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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Is political correctness out of control?


    by Sunny on 4th January, 2006 at 10:59 am    

    Or has the hype of there being “too much political correctness” out of control? The think-tank (I use the term loosely here) Civitas published a pamphlet today by journalist (even more loosely) Anthony Browne who claims that PC thinking is “harming society”.

    The pamphlet, which has extracts on their website, is called The Retreat of Reason.

    Before I dissect his arguments, let me point out that Anthony Brown is an A class dunce with connections to white supremacists. His intelligence stretches as far as the boys from Mpac, except he dresses it in more subtle language.

    The BBC published a news story on this today and the best the frikking News Online team could rustle up for a comment was the bigger dunce Inayat Bunglawala from the MCB. Great job guys. Don’t waste too much energy getting someone with more intelligence will you?

    Reformist Muslim and Curious Hamster have also published retorts to the pamphlet and I’m borrowing some points from them. They are both worth reading.

    Points made by Browne
    1) Civitas say that political correctness is curtailing free-speech in their opening statement here, which is funny because I have neither seen the raving lunatics from the BNP banged up (except for chucking dogshit through letter boxes and threatening people), nor does Melanie Phillips ever shut up.

    This tactics of saying freedom of speech is being curtailed, with no given evidence, is a tactic similar to the American right going on their rightwing American media and claiming the media is dominated by liberals.

    Civitas cites examples of “politically correct truths” being used in favour of “factually correct truths” but has no examples of censorship of course.

    2) He says : “By closing down debates, it restricts the ability of society to tackle the problems that face it.” He tells BBC News that the issues behind the Bradford riots, where most of the rioters were Asian, had not been tackled because of political correctness.

    Really? So what was the Cantle report all about? What about the huge jail sentences that were handed out to kids without any public acknowledgement of the part that the BNP played in starting the riot? Don’t want to blame your friends Mr Browne? Apologies for the llack of links but I’m on dial-up and can’t be asked to go hunting. Google ‘em.

    Browne is also ignorant to that fact that many of the “Muslim ghettoes” created in areas like Bradford were a result of specific local housing association plans. A friend once told me she and her husband had problems looking for a house in Bradford because many estate agents suddenly had no houses in posher areas when the customer’s name was Asian, confirmed later when a white friend called the same agent.

    3) Brown says a rise in new HIV infections since 1997 was down to increasing levels of HIV infected migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, but that political correctness had stopped the government tailoring public health policy to this.

    To which Reformist Muslim states: The number of new HIV cases acquired in Africa was around 3000. The black population in the UK is over 1 million - you can do the math. On top of this a lot of this was actually a result of British or British born people of African descent acquiring it on their travels abroad rather than direct immigration. At the same time there has been a significant rise in the number of other STD’s in the U.K which have largely been acquired in the U.K. I wouldn’t deny that HIV infection in Africa is not a problem, but to suggest nothing is being done about it because of political correctness is stretching it.

    4) He says: Women’s pay less than men’s is because of “Different work/life choices, childcare breaks”, and nothing to do with sex discrimination. Haha! So all those discrimination lawsuits that uncover women being paid less than men for the same job are rubbish then? Sexism doesn’t exist! Sheesh! I think of all the stupid claims made, this one is the funniest.

    5) Rise in anti-semitic attacks is apparently factually due to Muslim youths only, and only the PC brigade harp on about white skinheads. That’s right, it’s like the RVF never existed. Where are the figures to support this, that is what I want to know. Making stupid claims is easy Mr Browne, you do that all the time.

    6) More crap from Civitas: Africa getting poorer because of “bad governance”, not “West not giving enough aid”.

    Actually, both are rubbish. Africa is poor because the USA and Europe keep dumping their food and textiles on the continent in the form of “aid”, while at the same time propping up their farmers with billions of pounds of subsidies. Africa wouldn’t be so poor if world trade was more fair.

    I don’t believe many intelligent people have actually advocated giving more aid to Africa (except when there is an emergency), but have laboured more to cancel their external debt so the crippling interest payments could instead be used on building education and health services.

    But then Browne never was much of an economist, and it shows.

    On political correctness
    I won’t deny there has been instances of excessive political correctness, for example over calling Christmas lights ‘winter lights’. But try to remember - those isolated incidents haven’t yet led to the breakdown of British society, and I doubt they will.

    The more silly examples such as banning piggy banks were exposed as frauds.

    Asians themselves have a duty to fight against excessive political correctness and avoid developing a victim culture. But the biggest perpetrators of such victim culture aren’t ordinary people but various religious organisations - aided and abetted by the media itself which loves to first create the controversy and then harp on about it.

    Browne isn’t telling us anything new, he is just recycling tired old arguments under the cover of “no freedom of speech” and “we are losing our culture” - arguments that are much more about rhetoric than actual fact. Maybe he should take a dose of his own medicine.

    Update: Robert Sharp has also written a good piece regarding this pamphlet.



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    79 Comments below   |  

    1. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 11:27 am  

      There is probably some truth in both what you say Sunny and what Browne says. It’s all about emphasis.
      For example, common sense says there must be some truth to:“Women’s pay is less than men’s because of “Different work/life choices, childcare breaks”
      The question is, did he also really say: and nothing to do with sex discrimination.

