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shame on hebdo shame on the house of sussex!

Vile Charlie Hebdo image of HM Queen and MM

The latest cartoon on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo's front page titled 'Why Meghan quit Buckingham' depicts the Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle's neck as the Duchess says 'because I couldn't breathe anymore', drawing comparisons to the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last May - strapline and image as it appeared in the Daily Mail on 13th March 2021

Unashamedly I say 'shame on the House of Sussex' because they are responsible for this treacherously disloyal insult paid to HM Queen Elizabeth II. Charlie Hebdo carry a similar heavy burden of shame as their remit is 'satire' - this is not satire, this is plain nasty and disrespectful. The catalyst was the misguided 'interview' given to Oprah Winfrey with the mandate that 'anything goes' nothing is 'off limits' - well Oprah should have known better that the death of George Floyd was more than 'off limits' and she should have been intelligent enough to have picked up on the claim of the interviewee claiming she could not 'breathe' and then likening herself to a fictitious heroine who 'fell in love with a prince and lost her voice.' Oprah is as much to blame for unprofessionalism and mock-gullibility as all her devoted fans who cannot see beyond the 'my truth' trend. Before anyone should forget, remember this programme was pre-recorded and pre-edited, it did not go out live and therefore if a proper check had been made, intelligent editing could have fashioned a much more sophisticated and true account. I believe mitigating circumstances were thrown at us, the public (and remember the inhabitants of Nottingham gave these two a vociferous and warm welcome [apparently being 'wowed' by the according to the Nottingham Post]), when out of the blue came the information that this programme could be pulled IF there had been a death in the Royal Family would the same have been the case if the father of the brides father had taken a fatal turn?

* Definition of Satire : 'a way of criticizing people or ideas in a humorous way, especially in order to make a political point, or a piece of writing that uses this style' - source Cambridge Dictionary

The Woke Sussexes

Who'd be 'Woke'?

New Definition / Phrase - 'Offense Archaeology' (Yes, it's an "Ology")

Someone on tv used the terminology 'Offense Archaeology' so I looked it up, apparently I'm behind the times it's been around for ages, (2018) just Google it and it gives you shedloads but I quite like this nice succinct opener : "Many millions of social media users at one time or another have posted something that someone, somewhere will be offended by. And, since the Internet is forever, you can bet an offense archaeologist is digging into it, particularly if you are a public figure.

What is offense archaeology? - According to the Urban Dictionary, it is: "Examining the digital past of a contemporary public figure in order to unearth any statements that might be offensive to the ruling class. These offenses are best presented devoid of context or intent, which maximizes the potential for self-righteous virtue signalling among the people who are pretending to be outraged." (then it's up to the reader whether or not to continue).

The following was written from a political standpoint but can be applied anywhere, in a nutshell it's just a nasty revenge tactic which is bringing the trolls out of the shadows as they think 'right is on their side.' : "Unearthing old comments made by public figures with the intent to incite outrage or economic consequences has been referred to as "offense archaeology," a term coined by Leftist writer Freddie deBoer. In many advocacy and media organizations, teams of people are employed to comb through the past and present lives of the politically influential in order to find a "gotcha" moment. It's a political tactic that's been used on both the Left and the Right. Offense archaeology makes past speech (and sometimes, past behavior) into a weapon that can be used to hurt a member of "the Other Side." Errant comments are presented as "proof" that the public figure in question is "bad" and to argue that the target should lose their job, organizational role, economic ties, or societal respect." (Extract sourced from

Definition of PC- ness

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

Snowflakes versus Dandruff

When is a Kingdom a Queendom

In this instance you have to laugh but at the same time now the law of primogeniture have changed there may be something to this - but to me 'realm' has always been the preferred option!

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

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2021 - What Grade A nonsense! JOHN HUMPHRYS hits out as universities say correct spelling and grammar may be seen as 'white, male and elite'

By John Humphrys For The Daily Mail | Published: 12th April 2021 | Updated: 13th April 2021

Thirty years ago, Sir Michael Dummett, who had just retired as the eminent professor of logic at Oxford University, felt the need to write a book that would help students answer their questions. Not the content of their answers, just how to express themselves. Sir Michael was worried because a survey had shown that nearly half of university vice-chancellors were so concerned about their students' literacy, they had decided to introduce special lessons to help them express themselves more clearly. These, remember, were supposed to be the brightest and best young people our country has to offer. Today's vice-chancellors and professors are worried about the same thing, but their response has been rather different. It has been: if you can't spell or use punctuation accurately or write basic, simple, reasonably grammatical English, don't worry about it. You won't lose any marks in your exams because tutors are being told to adopt a policy called 'inclusive assessments'. The reason is they're afraid that insisting on students expressing themselves in clear English could be viewed as 'homogenous North European, white, male, elite'. Hull University has said it is dropping the requirement for a high level of technical proficiency in written and spoken English in some subjects, in order to 'challenge the status quo'. Other universities adopting similar policies include the University of the Arts London, which has issued guidelines telling staff they should 'actively accept spelling, grammar or other language mistakes that do not significantly impede communication unless the brief states that formally accurate language is a requirement'. And at Worcester University, academics have been told that if spelling, grammar and punctuation are not 'central to the assessment criteria', students should be judged only on their ideas and knowledge of the subject.

Do I detect the influence of the all-powerful Woke Brigade somewhere here?

In simple English (if I may be so bold), what it means is the universities who have adopted these policies will no longer be doing what universities have done since the Middle Ages. They will not be levelling up — setting high standards and enabling their students to achieve them. They will be dumbing down. At first glance, it might seem a commendable policy. They want, quite rightly, to narrow the gap between white students from more privileged backgrounds, and black, Asian and minority ethnic students who may not have had their advantages. Or students from poorly performing schools. Those who are more likely to drop out of university than the 'homogenous North European, white, male, elite'.

Hull University* said that it would 'encourage students to develop a more authentic academic voice, a voice that can communicate complex ideas with rigour and integrity — that celebrates, rather than obscures, their particular background or characteristics'. It warns tutors against 'imposing your own idea of "correct English" on student work'. But it takes about 30 seconds to realise that, whatever language you use to express it, this is Grade A nonsense that will achieve the opposite. And what in heaven's name is 'your own idea' of correct English? We get a clue to that from Nottingham Trent University, which wants their academics to give a 'clear message about whether spelling and grammar are considered important' when they're setting an essay. Perhaps I can save them the trouble. They are not just 'important'. They are vital.

Literasy cartoon

'In simple English (if I may be so bold), what it means is the universities who have adopted these policies will no longer be doing what universities have done since the Middle Ages' - image and strapline sourced from the Daily Mail with thanks image © Gary

You may have noticed one simple word missing from Nottingham's little list of desirable qualities. It is clarity. That's why we have language. We need it to communicate. And every language has its own spelling, punctuation and grammar. If there really is a crisis in our universities we might, perhaps, trace it back to the early Sixties. Trendy self-styled 'educationists' ruled that teaching children the rules of grammar was imprisoning them in linguistic jails run by white males. The truth, as we now know, turned out to be the opposite. We are not imprisoned by grammar. We are liberated by it.

Clarity is the enemy of ambiguity and ambiguity is the friend of every politician who has ever tried to pull a fast one on an unsuspecting public.

Clarity of communication — enabled by grammar — empowers us. Which takes us back to the woke warriors with their own approach to empowerment.

Thankfully, some academics are pushing back against this nonsense. Professor Frank Furedi, of the University of Kent, believes that 'inclusive assessment' is an instrument of social engineering that violates the norms of academic education. He says: 'Lowering standards of assessment lowers expectation of what students should achieve. Worse, normalisation of illiteracy flatters instead of educates students.' Alan Smithers, the professor of education at Buckingham University, said that universities were under pressure from the government to close attainment gaps, but not requiring a high standard of written English undermined academic integrity. He's right. The approach to students who struggle with expressing themselves clearly is not to say it doesn't matter. It is to help them. Virtue signalling is not only pointless, it is counter-productive.

You might say we hear non-standard English spoken all the time. Before I started writing this piece, I asked a bright teenager what he made of it. He gave me a thoughtful answer, but in his first sentence he used the word 'like' four times. As in, 'I'm like . . .' Show me a teenager who doesn't. He saw no reason not to and was rather surprised when I pointed it out. And anyway, it doesn't matter. Teenagers have always had their own language and always will. And eventually they grow out of it. But universities are not the street or the AstroTurf. They teach knowledge. That's the point of them. And there is a real danger of creating ghettoes. We have a universal language. It's called English and it's been pretty successful for a very long time. It would be a grave mistake to abandon it to the 'woke' and ultimately meaningless notion of 'inclusive assessment'. We rely on our great universities for the new ideas, theories and analyses that will help us create a better world — and they need to be articulated with clarity and precision. We need, in every sense, to be able to speak the same language. I can't pretend to be impartial on this topic. I would not be writing in this newspaper today had I not been forced to learn basic grammar before I left school at 15. I got my first job on a local weekly when I satisfied the editor that I could write a grammatical sentence. Besides, language is fun. We've all heard examples of where sentences have gone horribly wrong. Try these for size — culled from the saintly Radio 4 news bulletins: 'For the second time in six months, a prisoner has died at Durham jail after hanging himself in his cell'. . . 'A suicide bomber has struck again in Jerusalem'. I wonder if the person who nailed this notice on the wall of a public building paused to reflect. It read: 'Toilets out of use. Please use floor below.' Or a hospital parking notice: 'Thieves operate in this car park'. Inevitably, those of us who defend grammar are regarded as humourless sticklers with no imagination, who will always mourn the passing of Shakespeare. When I wrote my first book on the English language, I was accused on Amazon of being a pedant. It did not help my accuser's case that what he actually wrote was 'pendant'. Perhaps an acknowledgement that I'm prepared to swing from one side of the argument to the other?

Nor do I believe that every rule must be obeyed and that splitting an infinitive should be made a capital crime. 'To boldly go' is ungrammatical but fine. 'Boldly to go' is stupid. (And Star Trek would never have been the success it was if the infinitive had not been split!)

And I have limitless admiration for the dirt-poor young man from rural Mississippi who won a scholarship to Harvard. On his first day, he approached a couple of cashmere-clad young men leaning elegantly against a wall. 'Hey y'all . . . can you tell me where the library's at?' The young men smiled smugly and one said: 'At Harvard we tend not to end sentences with prepositions'. He considered for a moment and then: 'OK . . . can you tell me where the library's at a**hole?' Hard to fault his grammar.**

* My word Hull (who?) University has a lot to bleat about - better look them up and see if they have any famous alumni to their credit and as for ** well I'm still laughing, good for the Mississippi man - it's a fabulous river and I've been on it in a Riverboat - does Hull have Riverboats? (I've answered both my own queries - results available if you follow the links, but hardly worth wasting your time .....)

2021 - Fury as Charlie Hebdo magazine cover shows Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle's neck in recreation of George Floyd's death

- French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo has been criticised for its latest cartoon
- Shows the Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle's neck, who says she can't breathe
- The image draws parallels to the horrifying death of George Floyd in May 2020
- Campaigners and activists have branded the cartoon 'appalling' and 'wrong'

By Lydia Catling For Mailonline | Published: 13th March 2021 | Updated: 13th March 2021

French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo has come under fire for a cartoon which shows the Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle's neck, drawing parallels to the death of George Floyd. The publication, which has faced scrutiny before for its controversial drawings, has sparked outrage again just days after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claimed they experienced open racism from family members and staff in the royal family. The image appears to be replicating the horrifying death of George Floyd who died after police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes , despite Floyd's desperate pleas for help crying, 'I can't breathe'.

On the front cover of the magazine, the cartoon is displayed with the headline: 'Why Meghan quit Buckingham.' The Queen is depicted pressing her knee in the back of the Duchess's neck, and Meghan replies: 'Because I couldn't breathe anymore.' It comes as Prince Harry and Meghan's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey aired this week, with claims they experienced racism within the royal family.

People on social media and activists have branded the cartoon 'wrong' and 'appalling'.

CEO of race equality think tank Runnymede Dr Halima Begum tweeted: 'Charlie Hebdo, this is wrong on every level. The Queen as George Floyd's murderer crushing Meghan's neck? ''Meghan saying she's unable to breathe? This doesn't push boundaries, make anyone laugh or challenge racism. 'It demeans the issues & causes offence, across the board.' In response, campaign group WindrushAnchor, said: 'A poor and ill-conceived response from Charlie Hebdo which if anything inflames the issue. 'This brand of simplistic satire has no place in the fight against racism. Utterly appalling and deeply saddening.'

Another Twitter user wrote: 'Is this the free speech that Charlie Hebdo is so passionate about? Racism, disrespect and offence passed off as satire? I'm sorry but no Je suis for me. 'This is nothing but racist bigotry and inciting hate. Do better with your platform and grow up.' And Black and Asian Lawyers ForJustice tweeted that the cover was 'outrageous, disgusting, fascistic racism' adding that the magazine was 'pimping George Floyd's trauma for profit'. George Floyd's death in May 2020 sparked outrage as video footage emerged of a police officer kneeling on his neck despite him saying he couldn't breathe and members of the public pleading for him to stop.

Black Lives Matter protests took place across the world to speak out against police brutality and racial inequality after his death in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Just this week The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to pay an unprecedented $27million to settle a civil lawsuit from George Floyd's family over his death in police custody. The news of the settlement was announced as jury selection continued in the murder trial of Chauvin, who killed Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes last summer.' And while some have simply expressed their outrage at the Charlie Hebdo cover, a human and civil rights activist @_SJPeace is calling for the magazine to be removed. 'A French magazine is laughing about Floyd's death...and Meghan Markle,' he said. 'This magazine is notorious for being racist and offensive and gaslighting people of color. This magazine needs to be removed!'

During the shocking Oprah interview Harry and Meghan claimed they had experienced open facism from family members and staff, and alleged a member of Harry's family even expressed 'concern' about 'how dark' their unborn son would be. There has been much speculation about which member of the royal family they were accusing of racism. But during the interview the couple would not be drawn on who had deeply offended them. They also said the family had been unsupportive of the pressures they were going through, leaving Meghan feeling suicidal and fuelling their decision to quit the UK. Harry said he felt let down by his father, who, he claimed, refused to take his calls at one point, and admitted there was still a gulf between him and his brother. Although they had not been expecting to have an easy ride, the royal family were said to be stunned at the ferocity if the allegations hurled in their direction. There was significant internal debate as to whether to rebut many of them, but instead the Queen personally opted for a 'compassionate but firm' approach.

Days after the interview Prince William spoke to insist the royals were 'very much not a racist family', a move which was backed by the Queen and Prince Charles. On Thursday he became the first senior Windsor to address directly the string of allegations made in the explosive Oprah interview. This is not the first time the magazine has been criticised for its controversial cartoons. Charlie Hebdo was attacked by Islamist fanatics in January 2015, after posting cartoons which were said to have insulted the Prophet Mohammed. Twelve people were killed in the onslaught, including a number of cartoonists who were said to have continually mocked Islam. The magazine is now published from a secret headquarters in Paris - one that is said to be under armed guard at all times.

Despite its reputation for 'Je Suis Charlie' free speech, Hebdo is frequently accused of racism and Islamophobia. It denies the claims, saying that it is fully entitled to mock anybody it chooses.

2021 - What a way to start the Year! And not in a good way!

Public response to Peter Pan cartoon debate

Here are a few responses from the public as they appeared in the Mail on Sunday dated 31st January 2021 and which speak for themselves.

Disney+ blocks under-sevens from watching 'racist' Peter Pan, Dumbo and The Aristocats for breaching 'content advisories'

- Dumbo and The Aristocats among those removed from the children's section
- They were found to have breached 'content advisories' recently installed
- Parents are shocked after trying to watch films on the £5.99-per-month service

By Katie Hind Showbusiness Editor For The Mail On Sunday | Published: 23rd January 2021 | Updated: 25th January 2021

Peter Pan still from the animated 1950s version

Well I suppose if they could find a still of Peter Pan leering I suppose this would be it! - 'Children will need an adult with them to watch Peter Pan's adventure in Neverland' - image and strapline as used in the Mail on Sunday

Generations of children have been charmed by the magical tale of the boy who never grew up, but Peter Pan is now on a list of banned movies. Bosses at Disney have blocked anyone under the age of seven from watching the 1953 animated classic on its streaming service over concerns that it portrays racial stereotypes, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Three other long-standing family favourites – The Aristocats, Swiss Family Robinson and Dumbo – have also been removed from children's accounts for breaching 'content advisories' that were recently put in place. Parents have been left dumbfounded after trying to watch the films on Disney's £5.99-per-month service. One said: 'I wanted to watch Peter Pan with my daughter, but I couldn't find it anywhere. 'Then I realised they had all gone – they had been removed from the kids' accounts. It was shocking.' It is understood the main reason behind Peter Pan being blocked is because it features a Native American tribe whose members are referred to as 'redskins'.

Meanwhile, the 1970 movie The Aristocats has a Siamese cat character called Shun Gon, whose slanted eyes and prominent teeth have been described as a caricature of East Asian people. Swiss Family Robinson, which was made in 1960, has been criticised for its 'yellow face' and 'brown face' pirates. Dumbo, the 1941 cartoon about a lovable flying elephant, has been accused of ridiculing enslaved African-Americans on Southern plantations. At one point during a musical interlude, faceless black workers toil away to offensive lyrics such as, 'When we get our pay, we throw our money all away'.

Disney implemented a revised content advisory in October to flag up any issues surrounding racial stereotypes and concerns were raised in relation to Peter Pan and the other productions. The decision to ban the films from children's accounts was made by a group of external experts who were brought in to assess if the content 'represented global audiences'. While the films remain available on adult accounts, they come with a disclaimer that says: 'This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. 'Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.' Disney says on its website that it is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the diversity of the human experience around the globe. The statement reads: 'We can't change the past, but we can acknowledge it, learn from it and move forward together to create a tomorrow that today can only dream of.'

A spokesman for Disney declined to comment.

RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: This woke madness goes from Bard to worse

By Richard Littlejohn for the Daily Mail | Published: 5th January 2021 | Updated: 5th January 2021

War Horse author Sir Michael Morpurgo is refusing to include The Merchant Of Venice in a new book adapting Shakespeare's plays for children under 16. He has decided the anti-Semitic portrayal of Jewish money lender Shylock is too 'raw' for young minds. Without doubt, the play may be considered offensive by modern standards. But that doesn't mean it should be expunged from the canon of the greatest playwright in the English language. It's one thing social media sewer rats stirring up hatred against everything from Dad's Army to J.K. Rowling. It's quite another when one of our most distinguished writers aligns himself with intolerant statue-topplers and book-burners. I studied The Merchant Of Venice at school and it didn't turn me into a raging anti-Semite. Quite the opposite, as it happens. Yes, the portrayal of Shylock is unpleasant, but the play is also a powerful plea for racial and religious tolerance. ('If you prick us, do we not bleed?')

Cartoon images of Shalespeare's Plays

Richard Littlejohn ponders which - if any - of Shakespeare's plays could be put on without causing offence - image sourced from Daily Mail online as used in their article

Should we now ban Morpurgo's War Horse because it's hideously white? Of course not, but in the current febrile mania for erasing the past and rewriting history, don't be surprised when it happens. Most of our civic institutions have embarked on a deranged orgy of self-flagellation in the wake of the Black Lives Matter madness. How long before the Royal Shakespeare Company capitulates, too? Soon every single one of the Bard's plays will have to be scrutinised line by line by the censors for anything which might possibly cause offence to anyone.

You can just imagine the RSC committee meeting at Stratford . . .

Good morning, colleagues. I've called you all together to discuss our proposed summer season, that's if we ever come out of lockdown. As you are aware, in the current climate certain productions may be considered problematic. So we must tread carefully in selecting our programme. Let's start with Romeo And Juliet. Any thoughts?
Celebrates paedophilia. Juliet is only 13. We'll have the Jimmy Savile squad kicking the door in before the interval.
OK, how about Richard III?
He was a hunchback. The disability lobby aren't going to like that.
Technically he wasn't a hunchback. He had adolescent scoliosis. We could always claim to be raising awareness and get Cumberbatch to make a speech at the end asking for donations to The Scoliosis Society.
Not a bad idea. Put it down as a maybe.
Wasn't he bipolar? Mental health issues are always a bit of a minefield. And that's not counting Ophelia's suicide.
As You Like It?
That's the one where Rosalind dresses up as a Greek shepherd boy and tries to seduce Orlando before revealing she's actually a girl. How do you think that will go down with the trans brigade?
Probably best to give it a miss. We're going to have the same trouble with Twelfth Night.
If you remember, Viola disguises herself as a young man. But in Shakespeare's day, female parts were always played by men. So Viola would have been played by a male actor, dressing as a woman dressing as a man.
We could always cast Eddie Izzard as Viola.
It's a thought. How about Taming Of The Shrew?
Glorifies misogyny. The feminists will throw a right wobbly.
Measure For Measure?
All's Well That Ends Well?
Grooming. Count Bertram spends half the play trying to seduce a young virgin.
Hmmm. Comedy Of Errors?
A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Featuring a comedy character called Bottom, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more. We'll have Stonewall all over us.
Titus Andronicus?
Where do you want to start? With the rape and murder of the daughter or the two brothers Titus kills and bakes in a pie he serves to their mother before killing her, too?
Fair point. What does that leave us with? Richard II?
Too Brexity. This sceptered isle, this blessed plot and so on.
Henry V?
Anti-EU. Borderline racist. All that 'God for Harry, England and St George' stuff . . .
You must be joking. Not unless you want Black Lives Matter running riot. It was bad enough when Extinction Rebellion glued themselves to the stage blaming The Tempest on climate change.
That's about it, then. The Merchant Of Venice is a definite non-starter. Why don't we just forget about Shakespeare and put on something less controversial?
Such as?
War Horse?
The RSPCA might have something to say about that . . .

***** Yes the article is funny and I enjoy this stripping bare of 'woke' stupidity - but there is one word that is creeping into our language far too frequently and that is 'rapey' - to my mind it demeans the seriousness to describe something as too 'rapey' - rape is rape and there is nothing lightweight about that! Definition : The legal definition of rape is 'penetration with a penis of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person without their consent'. Source : Rape Crisis

Victory in the war on woke: Judges' landmark ruling in case of mother who called trans woman 'he' on Twitter means freedom of speech DOES includes the 'right to offend'

- Two judges have ruled that free speech encompasses offensive language
- Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Warby presiding over case in Court of Appeal
- Ruling came in successful appeal decided last week in favour of Kate Scottow
- Feminist prosecuted for calling a transgender woman a man and 'pig in a wig'
- She had been found guilty under the 2003 Communications Act this year

By Daily Mail Reporter and Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter For Mailonline |Published: 18th December 2020 | Updated: 18th December 2020

Judges have insisted that freedom of speech includes the 'right to offend' in a landmark ruling which could help to turn the tide on 'woke' intolerance after a feminist who called a transgender woman a 'pig in a wig' and a 'man' was cleared. Presiding over a case in the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Warby said: 'Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.' They added that 'free speech encompasses the right to offend, and indeed to abuse another'. The judgment from two senior members of the judiciary will set a precedent for future cases involving freedom of speech. Judges have insisted that freedom of speech includes the 'right to offend' in a landmark ruling which could help to turn the tide on 'woke' intolerance after a feminist who called a transgender woman a 'pig in a wig' and a 'man' was cleared. Presiding over a case in the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Warby said: 'Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.'

They added that 'free speech encompasses the right to offend, and indeed to abuse another'. The judgment from two senior members of the judiciary will set a precedent for future cases involving freedom of speech. Miss Scottow was arrested in 2018 and taken from her children and into custody after referring to trans woman Stefanie Hayden as a man, a 'racist' and a 'pig in the wig'. Miss Hayden, 47, reported the online remarks to police. She had been arrested by three police officers in 2019 at her home in Pirton near Hitchin, Hertfordshire, in front of her daughter, 10, and son, 20 months. Boris Johnson later called it an abuse of power. In February this year radical feminist Miss Scottow, 40, was handed a two-year conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £1,000 compensation, with district judge Margaret Dodds telling her: 'Your comments contributed nothing to a debate. We teach children to be kind to each other and not to call each other names in the playground.' But, overturning the decision, Mr Justice Warby explained that the relevant parts of the Communications Act 'were not intended by Parliament to criminalise forms of expression, the content of which is no worse than annoying or inconvenient in nature'. Mr Justice Warby also suggested that the prosecution had been an 'unjustified state interference with free speech'. Lord Justice Bean said the appeal illustrated the need for decision-makers in the criminal justice system to have regard to issues of freedom of speech. The two appeal judges, who outlined their reasoning in a written ruling published on Wednesday, said prosecutors had not obtained 'all the contextual material for the offending messages', and had presented the case in a 'somewhat disorderly way' at the trial.

Activist Miss Hayden, who began medically transitioning in 2007 and was given a gender recognition certificate in 2018, won a landmark case at the High Court in April last year when website Mumsnet was forced to reveal the identity of an anonymous user who had been accused of bullying her online. In February Ms Scottow, 39, was found guilty of persistently making use of a public communications network to cause annoyance, inconvenience, and anxiety to Stephanie Hayden, 48, between September 2018 and last May. The 'radical feminist' was accused of deliberately 'misgendering' Ms Hayden by referring to her as 'he' or 'him' during a period of 'significant online abuse'. Throughout the trial her supporters gathered outside St Albans Magistrates' Court to protest the verdict, chanting 'pig in a wig' and 'he's a man - go on prosecute me'. Holding banners which read 'we love free speech', the mob tied scarves in the Suffragettes' purple, green, and white to lampposts outside the courthouse. But Ms Hayden argued the defendant was guilty of 'harassment' and had 'misgendered' her 'to annoy people like me', adding: 'It's calculated to violate my dignity as a woman.' Trumpeting her Gender Recognition Certificate, the complainant told the court how Ms Scottow was bound by law to refer to her as a woman. Ms Scottow was handed a two-year conditional discharge, and was ordered by the court to pay £1,000 compensation within six months. But now after a successful appeal the prosecution has been quashed.

In a separate incident Father Ted creator Graham Linehan was given a verbal harassment warning by West Yorkshire Police after Miss Hayden reported him for referring to her by previous names and pronouns on Twitter in 2018. Police faced a backlash for phoning a 74-year-old woman to warn her that her online posts about gender identity had offended transgender people. Former local journalist Margaret Nelson wrote in her blog that if a transgender person's body was dissected post-mortem, 'his or her sex would be obvious to a student or pathologist'. But she was later contacted by Suffolk Police, who woke her with a morning phone call, telling her the comments had provoked complaints from members of the trans community.

HMP Downview

Female prisoner who was sexually assaulted bidding to ban trans inmates from women's jails

In 2019, HMP Downview became the first UK prison to have a dedicated wing for transgender inmates. It was introduced after a trans prisoner at a different jail assaulted two other female inmates [File photo] In 2019, HMP Downview became the first UK prison to have a dedicated wing for transgender inmates. It was introduced after a trans prisoner at a different jail assaulted two other female inmates [File photo] A female prisoner who was sexually assaulted by a trans inmate has launched a challenge against the policy of keeping such offenders in women's prisons, it emerged last month. She was attacked by an inmate who identified as female but had not had reassignment surgery. The trans woman had convictions for serious sexual offences. Yet the offender was still put in a women's jail, Downview in Surrey. A judicial review will seek to overturn government policy which allows men who have been awarded a gender recognition certificate from being housed in female prisons. The landmark case will argue the Government is breaching equality law. It will focus on trans women inmates who have committed sexual or violent crime.

It has to be said that I do feel for the plight of genuine transgender individuals (and any other genuine minority groups) but it is the constant harping by those who are 'offended' by everything, especially as they have no idea how offensive they, themselves, are - it's time the judges started making sensible, common sense decisions! Maybe they should be the backbone of the 'Common Sense Group' currently in Parliament.

Tory MPs urge Boris to go to war on BBC and National Trust wokery: PM told to speak out for Britain's patriotic silent majority against 'elitist bourgeois liberals' at institutions

- Boris Johnson will be urged to speak out for Britain's 'patriotic' silent majority
- Over 25 Tory MPs will write to PM warning him 'Britain's heritage is under attack'
- The appeal, led by Sir John Hayes, will call for decriminalising BBC licence fee
- It will also call for potentially stripping the National Trust of its charitable status

By Glen Owen and Brendan Carlin for The Mail on Sunday | Published: 21st November 2020 | Updated: 22nd November 2020

Tory MPs are to demand that Boris Johnson launch a fightback against the politically correct 'woke' agenda of institutions including the BBC and the National Trust, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. The Prime Minister will be urged to speak out for Britain's 'patriotic' silent majority and take a stand against bids by 'elitist bourgeois liberals' to rewrite or denigrate the nation's history. More than 25 Tory MPs will write to Mr Johnson this week, warning him that 'Britain's heritage is under attack – ironically from those missioned to guard it'. The appeal, led by senior backbencher and ex-Minister Sir John Hayes, will call for drastic action including decriminalising the BBC licence fee and potentially stripping the National Trust of its charitable status. In a stern warning last night, Sir John said: 'Those responsible for our heritage must stand with us or stand aside.' Their letter, seen by this newspaper, calls for a panel of 'patriots' to vet major public appointments, and shows their anger over the National Trust's decision to 'commission a review of its properties' links with colonialism' – including Churchill's home, Chartwell. And it rebukes 'unheroic characters at the National Maritime Museum' for 're-evaluating Nelson's heroic status'. The appeal for the 'patriotic' fightback is being organised by the Common Sense group* of 60 Tory MPs and peers. Sir John, its chairman, said: 'It's time to defend British traditions and values... to stand against the senseless woke whingers and the soulless militants who despise the best of Britain.'

They also take issue with the BBC's move to 'censor' The Pogues' song Fairytale Of New York over its use of the word 'faggot'. They write: 'In light of the BBC's repeated refusal to address its organisation's undoubted liberal bias, illustrated most recently by its bizarre decision to censor a well-known Christmas song, (perhaps, similarly, the whole canon of popular music is to be reviewed by a highly paid zealot!), we believe it is now time to decriminalise the licence fee, so enabling ordinary Britons to choose whether or not to pay for the BBC's content.' Members of the group – which includes many so-called Red Wall Tories who won seats from Labour last year – are understood to have had a 'positive' response from Mr Johnson when they met him this year. 'We know that the Prime Minister, because of his learning and thoughtfulness about this, recognises that history can neither be sanitised nor rewritten,' said Sir John. 'So, we believe he is on the right side of this argument.' Signatory Tom Hunt said: 'The vast majority of people in this country are patriotic. They realise that in history there are occasions when we haven't always got it right. 'But they realise that by and large this country has been a force for good and are proud of being British. They find it incredibly frustrating and infuriating when very high-profile public organisations – in some cases charitable ones supported by the taxpayer – are promoting divisive political agendas.' The letter comes amid growing concern within the party over the influence of the Prime Minister's fiancee, Carrie Symonds, identified by many Tories as the guiding force behind Mr Johnson's new focus on the 'green' agenda.

The Common Sense Tories make a direct threat to the funding of the National Trust, telling Mr Johnson: 'As long as the purpose of these charitable organisations is perverted by political posturing, we request that you ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to review all outstanding funding applications from [bodies] that pursue political causes.' They want the Charity Commission to consider 'the withdrawal of charitable status of guilty parties, notably the National Trust'. On public appointments, they say: 'It is vital that those appointed reflect public perceptions of what's just and right, rather than parroting the preoccupations of the liberal Left. To which end, perhaps all appointments should be overseen by a "people's panel" of patriots.' The BBC said Fairytale Of New York would be played with its full lyrics on some stations, but not Radio 1, whose young listeners are particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality. The National Trust said that 'exploring and sharing the history of places we look after' was 'completely within our charitable objectives'.

* If this lot were a political party in themselves I'd vote for them every time! Bring back Common Sense, de-fund any Trust raking up unnecessary 'wokeness' instead of concentrating on what they're paid to do or sack the lot of 'em!

MP BEN BRADLEY: Why I refuse to take part in the Orwellian 're-education' courses on 'unconscious bias' that tell ordinary people they are racists

By Ben Bradley For The Mail On Sunday |Published: 19th September 2020 | Updated: 20th September 2020

Imagine being called in to the boss's office tomorrow morning, a bit nervous and unsure what it is you've done wrong, and being told you've been reported by a colleague. You've been caught saying that you disagree with the idea that Black Lives Matter is helping to deal with racism, that in fact you don't believe Britain is a racist country. And now you're to be 're-educated'. You're going on a course… It sounds like something from Orwell's 1984, yet hundreds of thousands if not millions of people in workplaces around the UK have been ordered to attend special training sessions of this sort. Many push a 'Critical Race Theory' ideology that suggests that – whether you know it or not – your views are tightly defined by your age, gender and skin colour. And these courses are run by 'educators' who want you to recognise and 'check' your privilege, and to understand just how little you really know.

Now imagine your company is paying £1.4 million for this training. In fact, you work in the public sector, so it's £1.4 million of taxpayers' cash. In the coming months all of us as Members of Parliament will be asked to undertake this Unconscious Bias training, which is the second phase of our re-education following a summer of 'Valuing Everybody' lessons ordered by the parliamentary authorities. The first part – which I did attend – turned out to be a £750,000, two-hour journey around the benefits of not being horrible to your staff. Personally, I think I'm quite nice to my team in the office. I'm also sure that if I wasn't, those two hours would not have made the blindest bit of difference. I'm fortunate, I suppose, that due to Covid-19 the session was held via Zoom rather than having to decamp to an office somewhere, though I don't suppose that the reduced workload has reduced the cost at all! It was still a very expensive chat.

The Mail on Sunday revealed a few weeks ago that the company that has been recruited to run these lessons uses a blue puppet called 'UB', who looks like the Cookie Monster, in their training sessions, which makes me think of it as some kind of primary school assembly. The puppet, whose name stands for Unconscious Bias, 'helps' to explain to the class how words like 'lady' and 'pensioner' should be avoided in case they cause offence. Now this company has been given another £7,000 seedcorn money to help plan the delivery of sessions for MPs and parliamentary staff. I hope they can agree that at least the primary school puppet will not be necessary! I spoke out last week and made clear that I won't be taking this training. It seems totally nonsensical to me that, in my role as a representative of a community that has typically felt left behind and voiceless for many years, I should be advised that there are certain words I shouldn't use; certain issues that I should avoid; certain sensibilities that I should not offend. How am I to raise the true feelings of an electorate that broadly feels like it's being preached at by a metropolitan elite who neither understand nor care about them, if I have to walk on eggshells and dance around the problem?

