Saturday, January 13, 2007

How to Manufacture A Row Without Even Trying

Have a look at THIS story on the BBC Website about a supposed "row" over an exhibition of golliwogs in a Hampshire museum. This from a correspondent...

"Note how the piece begins: "A row has broken out..." and then provides NO evidence of the existence of said row. Indeed, the story even quotes the owner of the collection as saying that no-one has complained - i.e no row at all. All the BBC has done is to ring an obscure rentaquote academic, and then presents his misgivings as if they are part of some racially-inflamed brouhaha. It's clear that Molyneux has never visited the exhibition. I'd lay big money on Molyneux having never heard of the exhibition until the BBC phoned him. The whole thing stinks.

I'd guess what happened is something like this:

The BBC notices that there is an exhibition of gollies.
The BBC decides that it is wrong for us to like gollies.
The BBC decides that it must produce a story telling us how people don't like gollies.
The BBC rings up the exhibition's organisers to see if anyone has complained.
The BBC is shocked to discover that no-one has.
The BBC cannot let this go, and decides to find someone who doesn't like the gollies.
The BBC phones obscure academic who says that gollies are evil etc.
The BBC then presents his quotes in such a way as to make it look as if there has been an exchange of views between the exhibition's organisers and obscure academic - ie, a 'row'.
The BBC can now be satisfied that it has presented a version of the 'truth' that fits in with its ideology.

Frankly, this is same methodology the Germans used in August 1939 when they dressed up a load of concentration camp prisoners in German uniforms, shot them, dumped their bodies at the Gleiwitz radio transmitter, and then said it was the work of the dastardly Poles."

UPDATE courtesy of Tim Worstall 1. They ran the story on last night's South Today, in which they didnot have complainant, but were apparently itching to find one.2. Now, the real meat. Check the wikipedia entry for the academic the BBC found. He's a well known Trotskyist. Extraodinary. So the story is not 'row erupts over golly exhibition', but 'BBC phones Trotskyist to make it seem as if there is a row'.

Now, no doubt you will think I am using this to have a go at the BBC. And of course I am. But you could easily delete the letters BBC from this story and insert any mainstream media organisation you like. They all do it. From The Guardian and Independent to the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, they all do things like this. It's called filling space and creating a story. And it's creating a story to fit your own agenda. This sort of thing is not a preserve of the left or the right. But at least if The Guardian or the Daily Telegraph do it they're not charging a poll tax licence fee to pay for it.

UPDATE: It seems the BBC has been reading this story because the website page referred to above now reads like THIS. It now starts off: "An exhibition of golly badges at a Hampshire museum has been criticised."

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tims way ahead of you including the fact that Molyneaux is a Trotskyist...

http://timworstall.typepad.com/timworstall/2007/01/gollywogs.html

Voyager said...

Robertsons jam doesn't taste the same without gollies...I liked gollies...just as I liked Donald Duck on Sun-Pat peanut butter.

Aunt Jemima used to have great cakes, and Pilsbury's doughboy was fun,

Why can't I have these symbols of fun food instead of paying taxes to support some stupid SWP propagandist at some dump university ?

Anonymous said...

Ian you are a hero.

This sort of thing happens all the time - it's just that this time you have spotted it in the act of concoction.

Were the BBC privatised (or free, as it is sometimes called), it simply wouldn't matter.

I heard another example on Radio 4 today - a woman saying that the proposed upgrade of our nuclear weapons was a waste of money which should be better spent on combating global warming as 'global warming is a much greater threat to humanity that nuclear wars'. What? I rest my case, but I don't wish to be forced to pay for such arrant nonsense (I like the sound of that phrase) to be broadcast.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Is there no one on the Board of Governors (or whoever is in charge of the BBC now) with sufficient clout to put a stop to this sort of nonsense? Why is it tolerated?

Anonymous said...

All fair points, but the Nazi analogy is not necessary.

Anonymous said...

Couple of points here Iain.

1/ The BBC is one of the things that makes life in this country worth living. So don't use this perfectly reasonable investigation of yours to have a go at the licence fee. If you want shit television, go and live in America where they are drowning in the stuff.

