It's only Political Correctness Gone Mad when someone else does it

"Hello Daniel san, Happy Halloween." Hang on. I think I'm getting my film references mixed up

This is a bit old now, but I've been a bit busy and since it's not even Hallowe'en yet, I'll cover it now anyway.

'It' meaning a wonderful example of a Daily Mail Political Correctness Gone Mad story that even uses the term in the headline, 'Political correctness gone mad: primary school cancels Halloween'.

I doubt I've seen a better example. The headline, for starters, is withdrawn later in the story with a quote from the school in question's headmaster:
Head teacher Lloyd Jones said: "No decision has been made yet. All we've done is discuss ideas [about what to name the disco] with the PTA."
So the 'school cancels' bit? Bollocks.

There's more. The local paper, the Neath Guardian, covers the school's reaction in 'Tonna school disco row'. A little gem curiously absent from the Mail:
But the Guardian can reveal the event was not in fact renamed and the school has never held a Halloween disco before.

The school decided to hold a special autumn disco this year to raise funds for a Christmas party – contrary to reports claiming this was a traditional Halloween event.

“Autumn Festival” was just one of the names under consideration.
Ah. No disco ever before, and in a meeting to decide what to call it someone seems to have mentioned that a Hallowe'en disco might upset some people.

But what Politically Correct zealots might be offended by Hallowe'en? The Mail article includes a quote from the local Catholic priest, presumably to show that Christians have no problem with it. Except some of them do. The Telegraph's slightly more accurate version of events, 'School may axe 'offensive' Halloween disco' (but only slightly, as the school never had a Hallowe'en disco in the first place and nothing was being axed) inludes this:
The row comes after the Bishop of Bolton claimed a victory in the battle against gruesome Halloween costumes.

The Rt Rev David Gillett said on Thursday that supermarkets had responded positively to his concerns over the sale of graphic costumes to youngsters.

Following talks with supermarkets, the Church of England says it has a commitment from several chain stores to stock less frightening or graphic products.
So, the incredibly oversensitive religious zealots who are in fact proposing changes to Hallowe'en are the Church of England. Just briefly contrast the way the Mail covers this fact - by not mentioning it and including a quote from a Catholic saying the church has no problems with the disco to represent Christians - with the way the paper covers any censorship blamed on Muslims of any kind.

Last year at around Hallowe'en, the Mail published this gem, 'Halloween party masks 'promote evil and fear', says bishop', about the Bishop of Bolton's campaign. Note the distinct lack of the 'Political Correctness Gone Mad' label in the headline or anywhere else in the article. Note the complete absence of any criticism. Note the way that most of the article is given over to the Bishop's own words, directly quoted.

So, here we have two very different treatments of different people. One who calls for censoring some aspects of a relatively traditional celebration, and one who hasn't called for the censoring of anything. The one not calling for anything to be censored is not just Politically Correct, but an example of Political Correctness Gone Mad. The one who has is given pretty sympathetic coverage. But we're to believe that the Mail is against people trying to censor things they might find offensive.

And what of the one who is calling for things to be altered so as not to offend his sensibilities? Remember this, 'Campaign for a real Christmas: Religious leaders unite against political correctness'? From that story:
The body sent a letter to town halls in the name of Anglican Bishop of Bolton David Gillett and senior Islamic cleric and Government adviser Dr Ataullah Siddiqui. It pleaded for an end to the suppression of Christmas and the restoration of its Christian meaning.
Ah. The guy calling for a change to the way Hallowe'en is celebrated is actually against Political Correctness Gone Mad. The who in the what now?

Remember, kids. It's only Political Correctness when your opponents do it. And if you're the Mail, even when they don't.

No comments: