Here's a thought for the 'progressive' politically correct left. Perhaps it was their tactic of yelling 'racist' at anyone who dares criticise immigration, that caused Brexit. The left's censorship effectively pushed commonly held views on
immigration under the carpet. Now if these views had been allowed to be aired, then perhaps David Cameron would have realised that the referendum was not such a good idea, and not called it in the first place.
Perhaps censors everywhere should be reminded that censorship may block the airing of views but it doesn't stop people from holding those views.
The New Statesmen is reporting about a campaign group called Hope Not Hate, that seems to hate free speech.
The group has spent a couple of weeks seeking out examples of texts denying the Holocaust sold on the Waterstones, Foyles, WHSmith and Amazon websites. The group has published its findings in a paper called Turning the Page on Hate , and is
urging the retailers to remove these texts, which range from what are deemed dangerous to Holocaust denials to far right books.
Since the campaign began, Foyles appears to have removed numerous works from its website. However, its chief executive Paul Currie said:
This is a difficult scenario for all booksellers given the width and scale of publishing and the perennial issue of censoring from all aspects of life what people can read.
WHSmith also appears to have removed some books from its website since the campaign launched.
At the time of writing, Waterstones retains the works Hope Not Hate listed. Waterstones' owner James Daunt told Hope Not Hate, What should we censor? he asked rhetorically, refusing to remove the titles:
It is not our position to censor this listing beyond the existing measures we take to exclude self-published books that may potentially be offensive.
Index on Censorship's chief executive Jodie Ginsberg. Encouraging bookshops not to stock certain content because it's considered hateful I think is problematic, she explains:
When you're suggesting [the removal of books from] some of the largest bookshops in the country, which are the ones most people can access, then you are limiting people's access to information... Anything that limits people's ability to find out
information is a threat to freedom of expression.
Women should be able to report wolf-whistling, catcalling and unwanted attention on public transport to the police as
hate crimes, according to Grimsby's MP, Melanie Onn.
The Labour front-bench politician has secured a debate in Parliament on Wednesday, March 7, to call for misogyny to be made a hate crime. The town's MP said women should not have to put up with unwanted behaviour in public and claims that a law
change would make women more confident in reporting such behaviours.
Surely in tetchy and angry times, when so many are so 'easily offended, surely we don't want people to be given the power to cause so much harm to others for trivial reasons. EVeryone will just end up hating everyone else even more.
A well-placed source told me recently that late last year the BBC pulled plans to show the Oscar-winning film American Beauty on BBC1. Why? Because it stars Kevin Spacey, who had at that point just been accused of sexually inappropriate
Spacey, who is now seeking treatment for his problems, has not been convicted in court of any of the offences levelled at him but the BBC seems to have decided it must shield licence fee payers from works of fiction he has appeared in anyway. No
film involving Spacey has been broadcast by the BBC -- or any other terrestrial TV channel -- for months.
The same goes for Woody Allen. In 1992 he was accused of sexually molesting his adopted daughter, Dylan.
The writer asked the main TV companies for their comments but they weren't willing to say anything worthwhile. Channel 4 was the only company even willing to allude to #MeToo reaction. A spokesman said:
Channel 4 and Film4 are always mindful of current events when scheduling films for broadcast. We select films on a case by case basis, taking into account the nature of the films and the likely impact their broadcast might have on our audiences
given current events.
A planned comedy gig about whether feminism was stifling free speech has been cancelled after criticsim from feminists.
Alfie Noakes, promoter of the We Are Funny Project, had invited comedians to play the gig after writing a provocative article for Chortle questioning if radical feminism had gone too far.
But after a flurry of furious messages were posted in response online, the planned venue, Farr's School of Dancing in East London, asked him to pull the gig. Noakes responded:
I'm very sorry to report that the posting, and dog-whistle call to attack all involved in the show, specifically the venue, was so concerning to our hosts that they asked me to pull the show.
He specifically blamed comedian Kate Smurthwaite for the decision, after she called on the venue to stop hosting this kind of bigotry He further called her a hypocrite as she has often spoken about free speech, and had first-hand experience of
censorship after being no-platformed for her own controversial views by Goldsmiths College in London.
