellors
- ‘I’m not gonna lie.’ I should hope not! - Angela Hunter
- Couples who say ‘we’re pregnant.’ The woman is pregnant — not both of you. - Marie Williams
- ‘Call him/her/them out.’ Used by Labour’s Emily Thornberry on Question Time, which is enough reason for it to be annoying. - Ian Sewell
- ‘Hu-RASS-ment.’ It’s HAH-rass-ment’. - Euan Holt
- ‘At the end of the day.’ At the end of the day it is evening, then night. Which do they mean? - Monica Mitchell
- Let’s do this! - Claudia Moore
- ‘Ballpark figure’. We don’t have ballparks in this country. Sally Aris
- TV chefs who say ‘cook down’ or ‘boil off’. ‘Cook’ and ‘boil’ are sufficient. - Michael Cross
- ‘Decimate.’ Used to describe heavy damage, when it means one tenth. - Benjamin Salter
- ‘At all.’ As in, do you have a Clubcard at all? - Richard Chaplin
- ‘Looking to.’ What on earth does ‘are you looking to move house?’ mean? - Mary Baxter
- Starting a sentence with ‘So’. It’s a huge distraction during TV and radio interviews. So annoying. - Eileen Garner
- ‘Blue-sky thinking.’ Often used by Labour under Blair. - Tom Watson
- People who say ‘Haitch’. - Roger Heavans
- ‘Let’s be absolutely clear.’ Usually uttered by politicians to mean ‘don’t challenge me on this because I have nowhere else to go’. - John Thomson
- ‘To be honest.’ It makes you wonder what other lies they have been telling you. - Graham Shaw
- ‘Like I said.’ Usually used at the start of a sentence that does not contain anything which has already been stated. - Tim Stanley
- People who say ‘ahead of’ instead of ‘before’. - Susan Adamson
- ‘Early doors.’  - Anne Noakes
- ‘Empathise.’ Often used instead of sympathise. - Dan McCudden
- ‘Forward planning.’ As opposed to backward planning? - David Woodcock
- ‘Two times.’ It’s twice. - Ariane MacLaren
- Using ‘invite’ as a noun instead of ‘invitation’. - Helen Hedges
- ‘Basically.’ Almost always used in the wrong sense. - Pamela Gelb
- ‘It is of paramount importance.’ - Mick Kendall
- ‘Fur baby’ instead of ‘pet’. Yuk! - Pat Knowles
- Newsreaders who end with ‘bye bye’. You are not my friend. You are a newsreader, so say ‘goodbye’ or ‘goodnight’.  - Bill Bourne
- ‘Park up.’ It’s park. - Sally Heavens
- ‘Whisked away.’ I imagine an airport full of people being hurled up in the air, screaming their heads off. - Jackie Traylen
- Inane TV judges who say: ‘You took that song and you made it your own.’ - Ros Ellis
- ‘In terms of.’ Used to add some gravitas. I recently overheard the following in a supermarket: ‘In terms of oranges, which are the easy peelers?’ Good grief.  - Phyl Reynolds
- ‘I’m good.’ - Julie Ramsden
- ‘The proof is in the pudding.’ It should be ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’. - Noreen Adams
- ‘Met with.’ - Maurice O’Brien
- Signage. Just use ‘sign’.  - David Webb
- ‘Ticks all the boxes.’ - Lucy Smith
- Sports commentators who say ‘to get a result’. Every match has a result. - Maurice Boyle
- ‘Speaking personally.’ How else do you speak? - Maggie Buse
- ‘To roll out.’ - Brian Hoy
- ‘Your call is important to us.’ Sure it is. - Christopher Mayer
- ‘To die for.’ Nothing is worth that! - Susan Barnes
- ‘No worries.’ - Monica Campbell
- ‘Should of.’ It’s ‘should have’. - Stephen Wilson
- ‘Unpacking facts.’ I didn’t realise they were in a container. - Diana Harvey-Williams
- ‘Chillax.’ - Jill Sidders
- Misuse of the word ‘stomach’ — whether it is models with flat stomachs or builders with stomachs hanging out. These people need urgent medical care! - Doreen Clarke
- ‘Very unique.’ Often used in Bargain Hunt. - Brian Godden
- It’s ‘L-ee-verage’ — not ‘Le-vv-erage’. - Michaela Kelly
- ‘Fill out a form.’ You fill IN a form. - Lesley Lewis
- When a presenter says: ‘Give it up for...’ What exactly should I be giving up? - Valerie Pearson
- ‘Activist.’ Usually a self-appointed busybody.  - Fred Forshaw
- ‘Across the afternoon.’ It should be ‘during’. - Jeremy Lillies
- ‘Think outside the box.’ Which box? Maltesers or Cadbury’s Milk Tray? - Keith Wilson-Davis
- When ‘Quote’ (the verb) is used instead of ‘quotation’ (the noun). - Kenneth Mills
- ‘On a journey.’ Often when a person is not going anywhere. - Steve Ellis
- ‘The HMS…’ You cannot have ‘The Her Majesty’s Ship…’. - Mike McCusker
- ‘Back in the day.’ - Mike Parry
- ‘This train terminates at . . . ’ The ‘route’ terminates; the ‘service’ terminates. The ‘train’ itself does not terminate at all. - Avronne Palmer
- ‘Stakeholders.’ Often means a load of busybodies, bureaucrats and quangocrats talking for hours without coming to a sensible decision. - Andrew Wallace

From 'lol' to 'omigod'... What trendy modern phrases make your toes curl? QUENTIN LETTS lists his linguistic pet hates after Radio 4 listeners came up with their own (part 1)

01:24, 15 March 2018 | 02:17, 15th March 2018 by Quentin Letts for the Daily Mail

Cartoon of Wuentin Letts and his pet linguistic hates

The linguistic pet hates of Quentin Letts include 'going forward' and 'no brainer' - image courtesy & © of the Daily Mail

Radio 4 listeners have erupted. When one of the station’s presenters told A Point Of View he hated the expression ‘going forward’, thousands joined the debate, disclosing words and phrases that irritated them. One was ‘cheeky’ — as in: ‘I had a cheeky gin and tonic.’ Other people were driven mad by ‘so’ to start a question. Here, QUENTIN LETTS presents his own list of linguistic horrors . . .