      The best we can hope for is proper balance. Hence when you say the following, I couldn’t agree more:
      The BBC published a news story on this today and the best the frikking News Online team could rustle up for a comment was the bigger dunce Inayat Bunglawala from the MCB. Great job guys. Don’t waste too much energy getting someone with more intelligence will you?

      P.S. My wife earns more than me and my boss is a woman.

    2. j0nz — on 4th January, 2006 at 12:40 pm  

      He tells BBC News that the issues behind the Bradford riots, where most of the rioters were Asian, had not been tackled because of political correctness.

      From friends witness accounts this does appear to be true. It was basically angry white racists versus angry young Muslim according to two hindu friends who were in the area at the time.

      In fact it really pisses me off that the media refuse to differentiate on the basis of religion but always differentiate on the basis of race. After 7th July, ‘Asians’ were to be targeted for more stop & searches. Like wtf? Why not say of Muslim appearance? I saw asians who were clearly not muslim, i.e. sikh being searched…. because they was asian. Plus there are increasing numbers of zealous white converts. To target asians is just dumb.

    3. Jezza — on 4th January, 2006 at 12:45 pm  

      asians are stopped and searched. quite a lot of non-asians think “their all the same”.

      is jonz on some incapacity benefit allowing him to be a blogger?

    4. j0nz — on 4th January, 2006 at 12:48 pm  

      j0nz is hard at work!

      asians are stopped and searched. quite a lot of non-asians think “their all the same”.

      Doesn’t that wind you up though? It does me. Especially when the authorities effectively announce that asians are all the same by saying asians are to be targetted for stop & search…

    5. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 12:58 pm  

      jOnz

      Are you Asian?

      But to the majority of white people, all Asians are the same. They neither care about difference or want to care about it. We are all a bunch of Pakis to them.

      Not all white people are this ignorant of course. But it can be disconcerting when even educated folk and journalists make this mistake.

      This annoys me - but at the same time I dont want it to be such a point that I distance myself from Pakistanis just because of it. Educate politely, but keep the unity, thats the trick.

      As for Anthony Browne - didnt he write something on a website once about how Africans have genetically lower IQ’s than white people or something like that?

      I dont see the point in getting riled up about this man. Everyone knows that there are some things that have to be said. But it so easily falls over into the kind of thing the Gay Humanist magazine article did - take a serious issue that needs to be tackled - right wing Islamist extremism and its corrolaries - and use it as a stepping stone for some attitudes that make you go yuck.

      It is another reason why all of us - Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Jew, African-Caribbean, along with those white folk who wish us well and are sincere and understanding, to step up to the mic and speak up about these things truthfully so the agenda doesnt get taken over by the Right.

      Anthny Browne is nothing but a damp squib.

    6. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 1:19 pm  

      Ahem. Call me a pedant, but it was repeated three times… It should be “they’re all the same…” as you all know.

    7. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 1:21 pm  

      jOnz,
      I hear what you are saying. But I also get annoyed at being lumped together into something called “white”
      In fact, I usually I’m forced to tick the “other” box in racial questionnaires, which is doubly annoying.

    8. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 1:31 pm  

      “..I’m usually forced to…”

    9. j0nz — on 4th January, 2006 at 2:35 pm  

      I’m not asian no… It is rather ironic when they say “for equal oportunities tell us your race”. How annoying is that? I’m sometimes almost afraid to tick White British - due to discrimination - ‘positive’ discrimination!!

    10. Don — on 4th January, 2006 at 2:39 pm  

      Jay,

      ‘But to the majority of white people, all Asians are the same. They neither care about difference or want to care about it. We are all a bunch of Pakis to them. ‘ Well, hardly. You would need to be pretty ill-informed to make no distinction between a Thai buddhist and a Pakistani moslem, between Japanese and Uzbeki. Perhaps by Asian you meant the Indian sub-continent? even then, to say ‘the majority’ is a bit dismissive.

      When you say, ‘neither care about difference or want to care about it’ is that a bad thing? Most of the people I know see themselves as well-informed, left-leaning liberals who have regarded racism as the ultimate enemy since they were old enough to pin on a lapel badge without injuring themselves, but my old mum, for example, has a very simplistic view. To her asians are;

      a. Sikhs and Gurkhas, who are ’splendid soldiers’.
      b. The bloke over the road who will collect parcels from the postman and enjoys a gossip.
      c. The bloke in the corner shop who tried to sell her an out of date pie.
      d. Her in-laws.
      e. Mad bombers on the news.

      Not exactly sophisticated, but at 86 it’s a bit extreme to ask her to distinguish according to religious belief and cultural variation.

      However, I take your point about those to take an important issue and use it as a stalking horse to confirm their own agenda. There are times when the media just doesn’t know how to react to the radical shift in identity politics, inter- and intra- group maneuvering, grievance-waving community leaders, sly racist opportunism, and the complete collapse of the liberal/left concensus.

      If there is a lesson to be learned from places like PP it is that the debate can be robust, even angry, that people can be wrong and told so, people can be offended but they just have to get over it, marshall their facts and get back in the messy, interminable process of getting along.

    11. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 2:53 pm  

      Don’s right you know Jay.
      It works both ways.
      One can also underestimate and generalise too much about whites/others, as you just did.

    12. BevanKieran — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

      Two articles that Sunny’s link above alluded too.

      http://www.vdare.com/misc/browne_article.htm
      http://www.vdare.com/misc/browne_britain.htm

      (Vdare is a visciously racist, anti-immigration U.S. website). In summary, a mate told me this country this country is goin daaan the drain, Britain is becoming a foreign land etc.