Although Farrs has pulled the plug on the feminism show, it will continue to host We Are Funny comedy nights, including a forthcoming season of Edinburgh previews. Noakes is now looking for a new venue for his feminism show.
The Australian 9 News programme is asking whether the word 'retard' should be banned.
It was once an acceptable American word describe someone with a mental disability, but it has now become a word more generally used as an insult. However it seems to very much the word that triggers the most passionate criticism.
Now, a new social media campaign is aimed at curbing the use of the word. Every time you type 'retard' on Twitter, a video will pop up of a person with a disability explaining why it upsets them.
The campaign, firmly backed by Western Australia Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson. He said:
I think many people will watch these videos, realise what they're saying offends people, and change their ways.
He added that it's not so much about censorship, and more about encouraging people to be mindful of how the words they use might affect people.
But in reality there is a tokenism to such efforts. What ever is defined as a polite term soon becomes open to use as an insult and so it becomes a never ending cycle. A token ban doesn't help much when there is such a rich vein of replacement
terms. And even if impolite terms are frowned up, the English language is rich enough to compose equally devastating insults even using nominally polite terms.
Have a look - if you can tolerate it - at Catherine Bennett's latest outpouring of whorephobic, misandric bile in the Observer. The silly moo completely denies agency to sex workers.
It's as if Max Mosley's friend with the Ph.D. continuing as professional submissive - presumably as a rational choice because it yields more dosh for shorter hours than organic chemistry - passes over her head.
What is a purportedly liberal newspaper doing employing this squalid authoritarian?
Compare the lack of interest shown by media, politicians and assorted celebrities to the cholera epidemic causing thousands of deaths in Haiti, with the hysterical outrage expressed about Oxfam officials consorting with prostitutes
One of the most watched TV shows in the world has broken the most basic of PC rules by featuring a sketch that had Asian actors
in blackface and black actors dressed as monkeys.
The annual Chinese Lunar New Year gala by CCTV is a four-hour event and is watched by some 700 million people each year. This year, one of the many comedy routines featured throughout the show was one intended to depict China's relationship with
There were plenty of 'outraged' tweets published from those that know the rules.
A Melbourne cinema's operators have cancelled a screening of the iconic 1970s film Deep Throat amid complaints from a women's campaign group, the Coalition Against Trafficking Women in Australia (CATWA).
Gerard Damiano's pornographic film was scheduled for a rare public screening at The Astor in St Kilda on March 19. The screening was to have been followed by a panel discussion.
In a message responding to the complaints, Palace programming director Kim Petalas said the film was booked for cultural purposes as a reflection on the changing political, censorship and cinema exhibition landscape in the USA in the early 1970s.
After receiving the complaints The Astor's leaseholders, Palace Cinemas, quickly made the decision to cancel the screening.
Feminist concerns about Deep Throat stem not just from its sexually explicit nature but from the personal testimony of its star Linda Lovelace who later accused her former husband Chuck Trainor of forcing her into pornography at gunpoint.
Oxfam officials will try to convince the government it should keep its government funding - despite claims of sexual
misconduct by its aid workers.
Aid workers apparently paid for prostitutes in a villa rented by Oxfam. The charity noted that there was no evidence of the sex workers being under-aged. It is also reported that no recipients of aid were involved.
Four of the aid workers were sacked and 3 were asked to resign.
And for some reason, these punishments are simply not enough for a baying lynch mob of the politically correct.
There are suggestions that the aid workers should have been reported to the local police as sex work is illegal in the country. But what sort of people would call for people to be allowed to rot in a foreign prison as punishment for something that
is not even a crime in the UK.
The UK Government's International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has said Oxfam must account for the way it handled the claims or it risks losing government funding, worth 2£32m in the last financial year. Michelle Russell, director of
investigations at the Charity Commission will also be part of the talks.
Mordaunt told the BBC's Andrew Marr the charity had failed in its moral leadership over the scandal. She said Oxfam did absolutely the wrong thing by not reporting details of the allegations. She said no organisation could be a government partner
if it did not have the moral leadership to do the right thing.
Ahead of the government meeting, Oxfam announced new measures for the prevention and handling of sexual abuse cases. The charity will also introduce tougher vetting of staff and mandatory safeguarding training for new recruits.