- Anything prefaced by ‘uber’, such as uber-cool, uber-chef, uber-babe.
- Lol. Does it mean laugh out loud in text-speak, or lots of love?
- Train station. It is no such thing. It is a railway station because it is a station on the railway.
- Outside of. The ‘of’ is not necessary.
- Politicians who evade questions by beginning their responses: ‘What I can say is . . .’
- I was sat/I was stood. They probably mean I was sitting or I was standing. (Don't get me started on this one!)
- Like. Teenage-girl tic that reached maddening levels about five years ago. ‘I was, like, omigod!’
- Omigod.
- Specialty. In Britain, please, we say speciality.
- Mis-cheev-i-ous.
- Ah, bless.
- ‘I’ll get the . . .’ when used in cafes and restaurants by customers who are ordering. ‘I’ll get the Big Mac and fries.’ Sounds so rude, and ‘get’ is a word to avoid.
- Frankly. Whenever you hear this, prepare to be lied to.
- Pacifically, when really they mean specifically.
- ‘See it, say it, sorted.’ Used insistently on public transport Tannoys as a warning against suspect packages.
- A pulse of rain, as used by weather forecasters when they mean shower.
- Going forward. Why not just say ‘in future’?
- Consoltation. If it isn’t irritating enough to hear politicians boast about their usually meaningless public consultations, they invariably mispronounce the word.
- Shopkeepers who say ‘young man’ or ‘young lady’ to customers aged over 40.
- Absolutely, when used as a synonym for yes.
- ‘Passed.’ A BBC radio presenter on Monday morning said that ‘the great Ken Dodd has passed overnight’. Passed what? A kidney stone? Euphemisms for ‘died’ are never an improvement.
- Iconic. (The Hucknall Dispatch printed an article about Auschwitz - yes the German concentration camp in Poland - written by a budding reporter who used the word 'iconic' to describe the 'Arbeit Nach Frei' gates - go figure!)
- Deliver (from politicians).
- Go figure. (Actually I like this one, I use it!)
- Fit for purpose.
- Step up to the plate.
- People of all faiths and none.
- Similarly, ‘devout Christian’ when they probably mean ‘regular churchgoer’. Let’s leave a person’s depth of devotion to him or herself.
- Similarly, ‘staunch Methodist’. You seldom hear of any other type of Methodist, even though statistics suggest most of them are anything but staunch.
- Completely unique. (Anybody using anything to precede 'unique' is an uneducated tool!)
- A masterclass.
- ‘Myself’ when used at the start of a sentence. Sir Nick Clegg (who went to an expensive school) loved to say: ‘Myself and the Prime Minister . . .’ He should have said: ‘The Prime Minister and I . . .’
- Pop. Must we pop everywhere these days? ‘I’m just going to pop into town.’ ‘Shall I pop in and see you?’ My brother-in-law’s dentist told him the other day that he was ‘just going to pop into your mouth’.
- A nice cup of tea.
- What’s not to like?
- ‘The’ when they should say ‘a’ or ‘an’. As in: ‘Our guests on Woman’s Hour today include the social historian Bill Scroggins and the author Daphne Nashpond.’ Both Scroggins and Nashpond being obscurities, the indefinite article would be more accurate.
- Pre-planned. They mean planned. ("Preventing a piss poor performance" comes to mind LOL)
- Crashed out. Used whenever a football team is knocked out of the FA Cup.
- Car-crash interview. Not only a cliche, but also horrible for anyone who has been involved in, or affected by, a bad road accident.
- From the get-go.
- Thought leadership. Political think-tanks say they are ‘in the business of thought leadership’. Is there not something Orwellian about this term? (Maybe but Orwell gor it into print in the 1940s - I love Orwell!)
- Where it’s at.
- Twitter storm.
- The last taboo.
- Unexpected item in the bagging area at the self-service check-out. They mean, ‘Oi, are you trying to shoplift?’
- Grandee. Translation: bitter old backbencher who has been at the gargle for the past 30 years and thinks he should be Prime Minister.
- Lockdown.
- Take it to the next level.
- ‘She fell pregnant.’ One rather doubts that is how it happened. (HA HA HA HA HA!)
- One pence. A penny, please.
- Con-TRO-versy. Place the emphasis on the first syllable, if you don’t mind.
- I yield to no one in my admiration for . . .
- The greeting ‘yo!’, particularly when used by rich bankers or damp parsons.
- Listen up, people. TV historian Simon Schama says this.
- Sports coaches who say: ‘We can take some positives out of this.’ They try this on even when their team has been thrashed eight-nil.
- Crucial decider. If a game is a decider it is, by definition, going to be conclusive, which is what sports commentators are trying to say all along with that ‘crucial’.
- Ordinary people. Tony Blair often talked about them — and promptly ignored them.
- For free.
- Partially, when used to mean partly. Partial means biased (hence ‘impartial’).
- Lessons learned. Most lessons are in fact forgotten, within minutes.
- ‘Joining us on the line now, to discuss Brexit, is Lord Heseltine.’ Aaaargh!
- Talent-show judges (usually Louis Walsh) who say: ‘You nailed it,’ or ‘You gave it 110 per cent.’
- Offering my/our thoughts and prayers. Overdone, usually by people who, being heathens, do not pray.
- Schedule, when pronounced with a ‘k’.
- Get with the programme. All this means is ‘conform’.
- ‘Double down’ and ‘no-brainer’. I don’t understand either of them.

Note to self and anyone reading this - they obviously haven't been irritated enough by the used of 'smashed' in describing a winning situation thus : "He/she/it/they smashed it!"