      It seems the BBC are not exactly au fait with the loony fringe; other examples include quoting members of HT and inviting MPACuk spokesperson on Newsnight without suitable reference to their extremism.

    13. Rohin — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:31 pm  

      Very thorough Sunny. I agree with El Cid on one thing - there is some truth in what Browne says, but he always adds a stupid suffix.

      e.g. The rise in anti-semitism is mostly due to Muslim youths - I’d probably agree.

      The rise in anti-semitism is due to Muslim youths AND NO ONE ELSE - nonsense.

      And so forth. J0nz had a version without the suffices (gr?) on his blog the other day - apart from a complete absence of an ‘explosion in HIV’ in the UK, the only one I really had a problem with was the women earning less. Again, Browne puts this ALL down to different career choices. But I know for a fact that women are paid less in comparable roles to men - it’s a point proven again and again. And again, similarly to El Cid (and just as anecdotally) my gf earns way more than me and will do for many years!

    14. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:12 pm  

      El Cid & Don

      I qualified my generalisation.

      +++++++

      I really wish Anthony Browne would have his ‘VDare articles’ included in any profile written on him when he speaks of the stifling of truth by the politically correct - he shold not be ashamed to speak about why he thinks African people are of genetically lower IQ to other races.

      Then we can look at the statistics and place his assertion on the ‘explosion’ of AIDS being solely due to those pesky African immigrants in its proper context (must be spreading it because of their low IQ - why doesnt anyone ask Anthony Browne these questions?)

    15. BevanKieran — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:30 pm  

      Jay

      Its a good point and one I raised in a complaint to the BBC. Enough people complained the last time round concerning the MPACuk spokesman in Newsnight to have some effect.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/news/2005/11/22/27443.shtml

      I urge people to summon up the spirit of meddling granny Mary Whitehouse and complain in kind.

    16. Col. Mustafa — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:33 pm  

      I remember seeing Agshar and co on a few shows including Newsnight.
      I never complained though, i just shouted at the tv for a while.
      Good course of action, complain; i think ill do that next time.

    17. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:37 pm  

      Bevan Kieran

      I will write an e-mail to them - good thinking Batman.

    18. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 5:05 pm  

      let me know if I miss them next time, and i’ll do so too

    19. Old Pickler — on 4th January, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

      nor does Melanie Phillips ever shut up.

      Nor should she. She is the voice of reason, along with me and Julie Burchill.

    20. Vikrant — on 4th January, 2006 at 5:48 pm  

      Nor should she. She is the voice of reason, along with me and Julie Burchill.

      Joke of the day!

    21. Rohin — on 4th January, 2006 at 6:13 pm  

      I second that. Christ almighty, you would willingly put yourself in the same category as MP and Julie Burchill?

      JULIE FUCKING BURCHILL?!

      I’m speechless. The woman is human waste of the highest order.

    22. Bikhair#2 — on 4th January, 2006 at 6:44 pm  

      Old Pickler

      “Nor should she. She is the voice of reason, along with me and Julie Burchill.”

      I think you forgot Rod Liddle, a scumbag when it comes to treating women, but one must make allowances.

    23. Don — on 4th January, 2006 at 6:53 pm  

      Is Bikhair#2 now a contributor? Can’t you just call yourself, oh, I dunno, Bikki?

    24. Bikhair#2 — on 4th January, 2006 at 6:59 pm  

      Sunny

      “Rise in anti-semitic attacks is apparently factually due to Muslim youths only, and only the PC brigade harp on about white skinheads. That’s right, it’s like the RVF never existed. Where are the figures to support this that is what I want to know. Making stupid claims is easy Mr Browne, you do that all the time.”

      I don’t know about Britain, but in France with Western Europe’s largest Jewish community, it is Muslims, I’m sorry “youths” who are responsible for the overwhelming number of attacks on Jews. I remember the EU did a study on this a number of years ago, but it was terminated because it came to the wrong conculsions. (That pink skinned chavs are not responsible for attacks on Jews)

      More crap from Civitas: Africa getting poorer because of “bad governance”, not “West not giving enough aid.

      “Actually, both are rubbish. Africa is poor because the USA and Europe keep dumping their food and textiles on the continent in the form of “aid”, while at the same time propping up their farmers with billions of pounds of subsidies. Africa wouldn’t be so poor if world trade was more fair.”

      Do you really think it would be prudent to put your food supply in the hands of Bob Mugabe?

    25. Bikhair — on 4th January, 2006 at 7:05 pm  

      I am all about educating the children which is why I really hate that in my country, everyone likes to talk about how terrible the children are doing in school due to lack of resources, teacher compensation, or teacher training. The reality, atleast for many, is that some kids in our schools, i.e. blacks and latinos- MANY BUT NOT ALL- dont take thier education as seriously as other students. Their parents arent as involved in their education nor is the community really concerned and active in what is going on within those brick walls.

      Obviously no one wants to talk about that because it would mean that we actually had to deal with the fact that too many, BUT NOT ALL minority students dont really take their education seriously because of their culture and how it doesnt stress academic achievement.

