Features

An A-to-Z guide to the new PC

From appropriation to zero tolerance, everything you need to keep an eye on while checking your privilege

7 February 2015

9:00 AM

7 February 2015

9:00 AM

Anyone who thought political correctness had croaked, joining neon leg warmers, mullets and MC Hammer in the graveyard of bad ideas from the late 1980s and 1990s, should think again. When even someone as gay-friendly and Guardian-hued as Benedict Cumberbatch can be hounded for incorrectness, you know no one’s safe. So what can you say? Here’s an A-to-Z guide to the new PC.

A is for America. One-time land of the free, founded by un-PC white dudes partial to a drink and sex with slaves, but more recently the birthplace of identity politics (see under I) and 21st-century taboos (see everything below).

B is for bitch. Perfect example of a word some can say but others can’t. For a sassy chick to refer to herself and her girl pals as ‘bitches’ is cool; for a rapper with metal teeth it is rampant misogyny. To find out if you’re allowed to utter this word, put your hand in your underpants. Is there a penis? You can’t say it. If you do you’re the other B: bigot.

C is for cultural appropriation. When people from one culture adopt the styles or habits of people from another culture. Like middle-class white kids making rap music or donning Native American head-dresses at a rock festival. This is really bad. Thankfully Glastonbury is now restricting the sale of Native American dress and some British unis have banned sombreros. C is also for check your privilege. You must do this all the time. If you’re white, male and middle class, you’re super-privileged and must never speak about women’s issues or black people’s problems. White women are more privileged than black women, and straight black women are more privileged than queer black women (don’t worry — queer is OK here: see under Q). ‘What about solidarity and cross-class, cross-race empathy?’ I hear you cry. Please. Solidarity has been replaced by intersectionality (see below). Stop being a dinosaur.

D is for dinosaur. I shouldn’t have said the D-word, sorry. Alongside geezer, codger and blue-haired, it’s what the New York Times calls an ‘age-disparaging word’. Never say it, even to refer to actual dinosaurs: in 2012 some New York schools banned the lessons on dinosaurs for fear of offending creationist kids, and offending people is the worst thing you can ever do (see under O).

E is for ethically challenged. You, if you don’t adhere to these rules.

F is for faggot. Fine if you’re a gay man referring to himself, but it’ll earn you a knock on the door from the boys in blue if you’re a straight man referring to someone else. Never write it on a missile. American Navymen were instructed to ‘more closely edit their spontaneous acts of penmanship’ after one of them wrote ‘Hijack this, you faggots’ on a bomb for the Taleban. Members of the Taleban do not accept homosexuality as a valid way of life and thus should not be reminded of its existence as they have their heads blown off.

G is for gender. Never assume to know gender. Someone might look and sound like a man, and even wear a beard and possess a penis, but ‘he’ might identify as a woman, which is his/her/their right. Who are you, or nature, to say whether someone is male or female or something else entirely? Facebook now has 71 gender choices. The City University of New York recently banned the words ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ from ‘all types of correspondence’ with students in order to prevent the faux pas of wrongly guessing a student’s gender ID. Ask everyone you meet: ‘What gender pronouns should I use when referring to you?’

H is for hir and hirs: gender-neutral terms for him and her. Safest bet when you’re at a dinner party surrounded by people whose preferred gender you don’t yet know.

[Alt-Text]


I is for identity politics. Always define yourself by your natural characteristics rather than your character, achievements or beliefs. You are first and foremost male, female, other, straight, gay, black or white and should refer to yourself as such. Martin Luther King should have checked his privilege when he had that nonsense dream of a world where people ‘will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character’. That’s easy for a middle-class straight man to say, Marty. I is also for intersectionality, the tearaway offspring of identity politics, where you must constantly wonder how your various personal identities intersect with each other (or something).

J is for jokes. Don’t tell them. It’s too risky. Rape jokes, Holocaust jokes, sexist jokes, banter-based jokes — you might find them funny but others will experience them as a threat to their mental safety. Learn from the Dapper Laughs debacle: a wicked joke can hurt thousands and end your career.

K is for kiss chase. Never let your kids play this. For boys to chase girls in search of a smacker on the cheek is evidence of a culture of male sexual entitlement, so mercifully this ‘game’ has been banned in schools across the nation.