In an environment where Leave voters have been labelled thick and racist for holding a view on uncontrolled mass immigration, despite proving many times that they are a majority in this country, which institutions or trainers down here in Westminster are qualified to tell me which views on the subject might be right or wrong? Who has the right to say that those views are a result of 'unconscious biases', of white privilege, or of lack of understanding? The answer is nobody. There is no science to back this up, and nobody has that right. We live in a free country, with free speech and freedom of expression. We used to also have a robust and resilient approach to an argument that didn't involve silencing everyone you disagree with. Yet, here I am in 21st Century Britain reading a document from Challenge Consultancy, the company tasked with putting this training programme together. They offer to 'work with the Cultural Transformation Team' to deliver 'Cultural Competency' training – yes we are culturally incompetent now. I'm intrigued by the offer to help me to use 'appropriate terminology' and to 'demonstrate ally behaviour'. Given that this will be delivered in the same format as the first phase of this patronising rubbish, I think it's reasonable to assume that this will similarly be costing more than half a million quid from the public purse. Despite what these trainers may say, we are not defined by our physical characteristics. We do not have one homogenous view because of the colour of our skin. It's nonsense. Our views are formed by countless different factors; from our lived experiences, our backgrounds and from the communities we grew up in, but we are individuals. We are not defined by others. We are free to define ourselves. Time after time the documents explain that 'the BAME community thinks x' and 'the BAME community is calling for y', as if the entire black and minority ethnic community speaks with one voice on this, or on any issue. It strikes me as presumptuous and arrogant.

Who is qualified to police our language, or to say which views are right and wrong? Who polices those police, and makes sure that they aren't pushing unconscious biases of their own? What is being done to ensure that the people who choose careers in delivering Unconscious Bias Training don't choose that profession because they actually have their own agenda to push? It was pointed out to me last week that, as an MP, I am in a fortunate position. Only my constituents can remove me from office. The House of Commons can't do a great deal to punish me if I don't take the course. Yet outside Westminster, the reality is that most employees have no such independence and no power to refuse. No wonder so many ordinary people are scared to voice dissent. (I'm not!)

Did every single Premier League footballer really support Black Lives Matter, an organisation that campaigns to defund the police and smash capitalism? To my knowledge, every single one of them 'took the knee'. What would have been the consequences for the one who said no? I can't imagine it would have been career enhancing. Societal pressure forces us to go along with things we disagree with, and that is not right or healthy for anyone. With that in mind, I feel people like me have a responsibility to say something, and to do something. (I do if you are reading this page then you know I am doing something!)

I know that my concern is shared by millions of people around the UK from a variety of backgrounds – but particularly among constituents like mine who, for the most part, have not shared in the wealth generated by the booming economy in the South East. I think Brexit is a symptom of this same divide too, and of the 'left behind' people and places who feel like they are being looked down upon by a detached metropolitan elite determined to police the way they think and talk. There is yawning chasm between our institutions and millions of the people that they are meant to work for. Since I raised this, earlier last week, I've lost count of the number of colleagues who have offered their support – and have also promised to say no to the training. I've been stopped by Commons staff too who thanked me for speaking out against this 'total nonsense'. It's sparked more interest than I could have predicted, and for that I am grateful. Once again I call on colleagues in the privileged position of being able to speak out and to take a stand against this Leftist infiltration of our institutions, to do exactly that and put a stop to forced 're-education' once and for all.

Readers CommentsReaders CommentsReaders Comments

Well done MP for Mansfield with a backbone! I worked for Nottinghamshire Police at Mansfield Police which had been labelled 'institutionally racist' by some uneducated moaners who had nothing better to do! There was diversity among the uniformed police mainly gender based and there was a lot of ethnicity amongst the non-uniformed staff, we even had a high ranked Union representative who was of ethnic origin and ended up in prison for various misdemeanours concerning money and his brother had reached the rank of Chief Superintendent and was the Divisional Commander for Mansfield for a short stretch - hardly two identical peas coming out of the pod eh? There's diversity everywhere and very little of it is good if forced down your throat; unions of different cultures are useless unless, like us Polish kids, you were guided well by your community and your parents, taught to value both your antecedents home country and honour the codes of the country you lived in!

***** Missing the point - all of the articles referring to Orwell through his fictionalised dystopian books - read the man's philosophy further down the page by following this link *****

'A woke joke isn't going to be very funny': Monty Python star John Cleese says political correctness is 'stifling' comic creativity – as social media users hit back with their best 'woke' one-liners

- John Cleese criticised the 'stifling' effect of political correctness on creativity
- He said Britain should not organise society around 'the most easily upset people'
- Comments come after reports say new BBC boss wants to tackle 'left-wing bias'
- After Mr Cleese's comments social media users tweeted their best 'woke' jokes

By Henry Martin For Mailonline | Published: 3rd September 2020 | Updated: 3rd September 2020

John Cleese has criticised the 'stifling' effect of political correctness on creativity - saying there is no such thing as a 'woke joke'. The former Monty Python star, 80, said Britain should not organise its society around 'the sensibilities of the most easily upset people', because that would lead to a 'very neurotic society'. Mr Cleese said that 'affectionate teasing' is a bonding mechanism, telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'PC stuff started out as a good idea which is, ''Let's not be mean to people'', and I'm in favour of that... despite my age. 'I think Jesus Christ would have agreed... The main thing is to try to be kind. 'But that then becomes a sort of indulgence of the most over-sensitive people in your culture, the people who are most easily upset.' After Mr Cleese made the comments on Radio 4 Today show, people took to social media to post their funniest 'woke' jokes.

Woke Joes as they appeared in the Daily Mail

Image sourced from MailOnline as it appeared in the article

Twitter user Paul Dempsey wrote: 'An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar. 'What a fantastic display of the Union's centuries-long multiculturalism.' Carolyn Wright said: 'Little Jack Horner sat in the corner eating his Christmas pie, he stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said "I acknowledge that others don't have the privileges I do and hope the example I set is proof that I believe in the equality of people from every background".' One user wrote: 'I keep hearing the term LGBTQ+. But asking what it means, I can never get a straight answer.' While Joseph McGrath posted: 'I woke at 5.20 this morning - again - it's no joke.'

Mr Cleese's comments come after reports said new BBC boss Tim Davie wants to tackle perceived left-wing bias in comedy shows. In his first major intervention as director-general, Mr Davie – on only his second day in the job – overturned the hugely controversial decision to play only instrumental versions of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory at the Last Night of the Proms. In his first major intervention as director-general, Mr Davie – on only his second day in the job – overturned the hugely controversial decision to play only instrumental versions of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory at the Last Night of the Proms. The broadcaster put out a shock statement announcing there would now be a 'select group of BBC Singers' performing the songs. It added: 'We hope everyone will welcome this solution.' It followed huge public outcry at the revelation last week – when Tony Hall was still director-general – that there would be 'new orchestral versions'.

Former Fawlty Towers star Mr Cleese today added: 'From the point of creativity, if you have to keep thinking which words you can use and which you can't, then that will stifle creativity. 'The main thing is to realise that words depend on their context. Very literal-minded people think a word is a word but it isn't.' Teasing can be a 'bonding mechanism' as well as the 'nasty, mean, unkind' type designed to 'put people down', which is 'completely wrong', the comic said. 'There's also affectionate teasing which is the sort of teasing we do in families and work groups that know each other, just making fun of each other in gentle ways. 'That's a great source of fun and enjoyment, a verbal dual - who can make the best rude remarks all in an atmosphere of affection. It's a bonding mechanism. It's positive.

'PC people simply don't understand this business about context because they tend to be very literal-minded. 'I would love to debate this... The first question I would say is, 'Can you tell me a woke joke?' 'I don't know what a woke joke would be like... It might be heart-warming but it's not going to be very funny.'

Are these 'woke' BBC comedians facing the chop? How the likes of Jo Brand, Nish Kumar and Russell Howard could be at risk in Tim Davie's left-wing comedy overhaul

Jo Brand: Comedian sparked fury after suggesting on BBC Radio Four's comedy show Heresy that battery acid should be thrown over 'unpleasant' politicians Comedian Jo Brand landed herself in hot water with BBC chiefs after she made a joke on Radio Four's comedy show Heresy about throwing battery acid over 'unpleasant' politicians. She branded the throwing of milkshakes on politicians such as Nigel Farage as 'pathetic' and added: 'Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?' (Comedian Jo Brand apologised after she made a joke on BBC Radio Four's comedy show Heresy about throwing battery acid over 'unpleasant' politicians). She added: 'I'm not going to do it, it's purely a fantasy.' Her quip, in June last year, was initially defended by the BBC, who later admitted Ms Brand had 'gone too far' - while the 63-year-old also apologised.

Regulator Ofcom earlier this year said the star's comments had the 'potential to offend listeners', but it was unlikely to encourage or incite the commission of a crime. Jo Brand has occasionally hosted long-running satirical panel show Have I Got News For You - starring Paul Merton and Ian Hislop. The show, which features changing guests hosts, including self-confessed 'life-long Tory' Jeremy Clarkson, has come under fire over claims of anti-Conservative bias. Earlier this year it received complaints from viewers over its discussion of top Tory aide Dominic Cummings following revelations of a trip from London to Durham while Britain was in lockdown. BBC bosses reviewed the complaints but said the story did not receive 'disproportionate' coverage.

Nish Kumar: The Mash Report host who presented Horrible Histories Brexit - dubbed 'anti-British drivel' Comedian Nish Kumar is the host of BBC Two's The Mash Report which has faced criticism over its satirical pieces poking fun at Brexit and the Conservatives. (Nish Kumar has also faced criticism, with satirical pieces poking fun at Brexit and the Conservatives). In one piece, about the government's Brexit advertising plan, headed up by Michael Gove, comedian Rachel Parris said: 'He's a good man,' prompting host Nish Kumar to respond 'Is he?' Ms Parris then responds: 'No,' prompting laughter from the audience. The BBC also provoked outrage earlier this year by screening an 'anti-British' children's programme on Brexit Day. Hosted by Mr Kumar, Horrible Histories Brexit suggested Britain had historically failed to produce anything of note, relying instead on imports. BBC broadcaster Andrew Neil called it 'anti-British drivel of a high order' and asked: 'Was any of the licence fee used to produce something purely designed to demean us?' Mr Neil, chairman of the group behind right-leaning magazine The Spectator, also hit out at the Mash Report as 'self satisfied, self adulatory, unchallenged Left-wing propaganda.'

Russell Howard: The 'Good News' presenter who labelled Nigel Farage a 'right-wing f**k-knucle' Other comedians such as Russell Howard have also sparked claims of political bias. Last year, the comedian spoke to music magazine NME to whom he described politicians, including Nigel Farage, as 'right-wing f**k-knuckles'. He was also part of panel show, Mock the Week, which has in the past been accused of anti-Conservative and anti-Brexit bias.

Granted I'm no big fan of John Cleese ('Fawlty Towers' excepted) but at least he is high-profile enough to get quoted in the media - compared to the 'woke BBC Comedians' he's a god among men but that's just me using an expression - in reality no man is a god, but be careful before you start arguing the fact of 'no woman is a god' you may be surprised ..... only kidding! (My website, I can say what I like!)

The vile 'Woke Brigade' got it so, so, so, wrong!

BBC U Turn Cartoon

PAUL THOMAS on... the BBC's Proms reversal | By Paul Thomas For The Daily Mail |Published: 3rd September 2020 | Updated: 3rd September 2020

BBC announces Proms U-turn: Land of Hope and Glory and Rule, Britannia! WILL now be sung in Royal Albert Hall after more 100,000 signed MailOnline's campaign

- BBC reveals Land of Hope and Glory and Rule, Britannia! will both be sung at the Last Night of the Proms
- Decision over performance on September 12 is remarkable U-turn following huge backlash from UK public
- Broadcaster had announced on Monday last week that the anthems would feature as 'new orchestral versions'
- Decision followed concerns raised over both songs' perceived historical links with colonialism and slavery
- But today's change of mind marks first major decision taken by new boss Tim Davie who took over yesterday

By Mark Duell for MailOnline |Published: 2nd September 2020 | Updated: 3rd September 2020

The BBC today revealed Land of Hope and Glory and Rule, Britannia! will both be sung by a group at the Last Night of the Proms in ten days' time in a remarkable U-turn following a huge backlash from the British public. More than 100,000 people signed MailOnline's petition urging the BBC to overturn the hugely controversial decision to have no singing during the songs at the Royal Albert Hall in West London on September 12. The broadcaster had announced on Monday last week that the anthems would feature as 'new orchestral versions' in this year's concert, following concerns raised over their perceived historical links with colonialism and slavery. The shock change of mind marks the first major decision taken by Tim Davie who took over just yesterday as the BBC's new £450,000-a-year director-general and is clearly looking to stamp his mark on it as soon as possible. Among the opponents of the initial move last week was Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with a spokesman saying today that he 'welcomes the decision'. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden added: 'Pleased to see common sense has prevailed on the BBC Proms.' Conservative MP Rob Butler added this afternoon: 'Very pleased indeed that words to Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory will after all be sung at Last Night of the Proms. Should never have been in doubt.' And a spokesman for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said today: 'It is the right decision - we said a few weeks ago the pomp and pageantry is a staple of the British summer. Enjoying patriotic songs does not and should not be a barrier to examining our past and drawing lesson from it.' Other figures who led the backlash also took to Twitter today to celebrate the U-turn.

Piers Morgan Tweet

Piers Morgan described today's announcement by the corporation as a 'huge U-turn' and the 'right decision' - image & strapline courtesy of the Daily Mail

Piers Morgan described it as a 'huge U-turn' and the 'right decision', while Nigel Farage added: 'This just shows the power of public pressure and how hopelessly out of touch the BBC are with their own license fee payers.'

Tweet sent out by Laurence Fox

Laurence Fox also praised the decision, writing: 'WE BLOODY DID IT! You are all amazing! They have to listen if we speak loud enough. Well done. I'm so happy!' - image & strapline courtesy of the Daily Mail

Laurence Fox also praised the decision, writing: 'WE BLOODY DID IT! You are all amazing! They have to listen if we speak loud enough. Well done. I'm so happy!'

London Assembly member Peter Whittle said: 'This shows what we can do, but also what we're always going to be up against. The BBC has had its day. #DefundTheBBC' A BBC Proms spokesman said this afternoon: 'The pandemic means a different Proms this year and one of the consequences, under Covid-19 restrictions, is we are not able to bring together massed voices. 'For that reason we took the artistic decision not to sing Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory in the Hall. We have been looking hard at what else might be possible and we have a solution. 'Both pieces will now include a select group of BBC Singers. This means the words will be sung in the Hall, and as we have always made clear, audiences will be free to sing along at home. 'While it can't be a full choir, and we are unable to have audiences in the Hall, we are doing everything possible to make it special and want a Last Night truly to remember. We hope everyone will welcome this solution. 'We think the night itself will be a very special moment for the country - and one that is much needed after a difficult period for everyone. It will not be a usual Last Night, but it will be a night not just to look forward to, but to remember.'

The decision comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused the BBC of 'wetness', demanding an end to 'self-recrimination' over the past and saying the corporation harboured a 'cringing embarrassment' about Britain's traditions. Last week's compromise to have no singing in the songs, which followed the racism row, was drawn up after Mr Davie intervened before he took over from Tony Hall to insist both pieces were performed in some form. MPs from both parties and Trevor Phillips, the former head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, had condemned this year's decision last week, before today's U-turn took place. Amid outcry over the decision to drop the lyrics, a poll found 59 per cent said the BBC had got it wrong – rising to 80 per cent among over-65s. Mr Johnson also said last week that he was so passionate about the issue that his advisers had sought to 'restrain' his remarks. Saying he could barely believe the BBC's decision, Mr Johnson added: 'It's time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions, and about our culture, and we stopped this general fight of self-recrimination and wetness, I wanted to get that off my chest.' Before the U-turn, Mr Phillips had accused BBC bosses of being 'rooms full of white men panicking that someone is going to think they are racist'. He had said: 'The real problem the corporation has is that it is always in a panic about race, and one of the reasons it is always in a panic is that it has no confidence. 'The principle reason it has no confidence ... is that there is no ethnic diversity at the top of its decision-making tree.'

The row over this year's Proms began two weekends ago when it was first reported that Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory could be ditched entirely. Critics have claimed the songs are inappropriate due to associations with colonialism and slavery. The lyrics to Rule, Britannia! include the line 'Britons never, never, never shall be slaves', while the 1902 words to Land of Hope and Glory were reputedly inspired by Cecil Rhodes, an imperialist and mining magnate whose statue is being removed from an Oxford college. It was suggested that the Finnish Proms conductor, Dalia Stasevska, was keen to limit patriotic elements, and that this year - without an audience due to coronavirus - was the perfect moment for change. Late last Monday, BBC bosses confirmed that the two anthems would be performed, but without the lyrics. Government officials had held talks with BBC executives to urge them to rethink the decision but to no avail. Speaking before the U-turn, David Mellor, the Tory former culture secretary, had said: 'This is a disgraceful cockup at every level. 'What we get is a whole lot of woke claptrap and the BBC don't know what to do about it.'

Meanwhile Business Secretary Alok Sharma had suggested the BBC should put the lyrics on screen so viewers can decide for themselves whether to sing them. Lord Hall, who was the BBC's outgoing director general until yesterday, tried last week to blame the coronavirus crisis for the Proms decision, pointing out that fewer performers are allowed on stage. He had said the issue had been determined by David Pickard, who became director of the BBC Proms in 2015. Asked whether there had been a discussion about dropping songs because of their link with imperialism, Lord Hall replied: 'The whole thing has been discussed by David and his colleagues.' He had also defended the compromise, adding: 'It's very, very hard in an Albert Hall that takes over 5,000 people to have the atmosphere of the Last Night of the Proms and to have things where the whole audience normally sing along.' Mr Davie, 53, began his new job in jeans and trainers yesterday and is set to target bloated management and tighten rules on impartiality as he reforms the corporation 'with urgency' to survive 'in this digital age'. He plans to wield the axe in order to focus spending on the broadcaster's programmes themselves. Sources said bosses will be expected to justify their positions – and those who fail to do so face the chop. Mr Davie's plans also reportedly include steps to prevent the BBC from being viewed as a campaigning organisation. It has faced increased criticism that it has become dominated by a 'woke' Left-wing agenda. In his opening email to staff, Mr Davie stressed yesterday that the corporation must represent 'every part of this country' and spent his first day in charge meeting workers at BBC Scotland in Glasgow.

Mr Davie, who will lay out plans in more detail in a speech to staff tomorrow, takes over as the BBC faces battles on several fronts, from rows over the licence fee to competition from US giants Netflix, Amazon and Disney. A source said of Mr Davie's planned staff cull: 'We need to ensure that the running of the BBC is as lean and effective as possible and that we maximise value to the public who pay for us.' The last BBC annual report revealed that it has 250 'senior leaders' on £50,000 or more. Mr Davie himself had been due to receive £525,000 a year but has taken a 'salary stand-still' until August 2021. Until then he will be paid a mere £450,000 – the same as his predecessor Tony Hall. This represents a considerable step down from the new director-general's previous role as head of the corporation's commercial arm, BBC Studios, which saw him paid £600,000 in base salary and bonuses.

A poll commissioned by the Mail last week found that more than half of respondents think the BBC is too politically correct. A similar proportion said it does not reflect their values. Impartiality is known to be one of Mr Davie's priorities, and he is expected to take a tougher line than his predecessor. BBC journalists face a crackdown on their use of social media, as well as lucrative outside work. Stars could be forced to declare their non-BBC earnings in an attempt to shame them from taking on other jobs that could compromise the broadcaster's reputation. Mr Davie also plans to target 'BBC bloke' by pursuing more sports programming, after the corporation broadcast its first live cricket match for 21 years last weekend. The BBC hopes to strike deals by pointing to its wider audiences compared with rivals such as Sky and BT. In his email to staff, Mr Davie wrote: 'Overall my guiding principle is that we are a universal public service, a BBC for all, that serves and represents every part of this country. 'Our focus must be to ensure that we deliver outstanding and unique value to all audiences, those who pay for us and are in effect our customers, in return for their licence fee. 'To do this we will need to keep reforming the BBC with urgency so that we are trusted, relevant and indispensable in this digital age. Your work is admired... across the world. I am here to ensure that continues.' His comments came after the Mail's poll found that 67 per cent believe that online rivals have made the BBC 'less relevant'. Some 71 per cent said the licence fee is 'outdated', while 65 per cent said it should be scrapped.

Tra-la-la-la loving the grovelling, loving the made up stories to try and pretend it's not a u- turn or victory for licence payers with sense, laughing my socks off that so many 'wokes' are going to get a real wake-up call and laughing enough to roll on the floor that the ignorant 'wokes' didn't even know what they thought they were protesting about and as for trying to blame that poor Finnish conductress for her attempt at being a-political what else would you expect from the misogynistic 'white' men in suits .... Time to sack the lot of 'em! Oh yeah and what about the patronising "Meanwhile Business Secretary Alok Sharma had suggested the BBC should put the lyrics on screen so viewers can decide for themselves whether to sing them." What a tosser sack him too immediately and at once and I am unanimous in this!

What is the history of Rule, Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory?

Rule, Britannia originates from the poem of the same name by Scottish poet and playwright James Thomson, and was set to music by English composer Thomas Arne in 1740. It gained popularity in the UK after it was first played in London in 1745 and became symbolic of the British Empire, most closely associated with the British Navy. The song has been used as part of a number of compositions, including Wagner's concert overture in D Major in 1837 and Beethoven's orchestral work, Wellington's Victory. The song has been an integral part of the annual Remembrance Day ceremony since 1930, when it became the first song played in the programme known as The Traditional Music. It regained popularity at the end of WWII in 1945 after it was played at the ceremonial surrender of the Japanese imperial army in Singapore.

Rule, Britannia is usually played annually during at the BBC's Last Night of the Proms. But its inclusion has promoted controversy in recent years as it was deemed too patriotic. The song 'Land of Hope and Glory' is based on the trio theme from Elgar's Pomp And Circumstance March No. 1, which was originally premiered in 1901. It caught the attention of King Edward VII after it became the only piece in the history of the Proms to receive a double encore. King Edward suggested that this trio would make a good song, and so Elgar worked it into the last section of his Coronation Ode, to be performed at King Edward's coronation.

the Late Dame Vera Lynn speaks volumes:

'This is daft - Mum would sing at Last Night if she were here': Dame Vera Lynn's daughter hits out at decision to perform Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory at Proms without vocals

By Mario Ledwith for the Daily Mail |Published: 26th August 2020 | Updated: 27th August 2020

Dane Vera Lynn and her daughter Virginia Lewis-Jones

Speaking out: Virginia Lewis-Jones with her mother, Dame Vera - image © of the BBC/Captive Minds

- Dame Vera Lynn would still be singing Land of Hope and Glory if she were alive, her daughter said yesterday.- Virginia Lewis-Jones said it was 'wonderful' that a rendition of the track by the forces' sweetheart topped the charts after the race row about its meaning.
- A social media drive has been launched for the recording by Dame Vera – who died in June aged 103 – to be played during the BBC's Last Night of the Proms.
- Mrs Lewis-Jones, 74, claimed the song is against slavery and her mother would be proud of her for speaking out. She said: 'I feel that I can see my mother now saying 'You tell 'em girl'. She would feel the same thing and if she were here now she would be singing it.'
- Mrs Lewis-Jones said that the song was particularly meaningful to her mother, who sang it on VE Day in 1945.

When asked about the BBC's decision, she said: 'It is daft and I can't understand it. You try to stop 12,000 people in the Royal Albert Hall plus all those outside from not singing it. How are you going to do that? Especially if mummy's record has gone to number one. What it could do is put a lot of people's backs up and defeat the object of whatever they were trying to do.'

Mrs Lewis-Jones added: 'My mother is a British icon and she cared a lot about this country and the Commonwealth. Mummy was always very apolitical. 'One has to appreciate that this was written around 100 or so years ago. But not only that, the words are meaningful for everybody. 'The song is against slavery, not for it. It is an appalling thing and we all still know that unfortunately racism to a certain extent does go on in this country. And we have all got to fight it. I'm a mixed bag myself. Daddy was Jewish, mum was Church of England and I went to Catholic school.'

The campaign behind the Dame Vera version was launched by Defund the BBC – a group which aims to decriminalise failure to pay the licence fee. Her rendition topped the iTunes digital songs chart on Wednesday. The UK's top-selling songs are usually played during BBC Radio 1's chart show but there have been some exceptions. For example, when Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead reached number two following the death of Lady Thatcher, the BBC did not play the track in full.

Are we seeing a backlash?

BBC insiders condemn bosses for 'walking into an unnecessary and absurd row' as ex-chairman Michael Grade condemns 'idiotic' and 'ghastly' censorship of 'racist' Last Night of the Proms anthems

Flag waving at the Royal Albert Hall

Call it jingoism if you must but what's better than an Albert Hall Full of Union Jacks? - Image © AFP via Getty Images

- The BBC's decision to axe singing of Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia has sparked widespread fury
- Corporation insiders have called the move a 'totally self-generated f*** up' and 'absurd'
- Ex-BBC chairman Michael Grade launched a blistering attack on the 'idiotic' corporation this morning
- Trevor Phillips, the former head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, has also condemned Beeb
- Top songs are typically aired in full during BBC Radio 1's Friday chart show - so Dame Vera's song could feature
- Corporation insiders hinted at internal tensions, with one calling controversy a 'totally self-generated f*** up'

By Rory Tingle for Mailonline and John Stevens & Arthur Martin & Paul Revoir & Mario Ledwith for the Daily Mail |Published: 26th August 2020 | Updated: 26th August 2020

BBC insiders have blasted their bosses for 'walking into an unnecessary and absurd row' and making a 'ghastly mistake' by censoring the 'racist' to Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia on the Last Night of the Proms. The decision to use instrumental versions of the patriotic anthems for the summer festival has drawn widespread anger - with staff at the corporation also venting their frustration at bosses' apparent submission to 'woke' activists who find the anthems offensive. One senior insider said: 'This is another example of the BBC walking into a completely unnecessary and absurd row about culture. 'It makes a lot of us despair when this kind of thing happens again and again. There's lots of things you can say about both of the songs and they are not up to the minute. But that's the case with 99 per cent of our culture one way or the other.' And ex-BBC chairman Michael Grade launched a blistering attack on the corporation this morning, calling the decision 'idiotic' and a 'ghastly mistake' by bosses who have 'lost touch' with the British public. It comes as tens of thousands sign a MailOnline petition demanding that demanding that the lyrics be reinstated. Another BBC source told The Times 'We have taken a relatively simple thing and made it a complete mess,' one BBC source said. Another called it a 'totally self-generated f*** up'.' The compromise was drawn up after incoming director general Tim Davie - who takes over on 1 September - after he intervened to insist both Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory were performed in some form.

BBC bosses had been considering removing both completely following criticism by woke left-wing activists claiming the lyrics about Britain 'never being enslaved' were 'racist' .

But former Tory council candidate Mr Davie intervened and is thought to want to reset the BBC's relationship with No 10 when he takes over next week. Mr Davie is a former Tory council candidate and marketing executive who worked for Pepsi and Procter & Gamble before joining the BBC's commercial arm. He is replacing Oxford-educated BBC veteran Lord Hall who worked for the corporation for decades before leading the Royal Opera. Anger grew over the BBC's decision yesterday, with Boris Johnson condemning the corporation for 'wetness' and accusing its senior figures of harbouring a 'cringing embarrassment' for Britain's traditions. Trevor Phillips, the former head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, has also condemned this year's decision. Mr Phillips accused BBC bosses of being 'rooms full of white men panicking that someone is going to think they are racist'. He said: 'The real problem the corporation has is that it is always in a panic about race, and one of the reasons it is always in a panic is that it has no confidence. 'The principle reason it has no confidence ... is that there is no ethnic diversity at the top of its decision-making tree.

The BBC vowed last night that the patriotic lyrics would return in 2021 – when the concert season finale is again performed before an audience - but it has done little to quell the anger.

BBC chairman Michael Grade told the Today programme this morning: 'This is a ghastly mistake which shows how out of touch they are with their audience. 'I would defend the BBC's right to make decisions free of political influence but it is clearly a mistake, it's just idiotic.' 'Although it may be justified on artistic grounds [the decision] does have while political and cultural significance which they [BBC bosses] either ignored, didn't understand or were caught in a complete muddle over.' '[The decision] is an indication of the BBC's... that they are out of touch with the rest of the country. They've shown that tome and again over Brexit, they missed the big swing at the election. The journalists at the BBC are too trapped in the Westminster bubble.' 'The big question is what's the future for British public sector broadcasting and Tim Davie is a fine executive who will serve the BBC very well indeed. What we need to do is take a long hard look and come with a definition and a role fore the BBC that reflects the very different reality today. The remit of the BBC hasn't really changed in 100 years, it really is time for a review. Yesterday, the director-general Lord [Tony] Hall claimed it was a 'creative conclusion' by director David Pickard in response to Covid-19, insisting: 'It's very, very hard to have things where the whole audience normally sing along.' The British public could also force the BBC to play the 'offensive' lyrics of Land of Hope and Glory on Friday after Vera Lynn's rendition of Land of Hope and Glory topped the charts.

The corporation could now be forced to play the patriotic anthem properly after all, because the UK's top-selling songs are typically aired in full during BBC Radio 1's Friday chart show.

It came after the actor Laurence Fox mounted a social media drive to back a recording by Dame Vera Lynn, who died in June aged 103. The campaign to get Dame Vera to the top of the charts was launched by a group called Defund the BBC, which states that its main goal is to decriminalise failure to pay the licence fee. The group urged those upset with the Proms decision to download Dame Vera's version, tweeting yesterday: 'Let's get Land of Hope and Glory to No 1 in the charts and make the BBC play it... the words the BBC really don't want you to hear, sung by Dame Vera Lynn.' Those backing the appeal include actor Laurence Fox, who called the decision to drop the lyrics from Edward Elgar's composition 'shameful'. He wrote online: 'Would the BBC then have to play it? What a beautiful day that would be.' By last night the song had already shot to number one in Apple's charts for its own music services. It followed Boris Johnson's condemnation of the move by the BBC yesterday. Saying he could barely believe the BBC's decision, he added: 'It's time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions, and about our culture, and we stopped this general fight of self-recrimination and wetness, I wanted to get that off my chest.' Former chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Damian Collins MP, added today: 'There has been a suggestion that this is because some people regard the performance of these songs as out-dated and even that some of the words are offensive. 'People are of course entitled to their opinion, but so too are the millions of people who have enjoyed these performances over the years. "Great words and music that become part of our national culture, based on the significance people have attached to them over many years, often centuries, should not be lightly discarded.' The row also rumbled on today as a Songs of Praise producer who compared singing Rule Britannia to Nazis singing about gas chambers doubled down on her attack - and called for the anthem to be rewritten. Cat Lewis said that singing about how Britons would 'never be slaves' during Rule Britannia was akin to Nazis shouting about how they would 'never be forced into a gas chamber'. Her comments came amid the controversy over the decision to not sing the patriotic anthem, along with Land of Hope and Glory, at the Last Night of the Proms this year. Ms Lewis, the CEO of Nine Lives Media, which produces the BBC programme Songs of Praise, has now expanded on her earlier comments, saying she thinks 'slavery was Britain's holocaust'. She added: 'We should apologise for it properly and yet at the moment, we have NO memorial to enslaved people in the UK. We should not celebrate slave owners. 'And we should not sing in a gloating way that Britons will never be enslaved, when we were responsible for enslaving so many. We should have anthems which celebrate what is truly great about the UK, which we can all sing and this will help unite our country.' Ms Lewis then said if she was producing the Proms, she would suggest a national competition to find new lyrics for Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory to find 'words which celebrate and unify our fantastic country, because the music to both is undoubtedly fabulous'. David Brice, a commodore in the Royal Navy, wrote a letter to The Times condemning the censorship of Rule Britannia. He said : "Any attempt to remove the right to sing Rule, Britannia! on the Last Night of the Proms seems at variance with historical truth. "Between 1807 and 1869 the Royal Navy conducted a very difficult maritime campaign against the Atlantic slave trade; it was an act of national intent.

'Without Britannia ruling the waves, this successful campaign could not have been attempted. 'The BBC has said there have been "unjustified personal attacks" on social media on Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska, who will be at the helm of the Last Night this year.

"Decisions about the Proms are made by the BBC, in consultation with all artists involved," it said.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also weighed into the row, with a Labour spokesman saying the Proms was a 'staple of the British summer' and enjoying patriotic songs 'was not a barrier to examining our past and learning lessons from it'. The row over this year's Proms began at the weekend when it was first reported that Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory could be ditched entirely. Critics have claimed the songs are inappropriate due to associations with colonialism and slavery. The lyrics to Rule Britannia include the line 'Britons never, never, never shall be slaves', while the 1902 words to Land of Hope and Glory were reputedly inspired by Cecil Rhodes, an imperialist and mining magnate whose statue is being removed from an Oxford college. It was suggested that the Finnish Proms conductor, Dalia Stasevska, was keen to limit patriotic elements, and that this year – without an audience due to coronavirus – was the perfect moment for change. Late on Monday, BBC bosses finally confirmed that the two anthems would be performed, but without the lyrics. Government officials held talks with BBC executives to urge them to rethink the decision but to no avail. David Mellor, the Tory former culture secretary, said: 'This is a disgraceful cock-up at every level. What we get is a whole lot of woke claptrap and the BBC don't know what to do about it.' Business Secretary Alok Sharma suggested the BBC should put the lyrics on screen so viewers can decide for themselves whether to sing them. Tensions between No 10 and the BBC have been growing since the election. Downing Street banned ministers from appearing on BBC Radio 4's Today programme and was enraged by a monologue by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight about Dominic Cummings. Tony Hall, the BBC's outgoing director general, yesterday tried to blame the coronavirus crisis for the Proms decision, pointing out that fewer performers are allowed on stage. He said the issue had been determined by David Pickard, who became director of the BBC Proms in 2015. Asked whether there had been a discussion about dropping songs because of their link with imperialism, Lord Hall replied: 'The whole thing has been discussed by David and his colleagues.' He defended the compromise, adding: 'It's very, very hard in an Albert Hall that takes over 5,000 people to have the atmosphere of the Last Night of the Proms and to have things where the whole audience normally sing along.'

A BBC spokesman said last night: 'For the avoidance of any doubt, these songs will be sung next year.

