Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Carol Thatcher: Why Can't the BBC Be Consistent?

Chris Moyles is Radio 1's star DJ. Two years ago he was involved, on air, in an incident which led to him being accused of racism. Halle Berry, no less, felt that he was indeed being racist. In December 2008 he faced another allegation, after he asserted that "Polish women make good prostitutes". On neither occasion did the BBC fire him, let alone discipline him or even make him apologise. On both occasions the BBC said he was "poking fun".

Today, despite issuing a full apology, Carol Thatcher was fired by the BBC - not disciplined, but fired - from the One Show, after she likened a tennis player's hair to that of a golliwog. It was a jokey remark made off air in the Green Room. And the tennis player concerned is allegedly the hideously white Andy Murray.

The logic of the BBC's argument is that the very mention of the word 'golliwog' is considered racist. Utterly preposterous.

Whatever Carol Thatcher said off air should not have been made public by the BBC. By firing her in this manner and allowing all this to enter the public domain, they have branded her a racist when she is patently nothing of the sort.

When dealing with the BBC, having the surname of Thatcher is not an advantage. However, if you are a fat, loudmouthed git with a surname of Moyles (or Ross, or Brand) you can get away with anything.

UPDATE: I will be on the Today Programme sometime after 8.30am discussing this with Amanda Platell.

UPDATE Wed 9.30: I am now reliably informed that the tennis player concerned was NOT Andy Murray.

134 comments:

Salmondnet said...

And doesn't it reflect well on Adrian Childs. "Sir,Sir, Carole said a naughty word!".

What wonderful company he must be and what a pity the Stazi no longer exist. He has missed his vocation.

strapworld said...

Well written Iain.

What made me squirm was that the male presenter Adrian Chiles was in the green room and was appalled!

I ask you a West Bromwich Fan appalled by the word 'Golliwog'

We have gone to far down this road and we should turn around. The most oppressed people in this Country are the White Majority. But it is those Politically Correct Whites that make the most trouble.

I have family and friends who are black and brown. They are, mostly,tories bar one who likes to be called a Green! They believe this is just an attack on the name Thatcher. They took no offence from this useage of the word 'Golliwog'

Carol is a very entertaining woman and I hope she goes from strength to strength.

As a little protest I will not watch this programme again whilst this decision is allowed to stand.

How they can sack Carol, for this, and allow Ross and the hideous Moyes to carry on regardless. It is an insult to all who pay the licence tax!

I hope this builds up into something the BBC cannot ignore!

canvas said...

"The logic of the BBC's argument is that the very mention of the word 'golliwog' is considered racist. Utterly preposterous"

Do you really think that?! Wow.

She might not be a racist but she used racist language. Why? More fool her.

I understand your point about others receiving 'different' treatment - but she'll get no sympathy from me.

As you sow so shall you reap...

Mostly Ordinary said...

It is irelivent if it's off air or not. She was being paid by the BBC and use compared a black person to a golliwog to another BBC employee.

If I called someone a golliwog at work I'd probably get the sack as well.

it wasn't the mention of the word golliwog that got her in trouble it was comparing a black person to a golliwog.

Iain Dale said...

Canvas, are you saying the word should be banned? What a very dangerous road to go down.

Mostly Ordinary, did you actually read what I wrote? The whole point was that the player whose hair she is supposed to have likened to that of a golliwog is Andy Murray. Who is white.

The Raven said...

"... it was comparing a black person to a golliwog."

Andy Murray is black? Wow. I need to pay more attention to tennis.

canvas said...

Iain, I never mentioned the word 'banned'. Carol chose to use that word - her decision - a very bad decision on so many different levels.

John said...

The BBC in being utterly stupid SHOCKER!

Next you'll be telling me they are prone to pro-Labour bias........

Lady Finchley said...

Canvas on her soapbox again. Ho hum. Guess what, Canvas, old girl, I have a great big golliwog, big as a grown man and a little guy too! Are you going to call the cops on me? I'd be delighted!

I really hate the BBC - they just outdo themselves each time.

Mostly Ordinary said...

'allegedly' Andy Murray

canvas said...

Lady Finch, your words say it all.
sad.

Oliver Drew said...

The BBC is not there to monitor private conversations - whether they were in the "green room" or not.

Further, a 'Golliwog' is a literary character from the 19th century. The only reason that the word has become politically incorrect is because it was the name of a black rag doll (and some not very nice people used the word in a derogatory fashion towards black people I assume - though why then everyone who uses the word should be charged as a racist is beyond me!)

Personally I would never use the word as a descriptor of a person - be they black or white. But I don't think that you should be sacked for saying it in private either. So much for Freedom of Speech.

Lady Finchley said...

No Canvas sweetie, it is you who are sad - a pathetic, politically correct white liberal who just longs to be a soul sister.

Golly, Wog? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jabba the Cat said...

More bullshit from the PC industry and the Bee Bee Cee. Good job you can still think what you like about all and sundry...

Golly, Wog? said...

I never did like Adrian Chiles, the little sneak.

Me said...

So Canvas, it was a "a very bad decision on so many different levels" was it?
Quite an arbiter of language aren't we?
And yet moore proof of the old edict 'Scratch a liberal, find a dictator'.

Lady Finchley said...

Not for long, Jabba, old thing ,if Canvas and her mates at the BBC have anything to say about it.

Lady Finchley said...

Me, not a very nice thing to say about Obama's head cheerleader!

canvas said...

No pointing in shooting the messenger. Carol Thatcher made a silly mistake, just like Patrick Mercer and so many before before her.

It's simply unacceptable to use racist language. David Cameron obviously agrees.

Each is responsible for his or her own actions.

