Sunday, January 18, 2015
Fascist British social workers again
Charged with neglect for leaving our 12-year-old son with friends: Middle-class couple tell of 'police state' treatment after holiday to Spain
Before they went to Spain to prepare their small cottage for the summer rental season, Sarah and Simon Johnson made what they thought were scrupulous arrangements for the care of their 12-year-old son.
They contacted a close family friend, a man they'd known for 20 years, and asked if he and his wife could take care of Henry and run their small B&B for a week. In return, they offered the friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, the guesthouse profits.
He agreed, and the night before the Johnsons left, they showed him the room they'd made up for him and his wife, and ran through the basics of taking care of their paying guests, as well as Henry, who knew the couple well.
A straightforward arrangement, it would seem — and when the Johnsons jetted off to Spain on May 6, 2013, they believed their son was in safe and capable hands.
That, however, was until they received a phone call from Cumbria Police a few days later, accusing them of abandoning Henry and informing them that they would be questioned on suspicion of child neglect upon their return.
What went wrong with the couple's childcare arrangements is something we shall examine later, but the events that followed will strike horror into the heart of any respectable, loving parent who's considered leaving their child in the care of others.
Arrested when they returned to the UK and forbidden to see or contact their son, they were placed in police cells, questioned and then charged with child neglect.
During the agonising year that it took to bring the case to trial, Henry was sent — against his will — to live hundreds of miles away with his biological father.
Bail conditions meant that Sarah was permitted only a handful of brief supervised visits, while no arrangements were put in place to allow Simon to see the boy he had raised for six years.
When the case finally did reach Carlisle Crown Court last year, it was swiftly thrown out after a defence barrister double-checked a list of text messages taken as evidence by police and found that, among dozens, just one text message on the friend's phone had been deleted. It was the text they'd initially sent to ask their friend if he could help them out.
'Could we persuade you and (his wife) to run the B&B 6th-13th May. Henry will be there. £150 cash. Maybe more,' it said.
The friend called the Johnsons after receiving it to say that he would be delighted.
Judge Paul Batty QC ruled the evidence presented by the Crown Prosecution Service to be 'inconsistent, unsound and unsafe' and instructed the jury to deliver a 'not guilty' verdict. He also described Sarah and Simon as 'excellent' parents.
'But by then, our lives had been trashed,' says Sarah. 'Henry has been put through utter hell, and so have we.'
Despite being completely exonerated, the parents' lives will never be the same again. They are speaking out in the week they launched formal complaints against Cumbria Police, the CPS and children's services. Though vindicated, their family remains torn apart.
Having settled into a new school, Henry, having been uprooted and forced to live with his natural father for a year, has decided to stay with him rather than face yet another upheaval.
Although the Mail has not used their real names to protect the boy's identity, we can reveal that 'Sarah' is a teacher, while 'Simon' is a former social worker who now works as a consultant.
While awaiting trial, he was unable to work, losing a £60,000 contract after his Criminal Record Bureau certification was black-marked.
'There were times when Sarah was suicidal,' says Simon. 'The grief of being parted from Henry when we knew we'd done nothing wrong was unbearable for both of us. We nearly went bankrupt.
'What happened to us is utterly staggering. You would have thought we were living in a police state, not 21st-century Britain. Someone needs to investigate what happened, and stop it happening again.'
So how on earth did this solidly middle-class couple find themselves caught up in such a nightmare?
They've revisited the events leading up to their trip to Spain a thousand times while struggling to fathom how things could have gone so awry.
Before their week-long trip to Spain, they first texted their friend to ask if he could help out. Then, when he agreed, they called him to firm up arrangements.
'We could have taken Henry with us,' says Sarah, 'but as responsible parents, we didn't want to take him out of school. There were plenty of friends to ask to care for him. If we couldn't find anyone, then I would have stayed and Simon would have gone to Spain alone. But our friend agreed. We couldn't have made it clearer that he was to look after both our B&B and Henry.'
The first two days of their trip passed without incident. Both nights they chatted to their son via Facebook and on the phone and were happy that he was fine. They were unaware that while the friend had checked on him in the evening, he and his wife hadn't stayed overnight. Nor did Henry mention it.
Incredibly, when B&B guests arrived in the evening, Henry just showed them to their rooms.
