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England Shirts ‘Banned’ during World Cup

5 Nov

The Myth: The ‘PC Brigade’ were trying to ban England football shirts and flags during the World Cup, in case foreigners were offended.

The Truth: In a letter from the Metropolitan Police in Croydon (where there had been a history of football riots), pubs were given advice on avoiding trouble. Among World Cup guidance, it suggests ‘dress code restrictions – eg no football shirts’.

That’s no FOOTBALL shirts. Not ENGLAND shirts.

A Met Police spokesman said:

“This letter contains a series of suggestions to make pubs safer for everyone.

“However, licensees are not obliged to follow our advice and there is no policy to stop the wearing of England shirts.”

Despite that, headlines popped up such as:

“Bid to ban England tops in World Cup pubs”
– The Sun

This led to Facebook groups popping up such as “IF IM TAKING MY ENGLAND TSHIRT OFF – YOU TAKE YOUR SHITROLL TURBAN OFF !!.” and a huge influx of people joining “It’s funny how our flag offends you but our benefits don’t!!!”, which accomodates such wonderful comments as:

Melt the black cunts down nd tar the fkin roads with them.
– Gary Moran

To summarise:

“We can confirm that this is not the situation and that this is merely a myth designed to incense and irritate.”
– Cornwall Police

Passport photo of girl, 5, banned ‘in case it offends Muslims’

26 Oct

The Myth: The Passport Service ‘banned’ a 5 year old girl’s passport photo because her shoulders were showing, and it might offend Muslims.

The Truth: There is no such rule against shoulders in passport photos. This was a mistake made by the cashier at the Post Office.

Here is a balanced report from The Metro, a newspaper which due to its free distribution, has less interest in pandering to an audience of paranoid racists (despite being a sister publication of the Daily Mail):

The Post Office and the Passport Office have both denied that they have any policy of rejecting passport photos featuring bare arms, after a five year old girl’s mother claimed that she was told her daughter’s picture would be rejected for fear of offending Muslims.

Jane Edwards says that she was told by a post office clerk that the photo of her daughter Hannah would probably be rejected, because she was wearing a sleeveless dress that exposed her shoulders, which she said might not be acceptable in a Muslim country.

Mrs Edwards says she was forced to spend two hours getting new photos taken and forms signed.
However, the Passport Office said that they had no such policy: ‘This picture should have been absolutely fine,’ a spokesman said.

And the Post Office also denied that their guidelines ruled out sleeveless tops.

‘Our offices have a Passport Office template which says what the photograph should and shouldn’t be,’ said a spokesman.
‘Bare shoulders don’t come into that at all. All we can do is apologise to Mrs Edwards. It was clearly a mistake made by the clerk. We will take it up with that particular office.’

…and here is a response from the same story:

“It is absolutely ridiculous that UK Muslims in postal shops believe that exposing shoulders on a young girl equates to immodesty and moral decay.

How dare UK Muslims impose their backwards Muslim norms on British society.”
Jonathan – Jihad Watch comment

Followed by this….

[sic]”If we don’t make a fuss, we can look forward to women having to wear a head covering to get a passport. You give Muslums a inch and they will take a foot.”
– Betty – Prophecy Fellowship comment

And then, of course…

[sic] “thats terrible! pc gone mad! this country is going down the pan! im emigrating”
Overclockers forum user

How to get from admin error to international scandal in two easy moves. Assume Muslims did it, then moan about it.

‘Winterval’ replaces Christmas

24 Oct

The Myth: The PC Brigade have deemed Christmas to be offensive, so have replaced it with ‘Winterval’.

The Truth: In 1997 and 1998 (only), Birmingham Council (only) used the term ‘Winterval’ as a marketing name for 3 months of seasonal festivities at their newly regenerated town centre, including Chinese New Year, Diwali (The Festival of Lights) and of course, Christmas.

This picture says more than an entire essay could:

That’s ‘Winterval’ there in the bottom right hand corner.

THIS is what spawned off quotes such as:

“Now it seems, the secular world, which expresses
respect for all, is actually embarrassed by faith. Or perhaps it is Christianity
which is censored.” –
Rev Mark Santer, Birmingham bishop

…which was followed by this:

“The pressure on Christians, however, is merely part of a far wider onslaught on Western culture through the hijacking or censorship of language.
Thus Christmas has been renamed in various places ‘Winterval’”.-
Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail

..and inevitably:

[sic] “Christmas is what it his, leave it alone England has to may PC mad people if you don’t like it you can always leave!! move to another country end of the debate!!”
A member of the Facebook group ‘WE’RE NOT GOING TO CALL CHRISTMAS ‘WINTERVAL’.