Ofcom can't censor British TV history - surely we are meant to learn from the past

Published: 00:59, 23rd February 2018 | Updated: 02:03, 23rd February 2018 by Brian Viner for the Daily Mail

Frank Spencer, that emotionally underdeveloped and slightly incontinent mummy’s boy, had better watch out. Alf Garnett, monstrous (but hilarious) bigot and passionate West Ham United fan, should look to his laurels. Rising Damp’s Rigsby, the world’s most mean-spirited landlord, really ought to brace himself. Even Porridge’s Norman Stanley Fletcher, still doing time in Slade Prison, would be well-advised to keep his head down.

For there is a new scourge at large of classic television and enduringly wonderful fictional characters, and it is called Ofcom. 

The broadcasting watchdog did not bat a regulatory eyelid when ITV2’s Love Island reality show showed a couple conspicuously having sex two years ago before the watershed, nor raised a single objection when Channel 4 launched a series called Naked Attraction, a nude dating show which is an exercise in voyeurism masquerading as education. But it has just ruled against a specialist digital channel, Talking Pictures TV, following a single complaint about one three-letter word, now correctly considered racist, during its transmission of A Family At War*, which first ran on ITV from 1970 to 1972. Sarah Cronin-Stanley, who started the channel with her husband and father three years ago and today has two million viewers, has conceded that the word is offensive. However, she argued that it needed to be considered in context, as a reflection of British attitudes during World War II. Ofcom was unsympathetic, finding the channel to be in breach of the broadcasting code and summoning it to ‘discuss its approach’, broadcasting’s equivalent of being called to see the headmaster and told to pull your socks up. And thus a brilliant TV drama from the early Seventies, which starred a young John Nettles, becomes the latest victim of establishment angst, as regulators crank up their increasingly ludicrous efforts to censor our collective memories.

The hypocrisy is spellbinding, the sanctimony outrageous. And like all bullies, Ofcom picks the easiest targets.

While titanic lewdness and profanity continue unabated in BBC1’s Mrs Brown’s Boys and on countless primetime panel shows, an obscure digital channel is hauled over the coals for one word contained in one script written almost half a century ago. The offending episode portrays the British Army in North Africa in 1942, and a white soldier, ordering drinks from an Egyptian waiter, quipping: ‘And how’s the war going for you, Ahmed, you thieving old ***?’ As it happens, the unpleasant soldier is then upbraided by a colleague for his language, but that evidently did not satisfy Ofcom, which could not see past the word. It is not a word that would find its way into a TV drama today, and rightly so. It is derogatory, demeaning, vicious and nasty. But surely we’re meant to learn from the past, not censor it.

If modern sensibilities about race, gender, mental health and sexuality are to be applied retrospectively to TV programmes, then what is to stop the regulator from pouncing on the hapless Spencer in Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em, on the pugnacious Garnett in Till Death Us Do Part, on the incorrigible Rigsby from Rising Damp, on the irrepressible Fletch in Porridge?  Or, for that matter, on the entire cast of every Carry On film ever made? They were all guilty of attitudes, or prey to mishaps, that could be construed as deeply offensive today by those whose job it is to find deep offence.

Frank Spencer plays for laughs on being mentally and emotionally retarded. Alf Garnett’s racism is a running theme as he talks of ‘bloody foreigners’ — although arguably, because of the programme’s mocking portrayal of his bigotry, it helped race relations as opposed to harming them. Rigsby in Rising Damp regularly makes racist remarks to his black lodger, while in Porridge Scottish prison officer Mr Mackay is called ‘Jock’ and there were racist and homophobic jokes about black and gay inmates. Yet to censor those shows would be to rob us of some of the greatest comic creations in TV history. Some of them have even transcended comedy to become cultural landmarks. The parliamentary record Hansard, for instance, is full of references to MPs joking about Frank Spencer and Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em. They are still evocative synonyms for abject haplessness and hence rather useful in political debate.

Where will it end, this continual pandering to those who find victims everywhere, currently being fostered in the febrile atmosphere of the MeToo campaign against sexual harassment?

Another classic sitcom, Dad’s Army, has already been criticised for featuring very few female characters. It is perhaps only a matter of time before someone notices that there is no racial diversity, either, in the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard. At least Private Frazer was Scottish. Moreover, what Ofcom is too myopic to realise is that the market — and viewers’ common sense and decency — also works. Quality should be the only justification for repeating dramas and comedies from the Sixties and Seventies. Shows such as Love Thy Neighbour and Mind Your Language, which were over-reliant on crude racism and sexism, have not stood the test of time. On the other hand, it’s perhaps worth remembering that another programme which has been cast into modern-day purdah, The Benny Hill Show, contained plenty of genuinely fine comic writing.  Speaking of myopia, I still cherish the memory of Hill’s short-sighted continuity announcer squinting at his autocue and saying, ‘Leyton Orient beat Hawaii 5-nil,’ before correcting himself: ‘No, sorry, later on it’s Hawaii Five-O.’

I suppose even that would now be deemed likely to offend somebody, somewhere.

Sarah Cronin-Stanley, responding to the telling-off by Ofcom, has argued that to censor classic TV is to treat mature viewers like children. The regulator has insisted that her channel needs to warn viewers beforehand if the programme they are about to watch contains ‘outdated racial stereotyping’ but this, she says, would mean ‘babysitting’ her audience. Hear, hear. Surely, the viewing public, not an anonymous body of morality police, should be the arbiters of what is and isn’t acceptable.  After all, we are always free to complain, as indeed one person did about A Family At War. But we don’t need to be spoon-fed, especially when, as in the case of Ofcom, it’s a self-important nanny populated by metropolitan types that is holding the spoon. Ofcom is nothing if not metropolitan. Set up by the Blair government in 2003, from 2006 its chief executive was Ed Richards, a Labour apparatchik whose main qualification was that he had been an adviser to Tony Blair. Richards’ successor Sharon White also worked for Blair, in his Downing Street policy unit. Ofcom’s Left-liberal thinking perhaps explains its obsession with political correctness as well as its easy-going attitude to sex and crudity on TV. Whatever the case, scores of viewers of Cronin-Stanley’s channel responded with alarm to Ofcom’s heavy-handedness over Family At War. 

‘The response has been unbelievable,’ she said yesterday. ‘I have had 200 calls since this morning just from viewers showing their support, saying: “What can I do?” ’

The point is, she said, that anybody watching her channel knows the programmes to be nostalgic. ‘If you’re watching films from the Fifties, Sixties or Seventies they will show attitudes which were relevant then.’  She added that the company has no wish to offend its viewers and does censor the material it shows. ‘When we really know someone would be offended, we do censor programmes. There have been various ones where the ‘N’ word we have taken out.’ That classic 1955 movie The Dam Busters still hasn’t been re-made, even though the project was announced, by director Peter Jackson, more than a decade ago.  But a new script has apparently changed one all-important letter in the name of Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s black Labrador-retriever, making it Digger. That is entirely right and proper, a tweak which gains in decorum what it loses in historical accuracy. But when we watch the repeats of the original film, do we really need the name to be edited out, as it sometimes is? Can we not be trusted to work out for ourselves that times have changed and that it’s not a name that would be given to a dog today?

As so often, the only thing that needs to prevail here is common sense. Ofcom should be sensible in how it reacts to complaints — though fat chance of that — and the broadcasters should be sensible about what they transmit. 

Fat chance of that, either.

Above all, it needs to stop worrying about programmes made years ago, and become far more vigilant about what gets transmitted now and its power to offend. Why should an elderly viewer in Hampshire, let’s say, who might wince at the sight of genitalia or repeated use of that revolting word ‘mother******’, be treated with any less respect by the regulator than a young viewer in metropolitan Hammersmith who is outraged by something perceived as sexist? 

It is indefensible. And yet it happens all the time.

* One of my favourite serials of all time, watched it when it was first broadcast, bought the boxed DVD set and enjoy watching it regularly, am currently supporting Talking Pictures and will watch every episode broadcast - call me stubborn!

Snowflakes? They're today's fascists! Jewish writer STEPHEN POLLARD says there's nothing funny about the march of the PC brigade

Published: 00:14, 4 February 2018 | 00:18, 4 February 2018 By Stephen Pollard Editor Of The Jewish Chronicle, For The Mail On Sunday

Last weekend I, along with many around the world, commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day. As editor of the country’s leading Jewish newspaper, The Jewish Chronicle, it is a memorial of particular significance. Through editing the newspaper, I am confronted daily with the legacy of that unique evil, including the suppression of debate, the distortion of truth and even the burning of books at the heart of that terrible chapter in our history. I know, too, that the Third Reich’s totalitarian impulse – that only one type of question and one type of answer are legitimate, and all else must be extinguished – is far from unique because repressive regimes the world over continue to ban freedom of enquiry and freedom of expression.

We must be on our guard.

You might wonder, then, what Friday night’s attack on Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg as he attempted to give a talk to students has to do with this. Or last week’s decision – now reversed in the face of near-universal outrage – by Manchester Art Gallery to remove a pre-Raphaelite painting featuring mild nudity, Hylas And The Nymphs. These are both an attempt to silence a view because it offends some people. It is for good reason that a new word entered the Oxford English Dictionary last month: a snowflake is ‘an overly sensitive or easily offended person’. When the snowflake generation seeks to silence an MP because they disagree with him, or prompt an art gallery to remove a painting because someone might be offended by the nude depiction of a woman, they believe they have right and morality on their side.

But theirs is a dangerous delusion. Because free speech – and the offence which can come with it – is the bedrock of freedom itself.

The snowflakes are becoming an avalanche. Barely a week now passes without a fresh demand that they be protected from some form of supposedly offensive behaviour in the name of morality and decency. We are now witnessing our own version of Newspeak, in which a form of cultural fascism masquerades as caring concern. Last month, for example, Netflix started to show the 1990s sitcom Friends. You might think it is a harmless piece of nostalgic escapism. But according to some people, it is in fact a disgusting litany of racism, sexism, homophobia and, yes, transphobia. Ross didn’t like the idea of his son playing with dolls – sexist. Monica was ‘fat shamed’ – sexist. Chandler called his drag-queen father by his male birth name – transphobic. And the main characters were all white – racist.

Often the offence taken isn’t even theirs. They are, as it were, offended vicariously.

In 2015, students at the University of East Anglia banned a Mexican restaurant from handing out sombreros at the Freshers’ Fair because it was a form of ‘cultural appropriation’ that caused offence to Mexicans.  Not, of course, that any Mexicans had actually been offended. The snowflake students were offended on their behalf. This is of a piece with the insistence in recent years that university campuses be ‘safe spaces’, where students should be protected from the traumatic risk of encountering anything with which they might disagree or take offence. And this isn’t just about student politics. It is affecting academia itself. Last year it was revealed that some Cambridge University lecturers had started issuing ‘trigger warnings’ about Shakespeare plays, in case students were upset by ‘discussion of sexual violence’. And theology students at Glasgow University received warnings before watching re-enactments of the Crucifixion in films, during a lecture on how Jesus had been depicted on screen. Still more ludicrously, at last year’s National Union of Students Women’s Conference, attendees were asked to use ‘jazz hands’ instead of clapping. As the NUS Women’s Campaign put it: ‘Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it’s triggering anxiety. Please be mindful!’ God help the poor anxious souls if they ever go to the theatre or a concert.

But there is a far darker side to it than mere idiocy. If we close our minds to ideas that upset us, the long-term consequence is that our minds will atrophy. We will no longer be able to think for ourselves.

We are seeing the stunting of debate, the closing of minds.