'We obviously share the disappointment of everyone that the Proms will have to be different but we believe this is the best solution in the circumstances.' Yesterday, a Songs of Praise producer has compared Rule Britannia's lyrics to neo-Nazis singing about the Holocaust. Cat Lewis tweeted: 'Do those Brits who believe it's ok to sing an 18th Century song about never being enslaved... also believe it's appropriate for neo-Nazis to shout 'We will never be forced into a gas chamber'.' Anti-Semitism campaigner Jonathan Sacerdoti called the comparison 'outrageous'. Several prominent left-wingers have come out against the traditional anthems in recent days. Nwanoku, founder of the Chineke! Foundation which supports upcoming BAME musicians, told The Guardian: 'The lyrics are just so offensive, talking about the 'haughty tyrants' – people that we are invading on their land and calling them haughty tyrants – and Britons shall never be slaves, which implies that it's OK for others to be slaves but not us. 'It's so irrelevant to today's society. It's been irrelevant for generations, and we seem to keep perpetuating it. If the BBC are talking about Black Lives Matter and their support for the movement, how could you possibly have Rule Britannia as the last concert – in any concert?' Ms Kani also raised concerns with the line on slavery, telling BBC Radio 4: 'I'm Indian, my parents came from India, I received a wonderful education in Britain, but I don't actually feel very British when I hear things like that. 'I don't feel very British when I have people say to me 'go home p***.'' The musician instead suggested the songs could be replaced with I Vow to Thee My Country or The Beatles' All You Need Is Love. Ms Kani, whose parents sought refuge in Britain after the partition of India in 1947, also told the Sunday Times: 'I don't listen to Land of Hope and Glory and say 'thank God I'm British' - it actually makes me feel more alienated. 'Britain raped India and that is what that song is celebrating.' The conductor of this year's Proms, Dalia Stasevska, has reportedly voiced her desire to modernise the Proms and reduce its patriotic elements. She is understood to have been part of a small group behind the decision to perform Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory without lyrics next month. 'Dalia is a big supporter of Black Lives Matter and thinks a ceremony without an audience is the perfect moment to bring change,' a BBC source said. A corporation spokesman said: 'The decisions taken are the BBC's. We very much regret the unjustified personal attacks on Dalia Stasevska, BBC Symphony Orchestra Principal Guest Conductor made on social media and elsewhere.'

If the BBC knew its history, it would understand Rule Britannia ISN'T racist - and is adored across the world, writes ROBERT HARDMAN

At least, there is still one irredeemably British quality to this year's Last Night of the Proms: the fudge. Not even the finest dairy herds of Devon and Cornwall could have confected something as thick, rich and clotted as the latest solution served up by the BBC. Instead of either ignoring the usual half-hearted complaints about 'jingoism' – a recurring grumble ahead of every Last Night since the war – or else explaining why such charges are baseless, the BBC management has, this year, just caved in. The result is a mess that has not merely satisfied no one at all but has now managed to kickstart a national debate about the BBC itself. And it is all so needless. Come the grand finale of this year's concert, 'Rule Britannia' will be just a shrivelled morsel. A few bars of Arne's famous anthem will be bolted on to the end of the usual medley of nautical songs – but without any words. Next comes Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 ('Land of Hope and Glory') but, again, minus the words. It would have been easier for the BBC if they had simply said they were removing these pieces on a temporary basis, as indeed they did in 2001. Back then, in those dumbstruck days immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA, it was decided that these boisterous crowd-pleasers would hit the wrong note. So out they went, without complaint. This time around, the BBC is floundering, meekly trying to blame this mess on the coronavirus while not denying that it has something to do with the culture wars raging beyond. Yesterday, the director-general Lord [Tony] Hall claimed it was a 'creative conclusion' in response to Covid-19, insisting: 'It's very, very hard to have things where the whole audience normally sing along.' This argument simply falls apart given that the song which has now overtaken Elgar – 'You'll Never Walk Alone' – is a singalong classic which will be sung by the guest soprano and by the BBC Singers. So, too, will 'Jerusalem' and the National Anthem.

In other words, some songs are safe to sing in a pandemic but not others. Pull the other one.

This year's guest conductor, Finland's Dalia Stasevska, 35, reportedly regards the virus as a good excuse for pruning a much-loved script. As a BBC source told the Sunday Times: 'Dalia is a big supporter of Black Lives Matter and thinks a ceremony without an audience is the perfect moment to bring change.' Miss Stasevska has made no comment and has chosen to let this remark stand. With no substantial ethnic minorities beyond a tiny percentage of Swedes and Russians, Finland is among the least diverse societies in Europe. Finns are perhaps not best-placed to lecture the British on multiculturalism. I suggest that Miss Stasevska has a word with her compatriot, Sakari Oramo. He was the Finnish conductor with a very difficult task – conducting the Last Night of the Proms in 2016 in the toxic aftermath of the Brexit referendum. Back then, the BBC was crippled by the same old anxieties about orgies of jingoism. Former Proms director Nicholas Kenyon wrote darkly in the Guardian of his 'sense of foreboding that this most British of occasions might be hijacked to celebrate the triumph of Little England'. As ever, it was nonsense – as I discovered when I went along myself. The only people who hijacked the event were an enterprising band of Remainers who had purchased a lorry load of EU flags which were given to everyone going through the door. A few Brexiteers tried to do the same with Union flags. Mr Oramo ignored it all. Perhaps the loudest cheer of the night came when he led on his star vocalist, Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, to sing Rule Britannia - originating from a poem by James Thomson. Florez had come not in white tie and tails, nor dressed as Britannia. Instead, he was in the full regalia of the King of the Incas, complete with feathered cloak and Sun God helmet. The audience was ecstatic. Here was a proud Peruvian in ancient native dress, conducted by a proud Finn, leading the entire Albert Hall – plus tens of thousands gathered around the jumbo screens in Hyde Park, Glasgow and elsewhere plus millions more watching on telly – in a bravura rendition of one of Britain's best-loved tunes. It was a perfect illustration of a point completely lost on these panicky BBC executives: the Last Night is a global event. It is also one with a healthy sense of irony – an alien concept, of course, to the woke. The thing which most sticks in my mind about that night in 2016 (like all the other Last Nights, in fact) is the range of nationalities. In addition to the EU and Union flags, the next most popular is usually that of Germany. People get up at all hours around the world to tune in and hold 'Last Night' parties. For many of them, it is a lifelong ambition to get a ticket to the real thing. All those German and Japanese viewers will be just as dismayed as the crustiest British ancient mariner this year when they witness Miss Stasevska's joyless, truncated snippet of a wordless Rule Britannia. Sir Henry Wood's Promenade Concerts (to give them their full name) have always been the greatest festival of world music anywhere. They are anything but a celebration of national music, like so many lesser festivals. Those eccentrics with their little rituals whom viewers always see at the front of the Last Night crowd are very serious about their music. I have interviewed a few of them over the years. They are an eclectic bunch but the last thing you can accuse them of is jingoism. They might sing Rule Britannia with gusto but they will have been just as enthusiastic for the French, African, Indian – even Finnish – music at other concerts over the season. Besides, Rule Britannia has nothing to do with 'enslavement' as its critics claim. Indeed, the words are an exhortation, not a triumphalist boast. Note that the words say 'Britannia, rule the waves' – not 'rules'. The song was written for an 18th-century royal masque about Alfred the Great defeating the Vikings. It acquired its popularity not as a military marching tune, like, say, France's unashamedly brutal Marseillaise, but as a catchy musical number sung by barmaid-turned-West End star, Kitty Clive. In other words, it's a Georgian X-Factor hit. It then went on to be a favourite tune of the Royal Navy – the same navy, of course, which abolished slavery. Similarly, Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory was called no such thing when it was first performed at the Proms in 1901 – because Arthur Benson had not yet got round to writing any words. It was just Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1. These songs have never been imposed on the British public – like a national anthem or school song – but they endure through their universal appeal. The Germans, Brazilians and Japanese whom I have seen singing 'Rule Britannia' at the Royal Albert Hall, while waving their EU flags, had no more enthusiasm for British imperialism than Dalia Stasevska, Jeremy Corbyn or Karl Marx's cat. Like all the other Prommers, they were there for the music and for the occasion.

It is often said that the BBC is far too sensitive to the prevailing wind on Twitter. So the Broadcasting House high-ups must have been mortified to see that the most popular Twitter thread yesterday lunchtime was '#DefundtheBBC' followed closely by '#RuleBritannia'. Then, the Prime Minister weighed in for the second day running, accusing the BBC of 'cringing' and 'wetness'. They need not cringe. Rather, they should point out that it was the BBC which saved the Proms from insolvency in 1927 and which has kept it all going ever since with generations of great musicians, conductors and presenters. Then they should tell their critics on both sides to pipe down and enjoy the music. But perhaps, we should have seen this coming. For last year's Last Night, the BBC commissioned a new work to open the concert. It was entitled, simply, 'Woke'.

There's more if you can stomach it following the link in the heading and more thoughts here

Rule Brittannia and Land of Hope and Glory words

Remember - when you hear an instrumental version ot these songs belt them out as loud as you can or join in any singalong - I reckon these will be the best ever words you'll 'learn by heart!' - Down with the 'wokes', feed 'em to the lions! Worst 'minority' group ever actually equating themselves with sufferers of slavery ............................................ make 'em work on a sweat shop for a week, no 'safe' places there, no mobile phones, probably no regular food or mattress to sleep on ............................. with thanks to the Daily Mail for providing the song sheets for these two magnificent pieces of patriotic history!

Is this the end for 'Sloane Rangers?'

Sloane Ranger Handbook

Poor Diana - the original Sloane - will this cause a furore amongst her greatest fans? To Sloane or not to Sloane? - image sourced with thanks from Debretts via the Guardian

British Museum bosses remove bust of its founder Sir Hans Sloane over his links to slavery

- Bust of Sir Hans Sloane moved to a display alongside other related artefacts
- The display will explain his legacy in the 'exploitative context of the British Empire'
- Sloane has been described as a 'collector and slave owner' in the display
- His 71,000 artefacts became the starting point of the British Museum

By Lizzie Deane For The Daily Mail | Published: 25th August 2020 | Updated: 25th August 2020

The British Museum has removed a bust of its founder from a pedestal and labelled him a 'slave owner'. The effigy of Sir Hans Sloane will now be housed in a display alongside artefacts that explain his legacy in the 'exploitative context of the British Empire', curators said. Sloane, whose 71,000 artefacts became the starting point of the British Museum after he left them to the state in his will, funded his collecting through his wife's family's sugar plantation.

Sloane Square in London is also named after him.

The bust now sits as part of a display which explains his work as a 'collector [and] slave owner'. The museum's director, Hartwig Fischer, said the institution had deliberately 'pushed him off the pedestal'. Mr Fischer added: 'We must not hide anything. Healing is knowledge.' The move is part of an overhaul of the museum's collections to acknowledge its links to slavery and colonialism that will eventually involve 'redisplaying the whole British Museum'. Other artefacts, such as those taken by Captain James Cook on his voyages, will be labelled to show they were acquired through 'colonial conquest and military looting'

Mr Fischer told The Daily Telegraph: 'Dedication to truthfulness when it comes to history is absolutely crucial, with the aim to rewrite our shared, complicated and, at times, very painful history. The case dedicated to Hans Sloane and his relationship to slavery is a very important step in this. 'The British Museum has done a lot of work – accelerated and enlarged its work on its own history, the history of empire, the history of colonialism, and also of slavery.' Neal Spencer, the curator behind the Sloane display, said the Black Lives Matter movement had provided 'a certain level of urgency' to the overhaul. He added: 'We want to be upfront about Sloane's collection being at the root of the British Museum.'

British Museum and inset of Sir Hans Sloane

The British Museum has removed a bust of its founder from a pedestal and labelled him a 'slave owner'. The effigy of Sir Hans Sloane will now be housed in a display alongside artefacts that explain his legacy in the 'exploitative context of the British Empire', curators said.

Now snowflakes are triggered by FULL STOPS: Sensitive readers find the humble dot 'weird, mean or too blunt'

- The humble dot has been used to end sentences for the past 2,200 years
- But it has become sign of aggression to a generation weaned on text messages
- Many have been stunned by the revelation and branded it 'peak snowflakery'

By Holly Bancroft for the Mail on Sunday published : 22nd August 2020 | UPDATED : 23rd August 2020

Readers of a sensitive nature be warned – this story contains full stops.

This sub-heading made me giggle as I didn't spot it when I first read the article I was so incensed!

The humble dot may have been used to end sentences for the past 2,200 years without any whiff of offence, but to a new generation weaned on text messages, it has become a sign of muted aggression. Feverish debate broke out on social media last week after writer Rhiannon Cosslett tweeted: 'Older people – do you realise that ending a sentence with a full stop comes across as sort of abrupt and unfriendly to younger people in an email/chat? Genuinely curious.' Several Twitter expressed disbelief, and, despite her own use of a full stop, one even accused her of 'peak snowflakery'. That prompted crime novelist Sophie Hannah to reply: 'Just asked 16-year-old son – apparently this is true. If he got a message with full stops at the end of sentences he'd think the sender was "weird, mean or too blunt".'

According to experts, youngsters used to communicating electronically break up their thoughts by sending each one as a separate message, rather than using a full stop, which they use only to signal they are annoyed or irritated. Linguist Dr Lauren Fonteyn said: 'If you send a text message without a full stop, it's already obvious that you've concluded the message. So if you add that additional marker for completion, they will read something into it and it tends to be a falling intonation or negative tone.' (That unfortunately would explain this 'affectation' of ending a sentence on an upward note making it sound like a question or worse still demanding affirmation of agreement!)

Celia Klin, a professor of psychology at Binghamton University in New York, has published an academic paper into how US university students perceive the full stop. She said: 'Readers found responses without the period (full stop) to be more positive, more enthusiastic – and the version with the period to be less sincere, more abrupt, less positive. 'The types of conversations people often have digitally depend on the type of nuanced meaning that has traditionally been expressed with tone of voice, facial expressions, hand gestures and pauses. Without the ability to use these cues, people have created new ways to make their messages clear.' (Personally I just think they are a bunch of lazy gits that can't be bothered to learn or use grammar which is a skill in itself and obviously beyond them!)

The full stop derives from Greek punctuation introduced by Aristophanes of Byzantium in the 3rd Century BC. (And jolly good for him too!)

Comments from DM readers

Glad to see the general public are keeping a level ground and adhering to good discussion principles whilst letting off gentle steam - I particularly like the reference to Flakeitis although what the humble Flake and beautiful Snowflake have done to deserve such treatment is beyond me! And as a matter of interest do these sufferers of Flakeitis even know what Morse Code is? Wouldn't fancy their chances on the 'Titanic'!

Littlejohn - The headline in Saturday’s Daily Mail leapt out at me ‘YOU COULDN’T MAKE IT UP!’ I wonder where they got that idea from.

Published in the Daily Mail : Saturday, 18th August 2020

Seriously we seem to be getting gasps of disbelief every day at the stupidity of our so-called leaders (yes, I do mean the results debacle - nothing PC about that - downright discriminatory if you ask me - Postcode Lottery indeed whatever next) - but I'm highlighting here only a part of this shaming article!

The relevant bit to my heritage, which as a descendent of Poles I should be 'offended' by but which I find gloriously giggly as with the waiter joke [for those that don't know it I shall explain at the end of the article **]:

"A cornucopia of daft animal stories today for Gary to get his teeth into. But where to start? There was the Humboldt penguin detained by police after it was spotted wandering the streets of Nottingham. Perhaps it was looking for a pelican crossing. Then came news that, having toppled numerous statues of racist historical figures, the woke brigade are now turning their attentions to the names of birds and other flying creatures they consider offensive. They have circulated an online spreadsheet entitled Problematic Common Names. Nurse! In their sights is the McCown longspur, an obscure brown bird named after a Confederate general. Who knew? The Hottentot teal is history, obviously. And the gypsy moth's days are also numbered, on account of disrespecting the vulnerable travelling community.

Top of the list is the Hitler's Eyeless Beetle, presumably not the same as Hitler's VW Beetle? To be fair, who thought it was a good idea to name a beetle after Hitler? Does it have a small moustache and an inclination to invade Poland every summer? (This is my favourite bit **)

Littlejohn Diversity and Animals Cartoon

Then came news that, having toppled numerous statues of racist historical figures, the woke brigade are now turning their attentions to the names of birds and other flying creatures they consider offensive - image and strapline sourced from the Daily Mail with thanks

My (Littlejohn) favourite story came from Sea Life Manchester, where two turtles have been given counselling because they have grown apart during lockdown. Let's hope they're Happy Together!"

** No I haven't forgotten about the joke - it goes something like this. "A group of Anglo-Saxons (all types) were dining in a restaurant in Germany following a Football Match they had all attended. In all honesty the service wasn't brilliant, probably down to the diverse nature and mix of the group (see how I'm cleverly making this oh-so-pc). At the end of the meal the bill was paid without comment other than the waiter (we must assume he is German to make the joke work) noticed a discrepancy and confronting the group asked 'What no tip?' In unison the entire representatively diverse group responded as one voice 'Next time don't invade Poland!' - I can die laughing every time I hear that joke and it was coined by the English - oooh-rah!

TOM MANGOLD: I fear that my beloved BBC's bizarre obsession with a toxic culture of wokeness will end as a fatal act of self-harm

By Tom Mangold for The Mail On Sunday |Published: 26th July 2020 | Updated: 26th July 2020

After more than five decades working for the BBC, investigating and presenting some of the biggest stories in its history, I feel as if those three letters run through my spine like a stick of Blackpool rock. But today I write in sadness. I've just finished watching for the tenth time an outrageous piece of BBC TV news journalism that concluded that Winston Churchill, once voted Britain's greatest statesman in a BBC poll, was a racist responsible for the killing of thousands of Indians during the terrible famine of Bengal in 1943. The six-minute segment on News at Ten was biased, partial, unbalanced and filled with the spite and venom of the worst of toxic woke culture now pulsing through the heart of the Corporation. Churchill was described in last Tuesday's report as the 'precipitator of the mass killing' – that he personally made the situation much worse. One famine victim said: 'The British government was killing us by starving us.' Two academics directly and indirectly blamed Churchill, and the BBC's own reporter provided a summation that consolidated the allegations. Viewers were left in no doubt that the reporter agreed with her own preferential report, concluding that 'today a generation of Indians more confident about our place in the world are questioning why there has not been more widespread condemnation of the dark chapters in our colonial history'.

The BBC no longer impartial

There was a time when the BBC was the world's most trustworthy news network. What on earth has happened? The BBC's charter is unequivocal on its statutory commitment to impartiality, which it describes as 'fundamental to our reputation'.** Impartiality? You'd better believe it. During my years there, nothing was judged to be more sacred. - Image as it appeared in the Mail on Sunday with visible credits

Take, for example, the coverage of the Profumo scandal, which reached its height with the trial of Christine Keeler in 1963. Her friend Mandy Rice-Davies accused the then Lord Astor – a central character in the affair – of having sex with her. Told in court that he denied this, she famously responded: 'Well he would, wouldn't he?' When the distinguished presenter Peter Woods read out her words on the evening TV news bulletin, he was accused of having a 'twinkle in his eyes'. Yes, seriously! The response to this complaint from a handful of viewers was extraordinary, certainly by the lamentable standards of today. The tape of the broadcast was rushed up to the sixth floor to be investigated by the chairman of the BBC, the board, and the director-general before a verdict of not guilty was eventually reached. To achieve its stance of rigorous impartiality, the BBC ensured that hard news and opinion were kept completely apart. There was an ocean of blue water between its news department and the current affairs department, responsible for such programmes as Panorama and Newsnight. The separation remained as sacred as the difference between the Old and New Testaments.

When I moved from the staff of BBC TV News to current affairs, I had to give up my staff job and re-engage as an occasional freelancer so that I could be allowed to pass opinion in my reporting. The BBC, meanwhile, could always say, correctly, that it had no responsibility for my views. Yet today that holy contract is well and truly broken. And so it is that News at Ten is allowed to use Huw Edwards's authority and credibility – and the Corporation's reputation for truth – to call Churchill a racist killer. The protester who sprayed graffiti on the statue of the wartime leader during the Black Lives Matter protests, accusing him of racism, must be overwhelmed with gratitude at the BBC's vindication. Never mind the truth – that at the time of the Indian famine, Britain was half a dozen Nazi U-boats away from losing the battle of the Atlantic and thus facing its own catastrophic shortage of food. Never mind that Churchill had no spare aircraft to carry food – food that we didn't actually have – all the way from Croydon Airport to India. Never mind that London and the North were being blitzed nightly in fire storms of destruction. The BBC's bizarre obsession with youth, diversity and the ever-growing pressure of woke argument threatens to become its final act of self-harm. BAME, LGBT+, Black Lives Matter – they all represent genuine movements by minorities, the angry young, and social media regulars. These movements, however, still represent in total only a very small part of Britain. Any broadcaster or newspaper editor who appeals to a minority audience won't last long in an open market, nor is he or she serving the freedom of the Press to hold truth to power, ventilate unpopular ideas and use balance in all controversial arguments.

A former controller of BBC4 actually said, in public, that he didn't want middle-aged white men standing up and telling stories on his channel. That was just before I, an old middle-class white man stood up and filmed a report about the trial of former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe, which not only gave BBC4 the biggest audience it has ever had but even had me trending on Twitter. Eight days after the horrific death of black suspect George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in America, the presenters on BBC1's One Show announced they had joined 'Black-out Tuesday' to pause and reflect on the worldwide protest against racism. 'So tonight, out of respect, there will be no social media from us on the show tonight.' Aside from the fact that such a gesture is utterly vacuous, there is the serious question: what is the BBC doing openly 'taking the knee' and aligning itself with Black Lives Matter? This is a movement which believes in an immediate end to capitalism and the abolition of the police.

One of the wisest and most important opinion-makers in Britain, Trevor Phillips, has warned that the woke BBC is facing an existential crisis over its political correctness (and concomitant Tory scepticism). The broadcaster added: 'Worst of all, the increasingly woke behaviour by the Corporation is endangering the central justification for special treatment, which is its universal reach. 'The BBC has to recognise social change, sure, but it is not the institution's role to lead it.' While news and current affairs departments are gasping for increased budgets, most slashed beyond recognition, director-general Tony Hall has found £100million in an ever-ready slush fund to increase diversity in the BBC. Meanwhile it gets rid of talent such as John Ware and Jane Corbin as permanent reporters from Panorama, presumably to save a bob or two.

The BBC at its best is the most wonderful public service broadcaster in the world.***

Wise leaders have ensured it absorbed and calibrated change without changing the essential character, reach and sheer goodness of the outfit. Now suddenly, the Twitter trolls, the social media addicts, the young, the immature and the often daft have become the BBC's recruitment and audience target. If you believe Winston Churchill was a racist killer, sit back and enjoy the product. If not, try to help the BBC leap off the greasy slope down which it is sliding faster every day.

** Yes, impartiality was the code we lived and died by and I've been shouting it from the roofs on Fb ever since this whole despicable and truly insidious 'woke' campaign started - I blame each and every individual (our young royals included unfortunately) who have promoted 'mental health' "issues" as a provocative and unnecessary evil. Pull your f*cking socks up, get a f*ucking grip, practise your f*cking stiff upper lip and get a f*cking backbone let alone a life. A bigger band of mardy gits I have never come across in my 60+ years of sentient thinking!

*** Regrettably no longer 'is' and never again will be, this statement must always be read as 'was the most wonderful public service broadcaster' - I know many Europeans who now eschew BBC News completely no longer trusting it and in our household we have moved to Sky News ......

Here we go again - the great 'Digger' debate - shame on you R.A.F.!

Gravestone to Dambusters hero Guy Gibson's beloved black Labrador dog 'N*****' who was killed on day of the famous WWII raid is REPLACED by the RAF after review

- Gravestone to Guy Gibson's pet dog 'n****r' in RAF Scampton has been replaced
- The stone tablet honour Gibson's black labrador that was run over and killed
- RAF top brass have paid for a new memorial, replacing his name with 'The Dog'

By Dan Sales For Mailonline | Published: 16th July 2020 | Updated: 16th July 2020

A gravestone for Dambusters hero Guy Gibson's pet dog 'N****r' has been removed and replaced with one without his name – sparking fury among veterans. (Hey not only veterans me too!)

Original headstone for Guy Gibson's Black Labrador

The original stone tablet, honouring Gibson's black Labrador - image sourced from lincolnshirelive (image ID 4333794 in case it disappears)

The stone tablet, which is based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, honoured Gibson's black Labrador, which was run over by a car and killed just hours before his Wing Commander owner led the famous World War Two raid.

But RAF top brass have now paid for a new memorial, replacing where his name was with an outline of the famous canine and the words 'The Dog'.

Original Tweet from Drapers

The original 'tweet' from Draper Memorials - now allegedly removed from Twitter** - we wonder by whom?

It came after the service carried out a 'review of its historical assets' and decided the term – which is an offensive slur against people of colour – had to go. Until now it had remained untouched at RAF Scampton - the World War Two base of 617 'Dambusters' Squadron – for years in the dog's honour. The switch was only revealed when headstone firm Draper Memorials posted an image of the new tablet online (see directly above).

Royal Air Force veteran Mark Dewberry told the company he was disgusted about the monument being changed. He said: 'You have questions to answer about replacing N****r's memorial stone. 'You have upset thousands of veterans, like myself. 'Are you going to delete this post and start to disrespect your countries veterans. You all should be ashamed of yourselves.'

Despite having been paid for the work, Drapers' originally comment next to their ** now-deleted post seemed to hint at their own disquiet over the change. It said: 'This morning we have been out to replace the plaque to Guy Gibson's black Labrador at RAF Scampton. You can't rewrite history'. Owner Ian Credland refused to comment on the furore when he was contacted by the MailOnline this afternoon.

The dog, that served as the mascot of 617 Squadron, was run over by a car and killed on the day of the famous raid in May 1943. He was buried at Scampton at midnight, the very moment his owner, who was killed a year later aged 26 during a late night sortie over Germany, was leading the daring attack on a series of dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley for which he won the Victoria Cross. The gravestone was marked with his name at the top and the story of his demise beneath it.

But the RAF today confirmed the headstone has been removed and placed in storage as the name on it could cause offence to people. (What people? What about us, the nearly 25,000 petitioners at Change.Org, and what about Mark Dewberry doesn't he count?)

It has instead been replaced with a brand new stone which bears the outline of a black Labrador dog at the top instead of its name, although the wording underneath remains the same.

Bothe headstones compared

Cold comfort and totally inappropriate gushings from an organisation that has only two females and no senior officers of colour or any other ethnicity proudly displayed on their website! - image sourced from MailonLine

An RAF Spokesperson said: 'As part of an ongoing review of its historical assets, the RAF have replaced the gravestone of Guy Gibson's dog at RAF Scampton. 'The new gravestone tells the story of Guy Gibson's dog, but the name has been removed.'

But not just veterans were offended by the change, with social media lighting up over the replacement. Derek Murray said: 'Guy Gibson's dog, henceforth to be referred to as 'the dog' or, more formally, 'the dog belonging to the pilot'. Andy Porter said: 'Those of you who know Scampton will be aware of the grave of Guy Gibson's dog N****r outside Hangar 2. 'The memorial stone has very recently been replaced. It seems history can be changed...'

Comments on Twitter by Derek Murray and Andy Porter

Twitter outrage - image sourced from MailonLine

Gus Turnbull posted on social media: 'Now they've gone too far. It's part of history and the dog belonged to a British hero recipient of our country's highest award for valour. You cannot change history to appease militants.' Scott Asby posted: 'Absolutely disgusting, history is history, cannot & should't be changed.'

There has been a lot of controversy over the use of the dog's name over the years. In the 1955 war film, The Dam Busters, in which Richard Todd played Guy Gibson, the pet was called by its original name. (And has in the intervening years been dubbed as Digger, bleeped out, silenced out and last time I saw it, restored - giving it too much oxygen [as they love to say these days] where this 'issue' is concerned - should have let sleeping dogs lie!) In 1999 ITV removed any mention of the name in a re-run of the film while a US version of the movie changed the name to Trigger by dubbing over it. In the immortal words of one Charlie Brown "Oh good grief"

Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC (right), Dambusters hero with his devoted dog 'N****r'. The black labrador was kiiled by a hit-and-run driver just hours before Gibson led the RAF's crack 617 squadron to drop 'bouncing bombs' on German dams in May 1943

Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC (right), Dambusters hero with his devoted dog 'N****r'. The black labrador was killed by a hit-and-run driver just hours before Gibson led the RAF's crack 617 squadron to drop 'bouncing bombs' on German dams in May 1943 - image © of Brian Goulding as seen and sourced from Mailonilne (who presumably supplied the strapline and ***)

Name change petition

I've done my bit and signed the petition!

Read more : thelincolnite | lincolnshirelive | lincolnshirelive (2) | Sky News | Express and more just google it!

TOM MANGOLD: I fear that my beloved BBC's bizarre obsession with a toxic culture of wokeness will end as a fatal act of self-harm

By Tom Mangold for The Mail On Sunday | Published: 26th July 2020 | Updated: 26th July 2020

After more than five decades working for the BBC, investigating and presenting some of the biggest stories in its history, I feel as if those three letters run through my spine like a stick of Blackpool rock. But today I write in sadness. I've just finished watching for the tenth time an outrageous piece of BBC TV news journalism that concluded that Winston Churchill, once voted Britain's greatest statesman in a BBC poll, was a racist responsible for the killing of thousands of Indians during the terrible famine of Bengal in 1943. The six-minute segment on News at Ten was biased, partial, unbalanced and filled with the spite and venom of the worst of toxic woke culture now pulsing through the heart of the Corporation.

Churchill was described in last Tuesday's report as the 'precipitator of the mass killing' – that he personally made the situation much worse. One famine victim said: 'The British government was killing us by starving us.' Two academics directly and indirectly blamed Churchill, and the BBC's own reporter provided a summation that consolidated the allegations. Viewers were left in no doubt that the reporter agreed with her own preferential report, concluding that 'today a generation of Indians more confident about our place in the world are questioning why there has not been more widespread condemnation of the dark chapters in our colonial history'.

There was a time when the BBC was the world's most trustworthy news network. What on earth has happened? The BBC's charter is unequivocal on its statutory commitment to impartiality, which it describes as 'fundamental to our reputation'. Impartiality? You'd better believe it. During my years there, nothing was judged to be more sacred. Take, for example, the coverage of the Profumo scandal, which reached its height with the trial of Christine Keeler in 1963. Her friend Mandy Rice-Davies accused the then Lord Astor – a central character in the affair – of having sex with her. Told in court that he denied this, she famously responded: 'Well he would, wouldn't he?' When the distinguished presenter Peter Woods read out her words on the evening TV news bulletin, he was accused of having a 'twinkle in his eyes'. Yes, seriously! The response to this complaint from a handful of viewers was extraordinary, certainly by the lamentable standards of today. The tape of the broadcast was rushed up to the sixth floor to be investigated by the chairman of the BBC, the board, and the director-general before a verdict of not guilty was eventually reached.

To achieve its stance of rigorous impartiality, the BBC ensured that hard news and opinion were kept completely apart. There was an ocean of blue water between its news department and the current affairs department, responsible for such programmes as Panorama and Newsnight. The separation remained as sacred as the difference between the Old and New Testaments. When I moved from the staff of BBC TV News to current affairs, I had to give up my staff job and re-engage as an occasional freelancer so that I could be allowed to pass opinion in my reporting. The BBC, meanwhile, could always say, correctly, that it had no responsibility for my views. Yet today that holy contract is well and truly broken. And so it is that News at Ten is allowed to use Huw Edwards's authority and credibility – and the Corporation's reputation for truth – to call Churchill a racist killer.

The protester who sprayed graffiti on the statue of the wartime leader during the Black Lives Matter protests, accusing him of racism, must be overwhelmed with gratitude at the BBC's vindication. Never mind the truth – that at the time of the Indian famine, Britain was half a dozen Nazi U-boats away from losing the battle of the Atlantic and thus facing its own catastrophic shortage of food. Never mind that Churchill had no spare aircraft to carry food – food that we didn't actually have – all the way from Croydon Airport to India. Never mind that London and the North were being blitzed nightly in firestorms of destruction. The BBC's bizarre obsession with youth, diversity and the ever-growing pressure of woke argument threatens to become its final act of self-harm. BAME, LGBT+, Black Lives Matter – they all represent genuine movements by minorities, the angry young, and social media regulars. These movements, however, still represent in total only a very small part of Britain. Any broadcaster or newspaper editor who appeals to a minority audience won't last long in an open market, nor is he or she serving the freedom of the Press to hold truth to power, ventilate unpopular ideas and use balance in all controversial arguments.

A former controller of BBC4 actually said, in public, that he didn't want middle-aged white men standing up and telling stories on his channel. That was just before I, an old middle-class white man stood up and filmed a report about the trial of former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe, which not only gave BBC4 the biggest audience it has ever had but even had me trending on Twitter. Eight days after the horrific death of black suspect George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in America, the presenters on BBC1's One Show announced they had joined 'Black-out Tuesday' to pause and reflect on the worldwide protest against racism. 'So tonight, out of respect, there will be no social media from us on the show tonight.' Aside from the fact that such a gesture is utterly vacuous, there is the serious question: what is the BBC doing openly 'taking the knee' and aligning itself with Black Lives Matter? This is a movement which believes in an immediate end to capitalism and the abolition of the police.

One of the wisest and most important opinion-makers in Britain, Trevor Phillips, has warned that the woke BBC is facing an existential crisis over its political correctness (and concomitant Tory scepticism). The broadcaster added: 'Worst of all, the increasingly woke behaviour by the Corporation is endangering the central justification for special treatment, which is its universal reach. 'The BBC has to recognise social change, sure, but it is not the institution's role to lead it.' While news and current affairs departments are gasping for increased budgets, most slashed beyond recognition, director-general Tony Hall has found £100million in an ever-ready slush fund to increase diversity in the BBC. Meanwhile it gets rid of talent such as John Ware and Jane Corbin as permanent reporters from Panorama, presumably to save a bob or two.

The BBC at its best is the most wonderful public service broadcaster in the world.

Wise leaders have ensured it absorbed and calibrated change without changing the essential character, reach and sheer goodness of the outfit. Now suddenly, the Twitter trolls, the social media addicts, the young, the immature and the often daft have become the BBC's recruitment and audience target. If you believe Winston Churchill was a racist killer, sit back and enjoy the product. If not, try to help the BBC leap off the greasy slope down which it is sliding faster every day.

My respopnse to BBC Wokeness article

So I wrote the following on Fb on 26th July 2020, in defence of my days at BBC News - " I can’t tell you how many times, especially over the last 24 months I have turned to Andrew and said despairingly this would NEVER have been allowed in my day working for the BBC! It would have been professional suicide on the part of all concerned if something had gone out that had not been 100% spot on - we lived and died on the strength of what we broadcast. Today we hear ‘the BBC understands .....’ constantly even though the reporters have been told to drop it and only report certainties, the anchor staff stutter, stammer, pause, rifle through imaginary script pages, can’t string a sentence together and use ‘also’ and ‘too’ or ‘as well’ in the same sentence! Yesterday I heard an anchor team member make a factual statement and then turn to the ‘expert’ and say ‘can you explain what is meant by that?’ Did the anchor not understand the meaning of the perfectly factual information that had just been uttered? We now watch Sky News and endure the adverts willingly!"

How woke warriors have cancelled common sense: Jodie Comer, Halle Berry and Florence Pugh are all deemed to have transgressed the moral code of a self-appointed, self-righteous mob but it's not too late to fight back, says JOHN HUMPHRYS

By John Humphrys For The Daily Mail |Published: 10th July 2020 | Updated: 11th July 2020

- During most wars, there comes a point when the seemingly invincible attacking army faces a setback. It doesn't mean the war is over. Often quite the opposite.
- They may have become used to a string of victories on the battlefield and taken the end result for granted. They underestimate their enemy.
- That's when the defending army seizes back the initiative. Which is where we are in Britain today.
- But hold on, you will protest, you are not even aware of this war. True, we are in deadly combat with a very nasty virus, but so is every country on the planet.

