Another PC Myth is born

I am sadly confident that this story will join the canon of PC myths, alongside Winterval and the Royal Bank of Scotland Piggy Banks, which ‘prove’ that we are being overrun by barbarians. In fact, when British cultural practices and values come up against minority sensibilities, they usually win out.

The Telegraph headline blares: Three little pigs ‘could offend builders, Muslims’

Yet another example of our country being hijacked by minority sensibilities? Of course not. Perhaps just another example of a government agency lacking either common sense, or perhaps the confidence to apply it? I fear this may be a media storm in a tea-cup.

This time, the defendant is Becta, the education and technology agency, who have refused to give a BETT prize to a piece of digital artwork featuring the Three Little Pigs. Shoo FLy, the snubbed agency, claim that the feedback form from Becta stated that “judges would not recommend this product to the Muslim community in particular” and that they are the victim of political correctness gone mad. Meanwhile, the judges claim that the product failed to impress on a number of criteria.

I think Becta have a point. Political correctness irritates people the most when they are required to change something already in cultural existence (the Telegraph mentions “Baa baa rainbow sheep” as an example). But the Shoo Fly story was a new creation. If their brief is to create something inclusive accross all communities, then pigs probably aren’t appropriate.

Either way, it is only in the final paragraph of the article that we discover that the pigs aren’t so problematic after all. “we are not offended by that at all” says the MCB. This quote seems to have been missed by many readers of The Daily Telegraph, who complain of yet more kowtowing to minorities.

I am sadly confident that this story will join the canon of PC myths, alongside Winterval and the Royal Bank of Scotland Piggy Banks, which ‘prove’ that we are being overrun by barbarians. In fact, when British cultural practices and values come up against minority sensibilities, they usually win out.

4 thoughts on “Another PC Myth is born”

  1. It’s not a myth though is it – it happened, as reported on Radio 4 last night and on your blog today – in what sense is it a myth ?

    “we are not offended by that at all” says the MCB.

    In which case why did the quango in question decide that it WAS offensive. I think it’s this (the cliche of the self hating white liberals standing in cultural judgement) that infuriates people rather than anything about the culture itself. I can’t see why they would find it offensive anyway – muslim (and jewish) practice prohibits the eating of pork, not representations of pigs.

  2. *I* was just about to blog about this! It’s just a case of sour grapes, because it didn’t win. But the reason it didn’t win is because it is a shite book. “The Three Little Cowboy Builders?” What a load of rubbish. Could it be any more inappropriate for young children?

  3. The Quango’s feedback was to the effect that it wouldn’t be able to recommend it to muslims (so a whole 3% of the population, so what ?) and that builders might find it offensive (have you ever tried to offend a builder, they don’t generally do “offended”). If they had just said words to the effect that it was crap then no one would have noticed and it wouldn’t be a story.
    The more sinsiter thing behind these stories is that they reinforce, in the public domain, the victim mentality, the idea that nothing can be done which might possibly upset any section of the population. It’s the very essence of political correctness.
    I noticed that in my sons’ Thomas the tank engine books, the one’s published in the 90’s all have the “fat controller” called “Sir Topham Hat”, whereas in the newer ones he is correctly called the “fat controller”. A small victory for common sense.

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