Perhaps job adverts for aid workers will now read: "Only saints need apply. If the halo slips, must be willing to be burnt at the stake or be left to rot in foreign jails".
Stockholm council is set to ban sexy outdoor advertising. Daniel Hellden, one of Stockholm's deputy mayors and a
long-serving Green Party activist with a political and personal mission to:
Make sure women aren't made to feel uncomfortable by explicit or gender stereotyped advertising in public spaces. I know my daughters, they don't like it. They feel bad. We should not as a city be part of this sort of advertising. I have a
responsibility to the citizens of Stockholm to ban this.
Hellden notes that record immigration to the Swedish capital has fuelled a wider awareness of stereotyping and a need to avoid racist undertones in public spaces.
His efforts to stamp out discriminatory billboards, digital displays or information boards will come to a head later this month, when the City Council is expected to approve a ban on racist and sexist advertisements.
The censorship rules about what constitutes a sexist or racist advertisements will follow those set out by the country's very politically correct nationwide advertising censor, Reklamombudsmannen (RO). But whereas RO cannot issue sanctions to
companies in breach of the guidelines, Stockholm's council will be able to order them to take down offensive billboards within 24 hours.
Inevitably the move has supporters and critics. The Swedish Women's Lobby recently labelled Sweden the worst in the Nordics when it comes to gender images, due to being the only country in the region lacking legislation against sexism and
stereotyping in advertising.
But Stockholm's plans to try and step up efforts against discrimination have come under fire from The Association of Swedish Advertisers, which represents agencies and marketing professionals. Its chief executive, Anders Ericson, argues that
despite complaints from what he describes as a really strong group of feminists, Sweden is already doing a really terrific job in self-regulation. He fears a ban will increase red tape and curb freedom of expression.
Manchester Art Gallery has censored a historic artwork seemingly in response to #MeToo
concerns about men gazing on naked women.
John William Waterhouse's painting Hylas and the Nymphs was painted in 1896 and depicts pubescent, naked nymphs tempting a handsome young man to his doom. It is one of the most recognisable of the pre-Raphaelite paintings.
Although framing the decision as some sort of prompt for a debate, the censorship seems permanent as the gallery has also announced that will also be erased from the post card selection in the gallery shop.
Clare Gannaway, the gallery's 'curator' of contemporary art, explained the censorship on grounds of political correctness. She spoke about the work, and related paintings which were exhibited in a room titled In Pursuit of Beauty :
The title was a bad one, as it was male artists pursuing women's bodies, and paintings that presented the female body as a passive decorative art form or a femme fatale.
For me personally, there is a sense of embarrassment that we haven't dealt with it sooner. Our attention has been elsewhere ... we've collectively forgotten to look at this space and think about it properly. We want to do something about it now
because we have forgotten about it for so long.
She added that the debates around Time's Up and #MeToo had fed into the decision.
She also invented a bizarre take on "I don't believe in censorship...BUT...". She claimed
The aim of the removal was to provoke debate, not to censor. It wasn't about denying the existence of particular artworks. [ ...BUT... it was about preventing men from gazing on the female form].
The response so far has been mixed. Some have said it sets a dangerous precedent, while others have called it po-faced and politically correct.
I particularly enjoyed a blunt reader comment on a miserable Guardian editorial piece
supporting the censorship. TheGreatRonRafferty commented:
Nope, it's censorship. The reason it has been removed is because it shows women's breasts, but now we're being fed bunkum, because those who would hide women's breasts aren't willing to say so.
And an the subject of journalistic accuracy, Andrew Sutton wrote to the Guardian:
Your arts correspondent, Mark Brown, repeatedly refers to Waterhouse as a Pre-Raphaelite. Waterhouse was a prominent Victorian painter contemporary with the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, but was never a member and to refer to him as such is just
Manchester Art Gallery said the censored painting will be back on display on Saturday, seemingly on council
orders. It's been clear that many people feel very strongly about the issues raised, Manchester City Council said.
Critics have been robustly condemning the curators for being puritanical and politically correct.
The gallery's interim director Amanda Wallace said:
We were hoping the experiment would stimulate discussion, and it's fair to say we've had that in spades - and not just from local people but from art-lovers around the world.