'I asked him if everything was OK with the friends, and he said everything was fine,' recalls Sarah. 'It might seem strange that we didn't ask to speak to our friends directly, but Henry is very mature. We chatted about school.
'Everything was clearly OK. If we'd thought for a minute that there was something wrong, of course we'd have contacted our friends directly.
'At that point he'd been alone for one night, but he said nothing about it. I think he'd just taken it in his stride. Henry's not easily fazed. It's terrible that he was left alone, but a credit to him that he coped so well.'
On the Wednesday, however, during a discussion about signing off his homework diary, Henry told a teacher that his parents were abroad. When asked who was looking after him, he said he didn't really know — a comment which was relayed to the school's 'safeguarding' officer, whose job it is to decide if concerns about a child's welfare are serious enough to contact social services.
While the law doesn't specify an age when you can leave your child at home alone, it is an offence if it places them 'at risk', and NSPCC guidelines state children under 16 should not be left alone overnight.
Recalls Sarah: 'I received a phone call from the staff member on the Wednesday, asking me who was looking after Henry. I told them and asked if they needed numbers, and she said she didn't.
'I asked if there was a problem and she said no. I didn't think anything was wrong. I just thought the school was being responsible and checking as a matter of routine.'
A few hours later they received another call — this time from the wife of the friend they'd asked to care for Henry, telling them that the 12-year-old had been on his own overnight (they later discovered it was in fact two nights) — and that she would make sure that her husband was actually with him that night.
'I wasn't happy — there'd clearly been a misunderstanding,' says Sarah. 'It was obvious his wife didn't know about the arrangement, but now everything was OK. I knew Henry wasn't the kind of boy to be upset. I thought we'd deal with it when we got back.
'We spoke to Henry by phone and, as ever, he was entirely relaxed.'
Later, they received a light-hearted text from the friends telling them not to worry, that Henry had 'packed his toothbrush and his teddy' — from which they concluded he was staying with them at their house — and to enjoy the rest of their trip.
But behind the scenes, events were moving apace. Henry's school had informed Cumbria Police and child protection agencies. The call from the police came on the fifth day of their break. 'I thought something terrible had happened to Henry at first,' says Sarah. 'When they mentioned child neglect, I couldn't take it in.
'We tried to tell them that it was a ridiculous misunderstanding, but they wouldn't listen. We were told they'd contact us when we returned, and in the meantime not to contact Henry or our friends.'
The couple flew back to the UK, arriving home in the early hours. The B&B was locked up (booked guests had been forced to turn away when no one answered the door), while Henry had been taken from the friends' house to his biological father's home 300 miles away.
At 8 am there was a knock at their door. Three police officers had arrived to arrest Sarah and Simon. 'We were placed in the back of a marked van in front of our neighbours,' says Simon. 'We were in utter shock. We just couldn't understand what the hell was going on.'
At the police station, DNA samples and fingerprints were taken, before the pair were put in separate cells.
Unable to speak to their friends, they didn't know exactly what had gone wrong. When they were questioned, they insisted they'd made arrangements for Henry's care.
'We were reluctant to start blaming our friends when we didn't know what had happened,' says Sarah. 'We kept saying that we all needed to sit down and talk it through, but no one would listen.'
To this day, the couple have not spoken to their friends, who were to become prosecution witnesses, for fear of being accused of harassment. In the absence of facts, they have their own suspicions. 'I think that when they got a call from the police, they were worried they'd be in trouble,' says Simon.
In court, the friend denied he'd been asked to look after Henry, but the case collapsed when the defence barrister found the deleted text message requesting his help on the friend's phone. Though this message was a somewhat cursory one, the parents insist it was followed up with more detailed arrangements about Henry's care.
The case was thrown out but the damage had been done — most of all to Henry, who, for weeks after his mother's arrest, while he knew about the police case, had not been told that she was not allowed to contact him.
They still do not know why Henry was never told this. His frantic Facebook messages to his mother went unanswered because she was too terrified to respond for fear of being arrested.
'Hi … don't act like I'm not here,' he pleaded, soon after her return from Spain.'MUM JUST TALK TO ME!'
Then, minutes later: 'Please.'