So what exactly is at risk in this new war?

It is, quite simply, something that is fundamental to every democracy that has ever existed. Something without which we cannot sleep easy in our beds at night. It is free speech. I hear your protests. This is not, for instance, North Korea. We can say pretty much anything we like about our own Dear Leader. If we think he is a thorough-going rogue who should not be trusted with the nanny, let alone the country, we are perfectly entitled to say so. It may mean we won't be getting an invitation to Downing Street for cocktails and canapes once the lockdown is fully lifted. We'll almost certainly be 'cancelled' — a loaded word, more of which later. But neither will we hear the hammering on the door at 4am that means we are about to be hauled off to the gulag.

No, it's more insidious than that. And it is entirely possible that you and your loved ones have nothing to fear. But free speech is not something you hand out in little parcels to those who have earned it. Every single citizen is affected by it one way or another. The victims in this war are those who are deemed by the attacking forces to be insufficiently 'woke'. That, dear reader, may very well include you.

'Woke' did not appear in the Oxford English Dictionary in its new guise until three years ago. The definition applied to it was 'alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice'.

So it's good to be 'woke', eh? It hardly needs stating that we should all be 'alert' to those offences. But language is an infinitely complex concept. Words are constantly changing their meanings, or sometimes being added to our vocabulary or dropped. The Elizabethans had no need for 'television'. There's not much call these days for 'codpiece'. The problem with this new word is who decides whether you or I are 'woke' enough, and what are the motives of those who pass judgment on us? This is where I get worried. I really don't know who 'they' are. What I do know is that they are out there and they are causing real harm to our precious right of free speech. And I am not alone. On these pages you will see pictures of some of the victims in this war. One of them is the Oscar-winning film star Halle Berry. She had accepted a role in which she would play a transgender man, but in this new 'woke' world that is no longer allowed. She was attacked by the transgender lobby and has now withdrawn. Her 'apology' this week contained some scary language. It was redolent of the sort of thing you might hear from a prisoner convicted of making critical comments about the leader of a totalitarian regime: 'As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role . . . I am grateful for the guidance and critical conversation over the past few days and I will continue to listen.' Here is an intelligent, experienced actor who has played many different roles in her career abasing herself before the court of political correctness. Or 'wokeness'. The court ruled that only if she were herself transgender could she play the part and she meekly accepted that ruling.

You may remember Eddie Redmayne winning many plaudits when he played a transgender woman in the film The Danish Girl five years ago. It is unimaginable that any casting director would risk such a casting decision today. Or Benedict Cumberbatch playing Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician regarded as the father of modern computing. He was credited with shortening World War II by two years for helping crack Germany's secret Enigma code. Turing was, of course, a gay man. Cumberbatch is not. Could he have played Turing in today's climate? I doubt it. Dustin Hoffman was a passionate believer in method acting and he enjoyed recalling an exchange he had with the legendary Laurence Olivier. Hoffman told him he was exhausted because he'd had to film a scene in which his character was supposed to have been up for three days with no sleep. 'So what did you do?' Olivier asked. 'Well,' said Hoffman, 'I stayed up for three days and three nights.' Olivier: 'Why didn't you just try acting?' Very funny, but Olivier was making an important point. Great actors are great because they make us suspend our disbelief. For the hours they are on stage or screen they become the character they are playing.

But perhaps I should have used the past tense in that sentence, now that we find ourselves in this new 'woke' world? As I write I can hear the tumbril sent to drag me off to the court of politically correct thinking. So let me make the point that I am not defending some of the hideous practices of the past: refusing to use disabled actors, for instance, even when they were perfect for the part, or 'blacking up' white men to play black men. They have, mercifully, been abandoned. And it has happened because we collectively decided that sort of prejudice had no place in a modern, liberal society. Sometimes it took longer than it should have, but we got there in the end.

What's happening today is different. There is a small group of self-righteous individuals who see themselves as the new guardians of our morality. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself. Emmeline Pankhurst is a shining example of a woman who helped right a terrible wrong. She and her fellow suffragettes spoke for a vast number of women (and many men) who put themselves in the front line. What is deeply disturbing about today's self-appointed guardians of our morality is that so many of them often operate in the shadows, hiding behind the anonymity of social media. Others flaunt their virtue-signalling. And instead of fighting back or ignoring them when they are at their most hysterical and absurd, one institution after another rolls onto its back and begs forgiveness. No less a figure than Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer fell foul of the woke warriors when he appeared on a radio programme last week and offered some mild criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement. He suggested that their message might be getting 'tangled up'. He pointed to their calls to 'defund' the police. It was nonsense, he said. Who could argue with that? Well, they could. And they did. They announced that he 'had no right to tell us what our demands should be'. Starmer's response was to announce that the Labour Party was introducing 'unconscious bias training' for everyone and he would be leading by example.

You might wish to form your own judgment on that by logging on to one of the websites offering such training. There are a lot of them. Many of the woke warriors are undoubtedly the same people who did their damndest to stifle debate when they were at university — those who 'no-platformed' speakers who took a different view from them, forgetting that the essence of a university education is to be faced with different views. They even targeted Germaine Greer, the bravest of fighters in the great battle to win equal rights for women. Sadly, most university leaders caved in to their demands. No student need worry that they might ever be confronted by material that could offend their sensibilities. They must, at all costs, be protected. If an historical fact is uncomfortable or causes them even the slightest distress, then let us erase it from history. And their power stretches beyond the ability to censor. It includes the damage the 'warriors of wokeness' can do to the reputations and careers of their victims.

So now let me return to that other word that they have traduced — one which most of us had thought we understood perfectly well. Cancel. If someone is deemed to have broken the rules set by the court of political correctness, the individuals may find themselves 'cancelled'. It's a form of cultural boycott. It sends a warning signal to any hapless producer or editor that the individual is somehow tainted and should be given a wide berth. It happened in January to the actor Laurence Fox after he appeared on Question Time. He'd made the point that the way Meghan Markle had been criticised by the media was not rooted in racism. Not unreasonable, you might think, given that her engagement to Harry had been received rapturously when it was announced. But the woke warriors went for Fox and his work dried up.

It also happened to my old friend Alastair Stewart after he'd sent a text to a black political adviser that included the words 'angry ape'. It had been in a quotation he'd used from Shakespeare's Measure For Measure and there was no suggestion that he'd used it as an insult. But judgment was passed and Alastair was forced to resign from ITN. It's even happened to Jodie Comer, the brilliant actor who plays Villanelle in the hit BBC TV series Killing Eve. She's been cancelled this week not because she is a sadistic multi murderer like her character but, far worse, because she is dating an American lacrosse player who happens to be a supporter of the Republican Party. Not that Comer was the first actor to fall foul of the witch-hunt. Only last month, Florence Pugh, of Little Women fame, apologised for her so-called 'white privilege' after a picture surfaced of her with cornrows, a type of hairstyle favoured in the Caribbean. And, of course, it happened to the biggest-selling author in Britain, J. K. Rowling. Her offence was to take issue with an article that referred to 'people who menstruate'. She argued that biological sex is real. That, according to the Twitter mob who tore her apart, made her 'transphobic'. Even Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, who'd never been heard of until Rowling created Harry Potter, joined in the inquisition. One of the most frightening aspects of this whole process is that powerful people and institutions you might have expected to stand up to the mob seem too scared even to challenge them. It is the posture of the pre-emptive cringe. But there is some hope, as I suggested earlier, that the defenders of free speech are marshalling their forces at last.

Condemnation Letter signed by celebrities

Image sourced from the Daily Mail as it appeared in their article

J. K. Rowling, Margaret Atwood and psychologist Steven Pinker are among 150 leading authors, academics and thinkers who signed a letter this week condemning what they call 'cancel culture' for stifling freedom of expression in higher education, journalism, philanthropy and the arts. Another signatory is Sir Salman Rushdie. If any author knows what it is to face threats from those who are offended by your writing it surely is him. They write about 'a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments' that weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favour of ideological conformity. The writers acknowledge that the 'forces of illiberalism' are gaining strength throughout the world. The success of Donald Trump is proof of that — though it's possible, if not likely, that his days are numbered. But what makes this letter so powerful coming, as it does, from such a wide range of thinkers, is the acceptance that there is only one way to defend real democracy. And that is to speak out against those who threaten it.

That may seem so obvious it's scarcely worth saying. But we have only to look at what has been happening in this country over the past few years to see that the great and the good have cowered in the face of intimidation by the 'woke warriors'.

If we do not fight back, the threat to our democracy is real. As Rowling and the other signatories put it, 'the free exchange of information and ideas' is the lifeblood of a liberal society.

And it is becoming more and more restricted with every passing day.

Who is Academic Richard Dawkins - my new hero that's who!

Richard Dawkins quotation berating the Woke generation

On Sunday, 10th May the Mail on Sunday published its 'Quotes of the Week' both are more than worthy of their first and second placement and Richard Dawkins quotation is more than fit for this page - well done sir!

Earlier the following article had been published on-line :

Oxford students vote to ban 'ableist, classist and misogynist' reading lists as academics tell them 'leave university if you don't know what it's for'

- Oxford University's student union have voted to ban 'harmful' reading material
- The new policy says students should not take part in lectures, tutorials, seminars or undertake exams that involve 'hate speech' causing backlash from academics
- An Oxford professor says they should leave if they don't understand its purpose

By Ollie Lewis For Mailonline |Published: 4th May 2020 | Updated: 4th May 2020

Oxford University's student union have voted to ban 'ableist, classist and misogynist' readings lists, leading to academics hitting out at the body. Students from the prestigious university voted to prohibit reading lists containing the aforementioned themes, claiming that they should not be made to engage with any 'harmful material'. A policy adopted by the student union went on to state that students should not be required to take part in lectures, tutorials or seminars or undertake exams that involve 'hate speech'.

As first reported by The Telegraph, the student union also requested for the university to produce guidelines to faculties asking them to consider any material they include on reading lists 'amounts to hate speech'. The policy, titled Protection of Transgender, Non-binary, Disabled, Working Class and Women Students from Hatred in University Contexts', was put forward by Alex Illsley, co-chairman of Oxford's LGBTQ+ campaign. Oxford University's current guidelines protect all free speech that falls within the realms of the law. Mr Illsley has argued that readings lists contain 'ableist, transphobic, classist and misogynistic content' however.

Academics from the university have hit out at the latest motion, reasoning that the policy was an attempt to censor free speech. Richard Dawkins, a professor at Oxford, said: 'So history students can't read up on women's suffrage, or the rise of Nazism or Apartheid, theology students can't read [the] Bible or Koran? The racism of just about everyone who ever lived before these privileged juveniles were born? 'If you don't know what a university is for, please leave Oxford and make way for those who do.' An Oxford spokesperson told The Telegraph that the university have made no plans to censor free speech.

Quotes in support of Richard Dawkins

And apart from the privileged few - the majority would appear to agree with Richard Dawkins*

* It seem, despite my admiration for the academic speaking up for academia, my new found hero is a bit of an outspoken critic of many things that I hold dear; but I also hold dear 'freedom of speech' and 'freedom of religion and the right to practise said religion freely as I do. That he has an issue with religion is something he needs to sort out, just so long as he keeps speaking out about the 'woke' plague!

And the 'oh-so-self-important' thuthexes are now going to bleat about how hard they have been done by - they should be so lucky!

Sussex biogSussex biographySussex biog

BTW - I'm not buying this unless I can get it for 10p in a Charity Shop ...... or someone lends it to me for nothing!

Comment about the Sussex pair by Sarah Vine

As it appeared in the Daily Mail on 5/6th May 2020

I didn't write in I admit but just before this appeared I had been thinking for some time that I would ask the Daily Mail why it persisted in using a picture of Harry and Meghan in their advertisement to subscribe to the internet version of the paper. I was going to ask if it was sheer laziness on the part of their art department or whether, having been taken to task by them in the courts they thought they's never get another freebie picture to use? Well the first part of the court case hasn't gone well for the couple so surely the art department can now use something different? Sheer laziness if you ask me!


'Bowing is a sign of Respect' she bleats!

Cherry Blair excusing her appalling manners

Well, that's what I think anyway! This has been a more than sore point with me since way back in 2015 when, allegedly, I wrote this to myself somewhere 'Although I have stated my reasons for making Elizabeth I my favourite English monarch I have to write that I hold Her Majesty Elizabeth II in the very highest regard as my monarch. In the event I ever had the great good fortune to be in her presence, I would not hesitate to engage in acknowledging her place as head of this realm. I would show my respect and allegiance in a traditional manner by curtseying to HM. Not in the grandiose manner recently performed by Vanessa Redgrave at the BAFTAs but in a respectful and simple acknowledgement. I would never consider not curtseying to HM as some women have chosen since but that would imply that I am better than my monarch and whilst I am no sycophant, I also recognise my place in society and ….. I owe my good manners to the way my parents brought me up. So ya-boo sucks to you Cherry!' - Created in 2015 – I must have been in a paddy! 08.08.15

The reason this has come back to the forefront of my mind is two-fold, all the nastiness HM the Queen is currently receiving from the more unenlightened members of her family (who shall remain nameless) whom, being the ultra-gracious woman she is, she forgives despite being held to emotional blackmail by three of them in particular. Hurrah for the Princess Royal who has never wavered! Secondly the whole furore about the curtsey-not-curtsey-nod or whatever has made the news again. Cherry Blair has had a long time to think about this and now she has come up with, you have to admire her cheek, the perfect excuse - made me titter despite my fury but no, that's not 1-up to her, it's 100-up to me by taking my example from HM the Queen!

So let's start at the beginning shall we - in 2013 this appeared in the Daily Mail (God Bless the Internet for never taking anything useful down) and is what still had me seething in 2015 (see above)!

Did Cherie curtsey to the Queen? Palace won't say after Mrs Blair refused publicity when she collected her CBE

By Richard Kay for the Daily Mail | Published: 4th March 2013 | Updated: 4th March 2013

As a rule, the only people who tick the 'no publicity' box at Buckingham Palace investitures are members of the special forces and the security services, for whom secrecy can be a genuine matter of life and death. But last week, just minutes before vivacious Olympic gold-medal winning heptathlete Jessica Ennis stepped up to receive her well-deserved CBE, another sprightly figure came forward, having surprisingly requested her visit to the Palace receive no official fanfare*. (*Probably because she thought people would boo her or worse ignore her!)

Step forward the immaculately attired Cherie Blair — the woman who famously refused to curtsey to the Queen when she visited Balmoral after her husband Tony's election victory in 1997. Indeed, her continuing refusal to do so led Her Majesty to observe: 'As soon as I walk into a room, her knees seem to stiffen.' Cherie, who was awarded a CBE for services to charity, had been perfectly happy just 24 hours earlier to allow herself to be photographed touring a Southampton children's hospital, ahead of the Eastleigh by-election. But by the time she got to the Palace she had become all camera-shy. Could it be that she didn't want the outside world to see her executing a curtsey? Or **was it because she didn't want to be seen being so ill-mannered as to not curtsey to the Queen** in her own home? In fact, not only did Mrs Blair specifically request no publicity for her visit to the Palace, putting a ban on publication or broadcast of any photos or film footage of the event, she also refused to answer any questions about it. (** Exactly my point!) Asked whether she curtseyed, her spokeswoman refused to answer. Pressed on why Cherie, 58, ticked the 'no publicity' box, her spokeswoman would only say: 'Mrs Blair was deeply honoured to receive her CBE from the Queen, and she felt this was a personal occasion to be shared with the family.' At the Palace, a spokeswoman confirmed Mrs Blair was one of just eight out of 76 people receiving honours who requested 'no publicity'. 'There is a no-filming list you can elect to be on. She elected to be on that,' says the official. 'That means recipients don't want their images or broadcast material to be released for media purposes. That's a decision she's taken.' - (So once again she puts herself above the Monarch by refusing to curtsey and proves she is a coward as she obviously did not want the press to showcase her lack of respect and what would her colleagues say? Not about the curtseying or lack of but being such a sycophant that she would accept rather than refuse the honour!)

In 2018 the Express weighed in with :

Royal ROW: How the Queen was DISRESPECTED by Cherie Blair over 'lack of self-control'
THE Queen was asked an intrusive question by Tony Blair's wife, Cherie Blair, according to a biography.

By Matthew Kirkham | Published: Wednesday, Nov 28th, 2018 | Updated: Wednesday, Nov 28th, 2018

Cherie Blair and the Queen have a long and difficult history. Alistair Campbell, Blair's spin doctor, wrote in his diaries that the Queen's chilliness towards Mrs Blair dated from her first Balmoral visit. Mr Campbell said: "Cherie said she had asked the Queen if the John Brown story of Queen Victoria having an affair with her gillie was true. She said it got a bit frosty after that." The Spectator claimed in 2005 "Buckingham Palace sources say that Gordon and Sarah Brown treat the monarchy with much greater propriety than do Tony and Cherie Blair". In 2016 biography "Tony Blair: Broken Vows", author Tom Bower describes how Cherie Blair was "chastened but could not help herself".

In one incident, Mrs Blair approached the Queen and asked her whether Queen Victoria had an affair with John Brown. The author writes: "Blair was often accused of snubbing the royal family or behaving inappropriately around them but her autobiography reveals that, although she found the Queen easy to talk to, she struggled to connect with the rest of the family." A book by Paul Scott published in 2006 claimed that Mrs Blair's rift with the royals started when she met Princess Anne in 1997. In Cherie Blair's autobiography, she writes: "While the Queen is very approachable, I can't say the same about Princess Margaret. "At one point in that first year, Princess Anne came over and said 'Mrs Blair'. "'Oh. Please call me Cherie,' I said. "'I'd rather not,' she replied. 'It's not the way I've been brought up'. 'What a shame,' I said." Her relationship with the princess "went rapidly downhill and never recovered", Bower adds.

The late Queen Mother was said to be "mortified" when Mrs Blair wore trousers to lunch on her first visit to Balmoral and, although Mrs Blair reluctantly agreed to curtsey in public, she refused to do so in private. The former prime ministers wife had previously stolen the spotlight from Tony Blair and his important Labour meeting with Gordon Brown, when Cherie had "exploited an offer by a Melbourne shop-owner to 'take something' as a gift," Bower writes. "She had grabbed sixty-eight items. 'I wish she didn't have this thing about a bargain, Blair told Peter Mandleson. On her return home, he pleaded, 'When we leave we'll have lots of money. We'll have enough. You've got to stop this.'"

(Doesn't exactly show Cherry at her best does it?)

Cherry Blair full article

The final word - but none of us are really fooled by it are we? - Well I'm not and "I am unanimous in that!"

I am unanimous quote Mrs Slocombe

It's so emulsional! Paint firm vows to rebrand its range of pinks amid fears current names such as Dollface and Girly Girl are sexist:

- Valspar will rename shades called Dollface, Sweet Angel, Girly Girl and Ladylike
- They will also scrap Shy Girl, Dolled Up, Faint of Heart and Dainty Delight
- The B&Q stockist are inviting customers to suggest more suitable names online
- The firm consulted Jane Sunderland, an honorary professor and gender expert

By Daily Mail Reporter | Published: 5th March 2020 | Updated: 5th March 2020

A major paint brand is pulling its pink pots from the shelves of a high street retailer – because it fears their names are 'old-fashioned gender stereotypes'. Valspar will rebrand the shades called Dollface, Sweet Angel, Girly Girl and Ladylike.

Pink Paint Swatches

Image courtesy & © of the Solent News & Photo Agency as it appeared in the Daily Mail captioned: "Pictured: The paint lines being removed by Valspar. In a move that will delight the 'woke' generation, it will rename them in 'empowering, gender-neutral terms' including Woke Up Like This, Anything You Can Do, Fearless and Like a Boss"*

In a move that will delight the 'woke' generation, it will rename them in 'empowering, gender-neutral terms' including Woke Up Like This, Anything You Can Do, Fearless and Like a Boss. Valspar, whose paint is given great prominence in B&Q stores, is also scrapping pots called Shy Girl, Dolled Up, Faint of Heart and Dainty Delight and is inviting new name suggestions online. A company spokesman said: 'Valspar is holding its hands up and acknowledging some of its pink paint names are formed of old-fashioned gender stereotypes which no longer have a place in modern-day society.'

The firm consulted Jane Sunderland, an honorary professor and expert in gender matters at Lancaster University, as part of its rebranding. Dr Sunderland said: 'Traditional ideas such as "pink is for girls" often contain stereotypes about gender that restrict aspirations and opportunities. 'These are out of place in the 21st century where gender equality is expected. The language we use matters. 'The term dollface suggests an object and a possession, whereas girly girl implies someone who can't really be taken seriously.' The new names will appear on Valspar's website in April and in stores from later this year.*

* I won't be hurrying anytime soon to discover what the rebranding names will be and how in the name of all that is holy and normal is 'Like A Boss' not, according to the 'woke' generation, genderist or plain sexist?

The tyranny of woke: CHRISTOPHER BOOKER explains how a campaign against intolerance turned into the most intolerant ideology of all :

By Christopher Booker For The Mail On Sunday :Published: 1st March 2020 | Updated: 2nd March 2020

- Chosen as Word of the Year in 2019, 'woke' was originally used about people sensitive to social injustice and racism.
- However, it has become associated with an obsession with the pursuit of grievances – real or imagined – and has created a suffocating culture of authoritarianism.
- Here, Christopher Booker- in a book written shortly before his death last year, examines the havoc it is causing.

Wherever we look, tensions and divisions exist in society that would have been hard to imagine even ten years ago. And the issues that tear us apart are numerous: the growing influence of 'identity politics', whereby people form narrow and rigid alliances defined by their race, sexuality or cultural background; the omnipresent influence of social media; the fanatical intolerance of animal rights activists; the rise of Islamic terrorism; the chaotic state of British politics following the EU referendum.

Random and unrelated issues? Not at all. It is my belief they are all connected by a phenomenon that has in recent years become increasingly influential in British life: 'Groupthink.'

Coined in the 1970s by Irving Janis, a professor of psychology, it refers to a group of individuals fixated on a particular view of the world, whether or not there is any evidence to support it. So convinced are they that their opinion is correct that they cannot believe any sensible person would disagree. Most insidiously, this leads them to treat all those who differ from their beliefs with contemptuous hostility. Groupthink now comprehensively governs our lives in Britain. From the way we are ruled and policed to the way our children are educated – even to the received wisdom about global warming – Groupthink in its many guises is at the heart of it all. We meet its followers socially, we hear and read them incessantly in some sections of the media, and we endure our politicians speaking in the cliches of Groupthink all the time. The psychological condition from which they are suffering is contagious, extremely powerful and increasingly showing itself to be potentially very dangerous.

Groupthink image

Image courtesy of as it appears on "Global Warming: A Case Study in Groupthink: How science can shed new light on the most important 'non-debate' of our time: Volume 28 (GWPF Reports)"

Groupthink is most prevalent when we come up against people who hold an emphatic opinion on some controversial subject, but who, when questioned, turn out not really to have thought it through. They have not looked seriously at the facts or the evidence. They have simply taken their beliefs on trust, ready-made and second-hand, from others. But the very fact that their opinions are not based on any real understanding of why they believe what they do only encourages them to insist even more vehemently and intolerantly that their views are right. Like so much that affects our daily lives in Britain, it all began in America. In January 1987, an estimated 500 students and staff gathered at California's Stanford University to listen to an address by the civil rights campaigner, the Reverend Jesse Jackson. What happened next had unimaginably far-reaching consequences. As Jackson finished speaking, his audience surged angrily across the campus to a meeting of the university's governing body, chanting words which became infamous: 'Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western culture's got to go.' The target of their fury was a compulsory Western culture course designed to introduce students to history, ideas and literary classics. But to the protesters, everything about it is was deeply offensive. For example, they were incensed that set texts were all written by 'dead white males' such as Plato and Shakespeare. The concerns and views of women, black writers and other racial and cultural groups, they argued, had been shut out. As a result of the protests, and in the name of the new buzzwords of 'diversity' and 'multiculturalism', the university course was swiftly redesigned and new ones such as 'gender studies' and 'feminist studies' were introduced.

Political correctness as we now know it had been born

Inevitably, the new ideas were swiftly and eagerly embraced in universities in Britain, which, of course, remain a hotbed of political correctness. For instance, the philosophy faculty of Oxford University announced in 2018 that in order to attract more female students, its 'diversity and equality officer' should draw up a new reading list. The result was that after 2,500 years of civilisation, during which all but a tiny handful of the world's leading philosophers had been men, 40 per cent of the authors on the new Oxford reading list were now to be female. To make room for the new additions, eminent philosophers from down the ages had to be ditched. Utter madness, you may think, and you would be right. But both of these events are a perfect example of Groupthink at work.

Let us examine this insidious concept in more detail

As Professor Janis saw it, Groupthink is a term 'of the same order as the words in the Newspeak vocabulary George Orwell presents in his dismaying book Nineteen Eight-Four' – Newspeak being 'propagandistic language marked by euphemism and the inversion of customary meanings'. For Orwell's seminal work centred on an imaginary totalitarian state of the future which attempted to brainwash all its citizens into a rigidly intolerant state of groupthink that obeyed all the familiar rules. It was no accident that Janis adapted Groupthink from this thinly disguised picture of life in Stalin's Soviet Union, where the sense of a 'group mind', personified in 'Big Brother', was ruthlessly reinforced by means of endlessly repeated slogans, and ritualised 'hate sessions' directed at anyone daring to dissent in any way from the party's line. Fiction also offers a perfect short parable of Groupthink in action in Hans Christian Andersen's story The Emperor's New Clothes. When the emperor parades through the streets in what he has been talked into imagining is a dazzling new suit, all his obsequious subjects rush to acclaim it as handsome beyond compare. Only the little hero of the story points out that the emperor is not wearing any clothes at all. He is stark naked. The idea that he is wearing any clothes is wholly imaginary. Of course, those caught up in the 'consensus' make-believe angrily turn on the boy for pointing out nothing less than the truth.

Janis duly outlined three defining rules of Groupthink

First, a group of people come to share a common view, often proposed by a few individuals deemed to be an authority on the subject, that is not based on objective reality. These people may be convinced intellectually that their view is right but their belief cannot be tested in a way which could confirm it beyond doubt. It is simply based on a picture of the world as they imagine it to be, or, more to the point, would like it to be.

The second rule is that precisely because their shared view is essentially subjective and not provable, Groupthinkers go out of their way to insist that it is so self-evidently correct that a 'consensus' of all right-minded people must agree with it. Any contradictory evidence and the views of anyone who does not agree with them can be disregarded entirely.

Third, and highly significant, is the rule which states that in order to reinforce the conviction of the 'in-group' that their viewpoint is right, they need to treat the opinions of anyone who questions it as wholly unacceptable. These people are crassly considered incapable of engaging in any serious dialogue or debate with those who disagree with them. Those outside the bubble must be marginalised and ignored, and if necessary their views must be mercilessly caricatured to make them seem ridiculous.

If this is not enough, they must be attacked in the most violently contemptuous terms, usually with the aid of some scornfully dismissive label – such as 'bigot', 'prude', 'xenophobe', 'Little Englander' or 'denier'. Dissent in any form cannot be tolerated, as is seen too often in daily life today.

One typical example: a market trader in the Leicestershire town of Loughborough was warned by the local council in 2017 that following a complaint, she must stop selling 'offensive' items on her stall. The 'offending' objects were pottery mugs decorated with images of 12th Century monks, the Knights Templar.Because they had murdered Muslims during the Crusades, claimed the complainant, any Muslim shopper passing the stall might be offended. When the stall-holder ignored the warning because she felt it seemed ridiculous, the council withdrew her licence to trade anywhere in the town.

Meanwhile, in Bristol, police officers painted their fingernails blue to highlight the problem of 'slavery in nail bars'. When this attracted witty comments on Twitter such as, 'What about nailing some criminals?', the bosses at Avon and Somerset Police reacted by issuing a statement saying: 'If anyone found these comments offensive, please report them to Twitter. If you feel that you were targeted and are the victim of a hate crime, please report this to us. We take this issue extremely seriously.' The quick-to-take-offence brigade was now well into its stride.

A few weeks later, the Church of England instructed its 4,700 primary schools that regardless of parental wishes, boys as young as five should be told that they were allowed to wear high heels, tiaras or tutus, and that girls should not have to wear skirts, so as to avoid offending 'transgender' children who might wish to change sex. The new rules were designed to challenge 'homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying'.

Surreal though these stories may seem, they confirmed that society had become divided between groups of people with wholly different and incompatible views of the world. On the one hand, a group with a rigid mindset in respect of what it is permissible for people to say, think or do. They are constantly on the lookout for anyone or anything likely to give offence, and they express their disapproval in a series of all-too-familiar cliches. The other group, meanwhile, stares at them in utter amazement, baffled as to how anyone could be so obsessively blinkered and so humourlessly intolerant – and to have departed so wholly from the dictates of basic common sense. Although to Irving Janis, 'groupthink refers to a deterioration of mental efficiency and moral judgment', woe betide anyone who doesn't keep their dissenting thoughts to themselves. For a phenomenon with which we've all become familiar in recent years is 'hate crime'. Like political correctness, it originated in America, and was initially concerned with crimes against African-Americans. The idea was that the seriousness of such offences was aggravated by evidence that they had been racially motivated. But the list of minority-group victims of a 'hate crime' quickly expanded to include 'actual or perceived' crimes on grounds of 'gender identity, sexual orientation and disability'. In 2011, FBI statistics revealed that 20.8 per cent of hate crimes were said to be motivated by sexual orientation.

In Britain, a Criminal Justice Act in 2003 listed the categories of crime aggravated by hostility to a victim on the grounds of their membership of a minority group. They included race, religion, sexual orientation and disability. It was not long before any such offences were being lumped together as 'hate crimes'. Thus, at a time when the police were deemed notoriously reluctant to investigate burglaries, shoplifting or other more common types of lawbreaking, they were only too eager to look out for instances of 'hate crime', to the point where, by 2013, the Crime Survey for England and Wales reported that the previous year the number of such offences had topped 278,000. These comprised crimes that were 'perceived' as such by 'any other person' – not just by the alleged victim.

By 2017, new guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service advised that 'online hate crimes' should be treated just as seriously as offences committed 'in person'. And that year Warwickshire Police held 'tea-and-cupcake parties' in community centres to promote 'National Hate Crime Awareness Week', tweeting pictures of themselves with the slogan: 'Cake not hate.' If ever you wanted an example of how society has changed over the past 60 years, you need look no further than the lamentable Groupthink activities of the British police today. Meanwhile, doubtlessly, there has been no greater influence on the rapid spread of Groupthink in recent years than the internet. With social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the internet has given a powerful new platform for people to spread their views to others. And so we witness what is known as 'virtue-signalling' – the desire by people to highlight a view to demonstrate that they side with those who they consider to be morally 'virtuous'. But even more, it allows them, often anonymously, to vent personal abuse at anyone expressing contrary opinions. It is thanks to social media, and to this new aid to the contagious effect of politically correct Groupthink, that we have seen the emergence of what has been one of the most shocking products of the entire saga. This was the movement to create so-called 'safe spaces', where students could be guaranteed protection from anything which contradicted their rigid views on all the issues of the politically correct lexicon. By the time the 'safe space' movement crossed the Atlantic and swept through British universities around 2015, the list of issues on which students wanted such protection had broadened from race and gender to anything from support for capitalism to 'climate change denial. Under their 'no platforming' principle, they sought to ban any lecturers or visiting speakers whose views they considered offensive. They also demanded the right to be given 'trigger warnings' if a set book contained passages that might be found 'disturbing', such as Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, because it includes scenes of 'violence by men against women'. And they condemned as 'cultural appropriation' any 'patronising' Western borrowing of the customs or clothing of other nations. For example, calling for canteens to stop serving Tunisian stew and the students' union at the University of East Anglia banning the playful wearing of Mexican sombreros. It was this absurd wish to be protected from anything that contradicts their own rigid ideology that caused these ultra-sensitive souls to be ridiculed as 'snowflakes' –because, as delicate individuals, any slight increase in temperature will see them melt.

But the ultimate irony is what happened to that central principle of political correctness. These new victims who were seen as needing official protection were the mainstream 'snowflake' students themselves – not the traditional minority victims whose interests they claim to hold so dear! Far from liberating themselves from the 'repression' and 'prejudices' of the 20th Century, Groupthinkers have created for themselves – and indeed, imposed on us – a whole new social and psychological prison founded almost entirely on make-believe. In fact, they swapped what they considered to be one set of intolerant ideologies for another. Could anything be more ironic?

Groupthink by Christopher Booker

Groupthink: A Study in Self Delusion © The Estate of Christopher Booker, 2020; Editor © Richard North, 2020 - Extracted from Groupthink: A Study In Self Delusion by Christopher Booker. It is published by Bloomsbury Continuum

Personally I think the word 'Groupthink' is almost worthy of the mastery of George Orwell and believe the article as reproduced above gives an excellent and holistic view of this insidious (and I used this description way way back) and very dangerous attitude currently being expressed by those who don't know any better and have never been refused anything in their hitherto spoiled lives!

A (Laurence) Fox amongst the Pigeons :

Laurence Fox changes tack in his anti-woke war by asking to MEET his critics

- Actor has been approaching fiercer critics to engage in face-to-face debate
- Commentator Bonnie Greer agreed and said the pair had 'frank' discussion
- However, the Lewis star, 49, has received short shrift from others he asked
- Chardine Taylor Stone said: 'You don't need a coffee you need a reading list!'

By Jo Tweedy For Mailonline | Published: 29th January 2020 | Updated: 29th January 2020

Laurence Fox has employed a new tactic in his war against people he considers 'woke' - by asking to meet his fiercest critics for coffee. The English actor, 49, who kick-started his one-man campaign on Question Time two weeks ago with a furious row over whether Meghan Markle had been subjected to racism, has been prolific - and scathing - on Twitter ever since. While the Lewis star continues to fight fire with verbal fire in 280 character-sleights on social media, he's also now asking those who disagree with him to meet for coffee - with British-American commentator Bonnie Greer so far the only one agreeing. While Greer and Fox both agreed they'd enjoyed a 'good and frank' discussion in a 'safe space' at the British Museum in London, sharing a photo on their respective Twitter accounts, none of Fox's other critics appear tempted to partake in a cappuccino with him anytime soon. Author Natalie Rowe became an invitee when she asked Greer: 'One question @bonn1egreer. What exactly did you achieve by meeting that fool? And what's with the hands draped all over him? Enlighten me as to the benefits you can now share with us all, after your meeting with him.' When Fox then responded, saying: 'Not everyone who disagrees with you is a racist. Happy to meet for a coffee if you want to talk further', he was given short shrift. She responded: 'What's this! Is this your 'let's see how many Black People you can have coffee with week'? You are on the VERY bottom of my list of people I would have a meeting with. So it's a NO, we can communicate on Twitter, I've no need to be in your company.' And when black feminist and LGBTQ activist Chardine Taylor Stone, @misschazmatazz on Twitter, suggested that Greer had shown the black British arts community 'disrespect' by sharing her meeting with the actor, Fox responded again with a offer of coffee. He wrote: 'Why do the progressive left insist on eating themselves? Hi Chardine. Fancy meeting up for a coffee and a chat?' @misschazmatazz penned in response: 'Your "disagreement" is being in opposition to justice and equality for marginalise people. You don't need a coffee you need a reading list!'I said'.