Throughout the painting's seven day absence, it's been clear that many people feel very strongly about the issues raised, and we now plan to harness this strength of feeling for some further debate on these wider issues.
Presumably the politically correct curators have been living in their own little Guardian reading filter bubble and simply didn't realise how few people supported their views on the censorship of art.
Offsite Comment: Perhaps a little sensitivity training for the staff of the gallery might be in order
The gallery is on tricky ground. Was it censoring Waterhouse's painting? Gannaway says no, but how else do you describe the removal of an
artwork because someone objects to its subject matter on the grounds of a debate that actually has nothing to do with it? Perhaps a little sensitivity training for the staff of the gallery might be in order.
The belief that art needs to be contextualised in this way is not only deeply patronising -- it is also opening up a gap between
the art world and the public. Mounting their moral high horses, curators and critics see the role of the arts as one of correcting the way people think about the world -- to make people see the world as it is seen by these elites: riven by gender
bias, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, corporate corruption, environmental irresponsibility, and so forth.
Piers Morgan secured the first international interview with Donald Trump last week.
However the interviewer came across as bit arse lickey. The BBC's Mash Report concurred and broadcast a cartoon to illustrate the point.
Piers Morgan launched a blistering on the BBC after it aired a cartoon depicting the British journalist with his nose up President Trump's backside. Morgan accused the corporation of double standards. He wrote:
Amusing though this image may be to many people, can you imagine the BBC broadcasting it if the President was Hillary Clinton or the interviewer was a woman?
The BBC thinks this is OK to broadcast. But if it depicted high profile women, there would be outrage. Why the double standard? If they did it to Hilary Clinton and Laura Kuenssberg - somebody WOULD be sacked.
Surely a valid point but it hardly deflects the humour. US columnist and television personality Perez Hilton agreed and retweeted Morgan, adding: Solid point from Piers.
A BBC spokesperson said:
The BBC has a rich heritage of satire and The Mash Report takes a satirical and surreal look at the week's big stories. This brand of humour is well known to BBC Two audiences who tune in to watch the programme.
Joshua North, who was prosecuted by Humberside police with the help of counter-terror experts, has been cleared
by a jury over his satirical Facebook post where he called for national batter gypos day. A costs order in North's favour will be made.
North had responded on Facebook after national news reported that travellers had caused trouble in Cleethorpes. North said he made the statement to mock other people's 'hateful comments'.
North said the case had led to almost two years of hell for him and his family and noted that there was no investigation into my side of the story.
After he was cleared of inciting racial hatred Joshua North, from Cleethorpes, blasted the decision to prosecute him as political correctness gone mad. He said:
I told the police, if you check all my other Facebook posts, it indicates that I'm very friendly to immigrants, other races and religions.
The decision to prosecute was criticised by North's lawyer who said the case had been brought with 'the full force of the resources of the counter-terrorism unit'. He said:
I am disappointed that the prosecution, who had the full force of the resources of the counter-terrorism unit behind them, did not at any point consider what kind of a person Joshua actually is.
Had they spent any time thinking about him, looking at his other posts or even considering the possibility of another interpretation other than that they fixed upon, it would have occurred to them that Joshua is the last person to incite racial
Instead, they fixed on an interpretation and they refused to consider any other possibility even after he had advanced his position in interview.
What we have is a young, kind, decent, liberal, broad-minded man who works hard and who has been put through hell.
After the case concluded, Humberside Police defended its decision to charge North, stating it takes hate crime allegations seriously.
It is not merely the depiction of sex that is problematic, but als o how it made the actors feel. Much of the issue undoubtedly stems from the fact that all of these films [ Zola Tells
All, Nymphomaniac, Frida, Elle, Fifty Shades of Grey ] -- with the exception of Sam Taylor-Wood's Fifty Shades of Grey -- have male directors. The male gaze, and how it objectifies women, is so deeply embedded in the film industry psyche
that it has become the default.
One possible solution is an on-set intimacy director -- a professional who choreographs sex scenes to ensure the least discomfort for actors and least scope for inappropriate behaviour. Perhaps predictably, there has been huffing and puffing from
(mostly male) voices who decry the idea of reintroducing a form of cultural self-censorship. Marc Simon, an entertainment lawyer, was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter : There may be concern in this zero-tolerance climate that creativity and
creative opportunity could be restrained.