L is for LGBTQQIAAP. No, not a place in Wales — an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, allies and pansexual. If you’re the kind of person who says ‘gays’, or even worse, ‘the gays’, stop it at once and learn this by heart.

M is for microaggressions. A microaggression is an unwitting act of discrimination by people who think they’re super right-on, such as asking a black woman how she keeps her hair so funky or inquiring if a lesbian has ever had ‘real sex’. On some American campuses, professors have been accused of racial microaggression for correcting spelling mistakes in black students’ essays.

N is for nigger. Massive no-no (unless you’re a rapper, and even then tread carefully). New editions of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn come with the N-word expunged. Just as cigarettes are being cut out of old cartoons and Ghostbusters is being remade with the main roles now played by womyn (see under W). The past must be corrected.

O is for offence. The original sin. Offending people is worse than punching them. And offence is in the eye of the outraged — it’s they who decide if your words are hurtful. One man’s joke might be another’s mortal blow to his self-esteem. To avoid offence, speak as little as possible.

P is for people of colour. Coloured is bad, but people of colour is fine. Of course, it might one day be added to the list of once-PC but now sinful phrases, so keep an eye out for updates.

Q is for queer. Queers can say this, but non-queers can’t. Unless you’re an ally (see under L), in which case you can.

R is for racist. You’re a racist. I know you think you aren’t, which is sweet, but you are. Everyone is. By this point, we should all know about ‘unwitting racism’ — being racist without realising it. The solution? Racial sensitivity training for all. Stop racism by encouraging nationwide racial consciousness.

S is for safe space. A zone, usually at a university, in which no offensive language, off-colour jokes, banter, lads’ mags, mansplaining (men talking about feminism), manspreading (men spreading their legs), gender-questioning, or any other wicked words or deeds are allowed. A prototype PC society.

T is for tranny. Never say this word. Ever. It’s the Voldemort of PC. Whisper it and you will be accused of transphobia — not a country but a mental malaise that prevents you from accepting that gender is a fluid concept.

U is for uterus. If you have one of these, you may speak about abortion; if you don’t, you may not.

V is for vagina. People with vaginas, check your privilege. You aren’t the only people who get to call yourselves women. Plenty of folk do not have vaginas but are every bit as female as you. The US women’s college Mount Holyoake recently banned The Vagina Monologues because it ‘offers an extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman’.

W is for womyn. An alternative spelling of ‘woman’ for those who reject patriarchal spelling norms.

X is for Generation X, the post-baby-boom generation that is the architect of PC, which having waged a war of words against its hippy-dippy parents and their harebrained belief in a colourblind, gender-ignoring world, is now caught in a desperate rearguard action against younger activists armed with hashtags and intersectionality.

Y is for #YesAllWomen. A social campaign — well, a Twitter hashtag — created in response to the assertion that said #NotAllMen were rapists. Maybe they aren’t, but #YesAllWomen are victims.

Z is for ze. Gender-neutral term for he or she (see Rod Liddle, opposite). Z is also for zero tolerance. Of homophobia, rude old novels, saucy photos, and anything that might offend someone somewhere sometime. From student unions to trendy workplaces, the PC love nothing more than to boast of their lack of tolerance. You thought tolerance was a good thing? Get with the programme. Don’t be a D-word.

Brendan O’Neill is the editor of the website Spiked and the subject of Ban Brendan O’Neill Day, a national day of action being organised on Facebook for 1 April this year.

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Show comments
  • AffectedNotOffended

    G is for Google which is censoring jihadi videos because they discriminate and incite violence against non-Muslim, white men.

    GG is for Google Gone which doesn’t give a flying f*ck about videos, comments, music, blogs, magazines, that do the same to women.

    STEG is for Spectator Tu Es Google.

  • AffectedNotOffended

    The straight, young, wealthy white boys (of the Spectator) will love and laugh at the full list. White women will love a slightly shorter version of it, black men shorter, black women shorter, transgender shorter. Which tells you who socially engineered and censored their way through the centuries to the vocabulary we inherited with its paucity/ complete absence of disparaging words for straight, young, wealthy white boys.

    • drusus

      Young?

    • JimHHalpert

      I just looked up what your name means in Latin: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ano#Latin .

      • Jody Taylor

        These kinds of rebuttals don’t add anything to debate. Speak to the issues, not the individual’s name.

        • JimHHalpert

          It’s not a rebuttal, you humourless harpy: it’s childish name-calling.