    26. Bikhair — on 4th January, 2006 at 7:08 pm  

      Sunny,

      Is there anyway you can get rid of thise Bikhair#2 or demand that he properly distinguishes his name from mine. I am begining to be a little suspicious and the last thing you want is another Muslim getting caught up in some conspiracy.

    27. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 9:26 pm  

      Bikhair,
      The fact that academic achievement is not appreciated enough by modern society is a thorny issue close to my heart.
      But I really don’t understand why you single out latinos and blacks. You don’t even make an effort to qualify or adjust your comments in light of past PP threads. It is what makes me despise you and consider you a moron.
      What you see in your own barrio isn’t indicative of the wider world, when are you going to grasp that?
      It is well documented (yawn) that pakistanis and bangladeshis underachieve academically.
      It is also well documented that poor whites do shite, as do European arabs.
      Why some kids do less well than others, regardless of IQ, is a complicated question that deserves more complicated answers.
      I remember seeing a programme about a school in Uganda, which had a problem with kids breaking into school. It struck a chord with me because it was the exact opposite of the problems faced in the UK, and it made me think that it had a lot to do with ambition, need and the fact that education was seen as the only credible route out of abject poverty.
      In more developed societies we perhaps lack enough impetus. I would suggest we also lack working class heroes.
      However, I wouldn’t claim to have all the answers.

    28. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 9:28 pm  

      Bikhair#2
      You’re light relief because we can’t take you seriously.

    29. Jezza — on 4th January, 2006 at 9:48 pm  

      i cant believe antony browne is being employed by national newspaper and now this think tank . people that support him know who he really is. when he says his report was spurred on by how pc has stifled to state that the rise in hiv in london is due to africans - know he previously stated africans have the lowest iq , and thus the problem they suffer is due to their stupidity.
      he’s more of a general racist who shouldn’t be supported by anyone.

    30. Old Pickler — on 4th January, 2006 at 9:58 pm  

      you would willingly put yourself in the same category as MP and Julie Burchill?

      There’s only one person wiser than me, Julie Burchill and Melanie Phillips. That is Boris Johnson. He’s the best, and really sexy with it.

    31. Rohin — on 4th January, 2006 at 10:15 pm  

      Hey, you’re just trying to undo your disgraceful juxtaposition with those two horrors. Boris is like a get-out-of-jail card. Say you like Boris and suddenly everyone will like you. Who doesn’t like Boris? Hell I think he’s sexy.

      Now, where was that homosexuality thread?

    32. Siddharth — on 4th January, 2006 at 10:29 pm  

      I dream of Julie.

    33. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 11:41 pm  

      That’s kind of sick actually Siddhartha

    34. Arif — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:06 am  

      Strangely enough, Julie Burchill and I share almost exactly the same opinion on political correctness: it just means being polite to one another. Being polite is subjective. Like, I guess it doesn’t stop Julie thinking that countries should be bombed because women’s rights are badly abused there, and then linking that to a whole religion etc etc.

      But still the point stands. I could be deeply rude about Anthony Browne and someone will call it “robust debate” and someone else will write a pamphlet to say that such rudeness stifles debate.

      Anthony Browne would then probably go on TV to denounce the pamphlet for promoting political correctness which gets in the way of honest debate. Polly Toynbee will then point out that me, Sunny, Mr Browne, Ms Burchill and everyone else has had their say as they have decided to say it, so where is this frightening censorship except in your own heads?

      There is an element of truth - we all know there are boundaries to what we can say before people get provoked, offended or some button is pressed which means that a lot of people are closed down to all debate. That is sad, but it isn’t just one side or another. It depends on company.

      If we want more open debate, we should find ways to build more trust and show more respect to each other rather than less. In that way people will generally be more willing to listen without getting defensive. So political correctness has a strength in encouraging debate sometimes too.

    35. jamal — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:31 am  

      It is out of control. Though this post is somewhat hypocritical as you (sunny) have recently written a post saying muslims should be more tolerant to gays!!

      It is now difficult to say what one means in particular places due to fear of reprimands or even dismissal or prosecution.

      Correlatingly, many appear to be “walking on eggshells” due to not knowing what are he current politically correct labels and phrases to be used.
      I always wonder who actually makes the terms deemed acceptable or be it “political correct”.

      A good example is where i work there is a ‘diversity panel’ who considers this for the entire region and somerimes entire country. The joke is that the panel is mainly made up of white middle class people who havent really got a clue. In fact, i was the one who had to inform them about ‘islam in the workplace’.

    36. Sunny — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:53 am  

      Jamal - exactly what is hypocritical about suggesting that Muslims should tolerant towards homosexuals? I’m not asking you to become one, merely asking you to show some respect for another person’s choice.

      That isn’t being politically correct, it’s respecting the other person’s right to do something different. You bitch and moan and call everyone Islamophobic when someone criticises a Muslim person (or an aspect of Islam) and want them to show understanding, but display little of that yourself.

      I agree with Arif to a certain extent. The extent to which debate is being stifled is all subjective. Anthony Browne is bitching and moaning about the issue because that is what right-winger do - just complain about political correctness without any facts.

      I’m not denying there has been seeping political correctness over issues. I get annoyed about them too. But I don’t need a racist like Browne to tell me what is harming Britain, because we know what the ultimate answer for him is - brown people are hurting Britain.

    37. Raw Carrot — on 5th January, 2006 at 2:17 am  

      Personally, I’m with Anthony Browne on the whole issue.