A stage version of Are You Being Served? has been banned for being sexist. The Hull Playgoers' Society had planned to stage a version of the BBC sitcom at the city's Truck Theatre.
But venue censors reportedly told producers that its script needed to be more politically correct.
Vince Matfin, the artistic director of the Hull Playgoers' Society, accused the theatre of censorship.
The venue said they had asked to meet with the producers to discuss their choice of performance and how this aligns against our artistic policy and values. The theatre's censorship policy states:
We are committed to presenting work that reflects the diverse communities and artists that populate our nation. We will not book work that does not meet the overall values of the theatre or that does not reflect the diversity and inclusion of a
Virgin Trains has announced that it has stopped selling the Daily Mail newspaper on its West Coast trains.
Drew McMillan, head of colleague communication and engagement at Virgin, told staff in an internal memo:
Thousands of people choose to read the Daily Mail every day. But they will no longer be reading it courtesy of VT.
There's been considerable concern raised by colleagues about the Mail's editorial position on issues such as immigration, LGBT rights and unemployment.
We've decided that this paper is not compatible with the VT brand and our beliefs.
We will continue to offer The Times to customers, but we won't be stocking the Daily Mail for sale or as a giveaway.
This won't suit all of our customers or all of our people - it's certain to draw some criticism. But we've listened to many colleagues over the last few months, and we feel that this is the right move to take.
A Daily Mail spokesman called the decision disgraceful, saying that at a time when fares were rising, it was disgraceful that Virgin was announcing that for political reasons it is censoring the choice of newspapers it offers to passengers.
Perhaps anther unsaid reason for the ban is the Daily Mail's very critical reporting of 'rip-off' fares.
Virgin's decision to ban the Daily Mail on its trains is a PR disaster.
Virgin workers may not share the paper's stance on a range of causes, from the EU to immigration to LGBT rights to unemployment, but to ban the sale of the paper? What are they thinking? More to the point, what is Sir Richard Branson , the firm's
No one is more PR-savvy than Branson, nobody in the past has exhibited a surer touch when it comes to promoting themselves or their brand.
Branson has been telling us for years that he is Virgin, that the company and founder are inseparable, their values identical. He promotes himself to promote Virgin. Now we know that those standards he so aspires to include restricting choice and
controlling freedom of expression.
Virgin Trains is to reverse its decision to stop selling the Daily Mail on its West Coast services.
Virgin Group boss Richard Branson said he instructed the firm to restock the paper while a review takes place.
Branson said he was unaware of the move and the operator must never be seen to be censoring customers. In a statement he said the chairman of Stagecoach, Brian Souter, was also not aware of the decision:
Brian and I agree that we must not ever be seen to be censoring what our customers read and influencing their freedom of choice.
Nor must we be seen to be moralising on behalf of others. Instead we should stand up for the values we hold dear and defend them publicly, as I have done with the Mail on many issues over the years.
The comedian Hari Kondabolu has produced a TV documentary titled The Problem with Apu that claims that the Simpson's stereotypically Indian shopkeeper character, Apu, has a negative impact.
for the upcoming truTV documentary The Problem with Apu shows Kondabolu's conversations with a number of South Asian actors and comedians, including Kal Penn, Hasan Minhaj, and Sakina Jaffrey, all talking about how the character has affected their
personal and professional lives.
Offsite comment: In defence of Apu
Don't let offence-takers kill off The Simpsons shopkeeper.
The London Fire Brigade has accused the BBC of sexism after one of its children's shows referred to a character as
a fireman rather than a firefighter.
The CBeebies show Hey Duggee was called out on Twitter by the Greenwich fire crew in south London, who said the term was very outdated.
This term is VERY outdated and the term 'firefighter' is the preferred, respectful, inclusive, non-sexist, non-gendered term that should be widely used by all media but especially the BBC.
Surely words can be allowed to evolve at their own pace. What good does getting all aggressive do? If you DEMAND respect, the best you can hope to get, is begrudging compliance, whilst adding to a general disrespect for authority due it going PC