        • JimHHalpert

          Apologies for my stupid reply the other day. No excuses.

          • Jody Taylor

            Forgiven. Shouldn’t you have used the more pc, “amusement-challenged non-human”?

          • JimHHalpert

            Thank you. Yes, I should.

    • Jody Taylor

      Really? Absence of disparaging words for ‘straight, young, wealthy, white boys’ you say? How about this:

      “I had thought that Nature’s journeyman had made men and not made them well – they imitated humanity so abominably”. Shakespeare (“Hamlet”)

      …and just about the entire canon of English literature.

      You can call that “social engineering” if it makes you feel better. (On the other hand, isn’t that something the politburo might say?)

      • AffectedNotOffended

        You’re kind of mental aren’t you.

        • Jody Taylor

          OK, so you know nothing about literature; we’ve established that.

    • JSC

      The English language: spoken by hundreds of billions of people, over hundreds of years, all over the world and, apparently, carefully constructed entirely by straight, young, wealthy white boys to oppress everyone. Seems a bit of a tall tale if you ask me.

      • AffectedNotOffended

        Consider that until extremely recently, this year in some cases.

        women weren’t allowed through a mixture of religious doctrine, secular law and social pressure to speak in public, read novels, weren’t allowed to publish, weren’t allowed in the universities or Royal Societies, in coffee shops and other talking shops, onboard merchant ships, in the work place, in parliament or the vote, to make laws or to judge them, to lead religious services, to have independent wealth.
        Black people were enslaved.
        Other enthnic minorities and the working classes were a resource and were brutally suppressed.
        Gay men were imprisoned.
        The mentally or physically ill put into institutions.

        Who was writing the dictionary? Even if there were colloquialisms for white, rich, straight men (and that of course would be heavily influenced by a prevailing culture that admired and rewarded those characteristics) they would never have made it onto the page and into national memory. The fact remains that there is not a single derogatory word in the English language for the wealthy, straight, white, man and that isn’t because they don’t deserve it.

        • JSC

          I’m not even sure what point you think you’re making. You’re certainly demonstrating an incredibly poor grasp of history and world affairs.

          “Black people enslaved” they still are today. All over Africa black people are enslaved by other black people – many who would have sold them to white slavers hundreds of years ago. I take it you are aware that white people were enslaved en-mass by both Arabs and other white people and that slavery is not peculiar to the “straight white male race”?

          “The mentally ill put into institutions.” Indeed because – believe it or not – they didn’t have Prozac or CBT in Victorian times and the alternative was to let them die in the streets, which is exactly what they did before the institutions were set up. At the time, the institutions were considered the peak of humane caring for the unfortunate.

          You are aware that “straight”, “white”, “rich”, “male” are all independent attributes and that you can have anyone of those attributes without the other? I put it to you that there are plenty of derogatory terms for each of those things individually, asking for one that insults all simultaneously is as ridiculous as asking why there’s no dedicated term to insult middle-aged blond stamp collectors who enjoy spaghetti.

          Gay rights, women’s rights, minority rights – none of them were won via the route of politically correct language. Not a single one. They were won by winning the philosophical, ethical and moral debate in the public free market of ideas, which a right to free speech for all produces – and that includes the right to offend.

          • MenControlTheMedia

            The point I am trying to make is that our language is the product of white male straight censorship and political correctness and social engineering.

            Your efforts in that direction surpass the stalinists’ and the feminists’ and the racial egalitarians’.

        • kill liberals

          fuck off nigger lover

  • Guest

    Young? Really?

  • Man on the Clapham Omnibus

    Without raising the spectre of racially motivated ignorance, there is no Q in the Welsh alphabet: see L.

    • Peter Stroud

      Not a lot of people know that.

    • terence patrick hewett

      P-Celtic and Q-Celtic.

      • The Bogle

        Yes, but Welsh, like Breton and Cornish, belongs to the P(roto)-Celtic group. Irish and Scots Gaelic and Manx belong to the Q-Celtic group.

        • terence patrick hewett

          Srite.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

          And we must never suggest imply or wink that one might be better than the other. Or older or younger or prettier. Or more prestigious. Or….

          By the way, I thought Brendan’s amalgam of letters looks more like Inuktitut.

    • rockylives

      Bigot

  • Tiger Lily

    So you have a right to use bigoted and ignorant language, but we’re not allowed to respond to that, as it’s “lefty PC marxism”? No wonder no one takes you seriously.