Take the furore over seminars held by Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at Oxford, an expert in his field, who has suggested there might have been some positives to the British Empire. For doing precisely what academics are supposed to do – thinking – he has been attacked in a series of open letters as an ‘apologist for colonialism’. So it was right that the Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Louise Richardson, should spell out why free speech and thought are so vital on campus. In a talk, Prof Richardson said she had had many conversations with students who were upset they had tutors who expressed a view with which they disagreed, on homosexuality. ‘And I say, “I’m sorry, but my job isn’t to make you feel comfortable.” Education is not about being comfortable. I’m interested in making you uncomfortable. If you don’t like his views, you challenge them, engage with them, and figure [out] how a smart person can have views like that. Work out how you can persuade him to change his mind.’ You can guess what happened next. The students’ union offered emotional support to anyone who had been made uncomfortable by her words. More than 2,000 students attacked her in a vitriolic open letter. And Prof Richardson then issued a clarifying statement.

We should remember how in his novel 1984, George Orwell coined the word ‘Newspeak’ to describe the language used by a totalitarian state that removed the capacity for individual thought and turned words’ meanings on their head. In Orwell’s dystopian world, The Party used slogans such as War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength.

Satire – yes. But a warning, also.

Demands that only one form of thought is permitted, and that anything which deviates from it is offensive and should be banned, are profoundly dangerous. They pretend to be about care and concern, but are in reality a form of intellectual totalitarianism.

Without offence and without upset, there is tyranny.

On a persona note it is good to see many positive comments from the public with reference to this article - they can be found here

Victorian nymphs painting back on display after censorship row

BBC - 2nd February 2018 (good to see this nonsense acted on and capitulation achieved so quickly)

A gallery is to put a Victorian painting of naked adolescent girls back on display after a row over censorship. Manchester Art Gallery said it took down Hylas and the Nymphs by JW Waterhouse to "encourage debate" about how such images should be displayed. But critics accused curators of being puritanical and politically correct. The painting will return on Saturday. "It's been clear that many people feel very strongly about the issues raised," Manchester City Council said. The 1896 painting was removed a week ago in an attempt to rethink the "very old-fashioned" way images of women's bodies were exhibited as "either as passive beautiful objects or femmes fatales". Curator Clare Gannaway said: "It's not about saying these things can't exist in a public gallery - it's about saying, maybe we just need to challenge the way these paintings have been read and enable them to speak in a different way."

Post It victory over removal of Waterhouse painting

Visitors were invited to write their views about the decision on sticky notes and post them in the vacant space.

Ashamed to be a feminist PostIt

Both images as shown (uncredited) on the BBC website

But after a backlash, the city council, which runs the gallery, announced that the painting would return to the wall. The gallery's interim director Amanda Wallace said: "We were hoping the experiment would stimulate discussion, and it's fair to say we've had that in spades - and not just from local people but from art-lovers around the world. "Throughout the painting's seven day absence, it's been clear that many people feel very strongly about the issues* raised, and we now plan to harness this strength of feeling for some further debate on these wider issues*." The gallery is now planning a series of public events "to encourage further debate".

(*Issues twice in one sentence! Constant overuse of this totally inappropriate word to cover a multitude of better nouns! From 'Grammarly' - "A noun is a word that names something: either a person, place, or thing. In a sentence, nouns can play the role of subject, direct object, indirect object, subject complement, object complement, appositive, or adjective.")

'Killing any debate'

Speaking on Thursday, Clare Gannaway denied that the gallery was censoring the picture, but there were strong reactions on social media and in the art world. "Removing art due to political concerns is exactly censorship," wrote Gary Brooks on Twitter. "I think you can spark a debate without removing the painting," said Ben Perkins. Professor Liz Prettejohn, who curated a Waterhouse exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in 2009, told BBC News: "Taking it off display is killing any kind of debate that you might be able to have about it in relation to some of the really interesting issues that it might raise about sexuality and gender relationships. "The Victorians are always getting criticised because they're supposed to be prudish. But here it would seem it's us who are taking the roles of what we think of as the very moralistic Victorians." The painting's initial removal was filmed to be made into a new piece of video art for artist Sonia Boyce's exhibition at the gallery in March. Postcards of the painting were also taken out of the gallery shop.

The furore came two months after two sisters started a petition asking the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to remove, or at least reimagine the way it presented, a painting by Balthus of a neighbour's daughter in an erotic pose. The sisters said the Met was "romanticising voyeurism and the objectification of children". The museum refused to remove it, saying it wanted to encourage "the continuing evolution of existing culture through informed discussion and respect for creative expression".

How long until the New Puritans stop us seeing all these treasures, asks A.N. WILSON as Manchester Art Gallery removes a pre-Raphaelite picture of naked nymphs

Daily Mail - 2nd February 2018 (didn't take long for a new headline in 2018 did it?)

The heavy hand of political correctness has struck at one of the country’s most important art collections in these unsettling times following the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The Manchester Art Gallery has removed from its walls one of its best known and most popular paintings, Hylas And The Nymphs, by Victorian artist J. W. Waterhouse, which features naked pubescent girls enticing a handsome young man into a water pool. Postcards of the picture will no longer be sold in the gallery’s shop. The gallery insists it is not banning the picture, painted in 1896, but simply wants to provoke debate — to ‘prompt conversations about how we display and interpret artworks’ and how to make them ‘relevant’ in the 21st century. Clare Gannaway, the gallery’s curator of contemporary art, said the room where it was hung — entitled In Pursuit Of Beauty — perpetuated ‘outdated and damaging stories’ that ‘women are either femmes fatale or passive bodies for male consumption’.

So all too predictably in today’s intolerant world, this ‘conversation’ turns out to be dogmatic and one-sided. We are being told by earnest New Puritans that we should be ashamed of ourselves for even looking at this picture. You may not know the painting, but as soon as you see it you will recognize it for what it is, a harmless bit of kitsch often reproduced on posters and postcards. No one has ever supposed it a great work of art. But like many Victorian paintings in the pre-Raphaelite style — Sir John Everett Millais’s painting of Hamlet’s drowned Ophelia with her red hair floating in the water behind her, is another example — Hylas And The Nymphs feels comfortingly familiar. It is, I would argue, rather charming. Yet because it depicts naked teenage girls, we will be told in this Manchester gallery’s ‘conversation’ that — far from being a harmless bit of titillation for Victorian businessmen, as was intended — the picture is appalling evidence of how women have been exploited throughout the ages.

