‘Political correctness gone mad’, gone mad

There’s a group on Facebook calling to ban the use of the phrase ‘political correctness gone mad’ in UK journalism.

Perhaps a total ban is a bit extreme, but on the whole this is not a bad idea. The notion of an all-powerful politically correct elite, plotting to ban Christmas and take the gollywogs out of Enid Blyton, is perhaps the most popular conspiracy theory in this country. Describe something as ‘political correctness gone mad’ and you’ll be met with sage, resigned nods, as if you’ve given voice to some never-acknowledged human truth.

The meme appears daily in national newspapers – my search on the Daily Mail brought up an astonishing 7250 hits – and seems to be yet another cliche that won’t die. It comes most often from people on comfortable incomes who nevertheless exhibit a bizarre jealousy of the poor and of minorities.

The group’s founder, Lee Hill, says this:

Hey everybody it is no longer c. 1992, possibly the last time “political correctness” could be used with any semblance of timeliness. The overuse of the phrase by journalists, pundits and barroom philosophers in the UK is just lazy and more often a weak smokescreen for old fashioned racism, sexism, homophobia, provincialism, etc. I am all for contrarian thinkers who genuinely make us look at a tired issue in a new way, but those who overuse the phrase “political correctness” tend to be comfortable, smug or simply regurgitating the kind of prejudices that stifle rigorous debate. So drop the “PC” business, tell us what you really think (no matter how dubious the logic or rationale) and join the rest of us in 2007.

If you think Hill is being naive, or a loony liberal, or trying to censor you, ask yourself these two questions:

1) When was the last time you heard political correctness described as a good thing, or in any way other than having ‘gone mad’?

2) Given that there has been a conservative consensus in government for almost thirty years, who exactly is this politically correct elite, and how does it operate?

Hill’s point reminds me of this classic little post by Harry Hatchet.

I have always been wary of people who complain about ‘political correctness’. All too often they are the kind of people who feel they have a right to make derogatory comments about people based on their race, gender or sexual orientation – a right which they are apparently being denied by the ‘PC thought police’.

In his book The Myth of Political Correctness, John K. Wilson had a chapter entitled ‘Conservative Correctness’ which argues that the political attacks on PC in the US education system that began in the 1990’s are in fact an attempt to impose a conservative agenda through the tactic of labelling opposition as restrictive, ultra-left-wing madness.

That argument and phrase does seem to apply rather well to the approach being adopted by sections of the conservative media (including right-wing bloggers).

Here then are the main elements of this Conservative Correctness in the UK.

1. The white, heterosexual male, is a victim of our currently ‘PC Society’. His freedom of speech is restricted, job opportunities are denied to him, his viewpoint is never reflected in the liberal-left dominated media and people who try to raise families and live a decent law-abiding, hard-working life are penalised in favour of all manner of deviants and minorities.

2. The law and the courts and the political elite are biased in favour of the criminal rather than the victim of crime. Criminals are being ‘understood’ rather than punished while the victims of crime are being ignored and left to the mercy of the muggers and burglars. Criminals enjoy the life of Riley in so-called prisons – at taxpayers expense.

3. Racism doesn’t really exist. The accusation of ‘racist’ is just used to shut down any debate about immigration and the threat to our national identity and to assist in the continued PC fuelled attempts to denigrate our indigenous heritage and culture. The term also helps build the continued growth of the ‘race relations industry’.

4. Sexism or gender discrimination doesn’t really exist. The concept was been invented by feminists and is used to further weaken family values and continue the persecution of men. Women are attracted into this easy but destructive lifestyle by generous government subsidies denied to ordinary families.

5. Homophobia certainly doesn’t exist. It has been invented by the ‘gay lobby’ as part of their campaign against the traditional family. We are now reaching the stage whereby to be straight is to be considered deviant. Schoolteachers and the media constantly promote a positive image of homosexuality while denigrating traditional heterosexual sex.

6. The European Union is our enemy. It aims to destroy the British way of life and our institutions and force us to live under a Franco-German, anti-American, high-tax, federal, socialist super-state.