    • GhostofJimMorisson

      Responding is fine, absolutely! But demanding something or someone be banned is NOT responding: it’s bullying.

      • Ayn Rand

        That’s right Jim, in spite of your wanky poetry, you have some great ideas on free speech and free expression.

      • Mc

        The problem is that people like the Cambridge chap on the audio clip claim that O’Neil et al weren’t banned from Cambridge premises, that they were welcome to have their debate at a different venue.

        Of course, it is guaranteed that if the debating venue was shifted elsewhere, the PC mob would’ve made various threats to ensure the debate wasn’t held at all. But the PC mob won’t be honest and admit to that.

    • http://batman-news.com MadridPeteR

      Somebody takes him seriously pays him and gives him international exposure …proof is in the print ..you should look up communist cultural revolution and see if you spot similarities to the pc society we live in…don’t forget Ben cabbagepatch trying his best in the usa and being found wanting..where shall we all end up with this eh

    • Felixthecat

      It must be blissful to live in a world of thought terminating cliques and general ignorance.

      • Jody Taylor

        I think Tiger would have some difficulty understanding your language. Keep it simple, just like the tired old canards of pc!!

    • http://europa-antiqua-arca.blogspot.com/ arcadius

      Isn’t what you just wrote a response…?

    • Cyril Sneer

      Check your privilege.

      • Jody Taylor

        The ‘progressive’ moniker always makes me laugh. Shut everyone down and then call yourself ‘progressive’.

    • Jody Taylor

      Oh, but that’s where you’re wrong!! It’s the very fact he IS taken seriously which only demonstrates the level at which people are now bucking political correctness/censorship. It’s the blow-back effect and every bit as predictable as your claims about “bigoted and ignorant language” – that language YOU would seek to control and suppress and which YOU would seek to so describe.

      Obfuscation and euphemism are both words which come to mind when thinking about political correctness. The word “political”, of course, relates specifically to Marxism and the Left more generally.
      There’s an excellent job waiting for you at the politburo, I’m told.

      What is “ignorant language” anyway; something you don’t agree with? I don’t think language actually can be ignorant, only its speaker/writer and this is subjective anyway. Back to the drawing board for you…

    • Aj Retro

      You have every right to be offended, but the world is not obligated to cater to you because your feelings are hurt.

  • Cim Thayne

    Majestic article from the Speccie. Don’t let the authoritarian leftist filth drag you down Brendan.

  • Robbydot1

    Absolutely brilliant, Brendan. Thanks very much for such a good laugh.

    • rockylives

      Indeed. Brilliant – but terrifying in equal measure.

      • Mangoworm

        Not really–I for one have to admit that I’m pretty offended by this article. The author is clearly a white cishet male; he REALLY shouldn’t be criticised others’ quest for justice, especially since they can’t possibly be as privileged as him.

        • Unpaid Gawker Intern

          Brilliant satire, Poe’s law in action, 10/10 -IGN

    • Jody Taylor

      Brendan is a Living Legend, as well call them in Australia.

      • gulberwick

        You have such small expectations.

      • David Mullen

        You’re right there mate!

      • Sue Smith

        Absolutely agree with this 10,000%.

    • http://islamsfatalflaw.blogspot.com/ BobSmith101

      Absolutely excellent, but there is an addition meaning for A. A is for “asshole”. That is anyone who tries to pull this crap on me.

  • CharleyFarleyFive

    Hold on, I’m confused, are you allowed to say ‘bitch’ if you have a penis and breasts? Asking for a friend.

    • Mc

      Nah, that’s “ladyboy”

    • AffectedNotOffended

      Sure if you don’t mind being kicked in it.

  • Ed  

    My gran had the answer for “check your priviledge” before it even existed:

    “Count your blessings”.

    • rockylives

      Bigot

      • Ed  

        Yes, she bloody well was. Bigoted against idiots. I wish she were still here – she’d rip up one side of you and down the other, in a Scottish accent so thick it would leave tyre marks.

        Next question?

        • rockylives

          That’s both Scottist and Deadist. Double bigot.

          • Ed  

            No, it’s idiotist; and you’re in danger of looking like exhibit (a).

          • oldoddjobs

            He’s joking with you, Ed.

          • Ed  

            Or am I joking with him? He’ll never know….