Sleep well.

;)

Beaman said...

Political Correctness in overdrive. I think whoever snitched on Carol Thatcher should be ashamed of themselves.

Lady Finchley said...

Have you SEEN what Adrian Chiles looks like? What a beauty!

JuliaM said...

Stop complaining Iain!

"When your enemy is destroying himself, get out of the way."

:D

JuliaM said...

"She was being paid by the BBC and use compared a black person to a golliwog "

Reading comprehension isn't your strong point, then...?

Unsworth said...

So, Canvas, what's your term for the child's toy which used to be called a Golliwog?

You regard the word as racist?

How is it so?

Is is a racist term only in this country, or is it a racist term everywhere in the world?

JuliaM said...

"She might not be a racist but she used racist language. "

Where can I find the list of this 'racist' language..?

Oh, it's fluid, isn't it? Certain words are racist if used by a white person, perfectly fine if used by a black person. Especially if he's a rap star. Then, we'll even overlook some vile misogyny too, to prove we are 'down wiv' da street kidz'...

John Demetriou said...

A good effort from Dale here.

I whole-heartedly agree with your sentiments.

My own are penned herewith in this article on my site.

Regards

JD

http://www.boatangdemetriou.com/2009/02/carol-thatcher-and-bbc-racism-story.html

Uncle Joe said...

canvas.

"It's simply unacceptable to use racist language."

Oh yeah, and who says you and others like you get to make the rules?

trevorsden said...

The BBC are a bunch of ignorant conceited self serving bastards.

I apologise to readers for pulling my punches.

Except to Canvas I will not apologise to him/her, he/she is a pillock.

A 'wog' by the way is an acronym for Willy Oriental Gentleman. ie Arabs and Indians.

It would seem that Gordon Brown has ready access to the original Golliwog
http://www.albury.net.au/~tim/chgolly4.htm

DespairingLiberal said...

What a bizarre lot you are if JuliaM is anything to go by - since when exactly did the BBC become the "enemy" of the Tory Party? Oh dear, I just remembered. It was when the Tory Party lost it's collective marbles and became an irrelevant little extreme-right sect. I do so envy David Cameron having the task of trying to bring your lot back to some sense.

What is strange though is that Iain Dale does not share your loathing of BBC liberal values - strange because you obviously feel there is a home here for your wierd rantings. Just a sad delusion.

Iain, a subtext here might be that Moyles and Ross both worked or work for a private production company and Carol Thatcher did not. I wonder if that had a bearing? Could this be in the arena of contracts and lawyers?

The truth is that the BBC, like many other British institutions, is effectively being emasculated by privatisation mania - the remaining "management" being increasingly marginal and incompetent, as this decision shows.

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Lady Finchley said...

"Not for long, Jabba, old thing ,if Canvas and her mates at the BBC have anything to say about it."


As far as Jabba is concerned they can all go **** themselves.

At least Jabba can still torment mice without interference from humans.

Uncle Joe said...

DespairingLiberal.

One of my useful idiots you know.

Dick the Prick said...

Unlucky.

canvas said...

I'm sure the ignorant BNP are on your side commenters - but the word golliwog is a racial slur and it's unacceptable to use it. No doubt about it.

Oliver Drew said...

@Despairing Liberal - as someone by whose username purports to be liberal are you not concerned that freedom of speech is steadily being eroded?

There is no real proof that Carol Thatcher was being racist yet she has been sacked - does that not concern you?

Oh, and this isn't about making an enemy of the BBC, it's about the BBC's collective idiocy.

And as for Ross - I was under the impression that he was contracted to the BBC regardless of who makes the show(s) that he is on...though I don't think he should have been sacked for what he did either.

Just to clarify - I wouldn't have used the phrase myself, but just because she said the word does not mean she was being racist...

Adrian Chiles said...

I don't know why, but Andy Murray reminds me of a jar of Robertson's Jam.

Oliver Drew said...

@canvas

"Golliwog" is a racial slur when used in a negative, derogatory way towards, well, anyone I suppose.

The word itself is not racist, just the context. There is a difference.

canvas said...

Oliver, nobody is saying Carol Thatcher is a racist but she used racist language.

"The BBC considers any language of a racist nature wholly unacceptable."

Thatcher declined to give an unconditional apology so her position on the show become "untenable".

Anoneumouse said...

Perhaps the clinician (bbc case notes) who advised the 'puff hairdresser' to give up fags, should attend a NHS diversity course before being interviewed by the impartial BBC.

canvas said...

Oliver, context...

exactly...think about it.

She was a silly moo to say that a tennis player resembled a golliwog.

Carol created her own mess - so now she'll pay the price.

rogerhoughton said...

The mystery is why the BBC hired her in the first place. Presumably they've been desperate to find an excuse to get rid of her and this was as good as any. Thankfully I've never watched The One Show but every time she turns up on the radio I have to turn off.

molesworth 1 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Iain Dale said...

Molesworth. That comment was beneath contempt. Please do not repeat it.

Jabba the Cat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DespairingLiberal said...

Oliver - like many organisations in today's rather obsessively PC world, the BBC will have a long list of don't-do's, one of which will be "racist language in the workplace".

Personally I don't think using the word golliwog is across this line, particularly because, as Iain points out, it wasn't said to or about a black person.

It's not so much freedom of speech per se, but more the idiotic extremes to which PC is taking employment law.

Oh and for what it's worth I do agree that if she goes for that then Moyles and Ross should have gone - the fact they didn't speaks more of the power pecking order and the role of contractors than it does for the honesty and integrity of the BBC.

Senior management at the Beeb these days seems more obsessed with how they look than how they are.

