I’m British though I left Britain to live in France some years ago. I watch events in Britain, like lots of Brits still living there, with a bemused expression. It’s hard to understand why the place has tied itself in so many truly surreal politically correct knots over the last decade or so.
Every time you think common sense can’t be any further eroded some twit proves you wrong. As for the once-famous British sense of humour, it must be laughing in its grave.
In November 2010, some po-faced ninny at a local council ‘rebranded’ gingerbread men – biscuits – as gingerbread people. That’s true. I know it seems impossible, but it’s true. A local government official was paid to sit on his salaried bottom, consider gingerbread biscuits, (in a compulsorily-attended workshop for all the public knows) and submit them to a gender equality makeover. The point, apparently, was to teach children something if they bought the biscuits. What? That bakers can make biscuits look like men or women? That women have equal opportunities to become….gingerbead biscuits?
A new absurdity plumbs the depths of inanity even further. A mother went shopping for a toy farm for her daughter at the Early Learning Centre. ELC is a sort of worthy toy shop that seems to believe children should only play with toys that help them “develop vital skills”. (“But mu-um….can’t I just playyy?”)
The mother, Caroline, bought HappyLand Goosefeather Farm – a set of toy farm buildings with little toy animals, farmer and farmer’s wife. I don’t know about you but when I was little I’m pretty sure I would have had a lot of fun with HappyLand Goosefeather Farm and not worried too much about vital skills (such as? Planting corn? Marketing milk? Managing farm expenditure?)
When Caroline unpacked the farm at home, however, she noticed – well – here’s an extract from her post on the mumsnetwebsite forum:
I recently bought Goosefeather Farm from Early Learning Centre (ELC) for DD2 1st birthday, it’s perfect in every way bar one!
After all her pressies had been unwrapped I got rid of all the boxes and wrapping paper etc and was looking over her toys, noticed that there was a pig noise on the top of Goosefeather Farm but I couldnt find a pig. So thinking it had gotten swept up in the aftermath of present opening I went through all the paper and boxes again, but alas coudn’t find piggy. Checked the box and discovered that there isnt a piggy. Went online, nope no piggy. So I emailed ELC and the response that I had makes my blood boil.
…’previously the pig was part of the Goose feather farm however due to customer feedback and religious reasons this is no longer part of the farm’….
Now, let me make this perfectly clear. This has absolutely nothing to do with race, so nobody can accuse me of being ‘racist’.
This is POLITICAL CORRECTNESS gone loopy. On what basis did they remove it???
This is as bad as no more ‘baa baa black sheep’ or other such things. Stuff like this is just insipid, it worms its way into every aspect of our lives and we just let it happen. Surely if someone has issue with a toy that they don’t agree with, then don’t buy it!
Am I being petty or do I have justifiable cause to be angry??
I’d say you do Caroline! ELC was absolutely oinking mad to ban the pig.
One mother posting on mumsnet said “I’m a Muslim and it doesn’t bother me. It is just another animal. What’s the store going to do next? Ban the Peppa Pig cartoon? Ban books with pigs in?”
But even if some muslims were bothered, well too bad. British society is going nuts trying to avoid offending religious sensibilities.
In the gingerbread case, the council faced such a barrage of howling laughter and derision that it was decided to reinstate the gingerbread man. (They can always make him gay! or black!)
In an equally farcical move the Early Learning Centre shoved a spokesman forward to explain amended policy on the HappyLand Goosefeather Farm’s censored pig. He announced with gravity that ELC had:
“…taken the decision to reinstate the pigs and will no longer sell the set in international markets where it might be an issue.”
Oh bravo. Heaven forbid that Early Learning Centre should be responsible for starting the Goosefeather Farm Toy Pig Wars. (Don’t you love the word “reinstate”? It’s a toy pig, guys, not a deposed president!)
With equal gravitas, it was announced that dissatisfied customers may apply for their missing pigs through the ELC website….