      • Icebow

        There’s nothing wrong with privilege, especially white privilege.

        • Ed  

          It’s not privilege if it’s been earned.

          • Icebow

            Whether or not karmically.

          • Ed  

            There’s no such thing as karma, only the intersection of preparation and opportunity.

          • Icebow

            Bollocks to that.

          • Ed  

            Incorrect, and impolite. -2.

          • Icebow

            Correct and apposite.

          • vieuxceps2

            Don’t be so un-PC

          • Icebow

            So I should be more un-‘PC’. Understood.

          • oldoddjobs

            He’s only teasing. Making a little joke. Remember those?

          • Icebow

            Well, duh!!

          • mohdanga

            It’s ironic how non-whites complain about white privilege in the white countries they have chosen to come and live in, all the while receiving benefits from the white privileged host population who built white countries from nothing. Stay in your non-white countires, build them to the standard of living that white countries have and us privileged whites won’t complain.

          • MenControlTheMedia

            You really have no idea about the global conversation about post-colonialism and structural racism do you.

          • mohdanga

            Please enlighten us on your social studies expertise on this ‘global conversation’. Non-whites have been responsible for just as much colonialism as whites. It wasn’t the white hordes that descended on India and left tens of millions dead (that would be the Muslims). Genghis Kahn and and the Huns weren’t white. Muslims started their invasions in the 700s and invaded all of southern Europe. No apologies ever for this. Yet white ‘colonialism’ which is responsible for the most advanced societies on earth, to which non-whites flock, is the issue, right? If not for the dreaded ‘white colonialism’ then North America, Australia and New Zealand would be on par with modern New Guinea…not seeing much non-white immigration there.
            And of course there is no racism by non-whites, correct? If non-whites believe there is ‘structural racism’ in white countries why do they come to them? Staying in non-white countries would be the solution! Or should non-whites, who have no history in white countries (aside from the US), be allowed in to change them to the same 3rd world cr*pholes they came from…then complain about white racism being the problem? Whites going to non-white countries is ‘colonialism’, non-whites going to white countries is ‘enrichment’….is that what the ‘global conversation’ is?

          • Ernest

            Who cares? Your one sided version of history, ‘racism’ & justice can bite me.

          • AffectedNotOffended

            Indeed. It’s just a reflection of innate talent that 80% of everything belongs to white men. Afterall look how well they do in areas where there are objective tests of merit, such as football and maths.

          • Ed  

            By citing football and maths, I do believe you’ve just made my point. Don’t grouse about “privilege”, go off and earn some.

            Glad to see you’re getting it.

          • MenControlTheMedia

            They’re bad at both. They were only good at things when they prevented everyone elose from competing on a level playing field. As empire crumbles and women rise white men are left in everyone’s wake.

          • Ed  

            Well, I’m all for merit. It’s interesting to look over the countries that have done well since independence compared to those which have done poorly. Why is it, do you think, that Australia has done so well, and Zimbabwe so poorly? Zimbabwe was a fantastically rich country, very wealthy in natural resources and beautiful agriculture. Mugabe, however, has turned out to be a typical tinpot socialist mass murderer, and the country’s gone to ruin.

            Next question?

    • JSC

      I’m fond of “check your presumptions” as a retort.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

      The Left doesn’t do gratitude.

      • Ed  

        My grandmother did; and so did you, if you knew what was good for you…..

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

          Yes Ed, but I’m not a Leftist.

          • Ed  

            Oh, good. She’d have let you live.

      • AffectedNotOffended

        Nor does the right, it thinks it’s the God-given, natural order of things. Nothing to do with root and branch social engineering.

        • Ed  

          Many on the right thank God for many things, every day. Do you?

          • MenControlTheMedia

            I thank her for making me, me.

          • Ed  

            Good start. I like the “her” bit, though. Very narrow minded. God’s a bit beyond that, haven’t you heard?

  • ted_2012

    We receive political correctors the same way as those in the 50’s received the McCarthyites – with laughter.

    • http://batman-news.com MadridPeteR

      Careful you may be re educated using tax payers money and a mentor selected by cleggs gang

      • ted_2012

        What is he gonna do, patronise me to death?!

        • http://batman-news.com MadridPeteR

          Imagine the poor Spanish Mrs clegg ..her english can’t be perfect that must be it

  • Ngaire Lowndes

    I wish I found this funny. Sadly, the sour-faced condemnation of all views and words that don’t meet the ever-changing standard of ‘acceptable’ saddens me too much. Even my lovely and highly intelligent, principled daughters are caught in the mire of what one may or may not say.