However, many who saw the photo of Fox and Greer said they were heartened by it, and proved that you could still discuss differing views 'as adults'. @jodieginsberg wrote: 'This fills my free speech heart with joy. More of this from everyone *please*'. Last week, Fox apologised to the Sikh community after he sparked a race row by claiming the inclusion of a turban-wearing soldier in Sam Mendes film 1917 was 'incongruous' - but in a follow up tweet said 'I stand by everything else I said'. The outspoken actor made the comment about the critically-acclaimed film in a podcast on Saturday while being interviewed by James Delingpole. When asked about his remarks by GMB hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid the next day about whether the inclusion of the character was historically out-of-place, he replied: 'I'm not a historian I don't know.' Sikh historian Peter Singh Bance told MailOnline that Fox should 'check his facts', saying: 'Laurence Fox is incorrect with his facts as Sikhs did fight with British forces, not just with their own regiments.' Last night, the Lewis star posted on his Twitter account and apologised for the 'clumsy way' he expressed himself. He said: 'Fellow humans who are #Sikhs. I am as moved by the sacrifices your relatives made as I am by the loss of all those who die in war, whatever creed or colour. 'Please accept my apology for being clumsy in the way I have expressed myself over this matter in recent days.' But in a follow up tweet soon after, he said: 'I stand by everything else I said and will continue to do so. Sleep well.'

The epic film follows two young British soldiers tasked with traversing no-man's land with a message as the Germans pull back from the Western Front. The Lewis star said that 'forcing diversity on people' is 'institutionally racist' after saying that the inclusion of Nabhaan Rizwan portraying Sepoy Jondalar was not in keeping with the film's surroundings. Speaking on podcast, The Delingpod, Mr Fox said: 'It's very heightened awareness of the colour of someone's skin because of the oddness in the casting. Even in 1917 they've done it with a Sikh soldier. 'Which is great, it's brilliant, but you're suddenly aware there were Sikhs fighting in this war. And you're like 'ok'. You're now diverting me away from what the story is.' The 41-year-old actor questioned the credibility of the storyline and said the casting of Mr Rizwan caused 'a very heightened awareness of the colour of someone's skin' because of 'the oddness of the casting'. He praised the performance of Mr Rizwan himself, saying it was 'great', adding that the inclusion of a Sikh soldier in the ranks 'didn't bother me particularly'. But he added that the inclusion 'did sort of flick me out of what is essentially a one-shot film [because] it's just incongruous with the story'. Sikh soldiers were present at some of the conflict's bloodiest battles, including Ypres and the Somme. Mr Fox was a guest panellist on Question Time last week when an audience member called him a 'white, privileged male' and he called her description of him racist. The actor has also previously said that 'woke' people are 'fundamentally racist'.

Fox - who railed against identity politics on Thursday's Question Time - told Julia Hartley-Brewer on Talk Radio that the country is tired of being told it's racist in an appearance on Monday. He also spoke about his dispute with singer Lily Allen who she was 'sick to death' of 'luvvies' like Fox who are guilty of 'forcing their opinions on everybody else'. She added: 'He'll never have to deal with what normal people have to deal with in his gated community.' She concluded the rant by saying that he should 'stick to acting mate, instead of ranting about things you don't know about'. Fox mocked her statement, saying that she had a 'privileged' upbringing herself and pointing out he doesn't live in a gated community. He said sarcastically on Talk Radio: 'She's had a pretty privileged upbringing but she speaks for the common man doesn't she.' Mr Fox also slammed 'woke' culture, a term that originally was used to positively convey an alertness to oppression but is now also used derisively as a term for those who argue that white privilege stops people like Fox being able to see racism. Fox also said that it was the woke who are actually guilty of racism against the white people they accuse. 'What they are accusing you of is what they are,' he said. 'They are everything they accuse you of. The wokist are fundamentally racist.' He added: 'Identity politics is extremely racist.'

Laurence Fox interview: Let the hipsters hate me — I won't dance to their politically correct tune
The star of Lewis has penned an album railing against the hypocrisy of woke culture

Sunday Times | Julia Llewellyn Smith | Sunday 17th November 2019

Laurence Fox recently decided to walk around his area of south London wearing a hat bearing Donald Trump's campaign slogan, Maga ("Make America Great Again"), that a friend had given the actor "as a joke". "My little brother was like, 'Why would you want to do that?' I said, 'As a social experiment.' '' Whereas in a less-than-salubrious neighbourhood, no one had batted an eyelid, in bourgeois Dulwich there were horrified reactions. "One guy slammed a door on me and said, 'You shouldn't do that, that's disgusting'. Another woman came up to me and said, 'You're crazy!' " When he arrived at a dinner party that evening, Fox, 41 — best known for playing Detective Sergeant Hathaway in Lewis, ITV's cosy spin-off of Inspector Morse, and for being a scion of the Fox acting dynasty (father James, brother Jack, uncle Edward, cousins Emilia and Freddie) — was asked to remove the hat. "I said, 'I'm not in a mosque', and I left." Actors who advocate Trump are as rare as actors who never succumb to Botox. While Fox isn't an out-and-out supporter, "I'm certainly not a Trump hater", he says. What makes him "very nervous is being told that someone is evil. My kids [aged 11 and seven] have been told Trump's a bogeyman. I say, 'I don't mind you not liking him, but what do you hate about him?' And they don't know."

Between acting gigs (he was recently Lord Palmerston in ITV's Victoria and has just finished filming White Lines for Netflix, playing a Mancunian drug dealer), Fox watches a lot of YouTube videos and has been "totally radicalised" against the woke — politically correct — culture that has stifled "diversity of opinion". As a result, Fox says he won't renew his BBC licence fee: "I don't want to feel propagandised." He likes multiracialism but hates multiculturalism. "You have to be a somewhere person. If you're in England, be English. Otherwise I don't think we can coexist." He "feels sorry" for Greta Thunberg, because her campaign to combat climate change has become "a vehicle for extreme Marxist ideologies". While pleading for others' views to be respected, Fox is aware that he is becoming increasingly intolerant. "I say, 'Can we just get on and not be mean to each other?' But I feel compelled to be mean to the wokies." Now, in his alter-ego as singer-songwriter, Fox is addressing these topics in his raspy baritone on his third album, A Grief Observed (think lyrics by Jordan Peterson, guitar by George Ezra). Songs about his acrimonious divorce from the actress Billie Piper — three years later, he claims finally to have recovered ("Now I just go, 'Thanks for the inspiration for the album,' " he grins) — alternate with ditties about no-platforming ("The first to fall was laughter, just to quell the unoffended," he sings).

"I've said some fairly hardcore things. I was worried it was going to be cancelled [by my record label]," he says cheerfully, sitting in that label's studios in north London, guitar over his knees. "I was going to call one of the songs MeToo, but I was banned. I should have stuck to my guns on that." He was inspired to write that song, now entitled Dead in the Eye ("Look at you in your plunging neckline . . . is it your righteous calling, to teach me how to hold my tongue?"), after seeing actresses at last year's Golden Globes, dressed in black — but nonetheless very revealing — outfits to mark the Time's Up campaign against sexual harassment in their industry. "These people are very aware of the erotic nature of their costume yet totally unaware of the hypocrisy of the message. It's not really a very musical subject matter, is it?" With, his lanky, jean-clad frame, slightly shambolic aura and tattoos, Fox could easily pass for one of the censorious hipsters he so loathes.

He is equally exercised by the open letter recently signed by 100 of his fellow thesps admitting they were "hypocrites" for supporting Extinction Rebellion while leading "high-carbon lives". "You're just like, 'F*** off!' Why is no one saying to them, 'Don't say it'? Or look at Prince Harry and Meghan: they're ultra-woke, but when they're on their little private jet they don't think it's bad. I cannot deal with the hypocrisy." Fox thinks this "virtue-signalling" is due to the arts being infiltrated by "leftism, as opposed to left in a traditional, good way". He was outraged by an email from his alma mater, Rada, asking for script submissions for plays with "at least 50% female representation in cast and character". It read: "We welcome writers of all genders but programme a higher percentage of scripts by those who identify as female." "This is the premium arts establishment in the UK. This is where you f****** go to learn how to act. I tweeted them saying, 'Really? You're going to go down this path, are you?' So now they don't like me very much." He pauses. "All this stuff really bothers me. Why does it bother me so much?" I reckon Fox's perturbation is rooted in his background. His father, James, now 80, starred in films such as The Servant and Performance, but then became an evangelical Christian, stopping acting for a decade. He and his wife, Mary, a nurse, brought up their five children in the faith.

"I was very rebellious against that, turning up to Bible study wasted. But it affected me, 100%. If you have a god, you're raised on the concept of sin and forgiveness; you can project your human imperfections onto that god and ask for repentance. But if you're a religion of one, which is what woke people are, there is no forgiveness: you want to be really compassionate but anyone who isn't as compassionate as you, you're evil towards. What would happen if we let those people be in charge?" Now Fox prays with his sons every night. "I like them to think their life has meaning and it's not just a social construct." The generation gap looms large in Fox's conversation. "Our parents taught us to think for ourselves and then stayed out of the way. Now our kids turn up with a preconceived idea about everything, which they're getting from school. My 11-year-old said the other day, 'Sorry if this is racist, but Mum's a better cook than you are'."

Recently, he continues, he had a brief relationship with a woman of 34. "She started telling me the Gillette advert [according to the company, intended to "make men accountable" for phenomena such as #MeToo] was a good idea. At that very moment I knew we were done."
Fox, 41, is best known for playing Detective Sergeant Hathaway in ITV's Lewis Fox is unperturbed when "the wokies" savage him on social media. "Actually they don't often try it on with me, because you can't try it on with someone who's not going to apologise. Or someone will go, 'You're a pompous, self-entitled public schoolboy prick', and you'll go, 'Lovely to meet you too,' and they're so shocked you engaged it stops right there." He has always "taken it as read" that he will be abused, like his father, for having attended Harrow (he was expelled after some nefarious behaviour at a sixth-form ball). "But if I wanted to, I could get offended. I could say, 'You're being posh-ist.' But it's not just public-school people who are getting grief; some poor people are being told they're as privileged as hell just because they're white males." Does he also attract accusations of nepotism? "At drama school, it was always the middle-class actresses with ambitious dads complaining about my surname. But you can't lose the Fox. It's not my fault. You can't go for people because of their identity; that has nothing to do with anything." He doesn't know how he'll vote. "I voted for 'Magic Grandpa' [Jeremy Corbyn] last time, but then I realised he was an anti-semitic old Marxist." The Tories receive a black mark for introducing hate-speech laws "and all the gender stuff. You're the Conservative Party, the clue's in the word! I would vote for a conservative party, but not this one." Fox knows his views may see him blacklisted by some. "I should probably say only correct things, but I have a sneaking suspicion if everybody does that, the world's going to die of boredom. The world needs a fool — not that I think I'm a fool. Though some may disagree."

Actor Laurence Fox slams stars who wore 'revealing' black dresses to support Time's Up campaign at the Golden Globes – and rages that Harry and Meghan are 'ultra-woke hypocrites'

- Laurence, 41, admits his new album targets politically correct 'woke culture'
- Reveals he wanted to name a song 'MeToo' but was banned by record bosses
- The song, now called Dead in the Eye, was inspired by stars protest at the Golden Globes when women wore black outfits to support the Time's Up movement
- Father-of-two slammed 'woke' actors for supporting Extinction Rebellion cause

By Sarah Finley For Mailonline |Published: 17th November 2019 | Updated: 17th November 2019

Actor Laurence Fox has slammed stars who wore 'revealing' black dresses to support the Time's Up campaign at the Golden Globes last year – and called Prince Harry and Meghan Markle 'ultra-woke hypocrites' for preaching about climate change while using 'their little private jet'. Laurence, 41, who has two sons with Billie Piper, made the extraordinary rant in an interview with the Sunday Times, while discussing the inspiration for his new album, A Grief Observed. The opinionated actor divulged he wanted to call a song on his album MeToo, but was banned from doing so by his record label. He says the song, now called Dead in the Eye, was sparked by the sight of Hollywood actresses wearing black at the Golden Globes in January 2018 in protest at sexual exploitation in the film industry.

He went on to call his fellow thespians 'hypocrites' for supporting Extinction Rebellion and said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shouldn't discuss leaving a carbon footprint if they travel on private jets. Talking about them he said: 'You're just like "F**k off! Why is no one saying to them, "Don't say it"? Or look at Prince Harry and Meghan: their ultra-woke, but when they're on their little private jet they don't think it's that bad. I can not deal with the hypocrisy.' Last year the actor claimed he was 'dating in the wrong age bracket' after sharing a post appearing to agree with comments made by Ann Widdecombe branding the #MeToo movement 'trivial whinging'. The actor, followed the statement with a broken heart emoji and shared a clip of the former Conservative MP, tirading on ITV's This Morning. Ann caused controversy when she ranted at Holly Willoughby by saying #MeToo 'hasn't achieved anything' and women have 'already won' their fight for equality.

In the Sunday Times interview he also went on to admit that the songs on his album say 'fairly hardcore things' and how surprised he was that his record label allowed him to release it. While he also claims to not be a 'Trump hater' and admitted, for a 'social experiment', he walked around South London in a Make America Great again hat. But the 'social experiment' didn't go well - with people telling him how 'disgusting' he was.

The actor, who has starred in Victoria and Lewis, was married to Billie Piper for eight years and they have two children together - Winston James, 11 and Eugene Pip, 7. They couple divorced in March 2016 and Laurence previously told the Sunday Times: 'It was quite a drastic life change. Goodbye, money! Goodbye, wife! Argh!' Billie and Laurence were involved in a lengthy custody battle over their two sons which finally ended last year. However today he claims to be over it and has says he's put the negative experience to good use: 'Now I just go, "Thanks for the inspiration for the album."' Laurence comes from a family of actors - his father James Fox appeared in films in the 60s and 70s, with the most notable being Thoroughly Modern Millie. While his mother is TV actress Joanna David. His sister Emilia Fox, 45 is best known for her TV roles including Silent Witness and his cousin Jack has starred in Fresh Meat and Rivera.

Jeremy Paxman joins in the affray :

Jeremy Paxman, 69, says old people are the only section of society it is still okay to mock while everyone else is off-limits in scathing attack on 'snowflake' generation

- Jeremy Paxman, 69, bemoans how easily-offended 'snowflakes' have taken over
- He launched a scathing attack on the ease with which so many take offence
- Paxman even warns snowflakes 'have taken charge in government departments'

By Daily Mail Reporter |Published: 1st July 2019 | Updated: 2nd July 2019

Once he had politicians in his sights. Now for Jeremy Paxman it's political correctness.

Jeremy Paxman

"The former Newsnight presenter has launched a scathing attack on the ease with which so many take offence and how it means that the elderly are the only people you can make jokes about" - image and narrative as it appeared in the Daily Mail on 2nd July 2019 - image courtesy & © of Lucy Young

The former Newsnight presenter has launched a scathing attack on the ease with which so many take offence and how it means that the elderly are the only people you can make jokes about. He also fired a broadside at the health and safety brigade in a world that 'seeks to avoid all danger'. Paxman, 69, bemoans how easily-offended 'snowflakes' have taken over. He writes that in our 'cowardly' world, pensioners might as well walk about with a sign pinned to their backs saying 'Kick me'. 'They are fair game because they do not bite back,' he says. This contrasts with some sectors of society – 'the cops, the legal system, the young, the dim, the gifted' – that cannot be mocked. 'There is an assumption that the word 'snowflake' can only be applied to oversensitive politically correct young people who can take offence at the slightest provocation,' Paxman says in his column in the latest edition of Saga magazine.

'The truth is the snowflakes have taken charge in government departments, in the media, in the universities and anywhere else immune from more pressing anxieties about their existence. Just about the only sector of society that is fair game is old people. I know, I have made plenty of jokes about them myself. The jokes have traction because, deep down, oldies feel slightly guilty at their good fortune. The cards fell well for them. But that's the nature of cards.' Paxman, who began writing for the monthly magazine in May, also criticises his former employers at the BBC, among others, for 'corporate idiocy' that lets 'snake oil salesmen' run courses on awareness. He cites a clip of his farewell appearance on Newsnight in 2014 in which, in a light-hearted stunt, he rode a tandem with then London Mayor Boris Johnson. A friend recently sent him a text saying: 'I am on a BBC Health and Safety Course. We have just been played footage of you and Boris riding a tandem.' Paxman writes: 'The film was being played as an exhibit, to illustrate the possible dangers of something or other. Putting Boris in charge of anything, probably. 'It shouldn't have surprised me that the defenceless drones at the state broadcaster are being made to sit through fatuous examples of 'hazardous' behaviour for it is the latest example of the corporate idiocy that can overtake organisations teetering on the brink of irrelevance.' He adds: 'Already every producer who films an interview ... has to fill in a hazard assessment form in case someone drowns in verbiage, is savaged by a giraffe or trampled by sensible shoes.'

Never thought I'd be agreeing with Jeremy Paxman LOL!

P.D. James says :

P.D. James quote

Speaking to the Paris Review in 1995

P. D. James is one of Britain’s most admired and best loved writers. Long considered the queen of crime and the doyenne of detective novelists, she has a large and varied readership beyond the confines of the genre and is praised by critics in such literary journals as the Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review. James was born in 1920 in Oxford and educated at The High School for Girls in Cambridge, where her family settled when she was eleven. Upon leaving school at sixteen, she started work, and in 1941 married Dr. Connor Bantry White with whom she had two daughters, Clare and Jane. Her husband returned from World War II mentally damaged and unable to work, and James was forced to earn a living for her family. She started working in the National Health Service and later moved to the Home Office, where she ended up as a principal in the Police Department. She published her first novel, Cover Her Face, in 1962, at the age of forty-two. In the three decades that followed, James wrote eleven more novels, achieving critical acclaim and increasing popularity. She “hit the jackpot” with her eighth novel, Innocent Blood, which shot to number one on the American best-seller list and brought her worldwide fame and fortune. To date she has sold over ten million copies of her books in the U.S. and tours regularly to publicize her novels and give lectures.

P. D. James’s first mainstream novel, Children of Men, a futuristic moral parable set in England in 2007, also gained considerable success. Her thirteenth and most recent novel, Original Sin, is set in the London publishing world and features detective Commander Adam Dalgliesh, the most famous detective since Sherlock Holmes and a protagonist of many previous novels. James was awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger in 1987 for lifetime achievement, and the Silver Dagger of the Crime Writers’ Association for her fourth novel, Shroud for a Nightingale. In the United States she has won the Edgar Allan Poe Scroll for the same novel, as well as for An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. Eight of her novels have been serialized on television. She is an associate fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, has won honorary degrees from four universities, and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of The Royal Society of Literature. In addition, James has served as the chairman of the literature panel of the Arts Council and as a governor of the BBC. In 1991 she was ennobled by the Queen and sits in the House of Lords as Baroness James of Holland Park. P. D. James lives in an elegant Regency house in Holland Park, London where her drawing room is furnished with comfortable armchairs and sofas, gilt mirrors, Staffordshire figures, and a fine bookcase containing the complete bound volume of Notable British Trials, “fascinating to read.” Source : The Guardian

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

John Cleese says :

It's condescending! Source : The Independent

Jphn Cleese and PC quote

Image sourced from with thanks (visit site for more variations)
"If you start to think "ooh, we mustn't criticise or offend them", humour is gone, with humour goes a sense of proportion, and then as far as I'm concerned we're living in 1984' - John Cleese"

Political correctness is killing comedy, says John Cleese: Monty Python star believes fear of offending certain groups could lead to 1984-style society where free expression is not allowed. Cleese speaks out on Big Think video about effect of political correctness

- Says can no longer perform at universities as any criticism seen as 'cruel'
- Claims those who can't control emotions want to control others' behaviour
- Says loss of humour will lead to dystopian police state, like Orwell novel 
- John Cleese says that political correctness and fear of offending could lead to a 1984-style society.
- The Monty Python star said he has now been advised not to perform on university campuses as the idea of political correctness has expanded so far that any kind of criticism is now seen as 'cruel'.

Veteran comic Cleese said it is down to people who cannot control their emotions, so seek to control others, and worries that it could lead to a society like that in the iconic dystopian Orwell Novel. He says: 'If you start to think "ooh, we mustn't criticise or offend them", humour is gone, with humour goes a sense of proportion, and then as far as I'm concerned we're living in 1984.'
Cleese, whose jokes about Germans and Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers could well be considered offensive today, said that 'all comedy is critical,' in a video for The Big Think. He explained how British newspapers offend him everyday with 'laziness, nastiness and inaccuracy,' but that he doesn't expect someone to stop it happening, he simply speaks out about it. Cleese goes on to say that people do not have the right to be 'protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion' as he defends the right of expression for comedians worldwide.
He then quotes psychologist Robin Skynner, saying: 'If people cant control their own emotions then they need to start controlling other people's behaviour,' as he continues the profound tirade.'
Cleese adds: 'When you're around people who are super-sensitive, you cant relax, be spontaneous as you have no idea what is going to upset them next. 'I've been warned recently not to go to university campuses because political correctness has been taken from being a good idea, from "lets not be mean particularly to people who are not able to look after themselves very well", to the point where any kind of criticism of any kind of individual or group can be labelled cruel. 'The whole point about comedy is that all comedy is critical.'
Cleese and the other comedians in Monty Python pushed the boundaries of comedy in the 60s and 70s, and movie Life of Brian - a spoof version of the story of Jesus - offended numerous groups. However, Cleese vehemently defends the right to speak through comedy, and this is not the first time he has spoken out about political correctness.
In 2014, he argued that it is 'condescending' as it only allows jokes to be made about certain groups while implying others need to be protected. Speaking to Bill Maher on HBO, the legendary comedian said he used to make jokes about the French and Australians - but if he mentioned Mexicans it was deemed unacceptable. He also joked that you can make jokes about Muslims, but if you do, 'they kill you'. Source : Daily Mail

Barry Cryer says :

Barry Cryer not a fan of pc-dom

Comedian Barry Cryer says the snowflake generation is too easily offended - image & narrative sourced from the article as it appeared in the Daily Mail

Comic Barry Cryer decries the snowflake generation

Comedian Barry Cryer says the snowflake generation is too easily offended. 'Comedy always risks being offensive, but the problem now is that people, especially young people, are waiting to be offended,' the 83-year-old tells me. 'We have to stop being so sensitive and make room for different opinions. 'There was a young comic recently who was going to do a gig in a university, and they gave him a list of topics he must not mention. He said: "Sorry, I'm not doing it." We mustn't do that! If somebody says something you disagree with, debate with them — don't ban them. Don't no-platform them.

Germaine Greer

'Germaine Greer, whom I've known for years, was no-platformed twice. 'She said, "If they disagree with me, get me up there and let them have a go at me!" That's what it's about.'

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.’

Joanna Lumley (National Treasure) says :

Joanna Lumley speaks out against polirical correctness

Joanna's scripted jokes at the BAFTA awards may have been cringeworthy but it's good that she can defend her performance!

Lighten up! says Joanna to her Bafta bash critics

Daily Mail | 7th March 2019

JOANNA LUMLEY, who played boozy fashionista Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous, has discovered that comedy is no laughing matter these days. After being criticised for making a joke about the Ku Klux Klan when she hosted the Baftas last month, she has now felt the need to apologise. 'I did what I have to do, which is read out the stuff that I am given, and I am so sorry,' says Lumley of her crack about the BlacKkKlansman movie doing 'so well at the Klan film festival'. But the actress, speaking from Down Under, goes on to suggest that our PC culture is too quick to take offence. 'We have gotten a little bit strange and sensitive. I think you are allowed to say Klan without being locked up in jail for being a racist. Maybe we are just getting a bit soft.'

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 :

Former party vice-chairman and Tory MP Andrew Rosindell says :

'What is happening to Boris Johnson is a direct attack on our freedom of speech. I fear an eruption of anger amongst our party's core voters and grass-roots activists if this obsessive political correctness doesn't stop.'

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

Britain's biggest beer festival BANS drinks with sexy names or racy images of women on the label in bid to attract more females to pubs

- Dizzy Blonde and Village Bike are not allowed at the Great British Beer Festival
- Organisers called time on labels featuring big-bosomed, semi-clad women
- Campaign for Real Ale wants to change the image of beer as just a men's drink as it tries to make its festival, which opened at London's Olympia, more inclusive

By Sean Poulter for the Daily Mail | Published: 7th August 2019 | Updated: 7th August 2019

Drinks with sexist names and labels have been banned from the UK's biggest festival of beer as campaigners try to attract more women to pubs. Brews with names such as Dizzy Blonde and Village Bike have not been allowed at this week's Great British Beer Festival. Organisers have also called time on beer pump clips and bottle labels featuring images of big-bosomed, semi-clad women.

The names have become a favourite method for some independent brewers to market their craft beers which are enjoying a sales boom. But the Campaign for Real Ale wants to change the image of beer as just a men's drink as it tries to make its festival, which opened at London's Olympia yesterday, more inclusive. National organiser Abigail Newton** said all 1,000 beers, ciders and perries on sale at the festival had been checked to make sure they adhere to Camra's new code of conduct. She said: 'It's hard to understand why some brewers would actively choose to alienate the majority of their potential customers.

'We need to do more to encourage female beer drinkers, which are currently only 17 per cent of the population. Beer is not a man's drink or a woman's drink, it is a drink for everyone.'

Comments made on Daily Mail article

A few comments made about the article - interesting that most are made by men and none are for the decisions taken in the new 'Code of Conduct' whatever they might be as nobody appears to have read them!

Last year Nottingham's Castle Rock Brewery changed the design of pump clips for its Elsie Mo beer from a picture inspired by US Second World War aircraft nose art of a woman in stockings and suspenders to one featuring 'Elsie Mo' as a heroic pilot.

Yes, you have seen the Elsie Mo story before, scroll down the page to 22nd January 2018 Castle Rock or click on the link to take you to the external article!

** Because I am not madly keen on on the wording used by Abigail Newton I have made my own protest direct to CAMRA HQ : "I should like to register my displeasure at the remarks made in this article stating women (I am one) being 'put off' going into pubs which display drinks with sexy names or racy images. "National organiser Abigail Newton said all 1,000 beers, ciders and perries on sale at the festival had been checked to make sure they adhere to Camra's new code of conduct. She said: 'It's hard to understand why some brewers would actively choose to alienate the majority of their potential customers." So CAMRA has become 'woke' and created a 'new code of conduct' - big deal, discrimination of women has been rife for decades, I've lived with it all my life, being disabled and of a Polish heritage didn't help either! And since when have women become the 'majority of Public House customers." I have for several years now willingly given my voluntary services to my local branch of CAMRA but honestly feel I may have to rescind my membership and stop volunteering if the bigotry displayed in this article is part of the 'new code of conduct.' Even a woman is belittling women and the discrimination continues. It was bad enough when Castle Rock capitulated and Elsie had to hide her suspenders ..... I challenge CAMRA to put out a national questionnaire to their women members only to give them a chance to say what they feel and then publish the results with no 'massaging' of the numbers! Shame! J'accuse!" - I should have added that I have a sound mind (if not body) and can make up my own mind whether to go into a pub or not but it won't be because there's a racy pump clip on display!

"The spoof snowflake who made a fool of the Lefties: 'Titania's' right-on Twitter nonsense was swallowed by an army of gullible followers... but she's really the satirical creation of a (male) Oxford academic, writes SARAH VINE

Titania SpoofNon Titania Spoof

For the uninitiated, Titania Gethsemane McGrath is a radical vegan, woke poet committed to feminism, social justice and armed, peaceful protest / This week we finally learned the identity of the person behind Titania. She was unmasked as Andrew Doyle, 40, a former private school teacher with a doctorate in early Renaissance poetry from Wadham College, Oxford - images and narrative from the Daily Mail article with images © S Meddle/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

- Titania McGrath on Twitter claimed to be radical vegan and woke feminist poet
- In reality, she was created by Andrew Doyle, a former private school teacher, 40
- Sarah Vine says secret of the character's success is, of course, her plausibility

By Sarah Vine for the Daily Mail | Published: 7th March 2019 | Updated: 08: 8th March 2019

Twitter, it is has to be said, is not known for its subtlety or sense of humour. With, that is, one notable exception: Titania McGrath. For the uninitiated, Titania Gethsemane McGrath is a radical vegan, woke poet committed to feminism, social justice and armed, peaceful protest. She works to expose racism, bigotry and misogyny. As she herself confesses: 'I was born woke. My wokeness is innate. It flows through me like a magical elixir, keeping my soul perched and poised for the fight.' Woke, for those of you born before 1990 who may, understandably, be unfamiliar with the term, is to be terribly earnest (or pretentious) about how much you care about social issues, particularly racism. I first came across this bespectacled, earnest-looking blonde on Twitter last summer, when someone on my timeline re-tweeted something she'd said. I wasn't really paying attention and took her words (something offensive about people who voted Brexit, as I recall) at face value. I was about to get all wound up about it (as one does on Twitter) until the friend messaged me to say it was a parody account to send up the modern obsessions with gender fluidity, identity politics and cultural appropriation.

I felt a bit stupid — and I wasn't the only one. Countless Twitter users have since been fooled by Titania — who has nearly 200,000 followers — and agreed with or railed against her earnest pronouncements. Twitter was taken in, suspending the account briefly following complaints last December. Even satirical magazine Private Eye recently featured a tweet by Titania McGrath in Pseuds' Corner. Luckily Titania was reinstated, her brush with the internet patriarchy having only served to strengthen her resolve in the face of Big Tech fascism. This week we finally learned the identity of the person behind Titania. She isn't even a woman (or, as she would put it, a non-binary feminist icon). She was unmasked as Andrew Doyle, 40, a former private school teacher with a doctorate in early Renaissance poetry from Wadham College, Oxford. Mr Doyle drew on his academic background when setting up the account, using the name Titania, the queen of the fairies in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. She is named after the queen of the fairies because I think all of this "woke culture" is an utter fantasy world,' he said. 'The people who promote this hyper-inclusive culture are fantasists.' For many of us, the modern millennial world is a minefield, a social battleground where, at any point, one could unintentionally blow oneself up. Many rail against it, others retreat to the sidelines. The genius of Doyle is that he takes it down in a way that is extremely witty — and clever. Such is his success that yesterday 'Titania' published her first book, 'Woke: A Guide to Social Justice.'

Thus, in Titania, we find all the arrogance ('I cannot but help come to the conclusion that I am the only living artist worthy of note), and entitlement ('beyond the provision of DNA and a modest trust fund, I cannot see what purpose my father has served') of today's self-styled social justice 'keyboard warriors'. She also exposes the unconscious bigotry (it is not racist to hate someone on the basis of their skin colour if that person is white) of the woke brigade. Oh, and let's not forget the hypocrisy: 'I was the only child of two barristers. I learnt only that my private education and frequent family holidays to Montenegro and the Maldives were merely a ruse by which my parents could distract me from my oppression.' The secret of the character's success is, of course, her plausibility. Social media is awash with people spouting nonsense, from the mad to the merely misinformed. Her Twitterings were just the right side of believable. Indeed, there are many occasions when she is indistinguishable from the likes of prominent figures such as left-wing journalists Owen Jones, writer Laurie Penny or columnist Afua Hirsch (who once argued Nelson's column in Trafalgar Square should be removed because it was a symbol of white supremacist patriarchal oppression). Or, as Titania herself would put it: 'If you don't think exactly the same way as me, then you've clearly got a lot to learn about diversity.' One of Titania's most convincing attributes is her lack of self-knowledge, a tendency to take for granted the privileges that come as standard for her generation — and an inability to see things from anyone else's point of view.

'People are far too sentimental about the elderly,' she writes. 'I am no longer helping them cross the street. They opted for Brexit, so as far as I'm concerned they can take their chances with the traffic. Remember too that these are the people who fought in the second World War. How can shooting at Germans be anything other than xenophobic?' Statements such as these are, of course, absurd and funny. But they also sail close to the wind. Compare the above with the comment of the former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg (the original virtue-signalling politician) in 2017 that older voters were to blame for Brexit and that, now they were dying off, a second referendum should be held in order for the younger generation to return the correct result, i.e. Remain. Or look at Prince Harry's speech on Wednesday. He said: 'You may find yourselves frustrated with the older generation when it seems like they don't care.' The world today is now so obsessed with maximum political correctness that it's hard to distinguish between reality and parody. Just as Bridget Jones was the embodiment of the anxiety-ridden Nineties feminist, a creation whose diary entries encapsulated all our hopes, fears and failures, so Titania McGrath is her millennial successor, a girl every bit as lost and confused, every bit as accurately observed — and equally, catastrophically, hilarious.

The 'woke' tweets that duped so many

- I have always stood up for minorities. As such, it is essential that we respect the wishes of the minority of UK voters and overturn Brexit.
- So what if Shamima Begum joined ISIS when she was 15? My sister got caught stealing a croissant on her gap year in Marseilles. TEENAGERS MAKE MISTAKES.
- I've been accused of living in a woke 'echo chamber' and that my opinions are out of touch with regular people. But - I've asked around my close friends and they all agree this isn't the case.
- I've been forced to muzzle my dog, because although it identifies as a cat it keeps bloody barking.
- White people: stop trying to help destitute Africans. I'm sure they'd rather starve than perpetuate negative racial stereotypes.
- Dieting is fat-shaming yourself.
- Straight men should be in a zoo.
- The media's coverage of ISIS is underpinned by deep-seated Islamophobia. If it isn't, how come they never say anything nice about them?

"A WhatsApp message nearly ruined my Marriage"

She who must be obeyed

"I was fixing breakfast for our three-year-old daughter Eva when my husband Jim's phone buzzed again. He'd been out with friends the night before and his mobile was on the worktop, along with the remnants of his greasy late-night pizza. Jim was upstairs in the shower, so, annoyed by the buzzing and curious at what could be that urgent, I picked it up. The messages were coming from a WhatsApp group of old friends he'd been out with. They were all middle-aged (and mostly married) but they'd ironically named the group 'Bangin' Nights Out'. The irony obviously strayed into the messages, which were full of text slang I'd never heard my well-spoken husband use. One message he'd sent a few hours earlier read: 'Can't come out again tonight, lads. No pass from SWMBO.' I had no idea what SWMBO meant and, assuming it referred to me, I googled it. The translation was a karate chop to the heart: 'Urban slang for a shrewish wife, She Who Must Be Obeyed'. As it sunk in, I was livid. It felt like a huge betrayal. I hadn't said a thing while he went on yet another night out, and this is how he'd repaid me.