2/ You have a fair point that it is wrong to manufacture a story where none exists.

3/ To finish on a lighter note, it is possible to still buy 'soft toy' golliwogs in the Carmarthen market, which is under threat of closure. No doubt because the fact that it sells great quality farm produce at prices that people can afford doesn't fit in with the arrival of the shitty new Tesco Extra and all its crap values, dodgy planning deals and 'fuck the suppliers' value system.

Anonymous said...

But Iain, the media are doing really important work here. Shouldn't you yourself be picking up how those awful 'Groggs' are insulting to Welsh people like myself, by portraying players of the game of rugby as brutish, ugly, huge monsters, instead of the kind, gentle, hair gel using metrosexuals that we really are ?

And what about that awful cartoonist Steve Bell, portraying those poor minorities [politicians] in such an unflattering light ?

Surely it falls to you with your sword of truth and trusty shield of fair play to right such wrongs and level up the playing field in favour of such oppressed, powerless and defenceless individuals ?

Anonymous said...

Well no one can argue that this museum hasn't managed to garner a huge amount of free publicity. And to think I was going to have a go at my mum, who has one or two of said 'gollies' in her china cabinet at home. Maybe I won't bother...

By the way, is anyone out there old enough to remember the scrummy Clare Francis on Blue Peter showing off her 'new' round the world yacht, spookily named 'Robertson's Golly'?

No? Must be just me then..

Anonymous said...

Yes, but Iain, are you really saying that you think it is acceptable to have a society where children call black people 'wogs' ?

Although the people collecting these were not racist, sadly these toys did acquire racist connotations due to a few nasty individuals who used nasty name-calling and society moved on.

If you don't want that name-calling to return [and I don't for a second believe that you do] you may have to accept that whilst a 'retrospective' museum exhibition is not going to do a great deal of harm, the widespread sale of 'gollies' is something we may need to just leave in the past.

Anonymous said...

Love that post Iain , no doubt you saw the demolition of the BBCin the Telegraph today. I think we can say a row has broken out about the justification of the Licence fee.
On the subject of Golliwogs the last time I said somemthing about it I was immediately deleted from Guido so I won`t.....

I liked the early jam sessions though

javelin said...

I was thinking yesterday that the BBC often quote the independent news service as a good reason to keep the license fee. "Possibly," I thought so let's cut the fee down to 20 quid and just keep the news. After reading this story I'm thinking of cutting their license fee down another 20 quid.

Never even had a Teddy said...

I never even knew Golliwogs were a representation of black people before it became an issue.

Anyway it all seems a bit Big Brother that a museum can't display them. They should be wiped from history seems to be the conclusion.

Whether you like Golliwogs or not is not the issue but those who want to white wash history and the fact they were toys at one time.

javelin said...

Another thought. If the UK is to split up what will happen to the B in the "B"ritish Broadcasting Company - Surely we will be looking at the EBC, SBC, WBC and NIBC.

A good time for the Conservatives to review the license fee.

Besides which a nice long debate over the BBC license fee will ensure their independent news becomes even more independent towards the Conservatives before the next election.

Yak40 said...

I recently saw Golly badges in antique shops in Sussex, maybe one of them was mine !

BBC's News division is not even remotely evenly balanced.

Another example is the current story of a kid bashed with a hammer; the Beeb gives no details about the attackers except their number and age range whereas just about every newspaper clearly identifies them as "Asians".

Anonymous said...

Something similar happened to the Irish/Northern Irish/Ulster* girl on Blue Peter when she did something on the red hand.

Some academic at Glsgow University made a stink about it. The guy is a Shinner.

The big irony is that the red hand is used by both "communities". It was the symbol of James Connolly's Irish Citizens Army for instance.

* Delete as applicable

Anonymous said...

Thanks Iain, for highlighting this. Of course it goes on all the time, but it's a disgrace, even more so because the Beeb is a public service.

Anonymous said...

Fuck all wrong with golliwogs, black people don't find them offensive (other than those paid to be offended)
Its a doll for fucks sake, a cuddly doll, even though it is based on a blacked up white minstrel, far less offensive than a hammer and sickle or Che Guevara t shirt.