For a start, modern feminist taste is almost certain to consider the Greek myth on which the painting is based to be highly offensive. Hylas, a beautiful youth who some believed to be the gay lover of Hercules, was a sailor searching for the Golden Fleece which would allow the captain of his ship, the Argo, to be confirmed as king. He was seduced from his life as an Argonaut by the nymphs who drew him into the water for their gratification. This, the feminists will point out, is every man’s sick fantasy — that women are nymph-omaniacs just waiting to seduce us.

In addition, we will be told, the models used by Waterhouse for the picture were exploited — they were the Victorian equivalents of those skimpily clad waitresses and prostitutes at the Presidents Club, the men-only charity event at the Dorchester Hotel in London that shocked so many modern sensibilities after claims they had been pawed and groped. Many Victorian painters — like painters throughout European history — chose poor, young working-class girls simply for their looks as models. These women were street-wise and commonly worked as actresses or barmaids, but they also found employment in seedier walks of life and were often forced into prostitution. Waterhouse, so the conversation will go, exploited these women and should be on the #MeToo blacklist, while those men who enjoy his pictures are no better. Once the gallery’s ‘conversation’ takes hold, why should it stop at Hylas And The Nymphs? Next month, Tate Britain will hold a major exhibition of Picasso, arguably the most interesting, certainly one of the most arresting, painters of the 20th century — a giant, whatever you think of him.

One of the greatest works of modern art — a painting which changed the entire direction in which 20th-century painting would go — is Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, which hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It depicts a group of prostitutes, shamelessly disporting themselves rather like the nymphs of classical myth but far more aggressively. Picasso’s attitude to women was as politically incorrect as that of the Presidents Club, only much, much kinkier. As he got into his stride, his portraits of those he seduced — and there were hundreds — suggest a view of women which was often downright nasty. Women’s mouths or their genitalia in his pictures are often jagged like the claws of lobsters. He saw women as exploitative, manipulative, destructive, just as many of us today would see his idea of women as depraved. But this does not stop the pictures being great works of art. I can see the argument leading to the point where the vociferous politically correct minority insist no painting can ‘objectify’ women, let alone depict abuse by men.

Titian’s stupendous depiction of Tarquin And Lucretia on display in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (one of the greatest works of Western Art) would be banned. Painted by great Renaissance master in his 80s in 1571, it depicts the violent moment Tarquin, son of the last king of Rome, raped Lucretia after threatening to kill her if she rejected his advances. The next day she exposed him and committed suicide, prompting the Romans to revolt and overthrow Tarquin’s father and establish the Roman Republic. No longer would we be allowed to see the white-breasted form of Venus in Bronzino’s Allegory With Venus And Cupid in the National Gallery in London, or the naked sculptures of homoerotic (under-age) male teenagers depicted in the stunning Greek sculpture galleries in the British Museum. All because the taste police would tut-tut with disapproval. You’d have to cover your eyes in Paris in case you had the misfortune to see Edouard Manet’s celebrated Le Dejeuner Sur l’Herbe: what could be more depraved and kinky than a fully clothed young man eating a picnic with a totally naked young woman. Presumably, Manet was a member of the Presidents Club? Almost certainly a friend of Harvey Weinstein. Gauguin’s paintings of underage Polynesian girls with whom he had slept; Correggio’s erotically charged Leda And The Swan; these would be beyond the pale.

I can see modern puritanism reaching the point where it demands the removal of all naked human forms in our art galleries and museums.

At my Oxford college, we used to smile at the puritanism of our Victorian forebears. In the 18th century, Sir Joshua Reynolds, the greatest painter of his day, executed some wonderful windows for the chapel. A hundred years later, the Victorian Head of College ordered that the naked figure of Adam be clothed like Tarzan in a leopard-skin. But the truth is that we are now far more puritanical than that Victorian don. Because in our generation, we do not simply object to depictions of nakedness. We take a high moral tone towards our ancestors and think our attitude is always morally superior to theirs. We should resist this philistinism with every ounce of energy we possess. The history of Western Art began in fifth and fourth-century BC Athens, when sculptors began to depict the naked human form.

The fifth century depiction of Athene by the greatest sculptor of antiquity, Phidias, was much more than just a moment in the history of art. By studying and depicting the human body, the Greeks made humanity itself central to their society. From this sprang the study of philosophy, medicine, and politics — theirs is the cradle of all we believe to be civilised. Of course there always have been unpleasant artists who exploited women and had perverse sexual tastes. Eric Gill, the great sculptor whose statue of Shakespeare’s Prospero and Ariel adorns the entry to the BBC, in Portland Place, London, was revealed 30 years ago to be a libidinous sex pest who even slept with two of his own daughters.

But if we ban all works the politically correct brigade consider offensive, we will end up with the equivalent of Oliver Cromwell’s Puritans smashing stained glass windows in Westminster Abbey or the Taliban blowing up Buddhist statues because they are ‘idolatrous’. We should recognise that we are in the middle of a desperate cultural clash. On the one hand, there is the civilised majority which looks back, ultimately, to the Ancient Greeks for our view of politics, democracy and intellectual freedom — a story that began with the celebration of the human nude. On the other hand are the philistine minority, who come in all sorts of politically correct disguises, but who fundamentally wish to restrict freedom of thought, coerce us and rewrite our history. Yesterday, many expressed their anger at the gallery’s decision. In a post on its website, self-proclaimed feminist Annas Eskander was outraged, saying: ‘Do we not live in a liberal and civilised society where the job of the curator is to enlighten, not to impose their own beliefs on others?’

Our conversation with Manchester Art Gallery should be a short one. ‘Waterhouse was a not very good, but quite charming, painter. His Hylas And The Nymphs has many fans. Please put it back.’

Elsie Mo from Siren to Pilot

22nd January Castle Rock upgrades Elsie Mo from Siren to Pilot - it's a real shame she can't be both!