Meanwhile, programme quality continues to go down the pan.

All very sad for people like me who loved this once-great institution, which has been more undermined than ever before under John Birt / New Labour, although it was often bitterly attacked by previous governments. The irony is that whilst many of you on this blog identify it as an enemy of the radical Right, it has actually been undermined by the radical Right in New Labour.

Uncle Joe said...

canvas.

canvas.


"The BBC considers any language of a racist nature wholly unacceptable."


Ooh er, I'm scared. Who do you think they learned all this news speak from in the first place?

BTW, Mr Prick, I never had much luck in general with useful idiots, but that Brown fella is showing much promise.

Oliver Drew said...

Canvas.

My post about context was in response to your position all evening.

You said earlier on that "the word golliwog is a racial slur and it's unacceptable to use it"

And in your first post of the evening you inferred some condemnation on Iain for his paragraph:

""The logic of the BBC's argument is that the very mention of the word 'golliwog' is considered racist. Utterly preposterous"

Do you really think that?! Wow."

The point I was trying to make is that the word itself is not racist. It is just a word. The racism comes in the context in which the word is used.

I am not defending Carol Thatcher because I agree that she was, as you put it, a "silly moo." But I despair that people are too quick to condemn language as racist, when language is just a construct. It's the context that is racist.

anonaLon said...

I wonder if they would fire a Black person who called another Black the N word? Of course not, they never use such language.....

Jabba the Cat said...

@ anonaLon said...

I wonder if they would fire a Black person who called another Black the N word? Of course not, they never use such language....."


Heaven forbid, that only a Black person could call a Black person, a Black person. Unthinkable!

Johnny Norfolk said...

Does this not prove again the bias of the BBC. They have done this because she is Mrs Ts daughter and its a way they can try and make Tories look bad.
Ross got away with far worse.

Martin said...

The BBC happily uses vile scum like Ken Livingstone who racially abused a Jewish journalist.

Oh and the really vile Abdul Barry Atwan is never off the BBC. This is the man who said "I'd dance in Trafalgar square is Israel were nuked"

Seems to me that if you racially abuse Jews at the BBC they love it, but only Jews.

Tony Sharp said...

Canvas old girl, a quick browse of the online Cambridge Dictionary reveals this:

Definition
golliwog, gollywog
noun [C] (ALSO golly
UK OLD-FASHIONED
a child's toy made of soft material, in the form of a small man with a black face and stiff black hair

To compare the hair of Andy Murray to the stiff black hair of a golliwog is in no way racist or a slur.

The fact is a doll of that name, with stiff black hair, existed and Murray's hair is considered by a woman to resemble it. It was unwise for Ms Thatcher to say it only because fools like you seek to make it a matter of offence.

Why should words from our rich language which are inoffensive be sacrificed in this way just because some ignorant people used it as a derogatory term? How come it is right to 'reclaim the flag' from racists, but not common words in our vocabulary?

Anoneumouse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
canvas said...

Oliver, I understand the point you are trying to make - but I can think of no good reason for any fair minded person to say that a tennis player looks like a golliwog.

And yes I am surprised that Iain doesn't seem to think that her language was unreasonable and unacceptable. Which why I said 'wow'. I'm sure he must realise that word is completely offensive. So why is he so shocked and surprised that Thatcher got the chop?

Carol silly moo Thatcher.

Oliver Drew said...

Canvas - You cannot on the one hand understand my point and then say that the word is completely offensive!!

canvas said...

In 2009 it is completely offensive.
Maybe in a bygone and ignorant age it might have been considered an innocent 'fun' word - but if you look at the history of the word then it's very clear that the world is no longer like that. It is a racial slur. It's revolting to use it.

Childprotector said...

I assume Radio 3 will now delete The Golliwog's Cakewalk from Debussy recitals?

Iain Dale said...

Canvas, I don't know how old you are, but Carol is 55. I am 46. In our childhood we ate Jam out of jars with golliwogs on them. They were not considered racist. Personally, it is not a word I would use, but to taint Carol as a racist for using a word in a non racist way is unforgiveable. She was saying a white tennis player's hair looked like a golliwog's. That is not racist. Not in my book anyway. And it certainly doesn't warrant losing your job over it. It is a complete overreaction.

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Childprotector said...

"I assume Radio 3 will now delete The Golliwog's Cakewalk from Debussy recitals?"


Indeed, indeed. No doubt Polly Toynbee has been informed and will write a thousand words tomorrow calling for Debussy to hung, drawn and quartered in the name of racial equality and political correctness.

Jabba the Cat said...

ps. Has anyone informed Trevor Phillips?

Bird said...

Was it Childs or New Labour stooge Jo Brand who grassed Thatcher?
If Childs is innocent, why does he wear a stocking mask?

Gregg said...

Whatever Carol Thatcher said off air should not have been made public by the BBC.

And if they had not, and it had leaked out at a later date, the BBC would have been accused of hushing it up and crucified for not taking action.

When dealing with the BBC, having the surname of Thatcher is not an advantage.

Don't talk crap, Ian. If that were the case, she would never have been hired in the first place. Her entire meda career has come courtesey of her surname.

However, if you are a fat, loudmouthed git with a surname of Moyles (or Ross, or Brand) you can get away with anything.

Patently, the opposite is true in the case of Ross and Brand. And it is no doubt that earlier, hysterical over-reaction that has made the BBC over-react in this way. Nobody took offence at the original broadcast of Ross and Brand's remarks - it was only when the Daily Mail later printed those remarks that the storm of controversey came down on the BBC (and yet, bizarrely, not on the Daily Mail). The BBC cannot afford to take the risk that this comes out at a later date, in the pages of a newspaper or on some rumour-mongering website, and causes another controversey. This is an over-reaction, but it comes courtesey of the series of attacks the BBC has come under, from both rival corporations and from rampant ideologues, many of whom you count as allies.

canvas said...