Nicholas Bennett said...

Congratulations Iain.

I hope you'll send a copy of your findings to the BBC Trustees (as I think we now have to call them).

I note the people defending PC anti-Golliwog campaigns on the site are all anon. The possession of a golliwog doesn't turn people into racialists.

gordon-bennett said...

Is a child who had a golliwog doll and loved it more likely or less likely to grow up as a racist?

Anonymous said...

What is probably more racist is that black kids cannot play with a black dolly, but a forced by the bleedin heart liberals to play with white ones.

verity said...

anonymous 10:56 says:
"All fair points, but the Nazi analogy is not necessary."

How dare you, you preachy, hectoring, bossy anonymous, adjudicate what comments are "necessary"? Who the bloody hell promoted you to Mr Universal Sensitivty Censor?

Who the hell are you to be making such judgements over the free speech of others making comments on this blog, which is not your blog?

Do not tell people, on someone else's property, what was "necessary" for them to say.

Clearly, the writer wanted to express his/her thoughts in this manner and exercised his/her right of free speech. How absolutely dare you, you thought Nazi? Thought fascists like you, aka "politically correct" make me sick.

verity said...

Why do I think this is the same preachy, bossy, mightier-than-thou who posted earlier?

Our old favourite "Anonymous" said...
"Yes, but Iain, are you really saying that you think it is acceptable to have a society where children call black people 'wogs' ?"

Do you know any African languages?

"Although the people collecting these were not racist, sadly these toys did acquire racist connotations due to a few nasty individuals who used nasty name-calling and society moved on."

OK, Nanny Nasty, we know you're so upset and all of a-quivver you think this merits imposing new rules on the human race to accommodate YOU.

"If you don't want that name-calling to return [and I don't for a second believe that you do] you may have to accept that whilst a 'retrospective' museum exhibition is not going to do a great deal of harm, the widespread sale of 'gollies' is something we may need to just leave in the past."

Well, sadly, Mr No Golliwog Man, you don't understand the difference between the words "whilst" and "while", so I don't know that we can trust you to have a grasp of our ancient language.

Or perhaps we will preserve our past. Perhaps we don't go in around here for the Sovietesque erasure of history?

Anonymous said...

The BBC story has been "updated" and the reference to "a row" has been quietly removed - hopefully in response to Iain's comments However, still no explanation of who Molyneux actually is!

Anonymous said...

Yes, but Iain, are you really saying that you think it is acceptable to have a society where children call black people 'wogs' ?

Why call them wily Oriental Gentlemen surely they are honkies ?

Anonymous said...

This Slavery Museum in Bristol is highly dangerous since it suggests we should re-introduce slavery to compete with lowest labour costs in China and India and since slavery is commonplace in Pakistan and Bangladesh it could imply these minorities in Britain should be utilised as a cheap labour source in return for their living on benefits


Must email the BBC

Martin L said...

Mr Anonymous 10:58 said:

"/ The BBC is one of the things that makes life in this country worth living. So don't use this perfectly reasonable investigation of yours to have a go at the licence fee. If you want shit television, go and live in America where they are drowning in the stuff.
"

This sort of comment really makes me cross. Mr Anonymous is effectively saying:

"I happen to like the BBC, so everyone else should be forced to pay for it under threat of imprisonment".

Well, Mr Anonymous, I happen to like the novels of Anthony Trollope. Perhaps you would like to consider making a contribution to my library, or maybe you would prefer a few weeks in prison?

Get your cheap entertainment and childish political propaganda from wherever you want, but don't expect everyone else to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

"How dare you, you preachy, hectoring, bossy anonymous, adjudicate what comments are "necessary"? Who the bloody hell promoted you to Mr Universal Sensitivty Censor?

Who the hell are you to be making such judgements over the free speech of others making comments on this blog, which is not your blog?

Do not tell people, on someone else's property, what was "necessary" for them to say.

Clearly, the writer wanted to express his/her thoughts in this manner and exercised his/her right of free speech. How absolutely dare you, you thought Nazi? Thought fascists like you, aka "politically correct" make me sick."