    • Zanderz

      It’s funny because it’s true. All good comedy comes from tragedy, and what’s happening to our society is a tragedy.

    • Jody Taylor

      Once your daughters are experienced enough to think for themselves, instead of following the herd, you’ll feel doubly proud of them. That day will come, as it did with my own children. They leave university, get into the workforce and real life and generally have little respect nowadays for institutionalized politico-speak and grievance privileged activism. In short, they developed a sense of the ridiculous.

      • AffectedNotOffended

        Give them time. After 15 years of working with mediocre men who hog the conversation and resources and denigrate them they’ll come round.

  • JohnCrichton89

    That was fun!

  • The Bogle

    Isn’t PC language the realisation of Orwell’s Newspeak and a means of controlling how people speak and by extension how they think? Isn’t one aim to limit how we think?
    No doubt, like History in “1984”, PC-speak will constantly be re-written.

    • David S

      That’s what got Benedict Cumberbatch into trouble. He should have engaged awareness consultants to check that his terminology was up-to-date.

      • The Bogle

        And then he would have realised that a person of colour (or color) was totally different from a coloured person because of historical assocations. But has the American Association for the Advancement of Colored People now changed its name?

      • rockylives

        “Awareness consultants” is a brilliant idea.

        In fact I bet there are already people out there offering their services as such. If not, there soon will be. Your recent graduate offspring can’t get a job? Get them to start marketing themselves as an Awareness Consultant to the rich and famous. They’ll clean up.

        Sic transit gloria* mundi

        (*I make no comment on Gloria’s sexual self-identification)

    • trotters1957

      Have you read 1984, you’ve completely misunderstood what Newspeak is?
      And you do know Orwell was a socialist?

      • mohdanga

        Who later in life realized how bankrupt socialism was.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

          What took him so long?

          • Ed  

            Faster than most….

            Have you read his “Shooting an Elephant”? He meant to criticize the Empire, and ended up inadvertently justifying the white man’s burden. He just didn’t realize it…..

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

            No, I missed that one. Loved Animal Farm and have read some way into Why I Write, which gives his opinions about the Left among other things. A little book but I get distracted by all the toings and froings of my life.

          • Neil Saunders

            You must have read a different version to the one I know, Ed. In the essay I’m familiar with, Orwell really doesn’t justify the white man’s burden.

          • Ed  

            Not explicitly, no. If you read between the lines, however, it’s quite clear that for all their resentment, the locals expected the white man to solve the problem, to come to their rescue. He doesn’t address (or even identify) this Burmese cognitive dissonance, but it’s right there, in the centre of the essay. I would have loved to have asked him about it.

          • Neil Saunders

            I draw a slightly different moral from the story, which is that while the white man’s authority was not actively resisted by the Burmese (and, by extension, other colonised peoples) it was passively resented. Orwell, as the solitary representative of the British Empire in the scenario depicted, was forced – by fear of public humiliation in a crisis, in which exposure of personal weakness would also reveal the flimisiness of the order he represented (but which, to complicate matters, he himself had already intellectually rejected) – to defy his own better judgement and shoot an elephant (a valuable capital asset, he stresses) which was no longer dangerous.

          • Ed  

            Everything you say is entirely correct. I found when I read it that everything I expected from Orwell was there.

            However, I also found that he portrayed the Burmese as expecting the white man to do something; to solve their problem. Sure, they resented it, but they also expected, and at some level, even desired it. I don’t know if Orwell even realized he was showing this, but it was apparent that he’d seen it, and it made it into his writing.

          • Neil Saunders

            The Burmese “expected” the white man to “do something” precisely because he had set himself up in authority over them, thus presenting himself (in this case, Orwell) with the opportunity for failure and embarrassment.

            Orwell was an extremely careful and precise writer, and anything hinted at in his writing is almost certainly intentional.

        • Neil Saunders

          Not true, strictly speaking. Orwell loathed Stalinism, but believed in democratic socialism to his dying day.

          What he would never have believed in is the identity politics of PC (derived from the Frankfurt School and Gramsci).