When we met at university in the late 1990s, Jim and I had been in the same beer-swilling party crowd. We got together 10 years ago at a friend's wedding, but while my party days were winding down, Jim remained the life and soul. After we married in 2012, both aged 35, we'd go out with friends together, but while I left early, he'd crawl on to the futon hours later. I assumed this would change when Eva was born, but it didn't. By then I was a full-time mum and we lived off Jim's advertising salary, so he argued that as 'breadwinner' he needed to let off steam. I was too exhausted to fight. Plus, when Jim was home, he was the perfect husband. But that message brought it all to the surface and struck deeper than those absent nights. Finding out he referred to me as a nagging wife opened my eyes to Jim's disrespectfulness. That night, I confronted him. By then I was furious, having spent hours on men's internet forums where I'd found a world of other sexist slang, like OBC (old ball and chain) and SS (sensitive Sally). Shaking with anger, I asked how he could talk about me so cheaply. Sheepishly, almost on the verge of tears, Jim apologised, admitting that it was peer pressure from old mates to go drinking. He couldn't face their disapproval. 'I'm in my 40s, not 21. It's pathetic,' he said. His response took me aback, and I realised I'd been bracing myself for a row. But seeing him with his tail between his legs made me more furious. How could a grown man be so weak? I was sick of his constant partying, so the next morning, Eva and I moved in with my mother. Jim begged me to stay, but I was resolute.

For weeks I only spoke to him when dropping Eva off for visits. He was contrite, telling me he was ashamed of the effect his partying had on our family life. Gradually I softened, and four weeks later agreed to give it another go. On the day we returned, Jim had deep-cleaned the house, made a roast dinner and left the WhatsApp group – a small step but it meant a lot. These days his social life is no longer a battleground. He has the occasional night on the tiles, but in exchange I go out with friends. We also have dates – something we stopped doing when Eva was born. Looking back, I'm amazed I put up with his behaviour for so long, but we've belatedly reached a new adult phase in our relationship. We plan to move to the country and are expecting our second child – a boy. And he'll be the only immature male in our household." Source : The Daily Telegraph Magazine dated 27th January 2019

The Telegraph does not show the full text which is why it is reproduced here and fully visible in the scan of the article. What cannot be seen by non-subscribers are the comments from the general public - they are priceless! I was unable to upload my Fb comments to the Telegraph page until an hour or so ago as I did not have my password to hand whilst using another device, but have already received 4 likes from total strangers ....

My response on Fb : For the love of all that is holy ..... from today's Sunday Telegraph magazine feature 'A WhatsApp message almost ruined my marriage'. in short : wife looks at husband's phone after he's had a night out with the boys. She states the constant buzzing is annoying her. Seriously doesn't she know there's an OFF button? She sees a message from him referring to her as a SWMBO - don't you have to access an app to see what's in it? She looks up the acronym (she doesn't like the outcome) to discover it is 'Urban Slang for a shrewish wife, She Who Must Be Obeyed'. Ok maybe it is Urban Slang now in 2019 but it's not original or even accurate. 'She who must be obeyed (in full not an acronym) was coined by Sir H Rider Haggard a visionary author to describe 'She' (Ayesha) in the book of the same name. Ayesha was never a wife, but a lover - a jealous lover not a shrewish one. This book and its sequel are two of my favourite pieces from the era. Later, dear old 'Rumpole' written by John Mortimer and introduced as a BBC 'Play for Today' by my boss (Irene Shubik) used the expression affectionately and endearingly to describe his (not shrewish) wife Hilda who for a long time at the start of the LWT series (the BBC didn't take up the option for a series - silly them) was only referred to as 'She who must be obeyed' and those who thought that was the origin of the expression are two generations behind! Start reading folks!

The BBC clamps down on the use of 'The BBC Understands ......'

Snippet from Daily Mail dated 11.01.2019

Snippet from Daily Mail dated 11th January 2019

Recently (probably for a couple of years or more now) I have winced every single time I hear a BBC reporter, sitting in the comfort of the studio or in an Outside Broadcast (OB) situation start their report with the insidious 'the BBC understands .....' understands what? That their reporters are too lazy to confirm the words that are coming our of their mouths which they are reading from idiot boards (at least that's what we called them in the '70s) confirming their unprofessionalism? If my reporters hadn't verified their broadcasts, they'd have been sacked! The word of the BBC when I worked there was sacrosanct and the whole world knew that if Auntie broadcast a fact, then it was fact not fiction or anything in-between!

From Buzzfeed :

"From: Gavin Allen
Date: 4 January 2019 at 17:25:37
To: [redacted]
Subject: "The BBC Understands…"
I can't ever really see a reason to use this phrase: either it's true and we know it in which case just report the story, or we're unsure in which case don't report it until we are. It's also a slightly pompous distancing phrase as if the BBC is somehow different from us.
Gavin Allen
Head of BBC News Output"

Glad to see Gavin Allen had the guts to stick to his convictions and make them public - now if only he's send out a memo telling them that a;; 'ums' and 'ahs' and hesitations are 'verboten' to make the news dialogue seamless! (I'll leave the attacking of public figures by reporters for another time!)

From the 'Press Gazette' picked up on 10th January, 2019 :

BBC News staff have been told to stop using the phrase "the BBC understands" in a missive from the broadcaster's head of output. Gavin Allen described it as a "slightly pompous" and "distancing" phrase in an email to staff, seen by Buzzfeed News. The use of "understands" is common practice across the news media, where it can be used relay information from an off-the-record source (or sources) that a journalist believes to be correct. But, it is sometimes wrongly used to disguise the fact that a story was first published by a rival news outlet.

The full email from Allen reads: "I can't ever really see a reason to use this phrase: either it's true and we know it in which case just report the story, or we're unsure in which case don't report it until we are. "It's also a slightly pompous distancing phrase as if the BBC is somehow different from us." In response to an online question in February last year about the use of "BBC understands", BBC News producer David Waddell said it refers to "something BBC journalists have learned through their own endeavours… and typically news that we are reporting ahead of our competitors".

The updated BBC News style guide for November 2018 does not discourage use of the phrase. Under the "sources" heading in its style guide, BBC News said: "Good sourcing is critical. News agencies often run with a partial account because they are trying to beat the opposition. "In such circumstances, tell the readers who is saying what." Several reporters from other outlets accused the BBC of using the phrase to report information from other outlets without proper credit. Taking issue with the suggestion the phrase referred to information gathered by the BBC, Mail on Sunday deputy political editor Harry Cole tweeted: "Hmmm or mostly it is something they've read in the papers and had been given the nod on it.. 99 per cent without credit to paper. Sunday Times reporter Rosamund Urwin said: "And how many times has 'the BBC understands' actually meant 'the BBC has read in a newspaper and doesn't want to admit that'. Speaking from bitter experience obviously."

BBC News did not comment further on the email. - I bet they didn't!

It's 2019 and you couldn't make it up!

Song and Dance over Les Mis article referencing lack of songs in dramatised adaptation

Snippet from the Daily Mail dated 2nd January 2019

Researching further I found this on Daily Mail On-Line :

'Les Mis without the music is just depression with a dash of revolution': BBC's song-free adaptation of Les Misérables baffles fans of the musical

- BBC One's new six-part adaptation of Les Misérables got underway on Sunday (30th January 2018)
- Some viewers were disappointed by the lack of hits such as I Dreamed A Dream
- But others pointed out that the original Les Mis was an 1862 novel with no songs

By Tim Stickings For Mailonline |Published: 10:15, 1 January 2019 | Updated: 11:43, 1 January 2019

The BBC's new adaptation of Les Misérables has left some viewers disappointed over the lack of music. Twitter users said the show was 'dull' and 'not the same' without the celebrated numbers from the musical. But others pointed out that the original Les Misérables was a 19th-century novel, and the songs did not appear until the musical began in 1980. The six-episode BBC One series got underway on Sunday starring Olivia Colman and Dominic West.

- One viewer wrote: 'I think what's really clear about Les Misérables is that if you take the music out .... IT IS SOOOO DULL!!
- 'The book was DULL and the original films are DULL!! That is why it works as a musical.'
- Another commenter said: 'I can't get into this new version of Les Misérables. Needs more music.'
- A third wrote: 'Les Misérables isn't the same without the music and songs.'
- And another said: 'Les Mis without the music is just a whole lot of depression with a dash of revolution.'

- But another user told viewers to stop complaining, saying that 'when the book was written it had no songs'.
- Another said: 'It seems there is a large percentage of the population who have no idea that Les Misérables was published in 1862. Without songs.'

Songs such as Do You Hear The People Sing and I Dreamed A Dream were first created for the Les Misérables musical in Paris in 1980. It opened in London in 1985 and has run continuously in the West End since, while the 2012 film adaptation also featured the songs from the musical. The BBC's adaptation was watched by 4.5 million people, according to overnight ratings, giving it a 23.2 per cent audience share.

Les Miserable Tweet of Horror 1

Les Miserable Tweet of Horror 2

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Yet again words fail me! How is it that people, in this day and age, still do not know when a musical is based on a book, don't people read any more? I have no interest in this, IMHO, overrated 'classic' which like many things is given a label and people believe the label. Even Dickens 'A Tale of Two Cities', although lightweight in comparison, would teach the deniers more than the Victor Hugo epic ...... In the end, having said we would not, Andrew and I have now seen the first episode (of 6) of the new dramatisation and he wants to persevere. I can take it or leave it and will probably play computer games on my iPad when it is on. We saw the film of the musical (not the stage version, which had never appealed anyway) as my sister, Marysia, had expressed an interest in doing so (not one of her better choices) and all of us came out in a form of shell-shock. She was heard muttering for the rest of the day 'I've read that in the original French, I had to as part of my education .....' and the funniest thing about the film was a comment made by someone who had seen an earlier screening (as we waited our turn in the foyer) and said to her companion in full English accent 'No wonder they call it The Miserables'. I can only guess that she had no idea what she was going to see other than it was a musical and possibly because it starred Hugh Jackman!

More 'Apologies' from the Apologists - is the tide turning in our favour?

'Take down the white men': students' union president apologises for WWI gaffe

The Independent | 26th Oct 2018 | Eleanor Busby Education Correspondent

- Emily Dawes called for the mural to be replaced (University of Southampton)

- A students' union president has been forced to apologise after she threatened to paint over a university mural dedicated to First World War heroes.
- The president of the University of Southampton's Students' Union has sparked outrage online after tweeting that she would take down, or paint over, the "mural of white men".
- Emily Dawes faced a backlash for her comments on the artwork at the university – which shows a young soldier being given a degree – and she has now apologised for the upset caused.

The original tweet said: "Mark my words – we're taking down the mural of white men in the uni Senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself." More than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling on Ms Dawes to stand down over her post on Twitter, with some critics describing her comments as "disrespectful" and "ignorant".

Mural painted by Sor William Rothenstein in 1916

The Rothenstein Mural - Image sourced from the Daily Echo

The mural was painted by Sir William Rothenstein in 1916 as a memorial to members of British universities who served in the war and was presented to Southampton in 1959 by the artist's son. Ms Dawes has now apologised for the offence caused saying she "never meant the disrespect to anyone past, present and future"and she had no intention for the tweet to be taken "literally". She added: "My intention was to promote strong, female leadership and not the eradication and disrespect of history. I do not believe that to make progress in the future, we should look to erase the past."

A university spokesperson said: "The comments made by the students' union president regarding the Rothenstein Mural are not shared by the University of Southampton and do not represent the views of the university community. We are very proud to display the mural, painted in 1916, which serves as a memorial to all members of British universities who served in the Great War." A statement from the students' union said: "We apologise for the recent statement from our president regarding the Rothenstein Mural and any upset this may have caused. This is a personal view and not that of the union. We do not believe the statement was said to cause upset or disrespect to anyone and does not follow our mission or values." It comes after Cambridge University students received death threats this month after a proposal to encourage more students to commemorate British war veterans on Remembrance Day was rejected. And in the summer, Manchester Students' Union came under fire when staff painted over Rudyard Kipling's 'If' in a protest against the "racist" poet.

Yayy the Fightback! "Come off it Keira, you're the ultimate Cinderella!" JAN MOIR says actress Knightley banning her children from watching Disney films is ironic"

By Jan Moir for the Daily Mail : Published: 19th October 2018 | Updated: 19th October 2018

Keira Knightley says she won't let her daughter watch Cinderella and certain other Disney films as they are not feminist enough and don't feature strong female characters. Many mothers might not allow their daughters to watch some Keira Knightley films for exactly the same reason. I mean, come on, sisters. Let's not forget that in Love Actually — a straightforward reworking of the Cinderella fairy tale, in which tea lady Martine McCutcheon falls in love with prime minister Hugh Grant — Keira stars as Juliet, the gorgeous, but drippy, bride whose sole purpose in the film is to hold the male gaze and be super-nice to her stalker.

What a hypocrite. In a film version of King Arthur, Keira stars as a plucky Guinevere (wearing little more than two straps of leather on her top half), yet her good deeds are drowned in a sea of armour-clanking machismo by Lancelot and all of his swashbuckling pals. Even in Pirates Of The Caribbean, the Hollywood franchise that made her a multi-million-pound fortune, Keira's character wasn't allowed to carry a sword in the first film. Usually, she floated around in frocks and had to listen while swordplay and fighting were mansplained to her by guys in eyeliner.

Yet, on the U.S. chat show Ellen this week, Miss Knightley polished her fem creds by stating that Edie, her three-year-old daughter, has been banned from watching Cinderella because the character 'waits around for a rich guy to rescue her'. Instead, Keira wants her daughter to rescue herself. Cue whoops and excruciating applause from the dim-bulb audience at this bold display of 21st-century feminism. Keira was also dismissive of that perennial favourite The Little Mermaid, because the main character 'gives [her] voice up for a man'. Look. We have been here before with fairy tales and Disney films that fail to make the modern feminist grade. Rapunzel letting down her hair, whassat all about? Goldilocks being subservient to those beasts the Three Bears? And don't get me started on Snow White — but only because actress Kristen Bell has got there first.

The star of Frozen (she was the voice of Anna) and Bad Moms claimed this week that Snow White is sending the wrong message to children about sexual consent. The prince should have asked for permission before he kissed her — then (in the original Disney classic in 1937) and now. No joke, but Kristen is also worried about the apple that features in the fairy tale, fretting it gives the wrong message about taking food from strangers. But the kiss remained her chief concern. 'Don't you think it's weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission?' she asked her daughters, Lincoln, five, and Delta, three. Well darling, if they didn't before, they do now. Kristen has been boasting lately of her love of smoking dope at home and it would be wrong of anyone to assume her views on fairy tales are in any way related to her consumption of mind-altering drugs.

Keira Knightley the press fight back

However, if we start to censor innocent, much-loved traditional stories and popular films because of how women are depicted, where does that lead us? Into the stifling grip of a fairy tale Taliban who would defile any form of art that does not conform to approved ideology. Where would it end? Would the KK (Keira and Kristen) ban Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice (Keira starred as Elizabeth Bennet in a 2005 film adaptation) or Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, which both feature women who are, ultimately, redeemed and made happy by wealthy men? If little girls are to be shielded from the fiction of happy ever after, how can they judge the reality of someone like Meghan Markle: the former restaurant hostess who once couldn't afford to fix her car, but then married the handsome, millionaire prince and used him to spread her feminist message — on the official royal website!

We want the best for the next she-generation — but we also want to give them the space to dream little girl dreams, too. Or else what are we raising? A chippy little terracotta army of man-hating warriors who would rather die than wear pink or be nice to boys? Like many of my generation, I grew up with a well-thumbed book of Grimms' Fairy Tales. It had a blue and gold cover and tattered pages that contained all the horror and joy and danger and creepiness that Mittel Europe had dreamed up for centuries. It was equal parts terrifying and liberating — yet few were gulled into thinking that being Cinders or Snowy was a viable career option or a life choice to be admired. What is galling is the assumption made by Keira and Kristen that other women — even their own daughters — are not as clever as them. That they are not smart enough to work it out for themselves, like they did. Instead, the literature they read and the films they watch must now be sanitised and controlled — or humanity must face the consequences.

The great irony is Keira Knightley herself. Even her greatest fans would have to admit the 33-year-old actress has gone a long, long way on her exceptional beauty — rather than on her not-incredibly-impressive acting skills. Keira is the greatest Cinderella of them all, and that's the terrible truth about her fairy tale success.

Keira Knightley reveals she's BANNED her daughter Edie from watching Cinderella and Little Mermaid because of the films' gender representations

By MailOnline Reporter - 16th October, 2018

She currently stars in period drama Colette, a film based on an author's fight to challenge gender norms of the 20th century. And Keira Knightley has revealed she wants her daughter Edie, three, to follow in the writer's footsteps and has banned her from watching Disney classics Cinderella and Little Mermaid because the characters are 'rescued by men'. During her appearance on Ellen on Monday, the screen star, 33, proved to be every inch the doting mother as she insisted she would support her daughter in 'anything she wants to do' with her future career.
The Pride & Prejudice actress, who shares her only child with husband James Righton, detailed her thoughts on the award-winning movies. Keira proudly said: 'She's banned from watching Cinderella, as the film is about waiting around for a rich guy rescue her – no, rescue yourself!
'She's also banned from watching Little Mermaid - do not give your voice up for a man! But I do love the songs', she added. Admitting that she's allowed to watch some cartoon films, she said: 'She likes Finding Dory (the 2016 adventure film Ellen, 60, starred in).' The Bend It Like Beckham star, who is known for sustaining a private personal life, also lifted the lid on her daughter's desires to become a lion: 'She wanted to be a dentist, I'm not sure why, she loves Peppa Pig and fell in love with a dentist episode.' 'Now she wants to a be a lion, she roars very well! Even if she wanted to be an actress, I'm going to support her in anything she wants to do.'

Keira touched on the difficulties of motherhood as she spoke about her Edie's sleeping pattern: 'My daughter is three and a half, she's only just sleeping through the night, a week ago she did for the first time.' Her appearance comes after she revealed musician James, 35, has put his 'life on hold' to care for their daughter so she can work. The former Klaxons star has put his 'life on hold' to care for their daughter so she can work. Keira praised her 'amazing' spouse for taking time out from his music career to take on as many parenting duties as he can when it comes to looking after their three-year-old girl. Speaking to OK! magazine, she said: 'He has been amazing. He's been travelling with me since we had her. He's largely put his life on hold to make sure that I'm still at work and that we're keeping together as a family unit. 'I'm super lucky, I can afford child care. I have a wonderful nanny that has travelled with us as well. When she's there, I feel completely safe that Edie is good. And my mum, whenever my husband can't be there, has flown to wherever we are. Adding: 'They say it takes a village to raise a child - it takes a village to keep a woman at work as well. But if that's where she should be then everybody is very supportive and it's possible.'

Oh and seriously, are we expected to take Keira Knightley seriously - I knew all the stories as a child and I never believed I would live like a fairy tale princess, thank goodness for that or would I have survived all the hard knocks life threw at me? And as for 'rich guys rescuing' a girl, surely, ultimately it is the responsibility of the mother to explain the difference between fact and fiction to a child - who does Keira think is going to explain that to her daughter? A teacher at school, her doting grandmother, the whole village? Anybody but Keira the Great! What surprises me is that none of the reporting has picked up on the fact that Keira stars in many pieces written by her mother - why weren't these roles given to other unknowns ........ so Keira does not think her daughter should rely on a man to rescue her, but will her daughter follow in Keira's footsteps and have every genuine expectation that she will always be there to rescue her. Seriously the woman needs to look into her soul and keep her opinions to herself!

Youngest Spitfire Pilot held up as an example to the dandruff generation besmirching Kipling

Daily Mail | By Leo Mckinstry For The Daily Mail| Published: 21st July 2018 | Updated: 21st July 2018

Memoir of the youngest Battle of Britain pilot reveals his courage in a Spitfire following his death aged 96

The Article was originally called Originally called 'A story of raw heroism every snowflake should read' in hard copy paper

- Geoffrey Wellum the youngest surviving pilot to fly in the Battle of Britain has died aged 96
- On joining 92 Squadron at RAF Northolt, Wellum had not completed his training 
- He was a courageous pilot, playing a heroic part in the fight against the Luftwaffe

Geoffrey Wellum youngest Spitfire Pilot

Wellum's youth proved no hindrance in his daring combat missions through the skies above southern England - image as used in the Daily Mail

On the eve of the Battle of Britain, when Geoffrey Wellum first reported for duty at his RAF squadron base, the adjutant was appalled at the 18-year-old airman's lack of experience 'It's totally bloody stupid. What a way to try to win a war,' said the adjutant. Those feelings were understandable. On joining 92 Squadron at RAF Northolt, Wellum had not completed his training, had less than 100 hours of solo flying, and had not even seen a Spitfire, never mind flown one. Yet Wellum, who has just died at the age of 96, turned out to be a supremely effective, courageous pilot, playing a heroic part in the victorious fight against the Luftwaffe in those crucial months of 1940 His youth, which inspired the nickname of 'Boy' within the RAF, proved no hindrance in his daring combat missions through the skies above southern England. As the youngest Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain, still aged just 19 at the height of the conflict, he earned a special place in the pantheon of 'The Few', the phrase famously coined by Winston Churchill to describe the men of Fighter Command who saved our nation in the hour of its greatest peril. Wellum's death comes in the very week that sees the cinema release of a new documentary about the Spitfire, which the Mail's critic Brian Viner described yesterday as impossible to watch 'without shedding a tear'.

Wellum was one of the Battle of Britain veterans interviewed for the film, speaking with poignant but self-deprecating eloquence about his love affair with the iconic plane and the ordeal of combat. 'Being shot down didn't appeal to me,' he said at one stage, with typical RAF understatement. Wellum's contribution to the documentary had all the more resonance because he was the author of perhaps the finest wartime memoir ever written by a Spitfire pilot. Based on his own contemporary notes and published in 2002, this extraordinary book, entitled First Light, went on to become a bestseller, thanks to its vivid descriptions of the air struggle. On joining 92 Squadron at RAF Northolt, Wellum had not completed his training, had less than 100 hours of solo flying, and had not even seen a Spitfire, never mind flown one. With his compelling language, Wellum made readers feel as if they were actually in the Spitfire, as shown in this passage about targeting a Messerschmitt 109 over the English Channel: 'A shade more . . . that's nice . . . you're there, Geoff. The guns fire. I must have pressed the tit [firing button]. A huge puff of white vapour explodes from the entire section of the 109. Masses of it. 'The whole area of the cockpit is enveloped in one great mass of steam. What a burst. That's really clobbered him and, almost before I stop firing, he turns quickly on his back and goes straight into the sea like a gannet.' But Wellum did not shy away from the grim realities of war, including the sense of desolation at the loss of his own comrades, the brutal confusion of so many aerial battles and the impulse for revenge. 'A short time ago, I killed a man. I was excited and elated, totally taken up with the chase. Now this terrific sense of peace. What a strange life we pilots lead,' he wrote.

A further striking theme of First Light is Wellum's profound love of his country, which he was determined to protect, even at the cost of his own life. The text is infused with both lyrical passages about the appeal of England and his fury at the German enemy. Flying over Kent to intercept a Luftwaffe formation, he recorded his enchantment at the landscape and the patriotic affection it triggered: 'Trout streams, water meadows, waders, fast-flowing water, the pretty barmaid at the inn. Dear Jesus, why this?' In another section, he wrote of a pursuit of a German bomber: 'There goes my fox. I find myself gulping with excitement and tension. I'll give you something to take home with you, you stinking great Kraut. You'll know you've been in a fight, even if you get me in the attempt.' Such language would, no doubt, strike today's po-faced snowflake youngsters as appalling on every level. Imbued with the belief that patriotism is a vile form of xenophobia, they could not comprehend the concept of self-sacrifice for the national cause. Nor would this lot — so eager to take offence, such as the Manchester University students who this week censored Rudyard Kipling's poem 'If' because of its supposed links to imperialism and racism — have any grasp of the valour it took to fly on constant sorties, sometimes four or five a day, against daunting odds. A World War Two Supermarine Spitfire like the one Geoffrey Wellum, the youngest surviving pilot to fly in the Battle of Britain flew.

Consider this: at the peak of the Battle of Britain, the life expectancy of a Fighter Command pilot was just four weeks. Yet, instead of wailing about 'stress', bleating about 'trigger warnings' and demanding 'safe spaces', figures like Wellum showed the most remarkable insouciance. Wellum's book, which was made into a BBC film in 2010, showed that he was a natural writer, but he never intended to be one. He had begun the memoir in the mid-Seventies, when at a low ebb because of business troubles and the break-up of his marriage. 'I had nowhere to live. Everything was going pear-shaped,' he later confessed. So, without any intention of publication, he started to write about his war in order to tell himself 'that at some point I had been of use'. The memoir resided for years in a drawer at Wellum's home in Cornwall, until one day he casually showed it to the military historian and author James Holland, who was researching a novel about the RAF. Overwhelmed by the quality of the prose, Holland brought the manuscript to Penguin books, which immediately offered Wellum a generous deal. Having received the news by telephone when he was having a drink in one of his favourite Cornish pubs, he felt astonishment that the London literary world was interested in his tale. 'They picked me up off the floor and poured another Scotch into me.' Despite his ingrained modesty, the phenomenal success of First Light brought Wellum a great deal of pleasure in his final decades. Until then, there had been a sense of anti-climax about his post-war life — hardly a surprise given the emotional intensity of his youthful combat experience. As he once put it: 'I reached the pinnacle of my life before the age of 22.' Throughout his formative years, Wellum had wanted to be an RAF pilot. He was born in Walthamstow in 1921, the only child of a businessman who had been a quartermaster sergeant at Gallipoli during World War I, and later managed an off-licence. The family were sufficiently prosperous to send Geoffrey as a boarder to Forest School in Snaresbrook, where he excelled at sports, especially cricket. 'I was a cocky little bugger, a bit full of myself,' he later recalled. But it was precisely this self-confident precociousness that drove him to fulfil his ambition of joining the RAF. 'I am going to be a pilot and that is all that matters,' he wrote in First Light. Even when he was still at school in 1939, he was accepted by the Air Ministry for a training place, beginning his formal instruction on Tiger Moths. His initial flight only reinforced his dreams of an RAF career, as he felt the 'quivering, bracing wires, the buffering of the slipstream and the sensation of being suspended into mid-air'. But, in contrast to this exhilaration, there were tough times as well. Wellum struggled to gain a mastery of the plane's controls, while his early experiences of night flights were terrifying. On one occasion, he nearly wrote off his plane by crashing into a lamp at his aerodrome and was grounded for several days as a disciplinary action. 'You must start to think about growing up, Wellum. The RAF wants men, not boys,' he was told by a senior officer. But Wellum did not buckle. Aged just 18, he carried on and was rewarded for his persistence by being given operational duties in the Spitfire with 92 Squadron, based for much of the Battle of Britain at Biggin Hill. Like so many RAF pilots, it was love at first sight for Wellum and the legendary plane.

'I let off the brakes and slowly open the throttle. There is a rich, throaty growl from the Merlin engine as I open up still further. The acceleration is something I have never experienced before,' he wrote of his first flight, which saw him 'sweep effortlessly about the sky' while he revelled in the 'grace and curved beauty' of the Spitfire. Wellan joining others to watch a flypast following a service marking the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Britain at Westminster Abbey, London But, as Wellum found, the plane was not just aesthetically elegant, it was also a deadly fighting machine, capable of high manoeuvrability and a heavy punch. Of one battle against a large Luftwaffe bomber fleet, he wrote in First Light: 'I glance round at the ten brave little Spitfires and a strengthened resolve flows through me. There's not many of us, but we'll knock the s**t out of some of you.' Wellum deservedly won the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in the Battle of Britain. After the Luftwaffe's defeat in the autumn of 1940, Fighter Command went on the offensive against the Reich, carrying out raids against Nazi-occupied France. Once more, Wellum was at the heart of the action, undertaking more than 100 missions in this theatre, though the strain of relentless fighting began to take its toll. 'One lives with fear, especially at night when sleep comes with difficulty,' he wrote. Fortunately, he now had the support of a girlfriend, Grace Neil, whom he went on to marry in 1943, but the pressures of RAF service continued. After a spell as an instructor, in August 1942 he participated in the highly dangerous operation to relieve the siege of the beleaguered island of Malta. Now a flight commander, he had to lead his squadron from the deck of HMS Furious, a risky manoeuvre given that Spitfires had never been designed for maritime aviation. Yet, with his usual pluck, Wellum led a successful mission, with all his Spitfires landing on the island to support the fight against the Axis powers. The reinforcement of aerial defences there was one of the turning points in the Mediterranean War, saving Malta, cutting off the German supply lines and ultimately enabling the triumph of El Alamein in North Africa. But by the autumn of 1942, Wellum was exhausted. Plagued by severe headaches, he was diagnosed with acute sinusitis, underwent major surgery and then returned to England on sick leave. 'I had no reserves left . . . I felt destroyed by the war,' he wrote. On his recovery, with the help of Grace, he was able to work again with the RAF, first as a test pilot with Gloster aircraft, and then as a gunnery instructor.

He remained with the service after the war for another 16 years and undertook important work for the Nato alliance, including 50 special operations with 192 Squadron in which he gathered intelligence about Soviet air strength and, in the Suez crisis of 1956, Egyptian radar defences. His final posting was to North Luffenham in Rutland, where he worked with the Americans on the deployment of the Thor missile system, the world's first operational ballistic nuclear weapons. After 22 years in the RAF, Wellum retired in 1961, but there was a sense of unfulfilment about the subsequent years. His marriage to Grace — which had produced three children — ended in divorce in 1975, while his career in the City of London was short-lived. A later attempt to run a road haulage business also ended in failure, with the result that he retreated to Cornwall. The publication of First Light was, in its way, his redemption. Geoffrey Wellum finally received the recognition he deserved for his wartime exploits, though with characteristic modesty, he saw the book as a wider tribute to the spirit of Fighter Command. With Wellum's death, there are just nine Battle of Britain pilots left. We must cherish them, and the memories of their departed colleague. We owe our freedom to their unselfish patriotism.

Serena Williams takes up Kipling's cause

Serena Williams speaking up for Kipling

The video shows Serena  Williams playing a series of tennis shots as she recites the poem - image as used in the Daily Mail

By Guy Adams for the Daily Mail |Published: 20th July 2018 | Updated: 20th July 2018

- Why Rudyard Kipling's classic poem 'IF' so vilified by Snowflake students is rightly revered by tennis star Serena Williams
- Victorian writer's 300-word celebration of hard work is offensive to minorities
- Kipling was born in Bombay in 1865 and was an advocate of the British Empire
- This in the eyes of modern critics is enough to render all of his work verboten

'Williams, who arguably has done more in her lifetime to advance racial and sexual equality than any other living athlete, is like many fans inspired by the poem's celebration of stoicism and bravery in the face of adversity' The poet Rudyard Kipling was a terrible old racist who 'dehumanised people of colour' and 'stands for the opposite of liberation, empowerment and human rights'. His most popular literary work must therefore be censored. So says one Sara Khan, a self-styled 'queer Muslim woman' who currently rejoices in the job title of 'liberation and access officer' at the University of Manchester's Students Union. This week, Ms Khan presided over a widely reported protest that saw excitable undergraduates daub paint over a new mural of Kipling's poem 'If' that had been added to the Union building in an attempt to motivate students. (In its place, they wrote out a poem by the black American writer Maya Angelou.)

Apparently, the Victorian writer's 300-word celebration of hard work and bloody-minded determination — which has several times been voted Britain's favourite poem — is offensive to ethnic minorities. The reason? Kipling, who was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1865, was, like the vast majority of his countrymen, an advocate of the British Empire. Though many of his famous works, such as the novels Kim and The Jungle Book, contain nuanced and affectionate portrayals of indigenous cultures, some, notably the poem The White Man's Burden, portray other races as inferior. This, in the eyes of modern critics, is enough to render all of his work verboten. Including the famous poem 'If'. They are, of course, entitled to their view. But perhaps these sensitive souls should be a little more generous in the way they judge the social opinions that were held in another age. Or they could take a lesson from the likes of the black tennis star Serena Williams. She has walked past a mural of 'If' on each of the ten occasions she has contested a singles final at Wimbledon, since its most famous lines are carried above the entrance to Centre Court, to inspire players.

Serena has walked past a mural of 'If' on each of the ten occasions she has contested a singles final at Wimbledon, since its most famous lines are carried above the entrance to Centre Court, to inspire players. Williams, who arguably has done more in her lifetime to advance racial and sexual equality than any other living athlete, is like many fans inspired by the poem's celebration of stoicism and bravery in the face of adversity. Last year, she even decided to publish a recording of herself reading a specially adapted version, to celebrate International Women's Day. In the recording, Williams replaced Kipling's final line ('You'll be a Man, my son!') with a form of words more appropriate to the occasion. Namely: 'You'll be a woman, sister!' Some might take the view that Serena's adoption of the 1910 poem highlights the extraordinary degree to which it can remain relevant and inspiring more than a century after publication.

But apparently Manchester's right-on student leaders know better as they sparked yet another round of soul-searching about British cultural icons being demonised by the insidious forces of political correctness. Yesterday, critics accused Ms Khan of 'liberal fascism', arguing that even George Orwell, who once described Kipling as a 'jingo imperialist', might have found recent events a touch, well, Orwellian.
Equally vociferous supporters, meanwhile, stood by her, arguing that Kipling was 'imperialistic and racist' and that the mural was therefore 'inappropriate'. One thing neither side bothered to consider, though, was what 'If' is actually about. For while admirers consider it a brilliant motivational text and Left-wing critics regard it as a stiff-upper-lipped celebration of outmoded values, the truth is that Kipling's poem is a unique, and in its own way quite subversive, take on a little-known chapter in Britain's colonial history. Indeed, had Ms Khan, who claims to be an English Literature student, bothered to actually study the work, she would have learned that it was intended as a bitter condemnation of one of our government's largely forgotten imperial adventures in 1890s Africa. The poem was in fact written to celebrate the exploits of Dr Leander Starr Jameson, a buccaneering Scottish adventurer and friend of Kipling who was betrayed and imprisoned by the British Government.
Jameson, a medical doctor who boasted the Matabele chief Lobengula as a patient — and was made an honorary tribal 'induna', or adviser, in return — came to grief in 1896 when leading an audacious military raid on Boers in the Transvaal region of what would later become South Africa.

Kipling's poem celebrates what he saw as his heroism and bravery, when faced with the duplicity of the British ruling class.
To understand why, we must wind the clock back to the 1890s, when the region was divided into four major colonies: two British (the Cape Colony and Natal) and two Boer ones (Orange Free State and Transvaal). Why is Rudyard Kipling a polarising figure? Once revered as the Bard of Empire, Rudyard Kipling has often been viewed as something of an embarrassment in the post-colonial world. Critics have pointed to his poem Gunga Din (1890), which is written from the point of view of an English soldier in India about an Indian water-bearer, and lines from his novel Kim (1901) such as 'My experience is that one can never fathom the Oriental mind' as examples of how he was a racist.
But academics also say that he had a deep affinity with India and was often affectionate towards the Indian subjects of his work. Last night Rana Mitter, professor of the history and politics of modern China at Oxford University, who has a Bengali family background, described Kipling as 'very respectful of India as a culture and society'. He said: 'Kipling understood India better than his British contemporaries. If you read a poem like Gunga Din you'll see that it isn't contemptuous of India at all, but is respectful. 'However, Kipling was a product of late- Victorian Britain and had prejudices that were commonplace at that time.' Professor Mitter said Kipling's The Ballad Of East And West, which contains the famous line 'East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet', is more problematic. Born in Bombay in 1865, Kipling was sent away to school in England when he was five. In 1882 he returned to India, where he worked for newspapers. Aside from his poetry, among his best known work is The Jungle Book from 1894, which became a children's classic and inspired a film produced by Walt Disney in 1967. He died in 1936.

