Hmm…as usual Shipley MP Philip Davies cannot resist making everything about political correctness.
Responding to complaints made to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, after he compared sitting opposite Ed Balls to sitting across from someone with ‘tourettes’, Davies has told people to ‘lighten up‘ and that’s its all OK because he obviously meant no offence.
This boils down what Davies thinks when it comes to racism, sexism and disablism. If you don’t ‘mean’ offence, it’s all OK. So you can ‘black up‘ and it’s fine as long as you don’t mean anything negative by it. You can also refer to BMWs as ‘black man’s wheels’ and that too is OK. What wrong with golliwogs as well? It’s all a bit of fun isn’t it?
Likewise, he says Cameron obviously didn’t mean anything offensive to tourettes sufferers because he was intending to insult Ed Balls.
But think about that for a second. Because if Cameron was insulting Ed Balls, then what was the insult?
The insult was that Ed Balls is like someone with tourettes. The insult was the idea of having tourettes syndrome.
That is why people have found it offensive. The issue of what Cameron intended is irrelevant to the debate. It is not, as Davies insists, ‘political correctness running riot’ but instead it’s defending people who don’t want to be an insult to be compared to.
Davies’ has been busy tweeting saying the people who are offended are those who don’t have tourettes and tourettes sufferers have been in touch to say they haven’t taken offence, but some clearly have been.
This isn’t to say Labour should take to the airwaves to denounce Cameron as some sort of satan. I agree with Davies that he genuinely didn’t mean to offend anyone. We should simply point out that he obviously has offended some people, that he should think about why what he said is offensive, ask him to apologise and move on.
But returning to Davies, how many disabled people have to be offended before they are’t denounced as political correct zealots and are taken seriously?