I don't think so, Iain. What would happen if Zola said Stephen Hunt looked like a golliwog? Would he keep his job? No way. Why would Sola say that anyway? It would be ignorant and stupid.

I know this issue is sometimes considered a generational thing - but it's no excuse.

Thatsnews said...

OK. Who decided to get rid of Carol Thatcher?

Was it an excuse to get someone's mate a gig on the show and to teach someone (anyone!) called Thatcher a lesson?

There's possibly more to this than meets the eye...

Anyway, Adrian isn't a common Brummie like me! He is from far posher Hagley!

DespairingLiberal said...

There is some truth in what Gregg says - the Daily Mail agenda seems to be an ever present threat to all public bodies, mainly because a servile government cabinet seems to take whatever nonsense Dacre considers important each morning as their guide for the day's business.

I do think Iain is basically right on this one because clearly Carol, like her Mum, was/is rather an old-fashioned person, to whom the word is not offensive.

In addition it is clear that the sacking is a chronic over-reaction but that essentially the Beeb is now running scared of it's own shadow.

Methinks a new tough DG with Reithian tendancies is needed.

DespairingLiberal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
West Ham Shirt said...

Next time I'm in doubt about using a word that may offend, remind to check with the BBC.

BTW canvas, I've got a good old fashioned word for you...prig.

tbtbtbtb842 said...

Oh dear, am I very wicked? I laughed at the comment from the mock Adam Chiles. We are presumably about to lose our freedom to use the word "Robertson" as well. What are thousands of people going to use for a surname? And then the name will creep some more and Bobby and Bob will be forcibly terminated....

jailhouselawyer said...

Is Woss fat? What do you call that little paper thingymigig that Robertson's used to place behind the label on their marmalade jars? We had to collect so many, and then send them off to Robertson's and they would send us back a metal badge with a pin. Alternatively, you could have the lapel brooch or badge with the horse shoe shaped bit at the back which fitted into a button hole.

I have seen woolly dolls also which resembled those little paper thingymigigs sold in toy shops. One was on the Antique Road Show or one of those programmes quite recently, and I cannot remember whether they used the actual word or just said doll.

I agree that even if someone uses racist language off air/screen and it is overheard, then they should still be disciplined.

I don't like any of the Thatchers. Period.

It is not racist to say that someone's hair reminds them of a golliwog, particularly, if the person it is being said about is white. In the blogosphere Andrew Neil is known as Brillo because of his hair looking like a brillo pad. Oh dear, he comes from North of the Border, I had better watch out before I am accused of being racist, because I took the piss out of his hair.

There is also the gollywog spelling. I have just been Googling and discovered a gollywog in the middle of a badge with the wording circling the gollywog which says "I Feel Like A". The picture fills in the missing last word. Interestingly, it is designed by Alan A Hillier. Beneath his name it states "Finchley Boy". You couldn't make it up could you? Maggie's constituency was, of course, Finchley.

Let us say Andy Murray saw and purchased and wore one of these badges, given his hair style, and given that he is white, I suppose it is possible, if a black person saw him, and was offended by it, and complained to the politically correct police, Andy Murray could be prosecuted.

"IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you...".

'Nuff said!

Ted Foan said...

Just in case someone hasn't said this already - I got bored reading the twaddle being pumped out by Canvas - I believe that the original golliwog dolls came from Mexico several hundred of years ago. (No doubt someone will correct me about that.)

Also, some of your knowledgeable commenters will know that you can still see golliwog dolls in other countries (eg New Zealand) where the word and the doll does not cause anyone any offence.

I saw a black (I can say that, can't I?) lady on Newsnight tonight who has, apparently, written books on slavery complaining that this is an unacceptable word to use, even in private, in 2009. I am sorry to have to say this but the pendulum has swung too far if this lady can still be concerned about events that took place in centuries past. Perhaps she should be more concerned that Africans at that time were prepared to sell their own people into slavery, often via Middle Eastern middlemen.

I know I have moved on since then and I suspect most other people have too. If we keep harking back to those days all we do is perpetuate differences that no longer exist.

Telly Tax Rebel said...

The subject of this thread is the bbc and consistency, the beeb let their favorite lefties get away with murder whilst coming down with the proverbial ton of bricks on a woman with the name "Thatcher" for a remark that wasn't even broadcast.

Hardly consistent in my book. Another reason why they can shove their telly tax "fee" up their arses.

Yak40 said...

I used to have a Gollyberry badge, wish I still had it !

wild said...

Gregg asserts that a "storm of controversy" ought to descend upon the Daily Mail for printing remarks made by Ross and Brand in a Radio Two broadcast.

Why?

Despairing Liberal asserts that the BBC become the "enemy" of the Tory Party when it became an extreme right-wing sect.

I wish he would make up his mind.

a) The BBC is great because it is politically balanced.

b) The BBC is great because it is an enemy of the Tory Party.

What a pair of illiberal bigots!

King Athelstan said...

Gregg,
I actually took offence at the original broadcast, I just didn't choose to complain.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Why does everyone think it was Chiles that ratted her out?

There was another woman privy to the conversation and my money is always on the woman when it comes to being shitty.

At the BBC, being called "Thatcher" is synonymous with being called "Hitler" so it's hardly surprising the nasty little shits went for her.

Not so long ago, I went to a concert where they played Debussy's "Golliwog's Cakewalk". Mysteriously, the word "Golliwog" had been excised from the programme.