Later messages read: 'Mum I haven't been able to talk to you for over a month. Stop running away and just talk to me.' Then: 'Mum I love you I really do, but it gets so frustrating when I can tell you're online and you don't talk to me.'
On that occasion, Sarah collapsed on the floor, sobbing. 'It was like torture for her,' Simon explains.
Then, Simon realised that owing to a mistake made in his bail conditions, unlike his wife he wasn't banned from contacting his stepson.
'I immediately sent him a message via Facebook to explain that Sarah wasn't allowed to contact him; that we loved him very much and that we'd sort it all out.'
Henry's natural father, who was monitoring his son's computer usage, saw the message and felt obliged to tell the police.
Consequently, Simon was threatened with re-arrest and had his bail conditions changed to stop him contacting Henry again. While awaiting trial, Sarah saw her son during a handful of supervised visits near Henry's father's home, but they weren't allowed to discuss the case.
She grimaces at the memory of preparing a birthday picnic and having to politely pass a slice of cake to the social worker watching over them. On another visit, she paid for a different social worker's lunch while taking Henry out to his favourite restaurant. At the end of each visit, mother and son would hug each other. 'He would tell me he loved me, and I told him I loved him,' she says, her voice breaking with emotion. 'He kept saying he wanted to stay at home with us, but I had to tell him that he couldn't.'
Then, by the time the court case collapsed, Henry had been settled into his new life for a year and had made new friends. He didn't want to be uprooted again, and chose to remain with his father.
'A year might not seem a long time, but it was for him,' says Simon. 'His voice had broken. He'd grown sideburns. He'd grown up. He's very happy in his school. The upheaval of returning to another was too much.'
Now they speak to Henry every day and he spends school holidays with them, including three weeks at Christmas. 'It was wonderful,' says Sarah. 'But so painful when he went. It's agony seeing the school bus each morning without him on it. Our home seems empty without him, but if it's right for him to stay where he is, then we have to support that.'
In the meantime, they are pursuing their complaints against the authorities involved in the case.
'It was as if, from the start, the police were afraid to admit they were wrong,' says Simon. 'They were determined to go for a prosecution at all costs, even telling Henry that if he refused to give evidence for the CPS, then he would receive a witness summons. It was barbaric.'
Henry eventually had to give evidence by video link.
The couple may take legal action in their quest for an apology, and compensation for the estimated £100,000 they have lost in earnings and legal costs, but they are not allowed to do so before they have followed Cumbria Police's own complaints procedure.
Their initial complaint was turned down in December. They have appealed, but may have to wait months to hear the outcome before deciding whether to launch a civil case. Any money they get back will be used to set up an education trust fund for Henry.
He, too, has made his own separate official complaint against Cumbria Police, the CPS and the two children's services departments involved in his case, in the hope of receiving an apology.
'I have been torn from my mother's protection, made to start a new life in a new area, and work even harder at school while I have adapted,' he wrote. 'It has been mortifying for both my family and me.
'This is horrendous considering it could have been avoided if the police had just spoken to and listened to the following people: my mother, father, stepdad and 'the friend'. It could have been sorted out easily and quickly in days, not years.'
His complaint was turned down at the same time as his parents', and he has also appealed.
Lib Dem MP John Hemming, chair of the Justice for Families campaign group, has also backed the family.
'The parents had done everything to make sure their child was looked after, so why did it take two years to work out they hadn't done anything wrong?' he asks.
Simon adds: 'What makes us so bitter is that all of this was supposedly done in the name of child protection. Where was the protection for Henry? It is only because of who he is that this hasn't totally wrecked his life.'
RIBA’s anti-Israel posturing: built on shaky foundations
In March 2014, the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) called for its Israeli counterpart organisation, the Israeli Association of United Architects, to be suspended from the International Union of Architects. This bureaucratic stance, far from advancing a principled political position, would actually have closed down dialogue between the international architectural community and practicing Israeli architects.
RIBA has now changed its position. Stephen Hodder, president of RIBA, said ‘we got it wrong’. The vote is a defeat for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which had promoted the original motion back in March as part of a protest at the building of illegal settlements in the West Bank.
However, the recent volte-face by RIBA does not suggest a mature reflection on the politics of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Rather, the original vote, promoted by a former RIBA president and only narrowly won, proved incendiary for RIBA’s relationships within the British establishment. The vote was passed days after UK prime minister David Cameron had visited Israel. RIBA’s adopted policy called into question its charitable status and its Royal Charter. Pro-Palestinian lobbyists attacked RIBA for its continuing engagements in Israel.
