Thursday, July 30, 2009

Is political correctness killing the UK?


I have sat in front of my laptop for over an hour or so without producing a single sentence, which was rare as I would normally be able to come up with at least some gibberish that would somehow be clobbered into a post.

But not this time for this topic is inherently sensitive.

One thing that struck me when I first arrived in London is how humane the city is - human rights is the rule that governs the society n the UK. There are posters in the Tube providing a number to call to report hate crimes against the gay community, there is a equal opportunity requirement for all jobs (most anyway) and tribunals regularly granting damages to people who suffer discrimination in their workplace.

More importantly, I (an ethnic Chinese) have yet to encounter any forms of racism in the country, which is much more than I can say about some of the other cities that I have visited. For that I am grateful.

Of course, like any other country, the UK has its own issues as well. News of how benefits have been splashed out to people who are seemingly undeserving of it are reported on newspapers on a daily basis. Every other day, I read of yobs (slang term for an uncouth blue collar individual or thug) terrorising law abiding people while police, crushed under loads of paperwork, stood by powerless. Unless you have been living under a rock, you'll hear of how the 24 hours drinking policy have resulted in rise of violent crimes across the nation.

After some time, my amusement turned into frustration. Can someone justify why the taxpayers are paying for breast enlargement for female soldiers? What about paying for a liposuction for a woman and then having her complain about that? And paying off juvenile thugs with treats that most some law abiding children cannot afford?

Unnecessary political correctness has reared its ugly head in all aspect of life in the UK; in schools, hospitals, the police and even the language used.

Let's revisit the policy of 24hr alcohol licensing. One of the main official reason given as why it hasn't been revoke yet is that 'most Britons are responsible drinkers and restricting the hours they can buy alcohol would discriminate them. Am I the only one here who think that roaming the streets at 3am in the morning hunting for cheap booze should hardly be considered as a responsible act? We're not even discussing about the social problems brought about by making alcohol cheap and freely available.

Perhaps I should be thankful that these issues are reported on the media rather than swept under the carpet. But still, does the common sense that Britons were once proud of no longer exist? For more debate on this, refer to the Retreat on Would love to hear your comments on this.

On a lighter note, you can always rely on the Politically Correct Bedtime Stories.

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drcrab said...

yes, PC-ness is killing the UK because we're having to bend over backwards to cater to that vvvvv small minority (who aren't even complaining). I didn't click on your links but I know that many christmas cards (and shops for that matter) don't say 'Merry Christmas' anymore, but 'season's greetings'). Shops aren't allowed to play christmas songs and if they do, they shouldn't be the 'religious' holy night type songs (so lots of santa claus coming down the chimney and stuff like that!).

3 little pigs - not allowed at nursery coz it might discriminate against Muslims (how?)

and so on and so forth.

There needs to be some common sense in all these things.

On the other hand, our beloved country is so non-PC it's amazing. I'll email you!!!

C K said...

Wife and I saw that '3 little pigs' issue on tv, looked at each other and burst out in laughter. Forgive us but that was indeed ridiculous.

I assume G is well versed with his fairy tales then?

Agreed that S'pore is totally non-PC and in your face when compared to the UK. During one of my visit back home, a sales girl in a reputable shopping mall came up to me and said,

"Mister, your skin condition is very bad leh, you want to try our skin cream?"

Totally clueless...

FĂ«anor said...

What I find fascinating is that every one of the links you've given is from the Daily Mail!

Emm said...

I think that the United Kingdom has confused equal opportunities with giving everything to everyone that asks for it. In doing so, they have neglected the greatest social responsibility a government can have and that is to remain solvent.

I agree with giving overweight patients lap band surgery and I actually agree with giving young offenders recreation and trying to encourage other interests. But if those soldiers did not have the psychological constitution to cope with their self-esteem problems, then they should never have made it through the selection process.

C K said...

Darn, I was hoping that no one would notice that. Somehow, these links came up when I Googled for the topic.

I find it curious why someone should be paying me to keep my weight down especially if it benefits my health. Heck, shouldn't I be a bit proactive on that?

I may be simplying things here for she is complaining that now she that she is slimer, she is given less benefits and that prevents him from eating healthy food. When asked why she doesn't snack on apples (which is affordable) instead, she answered that crisps is more gratifying than apples. Amazing.

As for providing young offenders with recreation, I wonder what signals we are sending to would-be offenders? Although we should be looking into rectifying the current issue, should we put more emphasis into preventing them in the first place?

That said, I am sure Daily Mail is sensationalising the matter but I wonder whether the comments under each article I pointed out reflects the mood of the people.

::karinuslai:: said...

about the three little pigs - i suspect you should take anything the Mail publishes with a huge pinch of salt. they have a tendency to blow up and misrepresent nearly EVERYTHING in order to create a panic-inducing and hate-filling headline... if i'm not wrong the three little pigs one is completely false...

there's a lot less PC in the UK than most think. problem is there's a lot of real moaners out there who blame everything they're told to do/not to do on PC. The whole "calling christmas winterval is just PC gone mad" thing is completely off, for instance (if you remember your QI), since there WAS no campaign at all to rename christmas winterval. just something tabloids come up with to make people panic or get irritated.

anyway if you want to have your faith in UK non-PC-ness restored, just come back home and see what passes for "satire" back in singapore ;)

drcrab said...

I beg your pardon, but there are now christmas cards that do not say Merry Christmas, but only 'Seasons Greetings' - my organisation is one of them, and the numerous cards we receive from friends and business colleagues reflect that.

indeed, there was no campaign to 'change' things, but these things do 'change'. We don't always need a campaign to get things moving in this country.....

having said that, in our beloved country, having to fill in job application forms with 'family details' of your parents, spouse and children... having to declare one's 'race, religion, age'... well. that's rather OTT! lol.