7. The PC left has succeeded in taking control of almost all areas of society. It dominates not only national and local government but also the civil service, the media, education and the police force.

None of which, of course bares much resemblance to reality. As such I would argue that CC is far worse and much more dangerous than the rather silly old PC.

For while political correctness, when it really operated, was an over-zealous and misguided attempt to deal with real problems (at least for those of us who believe that racism and other forms of oppression and discrimination do exist) Conservative Correctness is based simply and crudely upon fears – fear of immigrants, fear of homosexuals, fear of Europeans, fear of Muslims, fear of women, fear of crime and above all fear that we are being taken for a ride by them.

Emphasis mine. What people call ‘political correctness gone mad’ is usually nothing more than textbook measures to reduce discrimination, or guarantee basic working conditions. It’s good manners. And it’s here to stay.

15 Responses to “‘Political correctness gone mad’, gone mad”

  1. Polish immigrants eat royal swans - on YOUR money « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] cars. Unfortunately, you can’t find any photo evidence to demonstrate this. Clearly the political correctness conspiracy has been at work […]

  2. ‘Vicious propaganda based on utter bullshit’ « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] also used our old friend the political correctness conspiracy to bolster his […]

  3. Christmas - can you be arsed? « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] to be banned because it offends Muslims, or something. Despite these rumours year on year, the political correctness conspiracy has so far unaccountably failed to ban the […]

  4. A waste of parliamentary time « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] Yes, it’s those atheist fundamentalists, and their allies in the politically correct conspiracy. […]

  5. A mainstream conspiracy theory « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] mainstream conspiracy theory Inspired by Harry Hatchet’s classic post that I linked to way back, I have just read John K Wilson’s The Myth of Political […]

  6. Christmas conspiracy round-up « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] national press the following week? ‘Furious parents and campaigners last night slammed the politically correct brigade for spoiling the true meaning of Christmas,’ roared the Express. ‘Festive cards are […]

  7. Car rant « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] Car rant I’m sick of the road lobby. The car is the most dangerous form of transport in this country, with hundreds dead on the highways each year; cars fuck up the environment with smog and make cities increasingly difficult to live in and walk around. On top of that, we’ve got self-pitying auto enthusiasts like Jeremy Clarkson, whingeing incessantly about fuel prices, and making comparisons between textbook road safety measures and the Third Reich. Seriously – I have had motorists tell me that the drink-drive laws constitute ‘political correctness gone mad’. […]

  8. Another day, another literary censorship « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] and more. And getting less and less coverage as it seeps into normality. It’s not about ‘political correctness’ or even religious censorship – although, as we know, religious groups have been behind most recent […]

  9. So sue me, Mr Cushman « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] to a neo-nazi website these days without being labelled an ‘antisemite’. It’s political correctness gone mad! Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)A poor performanceNavigation SchemesUgly But […]

  10. Conservative beserkers « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] right is known for its frequent beserkers on crime, immigration, home ownership and of course political correctness, but it seems that the Mail indulges in its own form of PC by declaring certain books a […]

  11. Two other families, man juggling eels, redux « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] don’t accept that anyone who points this out is a tofu-munching, politically correct Islington elitist. For let’s not forget that the white working class, by all accounts, has […]

  12. Forget the careers guidance « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] have allowances made for them and be protected from discrimination. We should. I love political correctness and I think there are benefits to the lobbyisation of disadvantaged groups. But the more you […]

  13. Where to begin? « Max Dunbar Says:

    […] get worse as the recession deepens and the crowd starts looking for people to throw on the bonfire. Political correctness gone mad is the singular mainstream conspiracy […]

  14. Paul Quinton Says:

    A little late but nevertheless… From Wiki Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct; both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and, as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent. *In current usage, the term is primarily pejorative,[1][2]* while the term politically incorrect has been used as an implicitly positive self-description.

    You have contributed to the over-egging of the pudding – well done. Am I right to believe that this blog is a satire and trolls with over-the-top opinion so as to demonstrate the mindlessness of the left and other champagne socialists?

  15. maxdunbar Says:

    This post is almost five years old. I’m amazed my writing has such staying power.

    I’ll take ‘champagne socialist’ as a compliment…

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