What makes me sick is the over-use of comparisons with the Nazis which will only belittle the crimes they committed. I don't think Prof Molyneux is the next Hitler. So you've actually got me totally wrong (and sightly embarrassed yourself through the vehemency of your post); I'm not a "PC thought-Nazi", just someone who hates the belittling of the Nazi propaganda machine by comparing it with this.

It's also unnecessary as it's a fallacy - a slight slippery slope if I'm not mistaken, I for one feel intelligent enough to get the gist of this without hav ing to have it pointed out to me that this is sort of what the Nazis did but not.

Henry Krinkle said...

Isn't it a bit hypocritical to run repeatedly critical blog entries regarding the BBC and yet take their shilloing when it suits you to do the paper review on News 24?

Not fishing - genuinely interested.

RobtE said...

Readers here will of course be familiar with Godwin's Law...

Anonymous said...

Iain, while you're at it, isn't it about time you banned the poster with the oh-so-sensitive handle of 'little black sambo' ? If you are willing to allow that, then don't even bother to have an opinion on this story, as your independence and neutrality will be, quite rightly, called into question.

Anonymous said...

Iain, Can't you see how astonishingly insensitive, rude and ill-mannered this is ? I wouldn't expect a thicko like Verity to understand, but you are a cut above. How would you like it if people reverted to the behaviour of calling people 'mongols' or 'spastics' ? Or where gay people were referred to as 'shirt lifters' or any number of other disgusting homophobic labels ?

I think we've evolved a bit from that, and it is singularly depressing to think that there are some intellectual pygmies who see fit to label that as 'political correctness gone mad'.

Anonymous said...

Your analysis sounds about right. It tickles my sense of humour when I see the picture of the gollywog a poster uses on yours and other blogs. I recall seeing them on Robertson's jam jars, and as dolls. I cannot see what all the fuss is about, political correctness gone mad. A dyslexic way around it is to use wollygog.

To pass time in prison I would manufacture a row without even trying to start a debate. This week there has been no need because I have been busy doing radio interviews on the prisoner artificial insemination case at the ECtHR.

Although the Chamber decided 4 against 3, that the Home Office refusal to allow it to take place did not breach the prisoner's human rights, the Grand Chamber may reverse that decision. The dissenting opinions are very strong.

Two of the dissenting judges argued: "If conjugal visits were allowed, no problem of artificial insemination would emerge. The restrictions on artificial insemination become important only where there is a prohibition of conjugal visits".

This places a cat amongst the pigeons. I can hear public opinion being against this, I suggest that prisoners should be allowed to get their nookies. This is a prime example of how to manufacture a row without even trying. The difference here is that whilst the Beeb's had no substance, there is merit in my argument and none or very little in the public opinion against prisoners having the right to sex.

Anonymous said...

Golly Gosh ! British Brilliant Blogger beats up BBC in jolly jammy jesting !

Brain Dead said...

Verity, pot calling the kettle black. You really are a hypocrite!

“Who the hell are you to be making such judgements over the free speech of others making comments on this blog, which is not your blog?”

It’s not yours either! So who the fuck are you to police anyone on this blog. I know it goes against the grain but try to make a point without attacking someone.

You might just be taken seriously as opposed to the angry person you come across as.

Marij Sak said...

This is absolutely typical of current BBC reporting and it drives me up the wall and is one of the reasons I want the bit of the act about paying a license fee repealed!

See http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/BBC-TV-License/
Please!

The Blog Gestapo said...

How dare you, you preachy, hectoring, bossy anonymous, adjudicate what comments are "necessary"? Who the bloody hell promoted you to Mr Universal Sensitivty Censor?

Do not tell people, on someone else's property, what was "necessary" for them to say.

Clearly, the writer wanted to express his/her thoughts in this manner and exercised his/her right of free speech. How absolutely dare you, you thought Nazi? Thought fascists like you, aka "politically correct" make me sick.


Ooh lets not trust someone for muddling their words. How about someone who has an affliction for commas...

Lord Monteagle said...

Posts at 3.06am and 4.10am, a good night was it Verity?

jack bauer said...