In November 2011, the Daily Mail retracted the lies after 13 years of stubbornly peddling them:

“A previous version of this article stated that Christmas has been renamed in various places Winterval. Winterval was the collective name for a season of public events, both religious and secular, which took place in Birmingham in 1997 and 1998. We are happy to make clear that Winterval did not rename or replace Christmas”.

Fascinatingly, pigswithwings.org.uk managed to catch up with the man who coined the term ‘Winterval’ in the first place. Read on to hear his side of the story.

In conversation with Polly Toynbee of The Guardian re the long running Winterval Saga, she suggested that, as the originator of Winterval, I should stand up and put my name to it. So here I am.

I am Mike Chubb, as Head of Events for Birmingham at the time I invented the term Winterval (41 days and nights of festive fun!), fully supported by The Council and the cultural and business community. I am continually fascinated that the term Winterval, ever caused (and still does) such a furore.

Quite simply, as Head of events at that time, we needed a vehicle which could cover the marketing of a whole season of events…Diwali (festival of Lights), Christmas lights switch on, BBC Children in Need, Aston Hall by Candlelight, Chinese New year, New Years eve etc. Also a season that included theatre shows and open air ice rink, Frankfurt open air Christmas market and the Christmas seasonal retail offer. Christmas, called Christmas! and its celebration, lay at the heart of Winterval.

Political correctness was never the reasoning behind Winterval, but yes it was intended to be inclusive (which is no bad thing to my mind) and a brand to which other initiatives could be developed as part of The Winterval offer in order to sell the City at a time when all cities are competing against each other for the seasonal trade.
Each part of Winterval had its own marketing plan… the same as ,for instance the marketing of a brand whose sub brands (ie chocolate)have their own niche marketing.

I do believe that those who took umbrage did it for their own reasons, to sell their own message and of course, everybody got on to their own hobby horses in the process.
I am amazed that no-one could see the simplicity of The Winterval brand, but read into it what they wanted; to further and give voice to their own aspirations/prejudices. It is time for Birmingham to be proud of Winterval and stand up for an innovative initiative that befits an outward looking city.
However on the plus side thank you for keeping the Winterval campaign going and keeping Birmingham in the World’s eye… what fantastic publicity.

To read more about the myth of Winterval, check out these links:

Kevin Arscott’s extensive research into the myth’s origins and its effect.

‘Brainstorming’

23 Oct

The Myth: Due to protests from The PC Brigade, the term ‘brainstorm’ is now inappropriate to use in the workplace when describing a collective idea session. They must now be referred to as ‘mind maps’ or ‘thought showers’. This is to avoid offending people with epilepsy.

The Truth: The loss of the term in the workplace can be attributed to incessant reporting of one incident causing a ripple effect amongst businesses.

Use of the term WAS discouraged in a training scheme by the Welsh Development Agency, a group promoting business growth. Turnbridge Wells Council followed suit. No law was ever passed.

Everyone from The Sun to the National Society of Epileptics has condemned this ‘ban’ as a well meaning but hysterical attempt not to offend. But the more the story spreads, the more workplaces become concerned with appearing not just polite, but also ‘in touch’ with modern terminology. The fact that other places are no longer referring to brain storming is good enough reason to do the same.

To put it plainly, if the term has been genuinely banned at your workplace, it is probably because someone has read in the paper that there is controversy surrounding it, and so they have done what they thought would keep their business out of trouble.

Rest assured, there is no such law banning the term. The only ‘Political Correctness Brigade’ who exist are the newspapers who intentionally spread this rubbish until it inevitably becomes the truth.

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Mark Twain

Humpty Dumpty is Fine

19 Oct

The Myth: The PC Brigade have made it wrong (ie. Illegal) to sing “All the King’s horses and all the King’s Men couldn’t put Humpty together again.” This is to shelter children from the morbid ending.

The Truth: A BBC kid’s programme changed the lyrics for creative purposes. A small number of organisations (1, Mothercare) followed suit, changing the ending to be more suitable for children.

This is an odd one for people to get angry about. Why would the PC Brigade, a lobby group apparently obsessed with not offending minorities, care about the plight of a fictional egg? So as not to offend eggs?

They wouldn’t care. And they don’t, because they are just as real as Humpty Dumpty himself. Just like the “Baa Baa rainbow sheep” nonsense, no law has ever been passed condemning the original version of the song. If you are adamant that your child’s development will be enhanced by singing about someone being mortally wounded, then go ahead. Nobody is stopping you.