      It’s telling that so many people seem unable (or unwilling) to accept that suggesting political correctness has gone too far is not racist.

      Plus, on what basis can you claim:

      But I don’t need a racist like Browne to tell me what is harming Britain, because we know what the ultimate answer for him is - brown people are hurting Britain.

      Quote one thing that he has said which is racist?

    38. Sunny — on 5th January, 2006 at 2:31 am  

      You missed my link on the top of his connections with white supremacists?

      Political correctness on certain issues might be excessive, but not on the issues that he singles out, as I show above. And I’m happy to debate those points in more detail (but didn’t want to bore everyone with my own pamphlet).

      For example, just before Christmas everyone in the right-wing press was screaming about political correctness regarding using the word ‘christmas’. But can anyone find me an Asian who objected? Some barmy people made silly decisiions which will probably be reversed, and other so-called stories turned out to be false. Asians love Christmas. It’s a bloody holiday, why won’t we love a holiday?

      So much of this political correctness is imagined by the press, who love banging it as a drum.

    39. Bikhair — on 5th January, 2006 at 3:30 am  

      El cid,

      I dont know why you sweat me so much. I also dont know why we disagree on this issue. I am not talking about peoples’ IQ or mental capacity to learn. I am talking about a culture which doesnt stress above many other things academic achievement.

      Interesting you should bring up Pakistanis, Bengalis, and Arabs in Europe because it is completely the opposite with those same groups in America. Similarly with blacks coming from Africa- East or West and even many blacks coming from the Carib they tend to do better than their black American counterparts. It has everything to do with culture.

      BTW I single out blacks and latinos because they are my only reference. I live with them, I am one of them, and I know what it is like going to school with them. NOT ALL but many. I should caution that talking about the latino population is more complex because we have a constant influx of temporary workers, who happen to have children in schools who are in and out of the country.

    40. Robert Sharp — on 5th January, 2006 at 4:20 am  

      In defence of political correctness

      The purpose of Political Correctness is a noble one. It seeks to refine our political debate. It identifies and eliminates prejudice. Inconvenienty for Civitas and Anthony Browne, some of this prejudice exists within the traditions and social mor…

    41. El Cid — on 5th January, 2006 at 9:27 am  

      Biccie-Biks
      Maybe you should think more carefully about what you write. Call it being polite, respectful — even politically correct

    42. Jay Singh — on 5th January, 2006 at 11:25 am  

      Anthony Browne should have the guts to bring his theories on the genetically lower IQ levels of Africans out into the open. He shouldnt tip-toe around which theories he wants to talk about. He should be bold, and stop whining.

    43. Raw Carrot — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

      “just before Christmas everyone in the right-wing press was screaming about political correctness regarding using the word ‘christmas’. But can anyone find me an Asian who objected?”

      What does finding an Asian who objects toChristmas got to do with anything? The point is that local government and other agencies up and down the country were banning the word Christmas from various things — regardless of whether “Asians” or anyone else were actually affected.

      This is the political correctness that has gone mad.

    44. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

      Yes it is Raw Carrot - that’s the point Sunny’s making. Unnecessary moves like banning Christmas are being made, without anyone actually having objected to the word in the first place.

    45. El Cid — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:56 pm  

      Was it Don who called it “nativity play syndrome”?
      I can’t remember. Anyway, in that sense PCness is out of control. There’s a misguided attempt among the thicker sections of the liberal middle classes to make society all-inclusive by robbing it of any native soul.
      I’m not surprised born and bred “foreigners” hate it too. They’re in a better position to judge what offends and prize their own imported cultures.

    46. Siddharth — on 5th January, 2006 at 2:05 pm  

      Isn’t the call for less Political Correctness made mainly by those who are in the upper echelons of the social food chain to make generalisations about the those in the lower echelons without the danger of censure? I don’t hear about Asians or African-Britians (forgive me if that is not the phraseology of the day) calling for a need for less PC so that they can comment on the flaws of the indigenous community without being labelled as racists.

    47. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 2:11 pm  

      Hmm - interesting point Sid. No I don’t hear Asians or Africans asking for less PC so that they can pass judgement on white people either. But I do hear them asking for less PC because they feel it reflects badly on them. They begin to get portrayed as fussy people who can’t take criticism. Which, for the most part, isn’t true.

    48. Don — on 5th January, 2006 at 2:19 pm  

      el Cid,

      Yup, that was me, but I’m still waiting for the OED to give me a call.

      Sid makes an interesting point which probably needs expanding. Are these counter-productive PC fiascos all caused by well-meaning but dim funcionaries or is there a deeper agenda? To establish dominance, the way letting someone through a door first (light touch on shoulder) looks like courtesy but in fact shows who is the alpha male? Or to portray particular groups as hyper-sensitive?

    49. Col. Mustafa — on 5th January, 2006 at 2:19 pm  

      I ask for less pc, but only when it suits me.
      And also i know not to cross the boundaries of the situation im in.
      Most of the time.
      Its only becuase of political correctness that i don’t like being PC; when being PC was kind of implemented to sort out alot of the prejudism faced by our parents and us to an extent.
      Its all a big mess, i don’t like it, i jus wanna be me.
      Wheres the middle ground? is there a middle ground?

