Friday, 8 October 2010

Not Everything's Political Correctness

The phrase "political correctness gone mad" is perhaps one of the most annoying (followed closely by "it's right that..."). A dinner lady got into trouble with her school after giving a biscuit to a relative of hers who was a pupil at the school. Apparently she was told by the head that "she could be seen to be grooming the boy."

Obviously the whole thing is stupid. But so is this:
"Chair of the Stormont Education committee Mervyn Storey described it as "political correctness gone too far".
What has it got to do with political correctness? Nothing. It's got to do with a country that is whipping itself up into a frenzy over paedophilia and politicians writing and passing hasty and bad laws because of it.


  1. Technically you are 100% correct but I suggest that for many people "politically correct" has become shorthand for bureaucratic intrusion or overreaction.

    Now whether the correct response is to correct people who misuse terms or give two cheers for the less articulate opponents of statism, I don't know.

    I would suggest that the BBC deliberately seek out, for exposure, the less articulate opponents of increasing statism. All the better to contrast with those less excitable people that think the state can do no wrong.

  2. It seems to me that politicians using the phrase are not in principle opposed to increased statism. They're merely playing to the crowd.

    And terminology is important, I think, because if you cannot properly identify the problem you cannot make a coherent argument against it.

    Also, simply decrying "political correctness" isn't politically useful since the simple response is to retort that not being racist is a good thing.