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Clearly lacking in common sense

Comment
Jackie Beedie


Political correctness is going mad right now. In the last few days I have seen stories in the Press detailing complaints being made about boys T-shirts in a supermarket in the UK displaying the logo that boys are ‘noisy and messy’, toilet signs in a restaurant in Scotland where although the figures are unisex one has a thought bubble saying ‘football’ and the other says ‘shopping’, that works for me. And to top it all I have just seen a story where junior schools are banning the concept of best friends. Honestly, if you are unlucky enough to be a kid in one of these schools then you are not allowed to have a BFF. Apparently it’s not inclusive enough. It’s like birthday parties for the five and six-year-olds, when you have to invite all the children in the class to make sure that none are left out. For crying out loud, I remember when I was that age and was not invited to certain parties, it’s called character building and I still have the emotional scars to prove it.
Political correctness is not new, it is the phenomenon of people complaining that writing, speech, signs, behaviour and culture favour one section of the community over another. It really got going in the late 80’s when suddenly we had the baby boomers becoming adults and gaining positions in educational establishments and the media. The new liberalism provided them with a platform to take issue with anything which did not meet their own pampered view of life. Previous to the baby boomers there was very little middle class. You were either upper class in which case everything was as it should be, and change was the enemy, or you were working class and far too busy to bother about whether giving your boy a car or girl a doll to play with was stereotyping them for life. As life got easier and some working class people made their way into management and so could now afford to send their children to university, the chattering classes were formed. These newly privileged children got their degrees and went looking for jobs that did not involve getting their hands dirty. They also became more questioning of the establishment, and while that was a good thing and huge improvements in the quantity and quality of life have resulted, it just didn’t know where to stop. Once they had righted all the injustices, they then had to start looking for smaller and smaller ones until they start to pick on T-shirt slogans, toilet signs and even try to change children’s natural inclinations to bond with only one friend.
It would seem that the thing that has gone completely missing from today’s society is common sense. Common sense would allow us to stop before the stupid comment is made or before the stupid vote is placed or before the stupid tweet is sent. Common sense would be a great way to run the world. However it would seem that the only people who possess common sense have just enough to stop them getting involved in politics in the first place.

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