    50. Col. Mustafa — on 5th January, 2006 at 2:33 pm  

      “The declared rational of this tyranny is to prevent people being offended; to compel everyone to avoid using words or behaviour that may upset homosexuals, women, non-whites, the crippled, the mentally impaired, the fat or the ugly. This reveals not only its absurdity but its inspiration. The set of values that are detested are those held by the previous generation (those who fought the Second World War), which is why the terms niggers, coons, dagos, wogs, poofs, spastics and sheilas, have become heresy, for, in an act of infantile rebellion, their subject have become revered by the new generation. Political Correctness is merely the resentment of spoilt children directed against their parent’s values.”
      Philip Atkinson.

      The reasons for it coming about to what its created 25 years later.
      Im sure many embraced this back in the 80s as a gesture of unity with everyone.
      It kind of put it in writing that were all equal and harming peoples feelings whatever colour or disability they may have is wrong and won’t be accepted.

      But when somethings are not allowed; actually when most things aren’t allowed, there the things you wanna do most.
      I wonder where the PC thing will end up as we have yet another generation that don’t really want to be politically correct nor do they want to be told what they can and can’t say as some things need to be said, regardless of being PC.

    51. Col. Mustafa — on 5th January, 2006 at 2:34 pm  

      “Political Correctness is merely the resentment of spoilt children directed against their parent’s values.”

      Dunno about that.

    52. El Cid — on 5th January, 2006 at 2:43 pm  

      Small point, but I feel compelled to make it again and again. Siddarth, there’s a lot more to Britain’s immigrant population than Asians (by which you prolly dont mean Chinese) and Afro-Caribbeans/Black British/African — a lot more.
      Also, I think you’ll find that there are some calls for less PCness among Asians/Blacks (e.g. on homophobic reggae lyrics, or Glenn Hoddle’s resignation as England manager).
      We all see what we want to see, as the pre-eminent Colonel has indicated.
      My mum hated Fawlty Towers, absolutely hated it. And you’d have to admit that Manuel was the weakest character by far because it was built around some tawdry and weak Spanish stereotype. But, no, I wouldn’t it to be banned.
      Funny thing is, my mum loved Mind Your Language. Go figure.

    53. El Cid — on 5th January, 2006 at 2:45 pm  

      CORRECTION: But, no, I wouldn’t want it to be banned

    54. BevanKieran — on 5th January, 2006 at 3:15 pm  

      BBC (British born Chinese) tend to be avoided by people such as Anthony Browne as well. Why? There aren’t any bad connotations that he can muster. No forced marriages, little or no H.I.V, low rates of unemployment, high standards of academic achievement, no reactionary elements burning books or stopping plays, no terrorists, low rates of visible crime etc.

      Anthony Browne’s diatribes are reminiscent of the “Yellow Peril” hysteria at the turn of the 19th century. Except now the protoganists are “black” and “brown”, instead of “yellow”.

    55. Old Pickler — on 5th January, 2006 at 5:58 pm  

      And you’d have to admit that Manuel was the weakest character by far because it was built around some tawdry and weak Spanish stereotype.

      Nonsense. He was hilarious, precisely because of this. You’ll be saying next we can’t take the piss out of the French or Germans.

    56. Vikrant — on 5th January, 2006 at 6:27 pm  

      Mind Your Language…mhmmm..

    57. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 6:46 pm  

      Anyone remember It Ain’t ‘Alf Hot? I think that was the name. In the jungle. I never got offended by the Indian characters in that, and they were way worse than Manuel! Never saw much of Mind Your Language, but it doesn’t bother me. Course, I have the luxury of growing up in the 80s and 90s. And I’m not easy to offend…!

    58. El Cid — on 5th January, 2006 at 7:53 pm  

      Old Pickler,
      Manuel was funny as in something from ‘allo ‘allo is funny. But up to the standards of the rest of Fawlty Towers? I don’t think so.
      When you say He was hilarious, precisely because of this, what exactly do you mean?
      It sounds like a poor choice of words to me, unless you think Jim Davidson, Bernard Manning, etc are also funny.
      In any case, I didn’t say you can’t take the piss.
      I said he was the weakest character because the writers were unable to develop anything beyond the racial stereotype.
      Just to show the Spanish have a sense of humour, I believe they showed Fawlty Towers on TV. The only difference is that Manuel became Mexican (*cue red face*).
      P.S.My mum worked as a hotel waitress (In MayFair not Torquay).

    59. Old Pickler — on 5th January, 2006 at 8:08 pm  

      Hey, never said the Spanish didn’t have a sense of humour. They laugh at Mexicans, we laugh at all foreigners, and everyone laughs at the Germans, who laugh at nothing; they just gloat when they get to the sun lounger first.

      And Bernard Manning can be funny. Eg, when asked whether he was bisexual, he said, “You’re joking. At the moment I only get turned down by women. If I was bisexual I’d get turned down by men as well.”

    60. jamal — on 5th January, 2006 at 8:24 pm  

      Sunny.. you are wrong there.

      If people critisise Islam that is their choice. I do request their understanding and that they silence their tongues if they do not, but only if they are being offensive. It is not offensive for them to say they do not like muslims and do not agree with Islam. This is their choice of opinion. The same that I have regarding issues including homosexuality.

      In this politically correct charges world, it is frowned upon to do this, and this is actually incorrect effect of political correct. You obviously agree with this or would not have penned the article, and therefore should not be campaigning for “muslims to be more tolerant towards gays”.