          • Ed  

            If you want to study “identity politics” and socialism, don’t forget to include in your research Jim Crow, Apartheid and the Nuremberg laws. These are all cardinal sources for attitudes that put one’s blood above one’s intellect, and all came from different strains of socialism, ranging from the US Democratic Party to the German National Socialists. Stalin had to kill the Kulaks, and Mugabe had to kill the Matabele. It’s all about the group.

            On the other side of the debate is Martin Luther King’s great quote “…not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Highly individualist. Words to live by.

          • Neil Saunders

            It’s important to bear in mind that Hitler’s National Socialists were “socialists” in name only. Which is not, of course, to deny that some fairly awful ideologies have traded legitimately under that name. Orwell himself was a severe critic of the authoritarian left, which has misled many – especially Americans – into thinking that he was politically on the right.

            I’d also be very reluctant to gloss King’s famous words as some kind of rallying cry for individualism; he was more akin to a democratic socialist, which clearly made him a much-feared and -suspected figure in the United States, and may have led to his assassination (and the quiet but insistent campaign of vilification that has been conducted against him since his death).

          • Ed  

            I didn’t “gloss” King’s words, I was careful to quote them exactly, and this sort of thing is exactly why. He said it, he meant it, and many socialists today are uncomfortable with that, so I think it’s worth remembering. Not least because I agree with him.

            I’m also uncomfortable excluding national socialism from the larger socialism family. It seems to me the whole core approach of socialism is about addressing people as groups, instead of individuals, and the only real difference is how you define the groups; by blood or by treasure. The ultimate evil stems from the “groups” approach. Once you set define a group, someone is excluded; and that someone is in mortal danger. Stalin killed the Kulaks, Mugabe massacred the Matabele, Pol Pot killed the university professors, Hitler killed the Jews, Mao murdered the middle class. And on and on. It’s all the same, in the end.

          • Neil Saunders

            I think this conflating of Nazism with socialism is a relatively recent, predominantly American trend.

            I don’t think there’s a society on earth that doesn’t sort people into in-groups and out-groups; the problem doesn’t lie with including (or excluding) people, but with losing sight of basic humanity and doing cruel and stupid things.

          • Ed  

            If we’re going to talk about cruelty and stupidity, then Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, Mugabe, Chavez, Pinochet, etc, all fit.

            I think also that NOT treating national socialism as socialist is the recent phenomenon, not the other way around. The national socialists themselves were quite clear that they were in opposition to capitalism. Their 25 points, while heavily racial, are also heavily socialist. 7 – the state is responsible for employment. 11 – abolition of unearned income, and breaking of interest debt slavery. And so on.

          • Neil Saunders

            Nonsense. Private enterprise continued under the Nazi regime.

          • Ed  

            Sure it did – as long as it served the purposes of the state. The Nazis weren’t Communists, but they were still socialists.

          • Neil Saunders

            Pretty desperate stuff. You’re stretching the concept of socialism well beyond breaking point.

          • Ed  

            No, actually. Have you read their 25 points? Please examine 7 and 11, among the others.

            Of course, there’s also the name – National Socialist. They didn’t lie when they said they’d kill the Jews, they didn’t lie when they said they’d invade their neighbours, and they didn’t lie when they named their own party.

          • Neil Saunders

            They lied all the time when it suited them. And they were quite happy to stab their own people in the back. Remember the SA?

          • Ed  

            Funny, that. There are occasions they told the truth. They told us they were going to kill the Jews. They told us they were going to invade their neighbours. They told us they were going to break the Versailles Treaty.

            The fact that we didn’t want to hear it, or don’t want to hear it today, doesn’t change the fact that they often did what they said and said what they did.

            Churchill got it. Do you?

          • Neil Saunders

            Few liars lie all the time. The fact that they sometimes tell the truth does not stop them from being liars.

          • Ed  

            True.

            They’re still socialists, for all that.

          • Neil Saunders

            Classic deflection.

          • Ed  

            Sorry if the facts don’t fit your perceptions. They’re still the facts.

          • Neil Saunders

            More deflection.

          • Ed  

            OK, please point out a fact that isn’t, and we can discuss that.

          • Neil Saunders

            A fact that isn’t what?

          • Ed  

            If I’m redirecting things, please pick something I’m redirecting away “from”, to discuss.

          • Neil Saunders

            I don’t understand that remark.

          • Ed  

            You said that I’m deflecting the discussion. What am I deflecting it from?

          • Neil Saunders

            You tell me, since you’re the one doing the deflecting.

