Saturday, November 26, 2005


Australian politicians and pundits (See e.g. here and here and here) are jumping up and down about the planned execution in Singapore of an Australian-Vietrnamese drug runner Van Tuong Nguyen, but former pop star and alleged pedophile Gary Glitter, undoubtedly better known with the general public, now under threat of death in Vietnam, generates no such reaction. See e.g. here and here

Nestle under fire for 'sexist' TV ad

Humourless lesbians suspected again

Confectionaery giant Nestle is under fire in Britain over chocolate bar adverts suggesting football is "not for girls". The company is promoting a bar called Footie with wrapper slogans including: "It's definitely not for girls", "no passes to lasses" and "no wenches on the benches". Wrappers also contain an image of a woman holding a handbag framed in a no-entry road sign.

The Women's Sports Foundation said such advertising undermined attempts to encourage girls to play more sport and improve fitness levels in teenage girls. "We'd rather not see this kind of advertising," she said. "Research shows that 40 per cent of girls have dropped out of sport by the time they reach 18. It's a serious problem with implications for health and fitness. "There are all sorts of cultural barriers to women getting involved in sport. A campaign like this adds to the problem."

Privately, staff at the Equal Opportunities Commission said they were disturbed by the messages on Footie bar wrappers. A spokeswoman said she could make no official comment because confectionery advertising was not within the organisation's remit. The UK's Advertising Standards Authority said it had no powers to adjudicate on the wording of confectionery wrappers.

Nestle said the Footie bar was a version of the Yorkie bar and the slogans were "meant to be humorous". "The Yorkie 'Wenches on the Benches' pack is meant to be tongue-in-cheek and humorous and we apologise if (anyone) has taken offence," said a Nestle spokeswoman. "The 'Wenches on the Benches' Yorkie pack is part of the wider 'Not For Girls' Yorkie campaign. "The spirit of this is to reclaim chocolate for men, based on the consumer insight that there are not many things that men can look at and say that it's just for him. "This is especially true for the chocolate confectionery market, which is full of female-targeted brands. "Yorkie was launched 26 years ago as the chocolate for men and used a very popular 'Trucker' campaign. "We are building on this strong male heritage using a light-hearted and fun way of talking about the differences between men and women."



When I was doing my Physics degree back in the 1980's, I had a room three doors down from a Sociologist. He was generally a cheery fellow, good sense of humour, played hockey (on grass) for the university, and liked to wear his face mask for fun. One day I got back from Quantum Mechanics, and saw him looking really sad. So I asked him why.

"I'm a racist," he said.

"Surely not you?" I frowned." What do you mean?"

He told me that he had just been in a lecture, and the lecturer had required every white student there to state publicly that they were a racist.

Basically he had been given a stark choice. He and all the other white students on that course could either state publicly that they were a racist, or they would be thrown off their degree, and have to go find another one. Further enquiry elucidated that this was not a requirement of anyone other than the white students. Somehow you could only be a racist if you were white, and if you were white you were inevitably racist. It didn't matter what your opinions were, just the colour of your skin. And so my friend had, with great distaste, decided that the lesser of two evils was that he would declare himself a racist. He didn't believe it for a minute, but you know what? For the rest of his career in Sociology, if this was standard practice at the time, how exactly was he ever going to live out what he truly believed without being attacked by everyone else who had been required to make similar statements?

Now the trouble with this is that it is the enforcement of a religious belief on someone, in order that they may have a career in a particular field. Why do I say it is a religious belief? Because it is an unproven, unprovable, statement of belief; it has about it every characteristic of religious belief that those who sneer at religious belief ascribe to it.

That is the nature of political correctness. Somewhere, whenever this belief system came into being, some cabal of intellectual dictators decided what everyone else would be required to believe in order that they may be considered politically correct, and then went on to require it of everyone who could enter into their little club. Now if you or I start a club, and say that everyone who comes to the meetings must wear a red hat, that's fine. No one has to come, and if we think it's fun, we can create endless variants on red hats until we get bored of the idea. But if someone manages to require of others that they adopt an unproven belief before they can have a job in a particular sphere, tell me what is the correct name for that?

I must say that having spent my education in science and technology, such considerations never came to haunt me personally. But when I married, and my wife got a career in social work, she went on courses. I'd ask her about what these courses, paid for by the local council, were about. Did they relate to the needs that she had for training? No - they were all about political correctness, whilst her genuine training needs (and those of others) went without regard.

At that time, both she and I remained what might be thought of as left-leaning people. We were and both remain very concerned about the poor, the oppressed, and so forth. In my time I've ruefully concluded that the very last thing these people need, is a liberal social policy, and left wing economics; simply because beyond a certain point, neither have ever done anyone any good. But I've never been politically correct, for one very simple reason; no one has ever explained to me why on earth I should be.

Who had the idea? What is it based on? Who gets to say what is and is not politically correct? Does anyone know? If they do, are they prepared to tell us where they got their ideas? And if no one knows, how are we to know what being politically correct is, in order that we may all obediently kowtow to its dictates? Or instead is it just something that college professors pluck out of the air, in order that they can oppress their students with it? But if as I suspect it has been a co-ordinated campaign by intellectuals to create a self-selecting theocracy with which to populate the desks of our bureaucracies, what do we call that? An insurrection?

Over the last two or three decades, an entire army of people, drafted - willingly or not - into a cadre that requires its members to publicly proclaim the unproven tenets of a mysteriously absent founder has been built; and in between the elected representatives of a country and the ability to implement their chosen policies, on which they were elected, stands the army of those who are paid to do their will. And every decision of public policy is filtered through these people. How many of them were trained with political correctness as a requirement? How does that affect the way in which the policies on which our elected representatives were elected, are implemented?

Perhaps the ACLU in its endless zest for litigation could consider whether the groundless assertion that a white man is a racist and anyone else is not, is actually an infringement of the civil liberties of the white. But perhaps instead it is more of an infringement for people to voluntarily pray in a public building, than it is for them to be forcibly excluded from a university degree for not adopting articles of the PC faith. If they had any decency they'd dig a pit, fill it with water, and at least baptise those persecuted into the PC faith and give them a nice little certificate.

It is the hypocrisy that really gets me. It is supposed that by having a belief that is not religious by name, it must inherently be credible, whereas if it is religious in name, then it is not; but the foundation of political correctness has not had to stand the test of time that ancient beliefs have had to face; it has not had the decency to argue its case, and seek willing converts; it has instead been used as a tool to change the nature of society in a way that is beyond the control of its elected leaders.

Beyond that, it has bogusly presented its unproven faith-based assertions as unchallengeable tenets that we must all agree to, and on which basis all further argument must be conducted. Instead of putting up with this, wouldn't it be better to ask the advocates of political correctness how it is that they justify their beliefs? But when you ask them, they think them self-evident; and that's for a simple reason. Those that require blind faith in ideas, never develop in the indoctrinated the ability to justify them, merely the ability to obey and parrot them through threat.


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