Moreover, RIBA’s anti-Israel position brought charges that RIBA was singling out Israel, and ignoring other undemocratic and repressive regimes where British architects make lucrative returns. After all, since the recession called time on growth and development in the UK, RIBA’s members have sought refuge in international markets, trading in places like China, Russia, Qatar and Libya. Indeed, if the logic of disengagement from regimes with distasteful politics were to hold, then it would be reasonable for UK architects to be critical of Britain’s often armed interventions overseas. Bringing the British establishment to account for its own role in assorted global conflicts is surely the most progressive contribution British citizens in all walks of life can make to the international struggle for democracy and rights.
Leaving RIBA’s woes aside, there are clear principles at stake. Architects and built-environment professionals should be free from the moralising of their professional bodies when deciding where to work, how to build relationships with international colleagues, and how to participate in politics at home and abroad. Bans and boycotts reduce the opportunity for movement and engagement across borders and between people: a precondition for political dialogue.
Two key points are lost in this affair. First, the distinctive political contribution of architects should be to produce great architecture. Second, political solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict lie with the people of the region: they will not be crafted in wood-panelled halls in London.
Je suis Charlie? Then challenge the Islamophobia industry
The accusation of ‘Islamophobia’ is designed to strangle critical thinking
If Europe really wants to pay tribute to the journalists and cartoonists massacred in Paris last week, it could do worse than ditch the term ‘Islamophobia’. For this empty, cynical, elitist phrase, this multicultural conceit, has done an untold amount to promote the idea that ridiculing other people’s beliefs and cultures is a bad thing. In fact, the widely used but little thought-on i-word has pathologised the very act of making a judgement. It has turned the totally legitimate conviction that some belief systems are inferior to others into a swirling, irrational fear — a phobia — worthy of condemnation and maybe even investigation by officials. That those two gunmen thought Charlie Hebdo’s ‘Islamophobic’ cartoonists deserved punishment isn’t surprising — after all, they grew up on a continent, Europe, that is so riven by relativism, so allergic to making moral judgements, that even saying ‘Islamic values are not as good as Enlightenment values’ is now treated as evidence of a warped, sinful mind, as a crime, effectively.
Never has the disconnect between the claims of the Islamophobia industry and the reality on the ground in Europe been as starkly exposed as over the past week. The blood on the floor of Charlie Hebdo’s offices was still wet when, moving on with callous speed from worrying about the terrible fate of 10 journalists, the respectable media started fretting about the danger now faced by European Muslims. We should all fear ‘the coming Islamophobic backlash’, said one hack. The Guardian thunderously warned that ‘Islamophobes [will] seize this atrocity to advance their hatred’. But no Pavlovian backlash came. Aside from the chucking of some dud grenades into the courtyard of a mosque in Le Mans — a terrible act, yes — there has been no mob fury with Muslims. The unreality of the Islamophobia industry’s claims became startlingly clear following the murder of four Jews in a shop by an accomplice of the Charlie Hebdo killers. Even after this act of anti-Semitism, observers continued to fret about the mortal threat allegedly facing Muslims from the ill-educated Euro-mob. Yesterday, as the bodies of the four Jews were being prepared for the flight to Israel, George Clooney told a bunch of fawning journos how worried he is about ‘anti-Muslim fervour’ in Europe. It’s surreal; real through-the-looking-glass stuff.
The factual chasm between the fears of the Islamophobia panickers and what actually happens after a terrorist attack reveals a seldom-grasped truth about the idea of ‘Islamophobia’: it is not in fact a description, far less an accurate one, of the rise of racist thinking or the state of community relations in Europe; rather, it is a term that developed and spread to chastise the moral criticism of certain belief systems. The now Europe-wide concern about Islamophobia differs from all other modern campaigns against racism and prejudice in one important way: it is the creation of political elites rather than being a grassroots campaign to win equality or liberty for a particular minority. Islamophobia is in essence a multicultural conceit, the invention of infinitesimally small, aloof, crisis-ridden elites keen to clamp down on any heated or overly judgmental discussion of non-Western values.