Even though Kipling became the first English-speaking recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907, he refused a knighthood and the Order of Merit from the British Government and the King, along with posts of Poet Laureate and Companion of Honour, saying he would not accept an award that would identify him with one country. In private, the author liked to refer to his sovereign, Edward VII, as 'a corpulent voluptuary'.
This disdain for the authorities — again something today's angry young Lefties should, in theory, applaud — was cemented when Kipling's only son, Lieutenant John Kipling, was killed in the Great War Battle of Loos in 1915. John's body was never found, prompting Kipling to write: 'If any question why we died / Tell them because our fathers lied.' His sorrow and anger persisted until his death in 1936. Over the years that followed 'If' would, of course, catch the imagination of people of all political persuasions. 'It was the favourite poem, for example, of that anti-imperialist American president, Woodrow Wilson, a strong believer in self-determination,' says Kipling's biographer David Gilmour. 'It is also a great favourite with the Burmese leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who said it was not "imperial bombast" but 'a great poem for dissidents' — at a time when she was a dissident, and even produced a Burmese translation to inspire her supporters.' Recent times have, however, been less forgiving, with Kipling attacked because some of his work — particularly earlier poems — are seen to have advocated colonialism. All of which dismays such experts as David Gilmour. 'Kipling might be accused of racial disparagement rather than of racism, but so could almost anyone of that period,' he adds. 'Even Gandhi did not think that black Africans should have the same rights in South Africa as whites or Indians.
Jeering at our ancestors because they were not as "enlightened" as us has always seemed to me a rather fatuous and anti-historical exercise.'
But in modern academia, more's the pity, it's now par for the course. Source and full article : Daily Mail

The inflammatory article

Now snowflake students censor 'racist' Kipling - They paint over classic verses put on university wall to inspire hard work

Newspaper article header Kipling

By Eleanor Harding for the Daily Mail | Thursday. 19th July 2018 |By Joe Middleton and Martin Robinson, Uk Chief Reporter For Mailonline |Published: 18th July 2018 | Updated: 19th July 2018

kipling Column Poem

Victorian writer Rudyard Kipling's most famous poem 'If' has been removed

- Students paint over Rudyard Kipling poem 'If' just a WEEK after the art was erected on a campus wall because of writer's 'racist and imperialistic' words - and replace it with Maya Angelou piece
- The Jungle Book author is considered one of England's greatest ever writers
- Students at the University of Manchester painted over his poem 'If'
- They claim it is 'deeply inappropriate' to promote the work of Kipling
- Fatima Abid, general secretary of the SU, said: 'Black and brown voices have been written out of history enough'

Irate students have painted over Rudyard Kipling's venerated poem 'If' - repeatedly voted the nation's favourite - because they believe he was a racist. The much-loved 1895 work, which is inscribed over the entrance to Wimbledon's Centre Court, was put up to inspire undergraduates and staff. But within a week students had replaced it with 'Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou, branding the University of Manchester's decision 'deeply inappropriate' and upsetting to ethnic minorities. A team removed Kipling's verses on Monday and accused the university of insulting students by putting it up without consulting them and saying: 'Black and brown voices have been written out of history enough'. But critics have called the protesters 'snowflakes' and accused them of 'outrageous cultural vandalism'. The stand against Kipling is one of a number against famous British historical figures including Cecil Rhodes, Edward Colston, Winston Churchill and many others linked to the country's imperialist past.

Sara Khan was among the protesters and the students' union has since apologised for not consulting them before putting up the nation's favourite poem

The 1895 work contains no reference to race, but the students said it was still offensive because some of Kipling's other works are about colonialism. His 1899 poem The White Man's Burden has been criticised in modern times for advocating colonialism and portraying other races as inferior.

Why is Rudyard Kipling a polarising figure? Once revered as the Bard of Empire, Rudyard Kipling has often been viewed as something of an embarrassment in the post-colonial world. Critics have pointed to his poem Gunga Din (1890), which is written from the point of view of an English soldier in India about an Indian water-bearer, and lines from his novel Kim (1901) such as 'My experience is that one can never fathom the Oriental mind' as examples of how he was a racist. But academics also say that he had a deep affinity with India and was often affectionate towards the Indian subjects of his work. Last night Rana Mitter, professor of the history and politics of modern China at Oxford University, who has a Bengali family background, described Kipling as 'very respectful of India as a culture and society'.
He said: 'Kipling understood India better than his British contemporaries. If you read a poem like Gunga Din you'll see that it isn't contemptuous of India at all, but is respectful. 'However, Kipling was a product of late- Victorian Britain and had prejudices that were commonplace at that time.' Professor Mitter said Kipling's The Ballad Of East And West, which contains the famous line 'East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet', is more problematic. Born in Bombay in 1865, Kipling was sent away to school in England when he was five. In 1882 he returned to India, where he worked for newspapers. Aside from his poetry, among his best known work is The Jungle Book from 1894, which became a children's classic and inspired a film produced by Walt Disney in 1967. He died in 1936.

And his much-loved work The Jungle Book has also been branded racially insensitive. But many, including academics, say he was respectful and affectionate towards the empire, especially India, where he was born in 1865. Staff at the Manchester students' union commissioned a local artist to paint 'If' to motivate undergraduates in their studies. But on Friday the union's student representatives complained that they had not been consulted and decided to have it removed. They replaced it with the 1978 poem Still I Rise by American civil rights activist Maya Angelou, which was read by Nelson Mandela at his presidential inauguration in 1994. Welfare officer Deej Malik-Johnson told The Tab website: 'On Friday, we noticed an artist had painted a Rudyard Kipling poem in the students' union. This was done without our consultation or approval. 'This was especially problematic given the poet's imperialistic and racist work such as The White Man's Burden, where Kipling explains how it is the responsibility of white men to "civilise" black and Asian people through colonialism. 'We decided to paint over that poem and replace it with Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, a poem about resilience and overcoming our history by a brilliant black woman.' On Facebook, Liberation and Access Officer at the University of Manchester Students Union Sara Khan, wrote: 'A failure to consult students during the process of adding art to the newly renovated SU building resulted in Rudyard Kipling's work being painted on the first floor last week.
'We, as an exec team, believe that Kipling stands for the opposite of liberation, empowerment, and human rights - the things that we, as an SU, stand for. 'Well-known as author of the racist poem 'The White Man's Burden', and a plethora of other work that sought to legitimate the British Empire's presence in India and de-humanise people of colour, it is deeply inappropriate to promote the work of Kipling in our SU, which is named after prominent South African anti-Apartheid activist, Steve Biko.' Fatima Abid, the general secretary of Manchester's SU, added on Twitter: 'Today, as a team we removed an imperialist's work from the walls of our union and replaced them with the words of Maya Angelou- God knows black and brown voices have been written out of history enough, and it's time we try to reverse that, at the very least in our union.'

Rudyard Kipling is considered a great English writer- with his poem's often featuring as some of the nation's most popular. Students at the University of Manchester have replaced 'If' by Rudyard Kipling with 'Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou. The Union has also apologised. Students' continued protests against Britain's historical figures. This is not the first time students have decided to take action against a historical figure them deem offensive. At Oxford University some students were protesting against the Victorian imperialist Cecil Rhodes- handily named the 'Rhodes Must Fall' protest. In recent years, students have taken part in a 'Mass March for Decolonisation' in the city and have taken exception about about the presence of the statue. Demonstrators have chanted 'tear it down' and 'Rhodes must fall' and argued that the mining magnate was racist. In another incident in January a number of people stormed a Churchill- themed cafe- the students,were led by members of's School of African Studies (SOAS). The protesters suggested Winston Churchill was a 'colonialist' and also a 'racist'. In October last year Cambridge University Student Union's women's officer Lola Olufemi penned an open letter titled 'Decolonising the English Faculty' The letter, signed by around 150 university students, said: 'For too long, teaching English at Cambridge has encouraged a 'traditional' and 'canonical' approach that elevates white male authors at the expense of all others. 'What we can no longer ignore, however, is the fact that the curriculum, taken as a whole, risks perpetuating institutional racism.' Campaigners at a number of institutions have now argued that some teaching excludes female authors and people from an ethnic minority background. A spokesman said: 'We understand that we made a mistake in our approach to a recent piece of artwork by failing to garner student opinion at the start of a new project. We accept that the result was inappropriate and for that we apologise.'

He added that the union would make changes to 'guarantee that student voices are heard and considered properly' so that 'every outcome is representative of our membership'. 'We're working closely with the union's elected officers to learn all we can from this situation and are looking forward to introducing powerful, relevant and meaningful art installations across the students' union building over the coming months,' he said. Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, criticised the Manchester students saying: 'This is outrageous cultural vandalism. Kipling is a much beloved poet. 'These students are closing off access to one of our most popular poems and it is Liberal Fascism.
'They are snowflakes who should not be indulged. Forcing your views on other people should have no place in British society.' The University of Manchester said it would not be appropriate to comment because the students' union is an independent body. It comes after Oxford University students led an unsuccessful campaign to tear down a statue of the 19th century imperialist Cecil Rhodes. They also forced the university authorities to move a portrait of Theresa May by putting up signs saying she was 'hostile' to immigrants. At Bristol, students tried to force the authorities to change the name of a building named after benefactor Henry Overton Wills III, a cigarette maker whose family company was said to have benefited from slavery. Critics have said it is wrong for students to try to censor the past and that they should instead view writers and figures in their historical context.

'If'' by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!

Calls to ban Zulu for 'being racist' and how we're letting the lunatic fringe dictate our culture

By Dominic Sandbrook for the Daily Mail | Published: 01:33, 29 June 2018 | Updated: 08:47, 29 June 2018

There are, in the annals of cinema, few scenes more likely to have men of a certain age sobbing into their handkerchiefs than that wonderful moment in Zulu. You know the one I mean. Alone and exhausted at Rorke's Drift, the massively outnumbered British defenders hear the Zulus singing their haunting war chant. 'Do you think the Welsh can't do better than that, Owen?' murmurs Lieutenant Chard (played by Stanley Baker).

'Well, they've got a very good bass section, mind, but no top tenors, that's for sure,' replies Pte Owen (Ivor Emmanuel). Then, his voice unexpectedly resonant in the morning air, Owen strikes up 'Men Of Harlech', and then — well, you probably know the rest. And if you don't, you should watch the film without delay.

Even today, 54 years after its release, Zulu has lost none of its power. It is a film about men under fire, of course. But it is also a film about heroism, fear and sacrifice. Set during the Zulu War of 1879, it is a patriotic film, but not a jingoistic one. When the Zulus sing one last song to honour the courage of the British defenders, or when Lt Chard gazes wearily over the piles of African dead, there is rarely a dry eye in the house.

So when the Silver Screen Cinema in Folkestone announced a special screening of Zulu to raise money for the Armed Forces charity SSAFA, they could hardly have made a better choice. Or so you might have thought. But some people see things differently. Almost unbelievably, this week it emerged that more than two dozen signed an open letter to the town's mayor, urging him to cancel the screening. Their explanation is, in its way, a masterpiece of ignorance. 'We believe,' they write, 'that the choice of the film Zulu, with its inaccurate portrayal of historical events and its distortions and racist overtones could have a negative effect on relationships within the changing and richly diverse communities here in Folkestone.' Where do you start with all this? Is Zulu markedly less accurate than other films (not least Hollywood's recent versions of history, such as Saving Private Ryan, which ignored British and Russian involvement in World War II)? Not at all. Is it demonstrably racist? Again, obviously not. The film takes care to show the Zulus as noble adversaries. Indeed, the current Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi served as an adviser to the filmmakers and actually plays his own great-grandfather, King Cetshwayo. Could a charity screening of Zulu really have a 'negative effect' on race relations on the Kentish coast? Is it plausible that, having seen it, people will start throwing spears at each other, or barricade themselves in their homes and open fire on passing foreigners? Of course not.

If this story were just a bizarre anomaly, it would be easy to laugh it off. Unfortunately, though, it is part of a trend. For there was another story about censorship this week, this time from America. Yielding to pressure from more self-proclaimed activists, the U.S. Association for Library Service to Children has removed Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from its award for children's literature.

As many readers will know, Wilder was the author of the Little House On The Prairie series, published in the Thirties and Forties, which told the story of a pioneer family in the 19th-century American West. Turned into a hugely popular TV series in the Seventies and Eighties, the books are the embodiment of old-fashioned, innocent children's entertainment, which makes them irresistible to little girls, even today. So why on earth take Wilder's name off the award? You can probably guess. Wilder's books, her critics claim, are full of 'anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments'. The characters say things like: 'The only good Indian is a dead Indian.' Worse, they even call black people 'darkies'. Today, we rightly regard such terms as utterly unacceptable, but the fact is that in the 19th century, when the stories are set, people really did say such things — and worse. Never mind that Wilder was a product of her time, as are we all. For when the activists shouted 'Racist!', not even the childlike innocence of her stories was enough to save her. I am not alone, I know, in feeling nothing but contempt for the disingenuousness, mean-spiritedness, sanctimony and intolerance of these people. I'm not alone, either, in feeling utterly infuriated by the cowardice of the authorities, who are incapable of realising that appeasement only encourages them to find a fresh target.

What I find really depressing, though, is that this is becoming such a familiar story. The activists make a fuss. The rest of us scoff, sigh or shrug them off as maniacs. But the authorities, terrified of being branded racist, give ground. And so, almost without anybody noticing, we take one more step towards a culture defined by the suffocating narrow-mindedness of the lunatic fringe. If that sounds too sensationalist, then consider this. Only a few months ago, a friend at Oxford told me that she no longer teaches Joseph Conrad's novella The Nigger Of The 'Narcissus', because the title alone means she risks being branded a racist. Never mind that Conrad is a novelist of genius and that Narcissus is a book of note. And never mind that the whole point of reading fiction is to take us outside our bubbles, to challenge our preconceptions, to surprise and provoke us. Again, of course, it would be outrageous to use such terms about black people now, but surely students are capable of understanding the difference between moral values in the past and moral values today?The irony is the ultra-liberal censors, these new fascists of our age, preach about diversity. But they are obsessed by only one thing: race, or, more accurately, accusing others of being racist. They're certainly not interested in diversity of thought, which might challenge their petty ideological prejudices.

So Zulu is out. Little House On The Prairie is out, too. What next?

An obvious target is anything written by a 'dead white man', to use the liberal fascists' own jargon. William Shakespeare is out, obviously, because of the anti-Semitic figure of Shylock, the moneylender in The Merchant Of Venice, and the alleged racism of his portrayal of Othello (the 'thick-lips', as one character calls him). Who else? Dickens has to go, partly because of the anti-Semitic caricature of Fagin in Oliver Twist, but also because his women are all drippy, passive fantasy figures. Rudyard Kipling is definitely out, because his books show the British Empire in India in a good light.

How long before the censors come for Agatha Christie, whose early books also stereo-typed Jewish people and who was also guilty of using the 'N' word in the title of one? And amid the current hysteria about sexual harassment, will any cinema ever be allowed to show an old 007 film? Where will it end? Well, it will never end. And because these censors have no sense of humility, they cannot conceive that people in the future will doubtless find us guilty of prejudices invisible to us today.

By then, though, what will be left of Western culture? For if Zulu isn't safe, if Laura Ingalls Wilder is not safe, if even the slightest hint of political incorrectness is enough to disqualify you, then nothing and nobody is safe. The truth is that these people are the enemies, not just of tradition or even of tolerance, but of the imagination itself. They talk endlessly about celebrating difference. But what they want to do is to suppress difference, control the imagination and rewrite history. And that, of course, is why they must be fought. Hear Hear! But then you knew I'd agree!

'Call a dick a dick!' Parliament chefs' move to rebrand a classic British dessert as 'Spotted Richard' sends Twitter users into meltdown!

Classic British pudding fans are furious after the name change was revealed

By Imogen Blake For Mailonline |Published: 15th June 2018 | Updated: 15th June 2018

- They have taken to social media to demand it is changed back
- The move was said to be made to avoid sniggering or embarrassment
- 'Call a dick a dick!' Parliament chefs' move to rebrand a classic British dessert as 'Spotted Richard' sends Twitter users into meltdown
- MPs and fans of classic British puddings are furious after Parliament chefs revealed they would be rebranding 'Spotted Dick' as 'Richard'.

The move was said to be made to avoid sniggering or embarrassment - but now Twitter users are up in arms over the decision. Taking the opportunity to use cheeky innuendo, dozens have called for the Strangers Dining Room, the 19th-century restaurant used to entertain the guests of MPs, to change the name back to 'Spotted Dick'. Michael Fabricant, the MP for Lichfield, led the charge and tweeted: Call a dick a dick, I say!' Dr Majorie Bark gleefully added: 'Oh grow up! It's Dick! Dick! Dick! Dick! If you're too bashful, order the treacle tart. 'I'm going to start a campaign to rename custard to something suitably suggestive.' It is thought that the staff hoped the decision to rebrand the iconic sponge pudding dessert - which is studded with raisins or currants and usually served with custard - would cause less of a stir with guests but it appeared to have had the opposite effect. People on social media were furious that the iconic British pudding's name had been changed in a Parliament dining room

Spotted Dick Pudding and Custard

Image as seen on Daily Mail Online - © Shutterstock / Margie Edwards

What is Spotted Dick?

Spotted Dick is a classic British pudding, made with suet and dried fruit, usually currants or raisins, and often served with custard. It is made from suet pastry sprinkled with dried fruit, which is then rolled into a round shape. It is steamed and then served hot. 'Dick' was widely used as a term for a plain pudding in the 19th century, despite being the subject of double-entendres today.

Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood, revealed that her waiter had offered her a slice of 'Spotted Richard' from the special desserts menu. Ms Jenkyns told The Telegraph he had 'to bite on my lip to stop myself from laughing'. 'I had to ask twice, just to be sure,' she continued. 'They have a traditional desserts section, which changes daily, so I asked what the dessert was and that's when they said it.' Now the rebrand has gone viral on social media, with several Twitter users saying it was an example of 'political correctness gone mad'.

Another also railed against the 'posh' name for custard, Creme Anglais, and said trying to make it seem 'pretentious' was just as irritating as renaming Spotted Dick. The pudding was said to be created in 1849 by Alexis Soyer.

The BBC picked up this debate as early as 2009!

Salad Cream Alert!

Now Millennials are ruining salad cream too! As Heinz plan to rename it sandwich cream, an outraged JAN MOIR blames a generation with only one squeezy bottle of common sense between them

Advert for Heinz Salad Cream circa 1950s or 1960s

'Heinz is planning on renaming Salad Cream to Sandwich Cream as so many young people are confused about what it does' - Image and narrative sourced from the Advertising Archives as used in the Daily Mail article reproduced below

- Heinz is planning to rename its popular Salad Cream bottles to Sandwich Cream
- According to the US company, the move is for younger, millennial customers
- But Jan Moir and other Brits have slammed the decision, praising Salad Cream

By Jan Moir for the Daily Mail | Published: 6th June 2018 | Updated: 7th June 2018

Not this. Not now. Haven't we suffered enough? Right up there with the outrage of Walkers putting Cheese & Onion crisps in the blue bag instead of the green one, and then the Galaxy Truffle chocolate removed from a box of Celebrations, comes the latest affront on the foodie front. Brace yourselves, Baby Boomers, for Heinz is planning to rename Britain's beloved Salad Cream. The American company now wants to call it Sandwich Cream because, it says, few people actually put it on salad, so its purpose and use has become confusing to — hold on — younger customers.

Heinz is planning on renaming Salad Cream to Sandwich Cream as so many young people are confused about what it does. What? Yes, blame Millennials again; that entire generation of dopes wandering the country with only one squeezy bottle of common sense between them, a tribe unable to engage with the real world unless someone on Twitter is telling them what to do and how to do it. Even when it comes to something as simple as preparing a quick lunch. Do we have to spell everything out for these fledgling fools, seemingly confused even by basic condiment rules? Apparently yes, so let me lead the way. Gather round. Notebooks out. Listen. You don't have to put tomato sauce on tomatoes, there is no rule that says you can only put brown sauce on brown stuff, horseradish is not a radish eaten by horses and mustard is much more than the colour of Amal Clooney's outfit at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding. Hey kids, one more thing. When it says 'shake before opening' it means the bottle, not you. Sandwich Cream? For Brits of a certain age, no childhood summer was complete without a ribbon of proper Heinz Salad Cream running through picnics, high teas, memories and yes, sometimes sandwiches, too.

This is what the planned new bottle of Sandwich Cream from US brand Heinz could look like :

Original Heinz Salad Cream LabelProposed Heinz Salad Cream Label

'Salad Cream is an English staple, and for Brits of a certain age, no childhood summer was complete without it / This is what the planned new bottle of Sandwich Cream from US brand Heinz could look like' - Images and narrative sourced from the Advertising Archives as used in the Daily Mail article reproduced here

Just one glimpse of that slim glass bottle with the girlish shoulders, its pale, creamy contents glimmering within, brings back a rush of memories. Lettuces wilted under its assault; cubes of pickled beetroot turned Calpol pink under its brutal attention; halved boiled eggs and quartered tomatoes were helpless under its glossy cloak of unctuous gunk. This most British of sauces is loathed by the rest of the world — another reason to utterly adore it. It is an acquired taste and most of us acquired it by the age of seven — no one really knows why. On the gourmet front, it hasn't got much going for it, being high in vinegar, low in sophistication and generally a thin, poor, sharp, unforgiving and weedy cousin to mayonnaise.
Yet to change its name and its standing in our affections would be like ravens leaving the Tower, and I don't meant a tower of striped cucumber slices. The point is that everyone in the UK has managed just fine with the concept of Salad Cream for 104 years. No one else tolerates, or even likes it very much, but it has appealed to Brits since Heinz developed it for our domestic market back in 1914. A recipe for English Salad Sauce appeared in Eliza Acton's 1845 Modern Cookery For Private Families, while Mrs Beeton also developed a version in her recipe collections. However, it was the Heinz version that caught on, soon establishing itself as the perfect accompaniment to a traditional British garden salad. During World War II it came into its own when there was no tomato sauce to jazz up dreary wartime fare.
Baked potatoes doused in Salad Cream were a treat known as Victory Potatoes — which gives me a pang of pride in a Dunkirk spirit that even extended to making the best of a bad supper. Listen, Heinz. We are a nation who went to war with this stuff in our bellies, so don't start messing with it now. Naturally, because Salad Cream is so British, it comes with a banquet of class connotations.
While some love it and see it as the cream of champions, others perceive it as the ultimate essence of chav; up there with the horror of aerosol Dairy Cream and tinned fruit cocktail. Posh people wouldn't be seen dead with it in their cupboards! On Julia Hartley-Brewer's Talk Radio show yesterday, Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable was asked where he stood on the Salad Cream/Sandwich Cream divide. 'I think we call it mayonnaise don't we, or is that too French?' he sniffed, the querulous voice of the Home Counties snob, forever worried that it was going to be caught out by condiments.

Salad Cream will never be classy, like Gentleman's Relish or artisanal ketchups or home-made mayonnaise. It will never have international foodie cachet, like aioli (garlicky mayonnaise from the Med) or sriracha (chilli pepper sauce from Thailand) or Tabasco. No, it will never be cool or trendy, but until this point, we did not care. We did what we wanted with it in the privacy of our own homes. We could, and would, squirt Salad Cream onto chips, make daisy shapes around gammon and pineapple platters or, if you were my childhood friend, David, pump a yellow lake amid an alpine range of mashed potato. I want to be honest. When I moved to London in my teens, I left my Salad Cream days behind. Not because of foodie pretensions, more from being introduced to Hellmann's Mayonnaise. From that moment onwards, it became my factory made, chemical-rich mayo sauce of choice. Later, my flatmate Eddy kept the Salad Cream dream alive, dolloping unfeasible amounts of it onto her roast chicken portions from Marks & Spencer. Back in Scotland, at my sister's, I can practically mow her out of the way for a taste of that stuff, in the door of the fridge as always, ready to be pumped onto an egg salad sandwich or a fish finger or two. I'm no purist.
Of course, this is not the first time there has been a Salad Cream controversy. In 1999, Heinz floated the notion that it was thinking of withdrawing Salad Cream from the market. There was a public outcry, with a deluge of letters to Heinz and a protest movement spearheaded by Labour's Roy Hattersley. Salad Cream lived to fight another day, rebranded and became slightly more expensive than it was before. I do hope Heinz is not messing with our minds again, especially as sales dropped 5.4 per cent to £28.8 million last year. It is the cream of champions, the great creamy divide between U and non-U, between posh and les pauvres. And more than that, it's ours, Heinz. So leave it alone.

Skirts are cool, boys are told: School bans shorts in summer in favour of 'gender neutral' uniform policy

- Chiltern Edge Secondary School in Oxfordshire bans boys from wearing shorts 
- It insists those who don't want to wear trousers must opt for skirts instead
- New uniform policy stipulates a 'trousers or skirts only' policy which was backed by head teacher Moira Green

By Eleanor Harding for the Daily Mail | Published: 23:08 3rd June 2018 | Updated: 09:05 4th June 2018

A school has said boys who find trousers too hot in the summer months should instead wear a skirt as part of a ‘gender-neutral’ uniform policy. Chiltern Edge Secondary School in Oxfordshire has banned boys from wearing shorts and insists those who don’t want to wear trousers must don a skirt. Leaders at the school in Sonning Common introduced a ‘more formal’ uniform policy at the beginning of the academic year that stipulated that the only leg wear permitted was trousers or skirts.

Following the change, parent Alastair Vince-Porteous asked staff if his son could wear tailored shorts – but the school said that they were not part of the uniform. The bemused father was then told that the uniform policy was ‘gender-neutral’ and boys could of course wear a skirt if they wished. The move follows a trend for schools adopting gender-neutral policies to help transgender pupils feel more welcome. Many schools now say skirts and trousers can be worn by either gender. Under the Equality Act, schools have a duty to protect transgender students from discrimination. This case came to light at the weekend, as temperatures are set to soar to 26C (79F) next week. Mr Vince-Porteous said: ‘I was told shorts are not part of the uniform. It’s a shame we can’t be more grown up about it, we aren’t asking for ra-ra skirts or skinny jeans, just grey tailored shorts for two months a year, it’s not a big deal. ‘I know that in the past other schools have worn skirts so I asked if my son was able to do that – and the school said yes.’ Fellow parent Joanne Muday said: ‘It’s nuts to make the kids wear blazers and ties when it gets very hot.’

The introduction of the new uniform policy came after the school was branded inadequate by Ofsted. In August the school – which has the capacity for 900 pupils, but as of January last year had only 507 – will join the Maiden Erlegh Trust and become an academy. Students hail from nearby areas such as Caversham, Reading and Theresa May’s Maidenhead constituency. Headteacher Moira Green said: ‘In September 2017, with the support of parents, Chiltern Edge made the decision to move to a more formal uniform. This has been a success. Maiden Erlegh Trust, in preparation for September 2018, wholeheartedly support Chiltern Edge’s adoption of a more formal uniform.’

For the love of God - the school is 'branded inadequate by Ofsted' and they respond with this ................ as usual for any further comments on this monumental pc stupidity enter 'words fail me' in the tick box!

Dambusters N*gger survives!

Controversial name of Dambusters dog will NOT be censored when the film is screened in cinemas to mark mission's 75th anniversary

The Dambuster Crew andGibson's Labrador

Devoted: Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC, (right), with his Labrador and fellow officers - image sourced from Daily Mail online article

- Director Michael Anderson's film will play unedited in 400 cinemas on Thursday 
- The film features a Labrador called N***** as Wing Commander Gibson's pet
- As part of the screening Dan Snow will discuss the operation's importance

By George Martin For Mailonline | 21:53, 16 May 2018 |

A series of anniversary screenings of the Dambusters will include the controversial name of the film's dog - it has been confirmed.  The movie features a black Labrador, who was the mascot for RAF 617 squadron, called N*****. But the studio behind the anniversary screenings - which are due to take place on the 75th anniversary of the mission it was based on - said the canine's name will not be removed.

A statement from Studiocanal, the distributor of the film, said: 'While we acknowledge some of the language used in The Dam Busters reflects historical attitudes which audiences may find offensive, for reasons of historical accuracy we have opted to present the film as it was originally screened.'  Director Michael Anderson's 1955 war film will play unedited in 400 cinemas on Thursday May 17.  As part of the screening, TV historian Dan Snow will explore the history of the Royal Air Force's 1943 attack on the Mohne, Eder, and Sorpe dams in Nazi Germany using Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb. Snow will be joined by relatives of both the film's crew and the original 617 Squadron, who carried out the raids, for a live event broadcast via satellite from the Royal Albert Hall.

The last-surviving British member of 617 Squadron, George 'Johnny' Johnson shared his delight ahead of the film's return to the big screen and the wider commemorations planed for the raids' anniversary. Johnson said: 'I think it's wonderful. I shall be most grateful for the opportunity to watch it but also to take part in this tremendous presentation to start with. 'That raid is stuck in my mind and it is as livid today as it was 75 years ago. 'To see it represented in this wonderful arrangement to me means more than anything else.' When asked how accurately the film depicted the actual events, Johnson praised the performance of actor Michael Redgrave as the bouncing bomb creator Barnes Wallis. Johnson said: 'I was pleased to see there wasn't too much of this 'hail-fellow-well-met' sort of attitude. 'It was well portrayed. I think Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis was a wonderful representation of a wonderful man. 'And Barnes Wallis' daughter Mary quite agrees with that.'

Johnson also shared his memories of Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who led 617 Squadron through Operation Chastise. Johnson said: 'His true leadership was in the attack situation. 'He made the first attack on the Mohne dam. 'Not only was he dropping his bomb, he was assessing its defence. 'As he called each aircraft in, he flew alongside them. That to me says 'you're doing this, I'm doing this, we're doing it together'. 'It is the essence of a good leader in the attack situation. But he was very difficult to get on with outside of that.' The 4K restoration of The Dam Busters and the accompanying live broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall will appear in cinemas across the UK on May 17. Source : Daily Mail

Now they want to Smash nelson out of existence!

On 18th April the debate shows no sign of abating - considering the lack of news on the same date in 1930, it shows how we have all embraced allowing ourselves to hide behind social media when wishing to speak out anonymously!

As Historic England calls for a debate on knocking down Nelson's Column, DOMINIC SANDBROOK says the way such bodies constantly give in to the far Left is beneath contempt

By Dominic Sandbrook for the Daily Mail | |

We went on a family outing to London a few weeks ago to see the sights. Among our stops was, inevitably, Trafalgar Square, where the children peered up at the figure of Horatio, Lord Nelson, almost 170ft above the streets on his mighty granite column. Few lives in our national history are more rousing than that of the vicar's son from Norfolk. Having lost an eye and an arm in the struggle against Napoleon's cruel tyranny, Nelson faced the fleets of France and Spain at Trafalgar in 1805 in a titanic showdown for control of the seas. Opening the battle with the signal 'England expects that every man will do his duty', Nelson steered his fleet to a glorious victory, only to be cut down by a French sniper on the deck of HMS Victory. As he breathed his last, the battle was won and Britain was saved.


It's a great story, and it is not surprising that the children loved it, staring wide-eyed up at the distant figure of the hero who saved his country. Indeed, more than two centuries after Trafalgar, Nelson's Column remains one of the great symbols of Britain itself. Along with Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, it has become an emblem of our identity. You might assume, therefore, that no sane person would contemplate knocking Nelson's Column down. Would the French consider demolishing the Arc de Triomphe? Would the Italians discuss detonating the Colosseum? Would the Americans blow up the Lincoln Memorial? Yet the quango Historic England thinks we need a 'debate' about the future of 'controversial' statues and memorials. As if that were not enough, it has even circulated a little clip on social media, showing a wrecking ball knocking Nelson off his pedestal. In case you think you misread that last paragraph, let me repeat that the clip was not made by some group of ISIS-inspired fanatics, or by a group of student-union loonies. It was made by a government-backed public body, which spends almost £90 million of our money a year to 'help people care for, enjoy and celebrate England's spectacular historic environment'. You may well think that knocking down one of the greatest symbols of our national history is a pretty deranged way of caring for our historic environment. A spokesman for Historic England whimpered that they were only trying to encourage a debate, which is what people always say when they have been caught out. But the truth, as Historic England well know, is that they were merely copying an argument made in the Guardian by the Left-wing writer Afua Hirsch. She claimed that Nelson's Column is a symbol of slavery because Nelson 'used his seat in the House of Lords and his position of huge influence to perpetuate the tyranny, serial rape and exploitation organised by West Indian planters, some of whom he counted among his closest friends'. Like many columnists, Ms Hirsch trades on being provocative. She has carved out a lucrative role as a self-appointed flagellant, forever berating the rest of us about the supposed crimes of the British Empire. Personally, I find her version of our national history ludicrously one-sided, but she is perfectly entitled to write whatever she wants. For Historic England to copy her, however, strikes me as shameful. This is a body, after all, that has been entrusted by the Government with the care of our national heritage. It spends our own money, in other words, looking after our history — in theory. But in practice, it seems to have fallen victim to a pervasive and entirely unreflective culture of political correctness. If you want to see what a culture of box-ticking looks like, you could do worse than look at Historic England's advertisement for eight-week 'heritage training placements' for undergraduates and recent graduates, for which only people who 'identify as having Black, Asian or other Minority Ethnic Heritage or mixed heritage' need apply. Or look at its most recent historical project, which aims to celebrate 'Britain's LGBTQ heritage'. The overwhelming picture is of an institution so desperate to advertise its progressive credentials, so keen to genuflect before the cult of victimhood, that it sees its proper role as apologising for our history, rather than celebrating it. And in this topsy-turvy world, knocking down Nelson probably sounds a wonderful idea. The problem is that this is not some crazy one-off, but part of a pattern. Only last weekend, for example, it emerged that Oxford University is to spend at least £20,000 on a project to 'confront its colonial history'. Not only is the university building a website flagellating itself for 'racism, classism and colonialism', it also plans to commission a copy of Oriel College's Cecil Rhodes statue, on which students will be invited to write 'graffiti, including swear words'.