Dick the Prick said...

Mildly depressing that this thread has had so many posts. Is the elephant that The One Show is utter utter drivel?

Regardless of BBC bias - the BBC still do decent flagship stuff but a lot more shite these days.

The Big Question on Sunday is nothing of the sort - The Fleeting Consideration, The I Should Probably Do Something but Sod It Show, The God Darn It - I'm Sooo Bored Show, The These Prozac Taste Different To The Last Batch Show....etc etc.

Simon Gardner said...

ID blogged: “...they have branded her a racist when she is patently nothing of the sort.”

Out of curiosity, how do you know she isn’t racist? Do you know her personally or something?

Simon Gardner said...

John said... “Next you'll be telling me they [the BBC] are prone to pro-Labour bias.”

A frequent allegation by the more paranoid Tories posting here. Quite untrue, but a frequent allegation. I think it must make them feel better or something.

Simon Gardner said...

Oliver Drew said... “The BBC is not there to monitor private conversations - whether they were in the "green room" or not.”

I don’t think the BBC did. I gather fellow participant(s) in the show were present and objected. So blame them if you must.

Simon Gardner said...

Unsworth said... “Is it [Golliwog] a racist term only in this country, or is it a racist term everywhere in the world?”

I stand to be corrected but I don’t think the word exists outside the UK and possibly the old empire.

My full OED says “A name invented for a black-faced grotesquely dressed (male) doll with a shock of fuzzy hair. Also shortened - golly, Golly.”

The first OED citation is 1895.

I’d say it became accepted that it was a racist word over 30 years ago. The jam people dropped it a long time ago and may no longer exist anyway?

Simon Gardner said...

JuliaM said... “Certain words are racist if used by a white person, perfectly fine if used by a black person...”

Correct. It’s all about context.

Simon Gardner said...

trevorsden said... “A 'wog' by the way is an acronym for Willy Oriental Gentleman. ie Arabs and Indians.”

OED-> wog slang.
[Origin uncertain: often said to be an acronym, but none of the many suggested etymologies is satisfactorily supported by the evidence.]
1. A vulgarly offensive name for a foreigner, esp. one of Arab extraction.

Simon Gardner said...

canvas said... “Maybe in a bygone and ignorant age it might have been considered an innocent 'fun' word - but if you look at the history of the word then it's very clear that the world is no longer like that. It is a racial slur. ”

Exactly so. But why on earth did Thatcher use it about the white Scots tennis player of ‘cheerful’ demeanour?

Simon Gardner said...

Iain Dale said... “I don't know how old you are, but Carol is 55. I am 46. In our childhood we ate Jam out of jars with golliwogs on them. They were not considered racist.”

Iain, you misremember (and I’m older than you). The word began to be considered racist some time ago (well it was, of course). The jam people eventually dropped it for exactly that reason.

Michael said...

Simon, given I'm 20 and remember Gollywogs on jars of Marmalade, I don't think it was over 30 years ago...

Simon Gardner said...

jailhouselawyer said... “In the blogosphere Andrew Neil is known as Brillo because of his hair looking like a brillo pad.”

I’m sure Private Eye which actually invented the nickname/soubriquet long before the first blog was ever written will be amused by your claiming it for blogs.

Simon Gardner said...

DespairingLiberal said... -Lots of sensible things about the culture of BBC-hatred and paranoia existing here.-

It’s quite remarkable what a rabid Pavlovian reaction mention of the BBC provokes here. It seems to be what welds them together.

If this attitude pertains in the whole Tory party including the parliamentary party, then we have a problem should Cameron win the next GE.

The BBC is more valuable to the nation than any ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ government. It may need defending.

Simon Gardner said...

Michael said... “I'm 20 and remember Gollywogs on jars of Marmalade, I don't think it was over 30 years ago...”

Well I stand corrected but Wikipedia claims: ‘In 1983, the company's products were boycotted by the Greater London Council as offensive, and in 1988 the character ceased to be used in television advertising.’

JuliaM said...

DespairingLiberal: "What a bizarre lot you are if JuliaM is anything to go by - since when exactly did the BBC become the "enemy" of the Tory Party?"

Actually, it was the race-mongers and perpetually-aggrieved that I was referring to in that sentence.

But if you feel the BBC fits the bill, who am I to argue...? ;)

JuliaM said...

"Was it Childs or New Labour stooge Jo Brand who grassed Thatcher?"

Good point! Perhaps in revenge for this

JuliaM said...

"Also, some of your knowledgeable commenters will know that you can still see golliwog dolls in other countries (eg New Zealand) where the word and the doll does not cause anyone any offence."

You can still see them in England too - though the usual suspects jump up and down in panic every time they see a chance for publicity - and even buy the knitting pattern... ;)

wild said...

Simon Gardner writes, under a photo of Supreme Commander Servalan (a Leftist who adores a sociopath who craves absolute political power – how unexpected) that it is hatred of the BBC that “seems to be what welds them” (presumably by “them” he means the readers and contributors to this blog) together. He adds that if this attitude pertains in the whole Tory party “we” have a problem. I take it by “we” you mean you and your Leftist chums.

I suggest there is an analogy here with your 11 tedious self-regarding postings in this comment section. You do not post your pearls of wisdom on your own blog because you (rightly) assume that few people would want to read it, you post them on this site because of its large readership. It reaches a wide audience because its readers decide (from amongst the many political blogs on the Internet) that this is one of the ones they like to read.

The BBC (you notice I am spelling it out so that you can understand) is equivalent to being given the worldview of Simon Gardner (or Simon Gardner and his chums) every day, every week, every month, every year.