Unlike the civil rights movement in 1950s and 1960s America, where vast numbers of blacks fought tooth-and-nail against racial segregation and pervasive state violence, or the anti-racist movements in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, when communities agitated against discrimination, the concern with Islamophobia came not from the streets but from the rarefied, removed world of think-tanks and professional handwringers. The current understanding of ‘Islamophobia’ comes in large part from a 1996 report produced by the Runnymede Trust, a UK-based race-equality think-tank. This report’s definition of Islamophobia — ‘a shorthand way of referring to the dread or hatred of Islam’ — is now the most widely accepted, not only in Britain but in much of Europe. Tellingly, the Runnymede report was based, not on any serious measurement of real-world discrimination against Muslims, but predominantly on an analysis of the media depiction of Islam and its followers. That is, from the very outset the term Islamophobia was more concerned with media and moral judgement of a belief system — with apparently problematic words and ideas — than with actual physical or institutionalised prejudice against Muslims. Even more tellingly, 3,500 copies of the report were distributed among, as one author describes it, ‘metropolitan authorities, race equality councils, police forces, government departments, unions, professional associations, think tanks and universities’. The great and good. These were to be the watchers for any expression of ‘dread of Islam’, the policers, in essence, of criticism of or disdain for a belief system.
The Runnymede report makes clear the key concern of those who invented the idea of Islamophobia: that it is wrong to be judgmental about non-Western values or to elevate the West’s way of life over other people’s ways of life. As this defining document puts it, one sure sign of ‘Islamophobia’ is a view of Islam as ‘inferior to the West’. Those who speak of a ‘clash of civilisations’ contribute to the climate of Islamophobia, it said. In order to challenge Islamophobia, Runnymede suggested to the cliques of academics, coppers and officials it sent its report to that they should encourage people to understand that Islam is ‘distinctively different, but not deficient’ and is ‘as equally worthy of respect [as Western values]’. Furthermore, it said, we brave warriors against Islamophobia must challenge the idea that Islam’s criticisms of the West are without foundation and should instead encourage people to consider and embrace ‘[Islam]’s criticism of “the West” and other cultures’.
What we have here is not any traditional campaign against racism, launched by communities themselves and aimed at irrational prejudices; rather, this is a censorious assault on certain ways of thinking, on moral judgment itself, launched by the most upper echelons of Western society. In chastising the belief that Islam might not be as great as what are called Western values, but which are in fact the pretty universal values of democracy and liberty, and insisting that Islam is in fact worthy of ‘equal respect’, the Runnymede report was designed to promote relativism and self-censorship, not equality or social progress. The term Islamophobia, from the very outset, encapsulated even the act of saying ‘this way of life is better than that’ or ‘Islam is not a fantastic belief system’ — completely legitimate moral viewpoints, whether you agree or not.
This cynical use of the ‘phobia’ brand to harry and even criminalise anyone who argues that secularism and freedom are better than the Islamic outlook has grown and exploded since 1996. Now, everything from expressing disdain for the burqa to blaspheming against Muhammad is described as ‘Islamophobic’, as wrong, wicked, deserving of opprobrium. This can be seen in the constant branding as ‘Islamophobic’ commentators who simply criticise aspects of Islam. So in recent years, European race watchdogs have reprimanded journalists for describing the Koran as providing ‘scriptural cover for judicial barbarity’ and even slammed the BBC for describing Osama bin Laden as an ‘Islamic fundamentalist’, on the basis that actually his acts were ‘un-Islamic’. Even pointing out the religious origins of certain terrorists is seen as ‘Islamophobic’, since it apparently casts moral aspersions on Islam. And of course, that is what Charlie Hebdo was in recent years slammed for doing, by everyone from Barack Obama to French politicians and courts: casting moral aspersions on Islam, blaspheming against Islam, expressing a morally superior viewpoint about Islam. We have created a climate in which even criticising Islam is seen as foul, racist, mentally deranged, and then we wonder why some Islamic hotheads seek to punish those who dare to do it.