    61. Sunny — on 5th January, 2006 at 10:11 pm  

      I’m not campaigning for just Muslims to be more tolerant, I know for a fact that homophobia exists everywhere (apart from maybe in Los Angeles). I gave examples from my family and from the American right.

      I’m not asking you to embrace homosexuals (though that would be nice…. its good to embrace anyone), but saying you must recognise that their struggle is the same as ours. And as a person truly against opression and injustice, I will support any person’s right to their own way of life (providing they don’t harm anyone) even if their way of life differs from my own values. That is the difference you are not getting.

    62. Old Pickler — on 5th January, 2006 at 11:55 pm  

      “Tolerance” is not the same thing as “approval”. In fact the two are almost contradictory. By definition you can only be tolerant of things you don’t approve of. Tolerance, also, does not preclude voicing your disapproval.

      In my view the only line that cannot be crossed is violence or threats of violence, and/or direct discrimination in the workplace.

      Not that any of this matters compared with the really important issue of George Gallowank being on Celebrity Big Bro. Let’s hope he comes a cropper. Where is Nasty Nick?

    63. jamal — on 5th January, 2006 at 11:59 pm  

      I get it, im just not in agreement with their cause which may be similar in nature but not the same.. The bnp have a cause too, and I dont agree with it either! This is my right, to disagree with what i dislike, as you disagree with me. This is what the “out of control” political correctness ignores, resulting in a mass of people pretending to like each other and fearing to say the wrong thing. This is not what being politically correct is about. It is about not offending others and unsing acceptable dialogue and behaviour.

    64. Enlightener — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:16 am  

      “Civitas say that political correctness is curtailing free-speech in their opening statement here, which is funny because I have neither seen the raving lunatics from the BNP banged up (except for chucking dogshit through letter boxes and threatening people), nor does Melanie Phillips ever shut up.”

      So the police haven’t been harassing people for expressing disapproval of gay adoption on the radio?

      “The number of new HIV cases acquired in Africa was around 3000. The black population in the UK is over 1 million”

      Er nothing you have written contradicts Browne’s point does it.

      “Sexism doesn’t exist! Sheesh! I think of all the stupid claims made, this one is the funniest.”

      Possibly, but it was made by you not Browne. Browne questions whether it is the main or even a significant part of the male female pay gap.

      “Rise in anti-semitic attacks is apparently factually due to Muslim youths only, and only the PC brigade harp on about white skinheads”

      Again Browne does not say that, you are lying . He says that a quashed EU report found the rise was “main cause of rising anti semitism in Europe is Muslim youths not skinheads or neo fascists”.

      “Actually, both are rubbish. Africa is poor because the USA and Europe keep dumping their food and textiles on the continent in the form of “aid” ”

      The idea that food dumping is a more significant cause of African poverty than bad goverance is risible.

      ” Anthony Brown is an A class dunce”

      Well he seems to be capable of writing pamphlets which you are unable to even read!

    65. Soultrain — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:33 am  

      Having read people’s views and various write-ups about about the article that was put out by Civitas, I can’t take it seriously. The examples he gives, he distorts many points which I’m glad have been shown up here. The worse thing is that he plays the cunning game of mixing the distortions with the truth – there are genuine things to be concerned about in terms of PC holding back progression and addressing real issues, but he is playing a dangerous game by taking things out of context for his own agenda. Under the guise of a think tank, to add sso called added intellectualism to his views. And of course, in this era where communities and groups of all sorts seem to identify more on how they are offended and under threat – he will easily play on people’s fears.

      I think there is an element of political correctness in our lives in the UK. But I think its selective, and I also think it has existed for several years through various guises. I think its selective, which is demonstrated in the number of times people will gladly be openly chauvinistic, or engage in sensationalist rants about issues which always get acts like a bandwagon of blame. I think political correctness has existed for several decades in the sense that when it comes to conducting yourself with people in public, whatever creed or race – people are just amicable and get on with it, but behind the scenes, there are prejudices kept or anger about issues. So in this sense, political correctness is then about maintaining good manners when dealing with people you don’t particularly like, for the sake of everyone. After all, the British can be a reserved country. More reserved than othes is more accurate.

      Whats really unfair is how Browne and so many outspoken critics of PC-ness fail to recognise the part extreme right wing or racist groups have played in creating a culture of fear in addressing issues affecting ethnic groups, for fear of offence. Their continuous repetition of racist hysteria, has in part meant that in order to tackle inequal treatment of ethnic groups, its more difficult to tackle issues that affect ethnic groups honestly. Instead Browne incorrectly, yet gladly would allow the impression that its all about ethnic groups that are the main source of problems in the UK today.

    66. Bikhair — on 6th January, 2006 at 4:18 am  

      Enlightener,

      “The idea that food dumping is a more significant cause of African poverty than bad goverance is risible.”

      This Wahhabi agrees! I am against protectionism though.

    67. Sunny — on 6th January, 2006 at 8:12 am  

      Enlightener:

      So the police haven’t been harassing people for expressing disapproval of gay adoption on the radio?
      Where have they exactly? Gimme some examples.

      Er nothing you have written contradicts Browne’s point does it.
      RM’s point is that the impact of african immigrants bringing HIV to the UK is vastly exaggerated. It’s called exaggerating, if not exactly lying.

