It’s political correctness gone mad

Very happy men. Nearly as happy as I was.This is, quite possibly, one of my top five phrases of all time, along with “He knows where the goal is,” and “Tony Blair has been arrested (1).”

Imagine my delight when one of my interviewees uttered this phrase today. In the correct context! (2) I punched the air with delight. He couldn’t see this as he was on the other end of a phone, and no doubt would have been somewhat perturbed by my reaction. But one I could entirely justify.

This political correctness malarkey, though. It is a strange phrase, implying as it does terms of non-offence or finding ways to please everybody without offending any one group. La Toynbee has even described it as an ’empty right-wing smear’. The latter, it may be, but empty is is not.

Breaking it down, it deals with the political, the business of politics. So far, so good. Political correctness would imply a correct decision taken by a politician. Given this would appear to be an oxymoron, tagging ‘gone mad’ after these two apparently mutually incompatible words is the only logical course of action.

Of course, were we to sing from the same non-denominational piece of paper as the ‘PC brigade’ (3) then what we’re strictly dealing with here is either ‘Attempts not to offend taken beyond what is reasonable’ or the infinitely more catchy ‘When being polite goes bad and stupid’.

Sadly I didn’t get to use my interviewee’s utterance in any sense, because not long after I spoke to him the story moved on and the interview itself became redundant, thus depriving me of one of my life’s ambitions: To fit the aforementioned title-phrase into a news script.

Another of my life’s ambitions is to make it into the Daily Mail under the headline: “Ban this sick filth.” Alas, I am no closer to either.

(1) Not actually uttered yet, but we can but hope.

(2) Of course, he could have uttered it during the course of an interview on any subject: Tea, tax return forms, herpes, it really wouldn’t have mattered. I would have still been pleased to hear it.

(3) Which to my mind conjures up images of an IT version of the AA. Something almost as absurd as the idea of political correctness; it would never make it out of the call centres.

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