I’m annoyed with myself that I never got round to posting about this at the time, when it was front page of the Guardian and all the rest of it.
For those who have no idea, Shipley Conservative MP, Philip Davies made the front page of the Guardian (no doubt a long time ambition for a man who once described people interested in environmentalism as something along the lines of ‘Guardian reading, lentil eating, sandal wearing hippies) after it was revealed he had written to the head of the Equalities Commission, Trevor Philips, no less than 19 times asking various questions about political correctness, of which Philip Davies is on a two-man campaign against.
The other man being the Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies (begetter of Philip no less) who proclaimed the Taliban to have ‘good family values’.
I can’t really say much other than what has already been said. I do believe the case shows how Davies doesn’t really understand culture, context or the opinions of people vastly different to himself.
Someone who cannot understand the context of the word ‘golliwog’ and it’s associated offensiveness to the extent that they’d rather pester the head of the Equalities Commission than look it up on Wikipedia cuts a quite tragic figure in the 21st century.
Of course this is assuming Davies is genuine when he claims to not understand such a context, and that he is not instead making mischief over the issue, perhaps engaging in some sort of ‘dog whistle’ politics.
For more information though, a set of links to the media coverage can be found below. Be sure to check out Tom Harris’ blog on the matter, personally it’s my favourite take on the issue:
Next Left – Left-wing blog by the Fabian society.
The Guardian’s Hugh Muir makes an eloquent assessment of the concept of ‘political correctness’.
Tom Harris’ humourous blog entry, mainly for the picture and caption