The conceit of Islamophobia is at the cutting edge of the ideology of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism embodies the modern West’s reluctance to elevate any culture, even its own, above any other. Multiculturalism makes a virtue of a moral vacuum, turning the negative inability of the modern West to say ‘Our way of life is good’ into a pseudo-positive celebration of all cultures as ‘equally worthy of respect’. Multiculturalism is about evading any serious discussion of values or ideas in favour of saying ‘all are good, none should be ridiculed’. Islamophobia takes this to the next level, through demonising the very desire to judge. Far from a progressive war on racism, the Islamophobia industry is a deeply illiberal and cowardly attempt to squash debate, and to sneak rules against blasphemy back into Europe.
But we must be free to blaspheme. And to ridicule. And, most importantly, to discuss and judge and discriminate between values we think are good and those we think are less good. Western societies will never rediscover their sense of purpose or mission, far less the Enlightenment spirit, so long as the very act of bigging up one’s own democratic and liberal values over the views of others is treated as tantamount to a speech crime. Je suis Charlie? Then challenge the very thing that contributed to the massacre of those Charlies: the stifling new culture of relativism and self-censorship that has given some people in Europe the foolish and dangerous idea that they have the right to go through life without ever hearing a sore word about their belief system.
Tony Perkins: NYT Suggests No Place for Christians in Positions of Authority
Apparently, The New York Times is in favor of faith in the public square – if the purpose is to mock it. Editors at the Times poured gasoline on the fire of Atlanta's latest controversy with an editorial that should shock even their most liberal readers. Just when you thought the media couldn't sink any lower, the Times takes on the same First Amendment that gives it the freedom to print these vicious attacks on Christians.
In a stunning column yesterday, the newspaper argues that men and women of faith have no place in public management of any kind. The piece, which shows a remarkable disinterest in the facts, claims that Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran didn't have permission to publish his book on biblical morality. Not only did Cochran have permission from the city's ethics office to publish his book, but he only distributed it in his personal capacity at church – where a handful of his coworkers attend.
But the shoddy journalism didn't end there. Editors insisted that Cochran's book was full of "virulent anti-gay views" – when in fact, the 162 page book only mentioned homosexuality twice. And both times, the conversation merely echoed the Bible's teachings on the subject. For that – privately espousing a faith that a majority of Americans share – Kelvin was fired.
"It should not matter," The New York Times conveniently suggests, "that the investigation found no evidence that Mr. Cochran had mistreated gays or lesbians. His position as a high-level public servant makes his remarks especially problematic, and requires that he be held to a different standard." And what is that "standard," specifically? That he has no First Amendment rights? If so, that's the height of hypocrisy for these editors, who just days ago championed the press's freedom to ridicule religion in the public square. Apparently, The New York Times believes in the freedom of the press to attack faith, but not the public's right to hold a faith in the first place.
"Nobody can tell Mr. Cochran what he can or cannot believe," the editors say (somewhat ironically, since that's what they seem to be doing). "If he wants to work as a public official, however, he may not foist his religious views on other city employees who have the right to a boss who does not speak of them as second-class citizens." At no point did Kelvin Cochran "foist" his views on anyone. And if you follow the Times's suggestion to its natural conclusion, then there's no place in this country for Christians in any position of authority!
Yesterday, hundreds of Cochran supporters spilled into the rotunda of the Georgia Capitol to stand up to the city's religious intolerance – and then marched to Mayor Reed's office where they left nearly 50,000 petitions from citizens across the nation. Together with Atlanta's religious leaders, black and white, Republicans and Democrats, I urged Americans to fight this notion that Christians have to check their faith at the workplace door.
"This past weekend the world marched in Paris recognizing that free speech is the cornerstone of a truly free society. A realization is now sweeping Europe that political correctness has become lethal and it is an avowed enemy of true freedom. But whether a journalist in France satirically writes about religion or a fire chief in Atlanta, Georgia writes about the sacred teachings of his faith, the silencing of either is a threat to the freedoms of all...Chief Cochran has spent a lifetime, ready at a moment's notice to fight the fires that threatened lives and property, today he stands ready to fight the flames of intolerance fueled by our own government that threaten our most fundamental freedoms."
It's time for the city of Atlanta to end its campaign of discrimination against Christians, whose only crime is exercising the same liberties our forefathers came to these shores to protect. The New York Times is calling for public servants to be held to a different standard when it comes to their freedom of speech and religion. But I think most Americans are quite happy with the standard that we've had for the last 226 years – the First Amendment!
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.