Original Elsie Mo pump clip

All images of Elsie Mo Golden Ale courtesy & © of Castle Rock Brewery

Elsie Mo gets a re-brand

Castle Rock Brewery re-brands Elsie Mo, one of its longest-standing and permanent brews.

First brewed in 1998, the name ‘Elsie Mo’ is derived from the predominant malt in the recipe – Low Colour Maris Otter, or LCMO.  We liked how the name sounded, and decided to turn the “brand” into a personality. After being inspired by the historical images of US aircraft nose art, we made the decision for the pump clip to feature a character playing homage to the 1940s pin-up style.

Over the next two decades, Elsie Mo became our second most popular and best-selling beer in our core range, and continues to win a variety of local, regional and national awards. It’s a great beer, consistently produced by great brewers, and continues to be a key part in the success of Castle Rock. However, it’s time to acknowledge that the sexualised presentation of Elsie Mo is deemed not acceptable in a culture that strives for, and celebrates, equality. One of our key aims at Castle Rock has always been to ensure our customers feel comfortable, and we recognise that we have let some people down. Over the last few years, we’ve questioned the Elsie Mo branding ourselves, as well as customers. In 2014, we re-branded Elsie, wanting to better integrate the image within the historical context intended. The consensus from our customer base that the pump clip was improved, but the depiction of Elsie Mo remained a contentious issue. While we never set out to offend anyone, we acknowledge that the pump clip – in all versions over the years – may have been regarded as offensive. Now it’s time to move forward.

The new pump clip for Elsie is designed to celebrate the will and bravery or women, both in times gone by and today, without losing its original heritage. We’ve taken inspiration from the women pilots of the second world war, who took to the skies in Spitfires, Lancasters and Hurricanes, to deliver battle-ready planes to fighter pilots of the RAF. We worked closely with our designer, Nick Pettit, to ensure the new pump clip is spot on. Nick is a brand specialist in the brewing industry and studied imagery and propaganda of the World Wars as his art school thesis, so this was a project that we were all very invested in. We were especially influenced by Giles Whittell’s Spitfire Women of World War II, published in 2008. The collection focuses on true stories from the women of the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) who, although not allowed into combat, flew unarmed – without radios or instruments, and at the mercy of the weather and enemy aircraft – to deliver planes to the front lines.

There are stories and photographs of these women, featuring famous names like Amy Johnson and Maureen Dunlop among those of unsung heroes. We worked to capture the bravery of the women of the ATA, and the confidence they exude in these photographs, to inspire a pump clip that we can all be proud of. Most importantly, Elsie’s now in the pilot’s seat, where perhaps she should have been all along. While the new design continues to pay homage to the war effort and the unsung bravery of these pilots, we also want it to be an empowering image – to be a pump clip that proudly celebrates women in all industries, including our own, as well as being an inspirational image for all. Beer is for everyone after all! The recipe and process for Elsie Mo remains the same, we promise.

We hope you love the new design, which we’ll be rolling out across the country in the coming weeks and months.

Personal Note - this is the way to fight bureaucracy and the hateful political correctness - take the sensible stand and allow the snowflake usurpers to melt and evaporate away without trace!

Castle Rock Brewery re-brands ‘sexualised’ Elsie Mo

West Bridgford Wire - 22nd January 2018

Nottingham-based Castle Rock Brewery is to re-brand Elsie Mo, one of its longest-standing ales and its second biggest-selling core brew. After extensive discussion, the need for change was agreed in January and the new design presents a homage to the women pilots of World War II, and the war effort at large. First brewed in 1998, the name ‘Elsie Mo’ is derived from the predominant malt in the recipe – Low Colour Maris Otter, or LCMO.  After being inspired by the historical images of US aircraft nose art, the decision was made for the original pump clip to feature a character playing homage to a 1940s pin-up.

Managing director Colin Wilde says: “It is time to acknowledge that the sexualised presentation of Elsie Mo is not accepted by a culture that strives for, and celebrates, equality.” Women pilots who delivered aircraft to fighter squadrons during World War II are the inspiration for the new design.   Elsie Mo is a regular at the Stratford Haven, the Poppy and Pint and the Embankment pubs.

Morning Advertiser - 22nd January 2018 - article can only be accessed by following the link provided.

Alex Orlov @ mic (United States) - 23rd January 2018

Castle Rock Brewery swaps its sexist pin up girl for a female pilot

The beer industry doesn’t have a reputation of being friendly to women, despite the fact that original beer brewers were female. Among craft breweries, many bottles feature casually sexist label designs and beer names — take, for example, Clown Shoes Beer’s “Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA” or Flying Dog Brewery’s “Raging Bitch IPA.” After consumer backlash, one brewery made the decision to transform its stale, sexist mascot into an empowering ode to brave women.

On Monday, Castle Rock Brewery in Nottingham, England, announced it was rebranding its “Elsie Mo” beer label. Look at the evolution of Castle Rock’s “Elsie Mo” label from buxom babe to scantily clad blonde to badass fighter pilot. “While it was never the intention to offend, the Elsie Mo pump clip [the badge that attaches to a beer draft handle] had been a contentious issue for some time,” Lewis Townsend, Castle Rock Brewery’s head of marketing, said in an email. “The time felt right to rework the clip to better present the character of Elsie while retaining the heritage of the original clip.” The name “Elsie Mo” came from one malt, called Low Color Maris Otter, also known as the “LCMO” used in the beer’s recipe. Inspired by “aircraft nose art” — the sexy images of women that pilots placed on the nose of planes during the two world wars — Castle Rock decided to fashion a 1940s-style pinup, a buxom blonde in a revealing pink shirt and short shorts, to create a character that embodied a woman named Elsie Mo. With the tagline “Full-bodied and totally irresistible,” the sexy innuendo was pretty clear. In 2014, a rebrand ushered in a new but equally sexy tagline and scantily clad woman. The 2018 rebrand that makes the character Elsie Mo a pilot is meant to “acknowledge and commemorate” the “women pilots of World War II who took to the skies,” Townsend said. The brewery was inspired by Spitfire Women of World War II, a collection of true stories of female pilots in the Air Transport Auxiliary (a British civilian group supporting the Royal Air Force) who flew unarmed.

