Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Now PC prude bans phrase 'political correctness'

If ever you needed proof that 'political correctness' long ago ceased to be an actual code of language, if it ever was, today's papers are jizzing themselves silly about how you can't even say 'spotted dick' any more in case you offend dicks, or people with dicks, or people with no dicks, or people who once saw a dick but wish they hadn't. The Daily Express have gone with the rather straightforward NOW PC PRUDEES [sic] BAN SPOTTED DICK, presumably because you can't even say 'prudes' any more without offending the prudes.

The story runs like this; some people think that the name of the pudding 'spotted dick' is inherently hilarious, presumably the kind of people that really relish ordering cocktails called things like 'Sex On The Beach' or 'Interracial Anal Fisting' (not sure if the second one is a real cocktail). Canteen staff in one particular canteen have got bored of sniggering comments about spotted dick, and decided to rename it 'spotted Richard' on the menu (perhaps in homage to pudding-esque Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn, who knows?). This isn't really news in the sense that most of us would understand the term, but nevertheless the story made the Express, The Mail, The Telegraph, The Sun, The Star, the BBC, Sky News, and quite possibly a number of distant solar systems with no discernable traces of life. (If you're feeling a sense of deja vu, it could be because this sort of thing has happened before).

The Express, quick as a flash, sends a man racing up to the top of Express Towers to project the emergency PC Gone Mad symbol into the sky (I believe it's in the shape of a rainbow sheep), and, sure enough, their call for a hero is answered in the form of the tireless Philip Davies MP, a man who may very well actually shit reactionary quotes when he goes to the toilet:

Tory MP Philip Davies, Parliamentary spokesman for the Campaign Against ­Political Correctness said: “They are likely to get more people sniggering ­because they are calling it spotted Richard rather than spotted dick. It also speaks ­volumes that one group can be so childish and the other so sensitive.”
It seems they didn't need Davies to actually say 'political correctness gone mad', because he was beaten to it by someone who heard something about it from someone which he reckons is probably what happened:

Last night council member Klaus Armstrong-Braun said: “I find this unbelievable. I have been told it happened because it was felt the name was offensive. That is ludicrous. This dish has been around for 150 years and its name has never been a problem.

“It is part of British culture and heritage and to change it because of the childish ­behaviour of a few is absolutely ridiculous.

“It will even cost money because the name labels have to be changed. It is political ­correctness gone mad.”
That creaking sound you can hear is the national economy straining on the edge of total collapse with the news that Flintshire County Council's canteen is about to waste funds running into perhaps tens of pennies on their menus which almost certainly get reprinted on a regular basis anyway.

So what is political correctness these days? I'm a liberal person who tries to be careful with my choice of words because I understand that words are extremely powerful tools, weighted and shaped by decades of changing meaning and history such that they carry with them connotations which I think it behooves us all to acknowledge, out of a mixture of basic respect to people and the need to be understood. What I'm not is someone who thinks the name 'spotted dick' should be banned. The word 'dick' is not really a PC concern, is it? Political correctness isn't about banning swear words, that's just censorship at most.

It seems that 'political correctness' has now come to mean 'any type of censorship, change or compromise made which we in the press don't agree with'. Therefore, I propose that people just stop saying it. Just stop. You've ruined it now. It once sort-of meant something, but you messed around with it like excited children, tried to use it for something other than its intended purpose, and now it's broken. Maybe you can come up with another term which more accurately represents the weirdly simplistic narrative you're trying to spin, or, and here's a wild idea, maybe you can just try and criticise things on their own relative merits instead of screaming 'PC! PC GONE MAD!' like some kind of yelping chorus of gits. Does it make you feel good to constantly rail against a poorly-constructed left-liberal strawman using quirky, isolated examples which you know full well have nothing to do with any kind of political movement? Why the obsession with concocting a strange fantasy world wherein a dark cabal of socialist oppressors are stealing all your good old British words? It's so bollock-achingly fucking boring now that I'm actually tempted to start a campaign to genuinely get spotted dick banned (not even renamed, the actual pudding banned from shops, forever) just to piss you morons off.

So yeah, you can quote me on the 'let's stop saying the phrase "political correctness"' stuff and pretend I've banned it, if it helps give your world that frisson of excitement. Next time you're at a social gathering, why not end one of your spluttering right-wing rants with the phrase "...but of course, you can't say 'political correctness' any more, apparently the politically correct get offended by it!". Perhaps I'll be there when you say it, at which point I'll drag you off into a darkened room and violently stuff your every orifice with a popular currant-filled suet pudding while screaming "YEAAAAAAAH HOW YOU LIKE MY SPOTTED RICHARD NOW, BITCH?! TASTE MY RICHARD!", until your body explodes and your wretched existence finally draws to an undeservedly spectacular end.


  1. Excellent, I want to punch though the computer screen every time I read a "PC GONE MAD" "You couldn't make it up" - even though you probably did - story.

  2. If you do what you threaten, wouldn't that be madness gone politically correct?

  3. Completely agree, 'Political Correctness' is a meaningless term these days. Which makes idiots* like The Campaign Against Political Correctness all the worse, as their campaign is based on something hopelessly vague, propped up with tabloid anecdotes. Their campaign, from what I can tell, seems to consist of providing "Cuh! PC gone mad, innit?" quotes to the press when the Taxpayers Alliance are busy. I notice they ask for donations to keep this tireless work up too...

    See also the epic fail of Doncaster's 'Anti PC Mayor', whose manifesto was demolished by an interviewer on his first day (through cunning questions like "What are these 'non-jobs' you say you'll get rid of?")

    *Although there may be an arguement that it isn't politically correct to call people 'idiots', I believe the use is justified in this case as the people in question are actually idiots.

  4. Would you kindly advise your party-going whereabouts for the next week or so?

    I have some prime candidates for your 'correction' therapy.

  5. "Would you kindly advise your party-going whereabouts for the next week or so?

    I have some prime candidates for your 'correction' therapy"

    Just dial the emergency services (on the EU-approved 112 number, none of this British 999 crap) and ask for the PC Brigade, I'll get there as soon as I can with a van full of Spotted Ricardo.

  6. Quiet day in hotel on holiday, so I'm sorry to say you've been beaten to the punch when it comes to banning the term 'Political Correctness':

    Now council bans the use of 'political correctness' at work

    I covered it here:

    I wanna sex you up

  7. Haha, and look at the MP they got a quote from...

  8. Great post. I wish you success. :)