Now I can see why you like it that way. I can see why you think that the broadcasting equivalent of being forced to pay for and receive a newspaper that comes through the letterbox every day with an editorial and columnists you like to read is the kind of broadcaster you would pay for, but I put it to you that if you want to pay for it, pay for it. What I object to is Leftists such as yourself describing those who would prefer not to pay for the BBC as “paranoid” (i.e. mentally ill) because they prefer the broadcasting equivalent of the sort of reporting and analysis you find in The Times or Daily Telegraph or Daily Mail rather than the sort of reporting and analysis you find in The Guardian or Independent, or Daily Mirror.

canvas said...

Morning, Iain. You still haven;t answered my question...


> What would happen if Gianfranco Zola said that Stephen Hunt looked like a golliwog?


> Would he keep his job?


NO WAY. NO CHANCE. and rightly so. You know it's true!

What Carol Thatcher said is indefensible - so don't make a complete fool of yourself trying to defend her actions...

FireForce said...

I have a Golliwog Key-ring in my car,,,,it has a noose round it's neck....

Unsworth said...

Morning Canvas

You still haven't answered my questions, either.

strapworld said...

Canvas.

Please let us all know which words you want banned, then that will alert us so we can keep you off these blogs!

Is 'Black' banned? Brown?

Just gives us all the Stasi Dictionary of banned words please!

The Burbler said...

It's the One Show staff who don't want to work with Carol Thatcher until she makes an apology which doesn't excuse herself on account of it being a joke.

strapworld said...

Canvas.

Then the songs that must be banned.

Good Golly Miss Molly?
My Ding a Ling?

JuliaM said...

"It's the One Show staff who don't want to work with Carol Thatcher until she makes an apology which doesn't excuse herself on account of it being a joke."

Sack them then. For breach of contract.

I don't get to choose who I work with, so I'm damned if they will.

vervet said...

IMHO the main point of this has been missed. The biased BBC has been using Carol Thatcher as a 'token Tory' - it suits their purpose because her voice and presentational style are 'old Conservative'. It enabled them to push the 'Thatcher=Conservative=Toff' connection - it's designed to distance Joe Public from the Conservative party.

I'm sure they would have been happy for this to continue, but her careless remark was too good to resist - they seized on the opportunity to extend the implied connection to 'Thatcher=Conservative=Tory Toff=Racist'.

They treat Boris Johnson in the same way - every interview is an opportunity for them to amplify the 'Tory toff' image.

This is the 'New Labour promoting' BBC at its politically-biased worst.

The Burbler said...

So its wasn't Gael Monfils she was referring to then?

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/people,1933,bbc-sacks-thatcher-over-golliwog-gaffe,73099

JMB said...

Has it been confirmed that it was Childs who complained?

Jo Brand was said to be there also so I would thought she would be more likely to be the one to make a fuss.

Twig said...

BBC employees must report anything that can be remotely considered racist to protect themselves and demonstrate their own purity and innocence.

It's a bit like working for the Stazi in East Berlin.

Sad times.

I would guess that Canvas is a product of the state education system probably since the 1980's, when education started to be replaced by political conditioning.

Swot up on the Chinese cultural revolution - it has clear parallels and lessons for anyone wanting to go down the thought control road.

Unsworth said...

@ Simon Gardner

"I stand to be corrected but I don’t think the word exists outside the UK and possibly the old empire.

My full OED says “A name invented for a black-faced grotesquely dressed (male) doll with a shock of fuzzy hair. Also shortened - golly, Golly.”

The first OED citation is 1895."


Given that the OED and its derivatives are used worldwide - and define 'old empire' if you will - that term is used world-wide. Or are you of the view that the OED is solely used in the UK and 'the old empire' and is, indeed, the sole authority? What about Chambers, Macquarie, etc etc?

Oh and, for me, the term is not racist per se and does not therefore have racist connotations, despite the constant assertions of Canvas. As some have said here, the circumstances are crucial to the interpretation.

What worries me is the astoundingly crass stupidity of those who seem to believe that by labelling a word as 'racist' they will somehow eliminate racism. All that will happen is that the term will no longer be overtly used - and others will take their place. No one can change sentiments or prejudices by oppressive legalistic means - much as the control freaks would wish.

Twig said...

JMB 4/2/09 09:41

It was Adrian Childs who reported the incident. He probably had to, the risk being that Jo Brand could have reported him to his employer for not being sufficiently "outraged".

JuliaM said...

Twig: "It's a bit like working for the Stazi in East Berlin."

No, it's exactly like working for the Stazi in East Berlin. Though I expect the canteen facilities are better...

The Burbler said...

Why don't we restart this discussion over again on the basis that it was NOT Andy Murray that she was talking about - surprise surprise (as Iain has now updated in his post) and that it was Gael Monfils she was talking about. There. Does that make a difference?

DespairingLiberal said...

Wild - did you see the same Blake's 7 the rest of us did? The Federation was highly corporatised with greedy oligarchs in supreme power. Servelan is best compared to an oil despot or Putin rather than a socialist.

Lady Finchley said...

Gael Monfils DOES have hair like a golliwog as does Don King. As does my son who is white. So sue me!

And do get a life, Canvas, you really are a one trick pony.

Simon Gardner said...

DespairingLiberal said... “Servelan is best compared to an oil despot or Putin rather than a socialist.”

Hmm. When I was a kid a very long time ago Jacqueline Pearce/Servalan was by far the sexiest woman I had ever seen. Well, to be fully honest the first sexy woman I had ever seen. [sigh]

In a more recent interview I recall her saying she [convent school educated] played the part of Servalan with the words “Up yours, Reverend Mother” uppermost in her mind. Way to go Jacqui. [sigh again]

JuliaM said...