In the U.S., breweries are moving slowly away from innuendo-laced labels. The Brewers Association, a trade group supporting small and independently owned American breweries, has strict marketing guidelines for member breweries that forbids the use of derogatory or discriminatory images and language. Those rules went into effect in April. Modern beer labels and beer advertising “is more culture- and gender-inclusive than in the past. That is positive progress,” Julia Herz, Brewers Association craft beer program director, said in an email. “It is good to see brewers representative of the values, ideals and integrity of a diverse and inclusive culture.” And beer fans are saying “cheers” to the changes. On Twitter, many users applauded Castle Rock’s new “Elsie Mo.” User David Glenwright tweeted, “It’s brilliant to see an homage of an often forgotten group of women who played a vital role in the war.”“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Townsend said. “We hope [the new Elsie Mo] reflects the message that beer is for everyone.”

Sexist' beer logo featuring woman in stockings and suspenders removed from Nottingham pubs

Nottingham Post - 23rd January 2018

The stockings and suspenders are out as Nottingham brewery Castle Rock re-brands one of its best-selling beers. Elsie Mo’s 1940s buxom, leggy pin-up - the face of the golden ale since 2014 - has been ditched in favour of a more politically-correct design, which pays homage to the Second World War's female pilots. With no hint of cleavage or legs, the change marks an industry-wide move to get rid of sexist beer marketing. It's the third re-brand for the award-winning Elsie Mo, first brewed in 1998 and Castle Rock’s second biggest selling core beer. After being inspired by the historical images of US aircraft nose art, the original pump clip featured a blonde pin-up in a scanty pink top. She was given a 'boob job' in 2007, fulfilling the beer’s motto: ‘full bodied and totally irresistable.'

The latest change follows extensive discussion about the portrayal of the beer, named after the predominant malt in the recipe - Low Colour Maris Otter, or LCMO. Managing director Colin Wilde said: “It is time to acknowledge that the sexualised presentation of Elsie Mo is not accepted by a culture that strives for, and celebrates, equality. “It has always been our intention to make all of our customers feel comfortable, and we recognise that we may have let some people down. “Over the last few years, we’ve questioned the Elsie Mo branding ourselves, as well as customers. In 2014, we re-branded Elsie, wanting to better integrate the image within the historical context intended. The consensus from our customer base that the pump clip was improved, but the depiction of Elsie Mo remained a contentious issue. "While we never set out to offend, we acknowledge that the pump clip – in all versions it has appeared over the years – may have been regarded as offensive and we now think the time is right to move forward."

The re-brand has been designed to celebrate the “will and bravery of women both in times gone by and today”, without losing its original heritage. Inspiration has been taken from the Second World War's women pilots, who took to the skies in Spitfires, Lancasters and Hurricanes to deliver battle-ready planes to RAF fighter pilots. Mr Wilde added: "Elsie’s now in the pilot’s seat, where perhaps she should have been all along.” The re-brand was overseen by the marketing department at Castle Rock, with marketing executive Liv Auckland being instrumental in the conceptual designs. Liv said: "We worked closely with our designer to ensure the new pump clip is spot on. While it pays homage to the war effort and the unsung bravery of these pilots, my aim was for it to be an empowering image – to be a pump clip that proudly celebrates women in all industries, including our own.”

The new pump clip will be rolled out to pubs over the next few weeks but some of the old labels will remain until stocks run out.

There has been a mixed reaction to the changes from customers. Anthony Hutchinson said: “The old pump clip was sexier. I can’t believe you gave in to the political correctness brigade.” Lisa Douglas said: “I’m not offended and nor are my friends. It wouldn’t stop us from drinking the beer.” However, the re-brand has won the support of some female beer drinkers. Kersti Fourcin said: “I really like this, and I just wanted to say well done to the team that put it together. She's still got a cheeky smile and she rocks the outfit. Nice one Castle Rock." Andrea Iliffe added: "As the art is very 1940s pin-up style, I have never been offended by the original as that was the style of the time. Having said that I love that they have given this some thought and used an empowering piece to celebrate female pilots from the war. At the end of the day a fun piece of art or amusing name might make me order it for the first time, but after that I will make my decision based on taste."

Castle Rock brewery removes 'sexist' branding from Elsie Mo beer

Talk Radio - 24th January 2018

Castle Rock Elsie Mo beer was previously branded with a picture of a woman wearing stockings and suspenders as well as showing her cleavage. This image has been used since 2014. But now the brewery are using a picture of the same woman, this time sitting in an aircraft and not wearing revealing clothes, in tribute to female pilots in World War Two. However the update has received a mixed reaction. One woman said: “I’m not offended and nor are my friends. It wouldn’t stop us from drinking the beer.” But another praised the move saying she likes the new design and wants to congratulate “the team that put it together. She's still got a cheeky smile and she rocks the outfit. Nice one Castle Rock." A woman has featured on the branding since Castle Rock's creation in 1998, according to The Nottingham Post.

This is also not the first time it has rebranded, however its previous changes included enlarging the woman's breasts in 2007. Colin Wilde, the managing director of the company said: “It is time to acknowledge that the sexualised presentation of Elsie Mo is not accepted by a culture that strives for, and celebrates, equality." He also said he realises some have been let down by the brand and the company has been questioning the branding for a few years. Wilde added that the change it mean to celebrate “will and bravery of women both in times gone by and today.”

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 paedophilia. 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"


"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.


To be expanded on later but bullet points are :

- Areas/Beliefs/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.
- The use of 'journey' in place of 'experience' - so shallow! Now deemed 'passé' in social parlance - maybe we are finally winning the good fight, a first step to gag 'pc speak'. Well done Tatler.

List of words as published by Tatler

Hot on the heels of 'The Tatler' - Radio 4 Listeners are put to the same test - the Daily Mail article is reproduced above

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