"If you want shit television, go and live in America where they are drowning in the stuff. "
anony 10:58

I HATE when people say this. Utter crap. US TV frankly wipes the floor with UK TV. All the crap that is shown on US TV is actually exported from here.

We gave them awful reality and game shows. They gave us Sopranos, Nip/Tuck, Desperate Housewives, The Wire, 24, The Simpsons and many more that I can't be arsed typing out here. Suffice to say they are a trillion times better than the utter tripe shown on these shores. Stuff that looks like it's been shot with a digital camera on film mode. I think I'll take 24 over Holby thanks.

Before I go, it's that lazy stereotype of US TV that actually pervades most thought on America in general in this country. "Oh they are all fat bible-bashing-trash-tv-watching-morons". It's the BBC that pushes this stereotype (as Justin Webb once famously admitted)

Anonymous said...

Iain do shut up.

Golly badges are racist and I as a black man find them offensive.

And please don't tell me this is 'political correctness gone mad'.

Little Black Sambo said...

Anonymous 11.49, crawl back under your stone.

Laurence Boyce said...

The BBC is long overdue for break up. They are simply acting as a massive obstacle to free and competitive broadcasting in the UK. Look at the radio. Totally dominated by the BBC. The only alternative is the blokey talkSport.

Tired old self-important liberal lefty metropolitan chattering classes . . .

BJ said...

Yes -- of course this is a bit of a crap story. Unfortunately, all media outlets (er, especially BBC regional telly) put them out from time to time. When I was a local commercial radio hack, the number of calls I made to local politicians in order to get them to react to something and effectively manufacture a story doesn't bear thinking about.

But Iain, why do you use one piece of slipshoddery as a justification for the abandonment of the licence fee. It's like saying: "A doctor has been negligent and killed a patient. Surely this brings the entire raison d'etre of the National Health Service into question."

Some other things: I agree with Henry Krinkle -- I think it is a bit hypocritical of you to do the N24 paper review and continue to express these sorts of opinions (I know you've explained to me in the past that you don't get that much cash for being on N24, this is a fair point);

To commenters who have suggested that the BBC has deliberately hushed up the fact that the gang who attacked the schoolboy in Swindon did so out of racism... both the management of the school, and the police, have denied in several media outlets that this is the case. All the papers have got is quotes from unnamed parents making this accusation.

And it's highly amusing to see a Conservative try to criticise something by describing it as a "Poll Tax"....

I'll return below the parapet now, because last time I came on here to defend my employers, I was called a mong and a spastic and a wanker. Such eloquence.

Cheerio all.

Anonymous said...

All well and good Iain, but are the Conservatives going to propose BBC reform?

The Tories have been silent during the "debate" on Charter Renewal...

Anonymous said...

Yes terrible thing these manufactured stories. But rather like showing a photo of Gordon Brown standing next to a member of the SNP and asserting he has 'nationalist amnesia'. Pots and Kettles Ian.

Paul Murphy
Beverley
East Yorkshire

Captain Grammar said...

'...you don't understand the difference between the words "whilst" and "while", so I don't know that we can trust you to have a grasp of our ancient language.’

‘whilst’ and ‘while’ are synonymous according to COD.

MorrisOx said...

Not the first time that the Beeb website has been shooting fast and loose on stories.

Last year, a policewoman ws shot in Nottingham. Shocking enouhg, and the complaints in a linked background piece made it seem like the city was in turmoil.

Only on reading the story a second time did I notice that the background piece was, in fact, twoyears old and rferred to reactions to an earlier incident.

I contacted the Beeb to ask why they weren't making this clear and why they hadn't updated the piece but their response was the usual talk at you rather than talk to you.

Beware of this whenever you read a background piece on their website. All is not what it seems.

But, hey, they're the Beeb and they no best...

Chief Whip said...

Paul Murphy
Beverley
East Yorkshire


I thought you were in Torfaen !

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

anonymous [2.23 p.m.] You say: "Golly badges are racist and I as a black man find them offensive."

They are NOT racist, old man, any more than Barbie is sexist. They are just a harmless, inoffensive, good natured bit of fun. Just relax, there's a good fellow. There are much more important things to fret about.

milesinfront said...