"Why don't we restart this discussion over again on the basis that it was NOT Andy Murray that she was talking about - surprise surprise (as Iain has now updated in his post) and that it was Gael Monfils she was talking about. There. Does that make a difference?"

Given that I don't have the faintest clue who he is, not really.

I'm assuming that he's black...?

No, it doesn't make much of a difference, frankly.

JuliaM said...

Simon Gardner - you seem to have found a rather revealing fantasy woman.

Revealing about what, and who, you are, that is....

Simon Gardner said...

vervet said... “It enabled them to push the 'Thatcher=Conservative=Toff”

I hope you weren’t referring to Margaret Thatcher here. Whatever else she was, toff she wasn’t. OK her daughter maybe is. And Boris certainly is - and boy does he play on it.

“This is the 'New Labour promoting' BBC at its politically-biased worst.”

[sigh] Yet more quite unfounded paranoia.

Simon Gardner said...

Unsworth said... “Given that the OED and its derivatives are used worldwide - and define 'old empire' if you will - that term is used world-wide. Or are you of the view that the OED is solely used in the UK and 'the old empire'”

To the last question - of course not. Indeed, I organized a campaign years ago to get the OED on CD-ROM published for Macs (new [System X] version available finally in a few months). At the time, I got support from all over the English-speaking world.

My tentative reference to “old empire” was entirely mine and not the OED’s as I hoped was clear. I meant places like Oz and New Zealand. I happen to have a personal interest in language, its development and current usage. That’s all.

“Oh and, for me, the term is not racist per se...”

The word has been generally considered racist for many years - per se.

Simon Gardner said...

JuliaM said... “...you seem to have found a rather revealing fantasy woman [Servalan].”

No worries (as they say in Oz). And note ‘woman’ rather than ‘girl’. [sigh yet again]

(It’s also true Servalan was by chance the only image I happened to have on my desktop when I was first asked for an avatar. It kind-of stuck.)

Alex said...

'The whole point was that the player whose hair she is supposed to have likened to that of a golliwog is Andy Murray. Who is white.'

Iain, do you honestly think it's OK to refer to a white man a 'Golliwog'?

Would you not be appalled if I called you a N-?

The word is foul, no matter who it's applied to.

JPT said...

Chris Moyles also said recently that there is no such thing as music of white origin.
Clearly anti white racist and also untrue!!

Unsworth said...

@ Simon Gardner

"The word has been generally considered racist for many years - per se."

Considered? By whom? Certainly not by the OED - your chosen authority, nor by Chambers, nor Macquarie. None of these list the term as 'pejorative'.


Then:

"I don’t think the word exists outside the UK and possibly the old empire"

and - of publishing the OED, which contains the word:

"I got support from all over the English-speaking world"

Are these two reconcilable?

Craig Ranapia said...

"I assume Radio 3 will now delete The Golliwog's Cakewalk from Debussy recitals?

I assume the next time Chris Moyles or Jonathan Ross have an on-air stupidity leak, they will be treated exactly the same way as Carol Thatcher. Or is there one standard for the celebrity "lads" and their shock-jock on-air "humour", and another much higher one for lower-profile ladies?

vervet said...

Simon Gardner: "I hope you weren’t referring to Margaret Thatcher here."

No, of course I wasn't referring to Margaret Thatcher - it was clear that I referred to Carol Thatcher's presentational style.

I think you might consider reading and analysing rather more thoroughly, and commenting rather less - your opinions might then be of greater value.

Certainly more value than that of your accusation of 'unfounded paranoia'. Examples of BBC editorial bias are too numerous to be ignored.

vervet said...

Simon Gardner: "I hope you weren’t referring to Margaret Thatcher here."

No, of course I wasn't referring to Margaret Thatcher - it was clear that I referred to Carol Thatcher's presentational style.

I think you might consider reading and analysing rather more thoroughly, and commenting rather less - your opinions might then be of greater value.

Certainly more value than that of your accusation of 'unfounded paranoia'. Examples of BBC editorial bias are too numerous to be ignored.

vervet said...

Apologies for the repeat !

neil craig said...

This would be the same racist BBC who have lied & censored to encourage racial genocide in Kosovo. Who have deliberately censored any mention of the way NATO police kidnapped thousands of teenagers & sliced them open while still alive to steel body organs for the "great & good" across Europe. Perhaps the Nazis running the BBC owe her an apology for thinking she was ever a suitable person to work for such a corrupt organisation in the first place.
http://www.slobodan-milosevic.org/news/ips040108.htm

miserableoldsod said...

Everyone's missed the truth here. Carol Thatcher has a distinct speech impediment and what she actually said was "Gollyrog".

Therefore she is innocent.

Simon Gardner said...

Unsworth said... “Are these two reconcilable?”

Yes.

Simon Gardner said...

vervet said... “Examples of BBC editorial bias are too numerous to be ignored.”

Bollocks.

Your paranoia is showing again.

Peter Fitzgerald said...

Carol Thatcher and the Loony Left.

Yes it's Carol Thatcher's 's turn to be attacked by the nutters, let's hope that like her mother, Britain's greatest prime minister since Walpole, she can stick to her guns. The Loonies and Britain Haters of the last few decades seem to have got together for a common purpose of wrecking everything British: our culture, our United Kingdom, our language, our children's up-bringing. How many of these wreckers, at thirteen years of age, had to face the possibility of being stabbed to death when going to school? That is just one of the realities that their efforts have lead to. That is what they have left to our children and grandchildren. The rest of us to our disgrace have allowed them to do it.