Baa Baa ‘Rainbow’ Sheep

16 Oct

Baa Baa ‘Rainbow’ Sheep
The myth: Teachers have been banned from singing ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ in schools because it has been deemed racist towards black people.
The truth: A couple of nurseries in Oxfordshire decided to make the song longer and more stimulating for children by replacing ‘black’ with a range of other adjectives.

This is one of the biggest ‘PC Gone Mad’ urban myths that has spread across the country and the world. A book entitled ‘Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep: The Charge of the PC Brigade‘ was even published based on this incident. Of course, had this ban have actually happened, it would have been a very pointless and hysterical matter indeed. But it didn’t happen at all.

Here is the story that the BBC posted on Tuesday, 7 March 2006:

Pre-school children attending two nurseries in Oxfordshire are being taught a new version of Baa Baa Black Sheep – Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep.

Critics say altering the words of the traditional nursery rhyme is an example of political correctness gone too far.

But the charity running the nurseries, Parents and Children Together (Pact), said the move was educational, not motivated by racial concerns.

Pact said children were encouraged to use a wide range of words in songs.

“Pact has established that children sing a variety of descriptive words in the nursery rhyme to turn the song into an action rhyme,” the charity said in a statement.

“They sing happy, sad, bouncing, hopping, pink, blue, black and white sheep etc and they also exchange boy and girl at the end of the rhyme.

“This encourages the children to extend their vocabulary and use up some energy.”

While the words have been altered at two Oxfordshire nurseries – the Abingdon Family Centre and the Sure Start Centre in Sutton Courtenay – other nurseries in the area have not taken such steps.

“We sing Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep because that’s reality, that’s what the children see in the fields and it encourages them to look around them,” said Jill Edge, from the Sunshine Centre in Banbury, north Oxfordshire.

“Realistically, they are not going to see rainbow sheep in the fields. There are much better ways of addressing these issues.”

In 2000, a warning that the nursery rhyme Baa Baa black sheep should not be taught in schools because it was “racially offensive” was scrapped.

The guidelines by education chiefs at Birmingham City Council were dropped after black parents condemned the advice as ridiculous.

So, if it is that important to you, then you can by all means sing ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ to children without being punished by a stupidly imposed law. Any guidelines in schools or nurserys have been self-imposed, perhaps due to the Chinese Whispers caused by articles such as this, from the Daily Mail on the 8 March 2006:

It Has been a children’s favourite for hundreds of years.

But ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ has again fallen victim to the drive for political correctness.

Nursery school children are being taught to sing ‘Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep’ instead of the traditional rhyme.

Teachers at two centres were told to change the words to promote ‘equal opportunities’.

It is not the first time the rhyme has been altered – previous substitutes for black include ‘green’ and ‘happy’ sheep.

Stuart Chamberlain, of the Oxford Sure Start Centre in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, said: “Basically we have taken the equal opportunities approach to everything we do.

“This is fairly standard across nurseries. We are following stringent equal opportunities rules. No-one should feel pointed out because of their race, gender or anything else.”

Children at the Family Centre in nearby Abingdon are also taught the ‘PC’ version.

Mr Chamberlain said he could not explain why people singing or listening to the lyrics of the original version would be offended.

The origins of the famous rhyme have nothing to do with race.

Although the first publication of the nursery rhyme was in 1744, it probably dates back to the Middle Ages, possibly to the 13th Century, and relates to a tax imposed by the king on wool. One-third went to the local lord (the ‘master’), one-third to the church (referred to as the ‘dame’) and about a third was for the farmer (the ‘little boy who lives down the lane’).

Yesterday the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality refused to comment on the revised rhyme.

But the move has been condemned by campaigners as another crazy example of ‘political correctness gone mad’. Nick Seaton of the Campaign for Real Education said: ‘This is a traditional children’s song and the reference to black sheep has nothing to do with black-skinned people.

“It’s a new Stalinist approach to good manners and respect.”

John Midgley, co-founder of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, said: “This is absolutely ridiculous. If they say it’s for equal opportunities then it’s counterproductive. It fails to understand the history of nursery rhymes which have enriched children’s lives down the generations.

“It’s a blatant example of political correctness and somebody ought to give the Sure Start Centre a good dose of common sense.”

In 1999 Birmingham City Council said the rhyme should not be taught in school because it was racially negative and could cause offence. Last year a number of nursery schools in western Scotland began singing ‘Baa Baa Happy Sheep’. And some children in London have also been taught ‘Baa Baa Green Sheep’. At least one other traditional rhyme has also been targeted.

Three years ago Mothercanre sold cassette tapes and CDs with a new version of Humpty Dumpty in which there was a happy ending.

In the PC version, Humpty Dumpty was able to ‘count to ten and get up again’.