      Browne questions whether it is the main or even a significant part of the male female pay gap.
      And does he have any stats to prove this?

      He says that a quashed EU report found the rise was “main cause of rising anti semitism in Europe is Muslim youths not skinheads or neo fascists”.
      The Civitas websites doesn’t say anything about increased anti-semitism, it says anti-semitism period. I’d like to know the percentage increase that can be attibuted to Muslims, and what percentage that is of the total.

      The idea that food dumping is a more significant cause of African poverty than bad goverance is risible.
      Risible?? Gimme a break. Browne’s economic analysis is piss poor. I could list a whole bunch of examples where “bad governance” in African countries was influenced by western companies or the bloody IMF/World Bank.

    68. BevanKieran — on 8th January, 2006 at 11:06 am  

      The pamphlet can be downloaded from this address

      http://www.civitas.org.uk/pdf/cs47.pdf

    69. BevanKieran — on 8th January, 2006 at 11:19 am  

      Browne doesn’t explicitly refer to the suggestion that Africans have a lower I.Q but the book in which the claim is made.

      p35:PC has silenced many awkard debates, as well as those that oppose them. As the row over Charles Murray’s book the Bell Curve showed, the study of racial differences has become taboo.

    70. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 1:18 pm  

      Thanks for that link Bevan.
      I’ve only read the first few pages (sorry, so many things to do, and so little time) but I am compelled to repeat my observation in post #1 that the truth lies somewhere between Sunny and Browne.
      Some of what Browne says in his introduction is eminently reasonable. But people have there own political agendas and abuse the PC debate for their own ends. Browne is clearly one of these people.
      The main problem with PCness is that it can sometimes stifle debate because each issue isn’t judged on its own merits but according to some preconceived notion of what’s legitimate debate and what isn’t.
      For example, the connection between a rise in UK HIV cases and recent African immigration, rather than an upsurge in local unsafe sex, was a legitimate point worth making. (Memo to Reformist Moslem, what’s the fact that there are more than 1 million blacks in the UK and that some new HIV cases were the product of African tourism got to do with it?)
      Why has tuberculosis returned to east London with avengeance?
      Sunny, I also think Browne has every right to question whether sexism is the main explanation these days for the male-female pay gap. The onus is on those who claim that it is to prove it so, not the other way round. (Still, I would not deny that it is a contributory, even significant factor).
      However, my racist and classist bullshit detector began flashing big time when I also read in Browne’s pamphlet that:
      In Britain, it (PCness) allowed the creation of alien-ated Muslim ghettoes which produce young men who commit mass murder against their fellow citizens.
      and also that
      By challenging the authority of teachers, it (PCness)fuels poor discipline in schools, and by promoting equality over excellence, it degrades the standard of education and inflates exam grades until they become almost meaningless.
      The problem we have on the left is that we cannot bear to discuss certain issues with people of a certain political persuasion or upbringing because we know or suspect they have ulterior motives.

    71. Siddhartha — on 8th January, 2006 at 2:01 pm  

      I don’t support PC unconditionally. But here is a very good dismantling of Browne’s thesis by Andrew Bartlett

    72. Andrew Bartlett — on 8th January, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

      I have to say that The Virtual Stoa has a dismantling of Browne’s thesis that is both better and more comprehensive than mine,

    73. Andrew Bartlett — on 8th January, 2006 at 3:06 pm  

      “Why has tuberculosis returned to east London with avengeance?”

      Poor housing, diet and healthcare. If you are interested, see here to read just how the Conservatives put forward an argument that was either an appeal to racism, or the product of incredible ignorance at the last election.

    74. Siddharth — on 8th January, 2006 at 3:12 pm  

      Andrew, thanks for the Virtual Stoa heads up. Looks like the Chris Brooke’s blog isn’t a weblog in the “weblog application” sense, as there’s no way to link to posts:

      But it can be found here and the Browne dismantling starts from the section titled “Political Correctness Gone Mad”.

    75. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 3:45 pm  

      Is that your medical opinion Andrew or a Pavlovian reaction?
      It’s time to leave this thread and attend to my kids: the Oxbridge trolls are in town. Intellectual masturbation alert.
      “Wow, yeah, really davastating critique by The Virtual Stoa man.” Snob cunts.
      Oh so clever yet oh so irrelevent. What a fucking idiot.
      Bye

    76. Old Pickler — on 8th January, 2006 at 4:03 pm  

      He does seem like a pretentious twat.

    77. Andrew Bartlett — on 8th January, 2006 at 4:49 pm  

      Medical opinion or Pavlovian reaction? Why not read my post here and find out?

      Snob cunts? Pretentious twat? Well, perhaps, but nevertheless Chris Brooke does actually tear Browne’s thesis to peices. Do you really think that pointing out that a pamphlet that calls itself a defence of reason is actually seriously shoddy scholarship is irrelevant?

    78. Mike D — on 14th January, 2006 at 5:53 pm  

      Sunny, you wanted some examples of police harassing people for expressing disapproval of gay adoption on the radio?
      Here’s one.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/12/10/ngay10.xml

    79. Robert Sharp — on 24th January, 2006 at 3:37 pm  

      [...] The facts and statistics in the report are presented with brash confidence, both in the publication and when it was publicised on the Today programme. However, their truth is apparently not so clear cut. Others, such as Pickled Politics, have begun to fact check these aspects. [...]

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