This is not, I promise, some elaborate spoof. It is a genuine initiative by the oldest university in the country, so frightened of a tiny minority of far-Left headcases that it would rather grovel in the gutter than stand up for its own history. This is becoming a sadly familiar story. In every case it begins with a small group of self-appointed agitators, who shout and scream about the so-called crimes of Empire until the authorities give them what they want. The Cecil Rhodes statute is a case in point. Until 2015 few people even knew it was there. Then some students began howling about it, and overnight it became 'controversial'. And that, of course, is how Historic England describe Nelson's Column in its clip. But no sane person would have seen anything wrong with it until Hirsch wrote her attention-seeking article. The problem, by the way, is not Ms Hirsch and her fellow self-appointed agitators. They are entitled to shout and scream as much as they like. The real problem is the weakness, cowardice and dishonesty of Establishment bodies trusted by us to guard our history and heritage. They should have the backbone to stick up for Britain. The depressing reality, however, is that they are appeasers. Steeped in a culture of political correctness, they always give way, allowing the far-Left's version of our history to poison the mainstream. It clearly does not occur to them that the Left will never be satisfied. They will always find another statute they want to blow up, another author they want erased from the curriculum, another aspect of our national identity they want eradicated from history.


Of course our history had its dark chapters, and of course Nelson wasn't perfect. Who is? But if Historic England won't stand up for historic England, then who will? What makes this so tragic is that no nation on earth has such a colourful, exciting and stirring history. For generations of schoolchildren, stories like the death of Nelson opened a door to the thrilling landscape of the historical imagination. What sane country wants its children to be ashamed of their own history?

The first writer who saw this coming was George Orwell. 'England,' he wrote in 1941, 'is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality.' In his great book Nineteen Eighty-Four, the hero, Winston Smith, is employed literally to rewrite Britain's history on politically correct lines. In one scene, Winston finds himself in what was once Trafalgar Square, now renamed Victory Square. As in reality, a great column commands the centre of the square. But at the summit stands not Horatio Nelson, but Big Brother — the personification of the new order. As so often, Orwell saw all this coming. The only thing he got wrong was the name of Winston's employer. He called it the Ministry of Truth. We call it Historic England. (Hear hear!)

A screen shot of a few responses to this article

Unmoderated and inoffensive selection of responses to the article and the notion of removing Nelson from his column!

On 17th April a comprehensive article appeared in the Daily Mail, including the failed .gif:


Quango that’s supposed to PROTECT our nation’s statues tweets images of wrecking ball smashing famous column

Daily Mail | 17 April 2018 | By Jack Doyle Executive Political Editor

Backlash: The wrecking ball in the quango’s tweet

Nelson defiled headline

The Twitter gif of Nelson

The taxpayer-funded quango that protects the nation’s monuments has promoted a cartoon of Nelson’s Column being destroyed by a wrecking ball. Historic England, which receives tens of millions of pounds of public money, triggered a backlash by trying to promote a debate about memorials to famous figures entitled: ‘Revere or Remove?’ It appears the image on Twitter was inspired by Left- wing writer and Guardian commentator Afua Hirsch, who wrote an article last year under the headline, ‘Toppling statues? Here’s why Nelson’s column should be next.’ Miss Hirsch, the author of a memoir about her experience of racism in Britain, entitled Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, is one of the panellists at the debate. She said Nelson was a ‘white supremacist’ who ‘vigorously defended’ slavery.

But the wrecking-ball image led to an angry backlash from MPs and the public, who accused the quango of encouraging the destruction of popular monuments and of trying to ‘rewrite history’. Arts minister Michael Ellis demanded that Historic England ‘champion the nation’s precious heritage’. He said: ‘ Historic England receives taxpayers’ money to protect and champion the nation’s precious heritage and that is exactly what they must do. Our statues and historic buildings tell the stories of our past, and they must be protected.’ It is understood he will raise the issue with the quango.

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said the graphic – which was tweeted with the caption ‘what should we do with controversial statues and memorials?’ – flouted Historic England’s own charter which says it must ‘minimise the loss’ of historic assets. Ukip MEP Patrick O’Flynn said it was ‘ unreal that a publicly funded heritage quango should be stoking a divisive agenda backed only by a tiny minority of PC Guardianistas’. The quango, which received £86.57 million from the Government last year, faced an angry response on Twitter.

One user wrote: ‘Stop pandering to PC rubbish and protect our history, good and bad. If you do not, you should close down.’

Another said: ‘You should not seek to “rectify” the past. This is a slippery slope. Statues and monuments were constructed in a historical context. If they are now “controversial” to some, we should seek to learn why. Not remove, eradicate, and rewrite our history. Enough is enough.’ Others posted images of Islamic State, which destroyed ancient monuments in Iraq and Syria.

Three years ago an Oxford college was accused of trying to ‘destroy history’ after it agreed to remove a plaque dedicated to 19th century colonialist and founder of Rhodesia, Cecil Rhodes. Similar campaigns have targeted statues to 17th-century merchant Edward Colston in Bristol because he was a slave trader. Last night Historic England backed down, admitting the image had ‘caused some concern’ and saying it would not use it again. A spokesman insisted the quango did not support demolishing Nelson’s Column, adding: ‘Nelson’s Column was chosen because it is so iconic and well recognised.

‘This does not mean we are in favour of demolition of any monument and the debate is not about Nelson’s Column itself. It is about how the nation responds to criticism of our public statues and monuments and what they are thought to represent. (It) was intended to get this across in a quick and memorable way but we know it has caused some concern so we won’t be sharing it again.’ Duncan Wilson, the quango’s chief executive, was paid £120,000 to £125,000 last year, plus a bonus of up to £20,000 and pension payments worth nearly £50,000.

‘Stop pandering to PC rubbish’

The Daily Mail Comments on the Nelson debacle

The Daily Mail also added the above in their 'Comments' section on 17th April 2018

On 16th April, comments responding to the usual social media global lightning speed dissemination started flooding in and had the following to report:

"A QUANGO responsible for protecting Britain’s heritage has ignited a storm of criticism after posting a message suggesting Nelson’s Column should be bulldozed. Historic England posted the gif of the monument being demolished by a wrecking ball and asked followers “What should we do with controversial statues?” Twitter users branded the tweet as pandering to a ‘snowflake’ generation. The Victorian monument in Trafalgar Square commemorates Admiral Horatio Nelson who led Britain to a series of victories against Napoleon.

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Daily Mail that it appeared to flout Historic England’s charter pledge to accommodate and manage change and “minimise the loss” of historic assets. The debate comes after left-wing students at Oxford University started the Rhodes Must Fall campaign to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College. Twitter user Arthur Guimard wrote: “There is no debate, you wouldn’t burn [a] painting in the National Gallery because they represent Napleon or Henry VIII, destroying sculptures is the same. Plus Historic England has one job only, PROTECT, you are not there for debating.” "Getty – Contributor" The Victorian monument commemorates a series of victories over Napoleon by Nelson." Another angry Twitter user, going by the name Uncle Junior, Tweeted: “The thing is they are only controversial to lefty snowflakes, the majority of the population are proud of them so leave them alone.”

Other users pointed out that the purpose of history is to learn from it, not remove it as they believed the gif was suggesting. Duncan Wardlaw posted on the social media site saying: “Funny how they are suddenly controversial. Maybe the generation of easily offended whiners need to learn what historical monuments represent as some are things to aspire to while others are reminders of what not to repeat."

The gif showed the iconic column being bulldozed. Twitter users pointed out the quango’s job is to protect historical assets :“Only idiots can’t tell the difference.”

A Historic England spokesman told the Daily Mail: “A gif we shared to promote a live Intelligence Squared debate that we are supporting about England’s statues, showed a cartoon image of Nelson’s Column being knocked down. Nelson’s Column was chosen because it is so iconic and well-recognised. This does not mean we are in favour of demolition of any monument and the debate is not about Nelson’s column itself."

Many users accused the quango of pandering to ‘lefty snowflakes’ Twitter users were less than impressed with Historic England’s gif.

Others pointed out that historic artefacts were integral to teaching children about history. 'It is about how the nation responds to criticism of our public statues and monuments and what they are thought to represent. The gif was intended to get this across in a quick and memorable way but we know it has caused some concern so we won’t be sharing it again.’ He added debates around what to do with monuments to historic figures are raging around the world."

On April 15th Historic England tweeted : What should we do with controversial statues and memorials clearly showing an image of Nelson's Column (yes you know the one in Trafalgar Square)

15th April 2018 Historic England post on twitter

Image sourced from

Village's annual Second World War re-enactment featuring actors wearing Nazi uniforms is scrapped after 25 years over fears it will cause offence

The event has run in Levisham as part of a North Yorkshire Moors Railway event
The village becomes 'Le Visham', a German-occupied French village in wartime
But the railway has pulled out on the grounds of 'diversity and possible offence'

By Tim Stickings For Mailonline | Published: 5th April 2018 | Updated: 20:07 5th April 2018

A village's annual war-time re-enactment has been scrapped because organisers fear it will cause offence. The event has run for 25 years in the village of Levisham as part of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway's event called Railway in Wartime, which pulls in tourists in their thousands. Traditionally Levisham is transformed into 'Le Visham', a German-occupied French village, featuring actors wearing Nazi uniforms. Past years have seen actors dressed as German soldiers patrolling the platform at Levisham station outside the Cafe du Bois.

But this year the railway's operators have pulled that part of the event out of its schedule citing the Equalities Act and the need to consider 'diversity and possible offence.'  The annual three-day event traditionally sees each station on the line transformed to create a variety of scenarios and performances. These include a wartime street in Pickering, Home Guard demonstrations at Goathland and an RAF-themed event in Grosmont with a replica Spitfire. One re-enactor, who asked not to be named, said their role was to bring history to life for the public and to help educate people, particularly children. He said: 'It's like going into a museum, but this is a living museum. We are historical educators of the public. 'We put our heart and soul into it and we're all so disappointed.'

Another re-enactor, Neil Robertson, said: 'Both the re-enactment community and the station volunteers are saddened by the board's decision, but we respect it. 'We would like to thank the thousands of people we have entertained and hopefully educated over the years and hope people continue to support the show and contribute to its continued success.  'On behalf of the re-enactment community, I would like to formally thank NYMR and especially the volunteers of the Levisham Station group for their support over the last 12-years and wish them well for the future.'

People having fun in Pickering during re-enactment day

People walk dogs through Pickering as they take part in last year's wartime re-enactment - image sourced from the Daily Mail © of AFP/Getty Images

History enthusiast Lee Hayward, 44, a past visitor to the event, said: 'This is a disgrace. I have some photos of the 'German occupied' Levisham a few years back. 'My kids were fascinated and educated. It was tastefully done with dedicated, forward-thinking people taking part. 'To be asked for my papers, in German, when I got off the train was a real palpable shock. The German soldier shouted it at us. 'It immediately transported myself and whole family into what it must have been like living on occupied France and made us grateful of the sacrifice made for the freedoms we currently have. 'You can't expunge history. 'It is an event all locals look forward to. I fear the boycott itself would irreparably harm the event and local business which thrives from it.' North Yorkshire County Councillor Janet Sanderson, whose ward includes Levisham, said: 'It has grown greatly in recent years, it began as a bit of fun and now we have people attending who travel from war re-enactment to war re-enactment. 'To some people it could be offensive, though it wasn't to begin with. 'You do get comments from some such as 'my father fought in the war, what right does he have to wear that uniform?' 'And small details become important to people. I heard one person say that if one of the actors had really served in the army he would have known to take off his hat when entering a public house.

Other people commented on social media, expressing their anger. Brenda Stripe, from York, said: 'Absolutely ridiculous!!! How are the young people supposed to learn about history if we are not able to teach them, in case someone is offended!! I think that this situation is taking political correctness just a step too far!!' Jon Downes said: 'Where has people's fire gone? Sod respecting stupid decisions! Fight to keep it going. Make some noise! Half of this country would lay down and die if we ever had a proper war again!' Gloria Biggs said: 'I'm offended by the fact that certain people will be. Pathetic world we live in. It happened for goodness sake. The war weekend has been very successful if people are offended stay away. Who cares what they think?'

In explaining the decision, a spokesman for the NYMR said: 'Expectations currently reflected in the recent Equalities Act mean that the charity must avoid causing offence to any section of the public. 'Due to the trust's obligation to consider diversity and possible offence, careful consideration has been taken to decide whether it is right for the German re-enactment at Levisham Station to continue. 'The railway will now consult with the volunteers to deliver an alternative event that continues to educate passengers on the Second World War, with a focus on inclusion and fun for all the family.' The inclusion of Nazi costumes in wartime reenactments has proved controversial over the years in the UK.

The Public Order Act 1936 prohibits the wearing of political uniforms in public places or meetings and was passed to combat extremist movements, most notably Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists. The act was most recently used against Britain First leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen in 2015 and 2016, due to the far-right group's tendency to dress in green jackets and black flat caps. But the wearing of Nazi uniforms as part of wartime reenactments is legal in the UK and tends to be a matter for those managing the events to judge. In 2011 Nazi uniforms were banned from a World War II railway event in Bury, Greater Manchester, with East Lancashire Railway bosses citing Prestwich's prevalent Jewish community as a reason for the banning of swastikas and other insignia.

Says it all doesn't it? One organiser says : 'You can't expunge history.' Members of the public express their disbelief and disgust : 'Absolutely ridiculous!!! How are the young people supposed to learn about history if we are not able to teach them, in case someone is offended!! I think that this situation is taking political correctness just a step too far!!' and 'I'm offended by the fact that certain people will be. Pathetic world we live in. It happened for goodness sake. The war weekend has been very successful if people are offended stay away. Who cares what they think?' And the offending East Lancashire Railway bosses cite 'Prestwich's prevalent Jewish community as a reason for the banning of swastikas and other insignia.' Did they consult the Jewish community? In the hard copy of this article it stated that Lord Tebbut campaigns against political correctness - as soon as I find a viable quote/story I will add this august and enlightened former politicians voice to those at the top of the page!

Police force severs all ties with its own male voice choir because it does not promote gender equality - are they serious?

Derbyshire Constabulary Male Choir has raised thousands for charity since 1956
But Chief Constable now is cutting ties from group to support gender equality 
Choir attracted controversy when it claimed it couldn't accept female singers

By Katie French for Mailonline |Published: 17:41, 4 April 2018 | Updated: 08:56, 5 April 2018

Derbys Police all male choir

Since 1956 The Derbyshire Constabulary Male Voice Choir has performed at events across the country raising hundreds of thousands for charity - image courtesy& © of the Derby Telegraph / BPM Media

A police force has severed all ties with its own male voice choir because it doesn't promote gender equality. Since 1956 The Derbyshire Constabulary Male Voice Choir has performed at events across the country raising hundreds of thousands for charity. But they have found they are no longer singing from the same hymn sheet as the force's Chief Constable. Peter Goodman says he can no 'no longer support' the organisation. Now they have been asked to cut ties from Derbyshire Police as part of a drive to promote gender equality within the force.

The choir faced upheaval trying to recruit around 50 female singers and claimed they could not afford to expand just to meet quotas. From June onwards the choir, which is made up of civilians, will change its name to the Derbyshire Community Male Voice Choir. Choir chairman Kevin Griffiths said the change of name has resulted from the constabulary's drive to promote gender equality in all aspects of its operations. The Chief Constable invited the group, which is linked to the force as members have worn police tunics for performances in the past, to become a 'mixed voices' choir. But Mr Griffiths said the choir felt 'unable to accept' his suggestion. As a result, the Chief Constable gave notice that the authorisation for the choir to use 'Derbyshire Constabulary' in its name had been revoked.

The choir have also been requested to take steps to disassociate themselves from Derbyshire Police. 'We fully understand the rationale behind Mr Goodman's decision,' said Mr Griffiths. 'However, after considering the logistics and difficulties of undertaking such a transformation we felt unable to accept his invitation. 'We are very good at what we do, and to undertake such a change would have required the recruitment of up to 50 new female members with a host of associated costs. 'We felt that to attempt such a change would have destroyed the choir and felt it was better to sever our association with the constabulary and continue the good work we do under a new name.' Mr Griffiths said the choir would acquire new clothing and seek to create a 'more contemporary' image for their forthcoming concert season.

The choir has met every Monday evening from early September to late May at St Mary's Wharf Police Station in Derby. Now they will need to find a new rehearsal venue. 'The choir are seeking to attract a number of new members and believe that their association with the constabulary may have prevented potential members from joining in the past,' said Mr Griffiths. 'We have worn a police tunic for performances in the past, originally worn by police officers in the 1960 and 1980s. 'This leads some people to believe that we are all serving police officers. It couldn't be further from the truth as the choir are now entirely civilian. 'We see this as a great opportunity to develop the choir even further over the next few years,' he said. 'We are a very active and successful choir which raises thousands of pounds for charity each year. Since our formation in 1956 we estimate we have raised in the region of £750,000 for local good causes. 'The choir has not received any direct financial support from the force for many years. The only major change for us is a move to a new rehearsal room which we are currently undertaking.'

Are YOU too easily offended? This game of 'snowflake bingo' aims to root out those with the most fragile of sensitivities

- 'Generation Snowflake' is a term used to describe overly-sensitive young people This game of 'snowflake bingo' aims to expose those who are too easily offended
- The more squares** you note down, the bigger the snowflake you are

By Daily Mail Reporter For The Daily Mail| Published: 2nd February 2018 | Updated: 3rd February 2018

These days, you can't seem to do anything without offending someone. Just this week, Formula 1 banned 'sexist' grid girls, a cafe celebrating 'racist' Churchill was stormed by hard-Left protesters and a gallery banished a 'soft-porn' Victorian painting of nude nymphs.

Has the world gone stark staring mad?

Many blame 'Generation Snowflake' — young millennials who go through life feeling permanently offended and moaning endlessly online. With an overwhelming sense of entitlement and an extreme sense of humour failure, they think their opinions are the only ones that count. So, are you a snowflake? It's time to put your sensitivities to the test. Eyes down for a full house (if that's not too insulting to young people who can't afford a mortgage)...

How do you play snowflake bingo?

PC Bingo Balls

- Grab a pen and read the bingo squares below — each contains a real-life example of something that has offended snowflakes.
- If you are insulted by the example too, make a note of the box title.
- If you make no notes, you're a normal, functioning member of society.
- If you note down all the squares in a line (vertical or horizontal), BINGO! You're a snowflake.
- Note down every single square and FULL HOUSE! You're more of an avalanche and probably shouldn't leave the house.
- But wait — the game's not over yet, there's still a chance to prove your snowflake credentials with our powerballs below.
- Each colour is linked to a phrase used by snowflakes to avoid causing offence to other snowflakes.
- If you have used any of these in a non-ironic manner, note down every bingo square that matches the colour of the ball.

** NO! Sensitivities or otherwise, I'm not going to do everything for you, if you really want to play visit the article website to check out all the mardy example squares!


Daily Mail | Press Reader 29th July 2019 | Which words or phrases would you outlaw and why? | Tell us at: wordcrimes@

Article about stamping our words

The word 'fastidious' might have been invented to describe Jacob Rees-Mogg. So it was unsurprising that his first act upon becoming Leader of the Commons was to hand his newly acquired staff a list of various words or phrases which he did not wish them to use in any communication. These included: 'very', 'due to', 'ongoing', 'hopefully', 'unacceptable', 'equal', 'lot' and 'got'. I don't agree with all his anathemas (a term with which, as a Catholic, he will be familiar). For example, 'got' seems unobjectionable. Indeed, in his debut at the despatch box, Rees-Mogg declared: 'Mr Speaker, we have got perambulators and nannies into this session, which I think must be a first.' I was shocked to hear the so-called 'honourable member for the 18th century' use the expression 'a first'.

Daily Mail article scan

Mail readers will have their own lists of words or phrases which grate. One which seems now to be endemic, and must be resisted, is 'incredible' or, even more ubiquitous, 'incredibly'. Apart from the relentless hyperbole of it all, these are frequently used to mean the opposite of what they purport to describe. The wonderful Gillian Reynolds, doyenne of broadcasting critics, tells me she has been driven to screaming at her radio, so frequent are the 'incredibles' and 'incrediblys' emerging from it. I share your pain, Gillian. While we're about it: ' literally' and 'exponentially' should be stamped out, since they are so seldom used correctly. 'Famously' also requires linguistic euthanasia, being both over-used and otiose**.

** I admit to looking this one up : adjective: otiose
1.serving no practical purpose or result : "there were occasions when I felt my efforts were rather otiose"
2.archaic : indolent or idle.

My services are available to the Leader of the Commons, at a guinea a word. I can assure you my services would cost a whole lot more!

How could I pass up an invitation to e-mail my pet hates

The e-mail I sent

Narrative :

Thank you for the opportunity of allowing me to vent!

Devour – I have seen on more than one occasion that someone has written that they cannot wait to 'devour' a book. What? Devour a book?, is the writer of this preposterous statement a wild animal unable to contain themselves? Do they have a second stomach that can process paper? Or unnaturally strong teeth (and some other organ) for devouring a tablet, an iPad or any other screen facility for reading books?

Like – I am appalled (like) to see (like) the overuse (like) of the word 'like' included in the speech (like) of some young (sic like) persons, regrettably (like) it also appears in articles (like) where people are quoted (like) verbatim (like).

Forwards – this is a sin against English grammar perpetrated by (in the main) tennis commentators. I noticed one specific commentator (whose brother, having been a thesp, would turn in his grave) started using phrases such as 'he/she is/are moving forwards to the net' .... (instead of 'forward towards' or 'towards' on its own) and what is worse, others are following his lead, even that doyenne of Swedish tennis whose English is better than most Brits is reverting to this nonsensical 'tennispeak'.

Amazing & Ensure – silly words that are repeated and repeated and repeated endlessly sometimes more than once in one sentence. Ensure I count as a pc word so it has a double whammy in my opinion (though not humble).

The omission of the end of a phrase, imported from America I think, such as 'do you want to come/go with?'

Oh and what's this latest craze of "I would very much like to point out ....." "I would very much like to see ...." "We believe this would very much benefit the ignorant ...." – what grammatical context is this interspersion of 'very much' in the middle of a phrase, either as an added unnecessary extra or in the wrong placement if required for emphasis – is it just plain uneducated ignorance or an impish desire to set people's teeth on edge as does the split infinitive?

There, I feel a whole lot better – thank you.

Plus the bits I forgot to add!

The bits I forgot

I wrote an e-mail to Wordcrimes but forgot to add 'smashing it' to the list and my real pet hate the misuse of 'could/should OF' for 'could have' 'should have' etc.!

And I forgot, although this could appear individually, that the other day on the BBC news they called in an expert to discuss the fiasco that the sale of the House of Fraser (that's FRASER) was reeking on the buyer who had perhaps not done all his investigations into the company as thoroughly as he could, leaving him in a precarious financial position! The expert kept referring to the House of FRASIER - how unforgiveable and unprofessional is that?

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
- ‘Uncharted territory.’ It’s uncharted. - Robin Key
- At this moment in time.’ Now. - Neil Go ugh
- ‘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 ‘please’ should be reported to the police.  - Lynn Jones
- ‘I’all just jump in the shower.’ Sounds dangerous. - Carole Russell
- ‘Do you know what?’ at the beginning of every sentence. - Anna Sellers
- ‘I’m not guinea 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 Thorn berry on Question Time, which is enough reason for it to be annoying. - Ian Sew ell
- ‘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’all get the . . .’ when used in cafes and restaurants by customers who are ordering. ‘I’all 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 got 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 - Nil / DANDRUFF - Winners

In response to the article below I had a think about how I felt about the use of 'snowflake' in relation to the cry-baby/fascist generation that is emerging and the beauty of each individual and let's face it unique (in its correct use) 'flake, or small filmy mass, of snow' (dictionary definition). The Dictionary definition does not actually refer to its uniqueness which is a terrible shame, if it did then perhaps in general it would be recognised that those with a 'herd' mentality are hardly unique ..... Further research on my part (see below) revealed quite a history (of which I was unaware) of the use of 'snowflake' as a derogatory term. So it's not a new thing then? How unimaginative to recycle something old and tired that has been used before! Therefore I dub these individuals the 'Dandruff' generation. Now interestingly, 'dandruff' is referred to as 'a scurf which forms on the head, and comes off in small scales or particles' it seems everywhere is desperate not to use 'flake' for scurf or particles, however, undeterred I found this under 'scurf' - 'a thin flake of dead epidermis shed from the surface of the skin [syn: {scale}, {exfoliation}].'

From 'The Art of the Snowflake' - The perfect geometry and exquisite beauty of nature is nowhere near as clear to us as in the snowflake. As miraculous a feat of nature as the snowflake is, have we ever been truly able to appreciate this infinitesimal wonder in all its crystalline glory? Art of the Snowflake, as much a work of art as a testament to science, reveals how one of the snowflake's most inspired photographers came to such intimate knowledge of his craft and its fleeting focus. Beautiful pictures illustrate Kenneth Libbrecht's story of the microphotography of snow crystals, from the pioneering work of Wilson Bentley in the 1890s right up to Ken's own innovations in our age of digital images. A breathtaking look at the works of art that melt in an instant, this is a book to flip through and savor, season after season.

Now to the question of Stephen Pollard using 'Snowflakes' and 'Fascists' in one heading - I admit, that although I enjoyed the article and agreed with the majority of the sentiment therein something doesn't sit well with me seeing the two words used in collaboration with each other - look how easily I used 'collaboration' in that sentence; weren't 'collaborators' deemed the scum of the earth after WWII, a phrase was even coined after the first and most prominent of them all - 'Quisling'!

So I had a bit of play with the two conceptual (I will not use 'iconic' which is sooooo overused these days - bah humbug!) designs and found that the original blue, white and black design was actually complementary but turn it into the negative and devil incarnate in all its evil menace is staring you in the face! I mean visually this is pretty scary stuff and I do use imagery and visual stimuli a lot to work out problems (not 'issues'*) as I can 'see' outcomes. Try it next time you have to solve a mental arithmetic sum or a Sudoku puzzle.

Benign SnowflakeTerrifying Snowflake

l to r (on the left as you look on the screen) is a benign variation but just asking the computer to put it into reverse (right of screen) sent a shockwave through me - think 'Turin Shroud' effect.

So historically why has the pure and unique and beautiful snowflake been so maligned? Tracing it back to its origins it all seems to have stemmed from 'In Missouri in the early 1860s, a 'snowflake' was a person who was opposed to the abolition of slavery—the implication of the name being that such people valued white people over black people. This use seems not to have endured.' These lines come from a really interesting article by Merriman-Webster whose website I urge you to visit to read more on the subject matter. In their 'Lost History of the Snowflake' they say 'Though snow has long been a feature of the natural world in some climes at some times, current available evidence of the word snowflake dates it only to the early 18th century. Flakes and crystals of snow existed long before then, of course, but they were known by such charming words as flother and flaw and flaucht. Those words fell out of use while snowflake settled into the lexicon with its hushed and lovely literal meaning. In recent times, though, the word has been causing a ruckus. It's developed a new and decidedly less pleasant use as a disparaging term for a person who is seen as overly sensitive and fragile. In the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. elections it was lobbed especially fiercely by those on the right side of the political spectrum at those on the left. And the snowball fight has continued since.'

The New York Times brings us up to date to 1996 as the reason for the latest revival of the word as a derogatory term '"Every age has its own preferred terms of political emasculation. Teddy Roosevelt called Woodrow Wilson a “white-handy Miss Nancy.” Adlai Stevenson was dubbed “Adelaide.” Michael Dukakis was called a “pansy,” George H.W. Bush a “wimp” and John Kerry — in a subtle feat of gendered rhetoric — an effete “flip-flopper” who “looks French.” It’s not just individual politicians who are painted as deficient in their manhood, either. Ideas and coalitions get the same treatment: Irving Kristol observed in the 1990s that “the American welfare state has had a feminine coloration from the very beginning”; Orrin Hatch once called the Democrats “the party of homosexuals.” These days, the preferred insult is a new addition to the canon: “snowflake.” It is simultaneously emasculating and infantilizing, suggesting fragility but also an inflated sense of a person’s own specialness and a naïve embrace of difference. It evokes the grade-school art classes in which children scissor up folded pieces of construction paper and learn that every snowflake is unique, and every person is, too. This derogatory “snowflake” has its roots in a 1996 novel, “Fight Club,” by Chuck Palahniuk, whose narrator, beaten down into a shell of a man by his office-drone job and cookie-cutter condominium, finds himself by joining an underground men’s street-fighting cult. Club members repeat a mantra that begins: “You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” A 2005 afterword by Palahniuk said the book “presented a new social model for men to share their lives,” one that would give them “the structure and roles and rules of a game” but not be “too touchy-feely.” In the years since, a similar model has flourished in the online “manosphere,” a constellation of men’s-rights activist sites, pick-up-artist guides and bodybuilding forums that serves as a caldron for far-right politics." (Back to fascism again then?)

“I think it’s gone beyond slang,” said Jonathon Green, slang lexicographer and author of several dictionaries of slang. “It’s a very specific, very politicized insult.” Read more at ThinkProgress

'Poor Little Snowflake - the defining insult of 2016' - The Guardian opines : 'The term ‘snowflake’ has been thrown around with abandon in the wake of Brexit and the US election, usually to express generic disdain for young people. How can we neutralise its power – and is it a bad metaphor anyway? The term has undergone a curious journey to become the most combustible insult of 2016. It emerged a few years ago on American campuses as a means of criticising the hypersensitivity of a younger generation, where it was tangled up in the debate over safe spaces and no platforming. A much-memed line from Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club expresses a very early version of the sentiment in 1996: “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same organic and decaying matter as everyone else.” But recently it has widened its reach, and in doing so, diluted its meaning. It has been a favoured phrase of some tabloids, which have used it as a means of expressing generic disdain for young people who are behaving differently from people older than them. Whenever a new survey appears that claims young people are having less sex, or drinking less alcohol, or having less fun, it’s there as a handy one-word explanation: they are snowflakes. Until very recently, to call someone a snowflake would have involved the word “generation”, too, as it was typically used to describe, or insult, a person in their late teens or early 20s. At the start of November, the Collins English Dictionary added “snowflake generation” to its words of the year list, where it sits alongside other vogue-ish new additions such as “Brexit” and “hygge”. The Collins definition is as follows: “The young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations”. Depending on what you read, being part of the “snowflake generation” may be as benign as taking selfies or talking about feelings too much, or it may infer a sense of entitlement, an untamed narcissism, or a form of identity politics that is resistant to free speech."

My husband, when we chatted about this told me that the background to using the word was because a snowflake has no substance and disappears into nothingness as quickly as it originally appeared - that may indeed be the case but a memory of beauty lingers, that's the point they all miss! Anyway, The Sun, of all papers has produced the 'perfick' guide (I have left their own links into further articles) :

THE KIDS AREN'T ALL RIGHT - What is a snowflake, what is the origin of the term and who are ‘Generation Snowflake’?

Here's everything you need to know about the term "snowflake" - including where it came from and who it applies to

By George Harrison - 18th April 2018

D0 you keep hearing the word "snowflake" being used to describe groups of protesters or outraged Twitter users? Well, here's everything you need to know about the term - including where it came from and who it often refers to. The term snowflake applies to young people who think they are special and unique, like real snowflakes

What does 'snowflake' mean?

- Other than frozen rain, a "snowflake" is a term used to describe used an overly sensitive person who thinks the world revolves around them.
- Snowflakes gasp in horror when they hear an opinion they don't like, and believe they have a right to be protected from anything unpalatable.
- Today's generation of sensitive uni students are often labelled snowflakes because they receive "trigger warnings" on books and lectures that might contain upsetting subjects.
- Snowflake youngsters were horrified at un-PC jokes in the 90s sitcom Friends, which they saw for the first time when it was released on Netflix. The term was also used when people began complaining about old James Bond films starring Sean Connery.
- The name comes from the phrase "special snowflake", meaning somebody who is self-obsessed and fragile, easily offended, or unable to deal with opposing opinions.
- It became popular in 2016 when some older generations scoffed at young people's "hysterical" reaction to the EU referendum result.

(Many 'snowflake' young people took the result of the Brexit referendum personally) - Seriously?

What are the origins of the term snowflake?

- The word has become so popular it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in January 2018.
- The experts say snowflake is "now used as an insult to describe someone who is ‘overly sensitive or as feeling entitled to special treatment or consideration’.
- "The word in fact once had positive connotations and was used to describe children with a unique personality and potential."- "Snowflake" first became popular as an insult in the US after the release of 1996 Brad Pitt film Fight Club. One of the prominent lines, "You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake," clearly struck a chord and the phrase took off. Chuck Palahniuk, who wrote the cult book the film was based on, has claimed he invented the term. The author told the Evening Standard it "does come from Fight Club", adding it resonates even more two decades on. He said: “There is a kind of new Victorianism. “Every generation gets offended by different things but my friends who teach in high school tell me that their students are very easily offended.”
- America's Miriam-Webster dictionary reckons snowflake has been used as an insult for nearly 150 years, but with a different meaning. It says: "In the 1970s snowflake was a disparaging term for a white man or for a black man who was seen as acting white. It was also used as a slang term for cocaine. "But before either of those it was used for a time with a very particular political meaning. In Missouri in the early 1860s, a snowflake was a person who was opposed to the abolition of slavery — the implication of the name being that such people valued white people over black people. "The snowflakes hoped slavery would survive the country's civil war, and were contrasted with two other groups."
- Meanwhile, the use of "Generation Snowflake" is often traced back to Claire Fox and her book, "I Find That Offensive".

(Sensitive students are often tarred with the Generation Snowflake brush as well) - Define 'sensitive!'

Who is part of Generation Snowflake?

- Generation Snowflake is a put-down used to describe the current generation of sensitive millennials.
- Collins dictionary describes Generation Snowflake as: "The generation of people who became adults in the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations."
- Aged in their late teens and early twenties, this generation mostly embraced their snowflake ways while they were at university.
- Today, many of these unis are hostile to free speech and determined to shield students from any ideas they don't like.
- Students unions demand "safe spaces" - areas where people cannot disagree with or challenge your ideas.
- Meanwhile, other ways Generation Snowflake is leaving its mark on the world is by introducing "trigger warnings" and "no platforming" speakers whose opinions they may not agree with.
- One students' union conference banned clapping at meeting in case it caused "trauma", asking people to wave silent "jazz hands" instead.
- Last year we told how a student in Salford called in sick and spent the whole day crying at the result of the US election.

The academic Claire Fox, head of the Institute of Ideas thinktank, has written that this generation has an "almost belligerent sense of entitlement." She said: "They assume their emotional suffering takes precedence. Express a view they disagree with and you must immediately recant and apologise." Once at a debate she suggested rape wasn’t necessarily the worst thing a woman could experience, and many of the audience broke down in tears and began hugging each other. She said: "Their reaction shocked me. It brought home the contrast to previous generations of young people, who would have relished the chance to argue back." - I won't even shake hands in 'friendship' in church so if someone wanted a hug .......

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 2018 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 irresistible.'

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.
- Over-using the word 'issues' in place of, say, 'problems' - you'd never refer to an 'issue-solver' but you would refer to 'problem-solvers' when referring to 'issues' - honestly the word itself rhyming with 'tissues' and reminding me of the 'issue from the body' just makes me think of phlegm, afterbirth and lots of nasty soft, smelly 'issues' yuk!
- 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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