Did these people set out on a Long March through the institutions? Have they now attained a level of seniority in the Institutions that allows them present their lunacy as reality?

The Gollywog has long been a part of British Culture for over one hundred years and I don't know anyone black or white who objects to it; do you? Would these nutters object to a rag doll of Snow White? No doubt that when presented with such a question they would switch to a false premise and discuss the point with the benefit of a 'little sidestep', an art that they have all perfected.

On this morning's BBC Radio 4 Today Program a lady spokesperson was interviewed by a lady member of the BBC staff. We learned that Jo Brand the foul mouthed female comedienne was 'offended' by Carol Thatcher's use of the word golliwog! I suggest to you that she was offended because she chose to be. It seems that Adrian Chiles had to get in on the act too and I suggest to you that the whole episode is just that, an Act.

What is offensive about the word golliwog? Would the average black person be offended if being likened to a golliwog if their hair was sticking up and/or out? I doubt it. Unless of course they were a member of the very lucrative anti racist industry, in which case they might because like Jo Brand it might further their career, a point that both the interviewer and interviewee avoided.
Jo Brand could just as easily have chosen not to be offended, which begs a question. Why did she attempt to destroy Carol Thatcher's career? Is she a crawling creep trying to suck up to the loonies in order to advance her own career at the expense of Carol Thatcher's or has Carol Thatcher's told her at some time what an odious foul mouthed opportunist she is? I hope so! Either way Jo brand has, not for the first time, revealed to the world exactly what she is.
Jo Brand is the subject of a separate complaint to police from the British National Party after she joked on another BBC program about sending excrement to people on a leaked list of members of the steadily growing right wing political party. Not a peep from the Loonies!
It is easily observed that most entertainers will say and agree with almost any fashionable trend or thought in order to stay popular, the must feel that their careers depend on it.

When employed by the Anti-British Broadcasting Corporation Loonies, who can utterly destroy any entertainers' livelihood, sack anybody who disagrees with them at the drop of a hat, it seems to pay to toe the line in order to keep the champagne flowing.

Carol Thatcher has refused to apologise, one can only wonder to whom or what she is supposed to apologise

Well refused Carol! Don't give in to these loonies and opportunists.
Take up politics.

Peter Fitzgerald.

www.raiseyourincomenow.com

Lesley Rigby said...

I had a golliwog when I was a child and I loved it! I also had a Robinsons Golliwog badge which I thought was wonderful. I certainly didn't think black people were something hideous to be laughed at because of the Golliwog image but rather endearing.

Mitchell Stirling said...

^ glorious patronisation showing why some of you just don't get it.

getagrip said...

Jonathan Ross and now Carol Thatcher, the BBC is obviously prejudiced against people who have difficulty in pronouncing the letter R.
This victimisation is disgraceful, where will it end? There should be an immediate enquiry.

gazasolidarity said...

Carol Thatcher ought to try her vocabulary on President Obama and see how far she gets. The woman is clearly a racist - not of the BNP genocidal type but more the public school ignorant prejudiced type

http://gazasolidarity.blogspot.com/2009/02/carol-thatchers-racism-and-uncivilised.html

thatruthspilla said...

whoever said carols remarks wasnt racist is just a racist in hiding. think of the guy she was talking about, and some of you are criticising adrian for not condoling racisim, bet it would have been better if he had just laughed and put his finger across his lips ey.

Carl said...

Years ago, in my final weeks working for the Bank of England, I was in Kings Arms Yard bar with a few of the great and good, including the then editor of the Bank's in house magazine.
Over strolls the Deputy Governor - who always reminded me of a Bond villan for some reason.
The topic turned to forthcoming interviews and a new member of the bank staff - a black rugby playing Cambride graduate. At the time, he had just impressed the nation playing for England on the wing, alongside Rory Underwood.
Various chuckles regarding him playing as a ringer for the Bank's own rugby team went about the little group of whom I was standing with merely out of respect for my editor.
Then the deputy governor dropped the bomb with a self-assured grin...

"Well, I guess we have eventually have to employ the nig nogs at the Bank..."

To my shame, I never spoke out. I remember standing there in stunned silence thinking "did I just hear that right? Are they laughing because he said that? Is that nervous laughter or do they really find that funny? I can't have heard that right, I just can't.

I was leaving the following week to work in America. I was standing with my then boss who was standing next to the second most powerful man in the firm... I was the Essex boy who didn't want to embarrass himself or his boss.

I wish I had. I wish I had told the slightly quietened, but must-chuckle-along-with-the-boss group they should not use such language, not least because not only was the man was a fellow member of the Bank, but also because he was considered a national hero for his astounding efforts on behalf of the England team just a few previous. If they could say that about someone like him, God alone knows what they said about black people who did not acquire such middle-class standards.

There are undoubtedly people in powerful or influential positions in our society who still secretly harbour the view that people of a different colour are lesser humans who can be spoken of in derogatory ways in private, and when called on it, laugh it off as a joke.

I feel now as I feel then - it is not a joke. It is how they feel deep down. Their breeding and lineage is no excuse. They should know better than to be bigots and they quietly undercut all the tolerance the rest of society has learned.

I don't think this is about the BBC being consistent. Dale, you're using this as a smokescreen for yet another anti-Beeb attack. What needs to be consistent is society - we just shouldn't tolerate stuff like this.

While your sexuality is your own affair, I think if Carole had said something about the 'uppity little queers' perhaps you may not have been so forgiving. I wouldn't either, not because of my sexuality, but because it's just plain wrong.

Carl Eve

Unsworth said...

@ Carl Eve

Name and Shame. It's the only weapon you have.