As a white man I find clowns offensive

John Moss said...

Irrespective of the context of the story there is absolutely no way anybody can argue that the BBC does not operate from a "position".

They set the terms of reference as to what is and is not OK to speak about in polite society and the programmes they make all set a left-wing, liberalist, tone.

Is there a married family on Eastenders which hasn't a family member who has either murdered somebody or is divorced/has secret or unknown love child or is having an affair?

Is Homosexuality really so ubiquitous as portrayed in their dramas? Which also always portray any Tory as a conniving, criminal, adulterous, promiscuous, evil bastard?

I could go on, but the BBC presents to us the world the BBC would like to live in. In the age of the internet, there are just to many competing ideals and ideals for this to continue to be funded by the state. By all means have a proto-marxists, libertarian, left-wing TV station, but not, thank you, at my expense.

And I agree with the post about US TV. Miles and miles ahead of the BBC in everything, especially news, with the one exception of nature programmes.

Anonymous said...

trumpeter - surely if someone says that they are offended by something, or find them offensive, then there is, prima facie, a case to answer for them , er, being offensive ? Even if one can't go the extra step to saying that they are, by definition, offensive ?

Roger Thornhill said...

‘whilst’ and ‘while’ are synonymous according to COD.

Really? I thought "whilst" was an abbreviation for "while still". The difference is that "I drank my tea whilst reading the paper" implies that I was reading the paper before I drank my tea and continued to do so once I began drinking. The simpler "I drank my tea while reading the paper" just indicates concurrence.

verity said...

Anonymous 11:53 - Regarding your latest sermon on what you are prepared to allow people to say - assuming you're the same Anonymous as 10:56 - people should be absolutely free to use whatever language they choose, with no constraints except the disaste of fellow citizens, you write: "Iain, Can't you see how astonishingly insensitive, rude and ill-mannered this is ?" So? Now you are going to legislate "sensitivity" as well?

The same poster writes: "there are some intellectual pygmies who see fit to label that as 'political correctness gone mad'."

Anonymous, thicko though you think I am, I have never referred to 'political correctness gone mad' in my life, unlike trite-minded people like yourself. I have always recognised political correctness for what it is: thought control, and I have always been deeply disturbed by it.

Speech laws and "suggestions" by government and officious individuals - and there is no one on planet earth as officious as a Brit - have no place in a free society.

Brain Dead - Of course it is not my blog! Du-uh. The point of a blog is discussion and contributions. I contributed my thoughts about the controlling, officious Anonymous mentioned above.

Lord Monteagle, who writes: "Posts at 3.06am and 4.10am, a good night was it Verity?" I have a little fact to share with you. Just because it is 3:06 a.m and 4:10 p.m. in your tiny corner of the world, does not mean that this applies throughout the whole great big world! We have what are known as "time zones". For example, have you ever noticed that when you go to the Continent, the time is always an hour ahead of Britain? And the further east you travel, the bigger the time difference?

Jack Bauer - Agreed 100%. There is an abundance of talent in the United States. The Americans usually excel at anything they throw themselves at. That's another reason the Beeb hates them.

Anonymous 2:23. You say you're black and you find gollywogs offensive. Fair enough. You are speaking from personal experience and not from lofty mahatama status, and therefore what you say has legitmacy and I was interested in your statement.

BJ wrote: "both the management of the school, and the police, have denied in several media outlets that this is the case. All the papers have got is quotes from unnamed parents making this accusation."

Incorrect. They have statements from pupils at the school which have been released. You can read them at UK Commentators blogspot. As they're written by children, they are very telling.

Anonymous said...

This is a silly post and should be removed. The story was in the Daily Mail on the 10th January, so on Iain and the mysterious emailer's reading of the story, the Daily Mail must have used a Time Machine to steal the BBC's story (and the quotes from their phone call from the Molyneaux bloke) so it could write it before the BBC.

I wonde whether opponents of the BBC ever wonder whether the hysteria and lies that characterise most of their output (Biased BBC, a weblog devoted to this sort of stuff, is priceless) actually harms their cause. Or are they so far gone they don't care?

