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Oi Granny …. Don’t worry; the PC troops are here to protect you

Dexter Flynn | 25/04/16

I am going to start this column off with a question that I suspect has never been asked: what do Simon Cowell and Jacques Barzun have in common?  For the uninitiated, Cowell is a popular music/tv impresario who wears high waisted slacks.  Barzun was a French-born American historian, famous for his commentaries on ideas and culture. The one thing that these two have in common is their fundamental dislike for political correctness.  Cowell “loathes” it. Barzun beautifully claimed that: “political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organises hatred”.

Just look at the Millennial forums known as Twitter and Facebook. These are the modern day Roman colosseums.  One only has to publish something deemed slightly inappropriate by the PC generals and the perpetrator is immediately slain.  Freedom of speech and thought is being eroded by all those who have enlisted in the PC army.  News of expensive flight bookings, organised (perhaps) in accordance with company rules, cause the legions to march.  Questioning why your Chief Minister (unlike most other world leaders) saw fit to attend upon migrant camps means that you are, at best, a fascist and the PC brigade is charged with bringing you down. Saying that you do not want the unfortunate migrants of the Middle East to be moved to this Island (because there are far more appropriate solutions) places you in the pantheon of evil gods to be destroyed by the PC battalions. Modern language terms such as “tax haven”, “tax avoidance”, “offshore financial centres” and “trust structures” are becoming culturally offensive.  Let’s not talk about WC signs.

It is such political correctness and its enforcement by the PC enforcers in one form or another which acts as a straitjacket upon society.

One symptom of this, is Jersey’s nanny state legislation. We are an Island of 100,000 people. Notwithstanding my advancing years as a Generation X’er and my recognised wisdom(!), our Government sees it as only fit and proper that it should legislate as to when and what I can shop for on a Sunday; control my supermarket booze purchases; tax my sugar consumption and tell me that notwithstanding that we have numerous betting shops on the Island (not to mention internet betting), gambling in casinos is abhorrent. Really? Has it not got more important issues to address other than Dexter’s drinking, gambling and shopping habits?   Do not even touch upon my greatest sin of all… smoking.

A good example of such legislation as promoted by the PC infantry is the discrimination law. Unlike almost any other piece of legislation, if you speak out against this law, you must be a racist, sexist and now, come September, an ageist. Leaving aside the nonsense propaganda about our international obligations, one of the reasons for introducing age discrimination is the fact that in 2012, 9% of those asked in a study reported being discriminated against on the grounds of age.  Yes, a characteristic being added to a law on the basis of a 4 year old study and a small minority of the population.

The reality is that most normal humans are anti-discrimination. The Millennials, in particular, are very much alive to these important social issues.  Therefore why should we waste hundreds of thousands of pounds on legislation telling us not to be racist, sexist and now ageist when that money could be better spent elsewhere?  Here’s an idea, distribute that money amongst our pensioners.

What are we getting in return for our livre?  Since the law was introduced back in 2014 there have only been a handful of discrimination cases, in respect of race and sex. Does this not merely confirm the fact that overall, we are quite a nice bunch of people?

A small community such as Jersey has a much better chance of policing itself compared to the UK (from where we drawdown this type of legislation). To be frank, our small community functions in part, on gossip, rumour and general curtain twitching. Oh yes it does. Perhaps a local individual’s racist, sexist and ageist behaviour is more likely to become a topic for debate over a Jersey dinner given our 0.6 degree of speculation. Surely this is a more effective deterrent; not a law that very few members of the general public have ever read or utilised. We are capable of policing ourselves aren’t we?

I therefore declare my allegiance to my PC loathing brethren such as Cowell and Barzun and invite our Government to concentrate its fire power on dealing with real issues and not just pandering to the PC calvary who charge about causing havoc and mayhem for no real gain other than self-aggrandisement.

Perhaps this rant is a sign of my age … oops!!!

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