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

anonymous [6.31 p.m.] I suppose anyone may take offence at whatever he finds personally offensive. But we don't have to agree with him. We are entitled to make our own judgment.

For example, having lived through World War II, I find it deeply offensive if someone denigrates Winston Churchill. But I wouldn't dream of saying, "That offends me, therefore it is offensive, and therefore you must not say it."

Chuck Unsworth said...

The BBC is notorious for changing its published stories/articles at the slightest whiff of trouble. Sort of 'make-it-up-as-you-go-along-news', really.

If they spent a little more effort it getting the facts rather than 'creating' news items they might be held in rather higher esteem than the currently dire oprobrium...

Tom Tyler said...

From the Home Office website:
"Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by an offender's hatred of someone because of their:
* race [etc etc]
"Hate crime can take many forms including:
* [....] offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures [...]
"Our definition of a hate crime:
* Any incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate.

It sounds to me that if Anonymous 2:23pm encountered someone wearing a "golly badge", or attended the exhibition in question, and perceived the badge or gollies to be racially offensive to him and motivated by hatred on the part of the wearer/exhibition promoter, then he could indeed report this to the police. Would the courts really and truly have no need to establish any "intention to offend" on the part of the accused, the "perception" of the victim being evidence enough? That sounds absolutely crazy.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Anonymous 11.53 am (Yes yet another 'Anon'...)

'How would you like it if people reverted to the behaviour of calling people 'mongols' or 'spastics' ? Or where gay people were referred to as 'shirt lifters' or any number of other disgusting homophobic labels ?

I think we've evolved a bit from that, and it is singularly depressing to think that there are some intellectual pygmies who see fit to label that as 'political correctness gone mad'.'

If you seriously believe that you're sadly misinformed. To believe that 'we've evolved' from that position is complete stupidity. There's no eveidence to prove otherwise. All that the endless plethora of nannying legislation has done is to drive these things underground. But scratch the surface and I guarantee you will be horrified by what appears.

RobtE said...

Well, sadly, Mr No Golliwog Man, you don't understand the difference between the words "whilst" and "while", so I don't know that we can trust you to have a grasp of our ancient language.

Well, sadly, Verity old thing, having consulted both the OED and Fowler, I can conclude that you are once again talking out of your arse. Now piss off like a nice thing, won't you?

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

tom tyler [9.21 p.m.] The law is exactly as you state it, and yes, it's crazy.

But like so many laws on our statute book, it is not intended to be enforced but to "send a signal" to people like you and me, lest we be tempted to say or do something politically incorrect.

verity said...

Robte said: "Well, sadly, Verity old thing, having consulted both the OED and Fowler, I can conclude that you are once again talking out of your arse. Now piss off like a nice thing, won't you?"

Did you mean "I can confirm", sloppy old thingy? Surely you have someone to take care of you? Or at least a number to call?

Lookylooky said...

This isn't actually the Beeb's fault - it was in papers. but you are spot on. Some journalists at least bother to manufacture a row!!!

Neil Craig said...

Chuck I think your reference to "intellectual pygmies" may be taken as offensive by some of our differently tall brethren.

Fortunately the BBC showed more sensitivity by refering to "gollies" rather than the traditional name of "golliew*gs".

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Neil craig [12.28 P.M.] As a dwarf, I find the phrase "differently tall" offensive.

Anonymous said...

I never even knew Golliwogs were a representation of black people before it became an issue.

Wow! You must be really stupid then!

MorrisOx said...

While we're at it, can I belatedly draw your attention today's BBC News 'revelations' about a proposed Ango-French union in 1956.

Two facts that put this 'the BBC has learned' story into context.

1) Whether the BBC has just stumbled on some Government papers in the National Archive or not, the entire episode is detailed on p237 of 'Suez', written by former Economist parliamentary correspondent Keith Kyle and published in...1992!!

2) The BBC went to town on the story on the same day that BBC Radio 4 was broadcasting a documentary about the subject.

Not the first time that the Beeb has sough to hype one of its own programmes in news bulletins.

But please don't pretend that these 'revelations' are new. A 15 year-old story isn't much of an exclusive in my book.