          • Ed  

            No, I’m not. You’re the one saying it, so back it up.

          • Neil Saunders

            I’m bored with you, Ed. Your two main techniques of argument are distraction and attrition. I really do have better things to do. Goodbye.

          • Ed  

            You’re “bored”, because you don’t have any answers. Hee hee.

          • Neil Saunders

            “Hee hee.” That’s your level.

          • Ed  

            Surrender accepted.

            But seriously, I’ve made a number of researched points, to which your best, most thought-through answer has been “desperate”. If the information presented is inaccurate, I’d like you to point out where, and how.

            Show your work.

          • JFrary

            In the twenty-first century concept of socialism has grown so elastic that it has no breaking point.

          • Neil Saunders

            In which case, it’s strictly meaningless.

          • Neil Saunders

            You might find this helpful: http://www.ub.edu/graap/nazi.pdf

          • Ed  

            Oh, the Nazis weren’t Communists. They were corporatist socialists. It was fine if the means of production were left in private hands, as long as they were made to serve the purposes of the state. They never made any bones about that.

            They were still socialists, though.

          • Neil Saunders

            No Fascist government would have tolerated anything that wasn’t ultimately in the interests of the state, for reasons too obvious to need spelling out; this would not, however, make them socialist.

          • Ed  

            Yes it does.

          • Neil Saunders

            For heaven’s sake, grow up!

          • Ed  

            You’re entitled to your own opinion. You’re not entitled to your own facts.

            The National Socialists were corporatist socialists. Not tolerating actions that are not in the interest of the state is very close to the fundamental definition of most socialism.

            So, yes it does.

          • Neil Saunders

            Thank you for giving me permission to hold my own opinion. As far as entitlement to facts is concerned, your definition of Nazi state absolutism as somehow constitutive of “most socialism” is tendentious in the extreme, being a glaring (if clumsy) instance of bad logic – specifically that of “affirming the consequent”, with its implication of the syllogism that since “Most socialists are state absolutists, therefore all state absolutists are socialists”.

          • Ed  

            K.

            In what manner do points 7 and 11 of their platform diverge from classic socialism? Please be specific.

          • Neil Saunders

            First, tell us what points 7 and 11 of their “platform” are, to spare us all the tedious legwork.

          • Ed  

            The state shall guarantee all citizens employment, and income that is not from work is to be abolished. Classically socialist.

          • Neil Saunders

            Are you opposed to full employment? And do you think that the latter policy was proclaimed in pursuit of explicitly socialist or merely state-absolutist aims?

          • Ed  

            I didn’t say I was opposed to full employment. That’s only looking at half the statement. What I don’t believe is that it’s the state’s business to guarantee it. In most cases, the best thing the typical state can do is to leave you and me the Hell alone, since the results are ususally so poor when they don’t. That’s less a philosophical point than a track-record one. History shows that higher employment comes from the state creating a free and level playing field, then getting out of the way of employers who want to do things other people find useful. Five-year plans haven’t succeeded here, usually. I do find it odd how when you take 19/6 in the pound away from the folks who have the money, you find they don’t give it to employees or suppliers any more. Weird how that works.

            I think both policies were proclaimed because national socialists were socialists. That’s kinda the point.

            Your observation also goes to illustrate the extent to which socialism and absolutism are circles that overlap. As Charles Krauthammer once commented, “you can do anything you like, so long as it’s mandatory”. There was a recent court case in the midwestern US that punished a bakery owned by a couple of Christians who didn’t want to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple. Catholic groups in the US are now being pursued under Obamacare because they don’t want to purchase the abortion drug for their employees. Comparatively minor stuff, but quite typical. Socialism is a wide field, but a lot of its thinking is imbued with this spirit, and National socialism wasn’t any different.

          • Neil Saunders

            If you believe in a minimal state or anarcho-capitalism, then it’s up to you to argue for it, rather than merely to assume that the alternatives must be wrong by default, and to label them all as “socialism”. It might surprise you to learn that I share a lot of your reservations about the ability of the state to act competently in many important areas of social policy, and the moral legitimacy of its attempts to do so, but this is a large and complex area that is ill-suited to detailed debate on an Internet comments thread.

            I would still contend that the mere fact that the Nazis used “socialist” as part of their name does not automatically make them socialists in the more widely accepted sense (or range of senses) of the word. After all, many extremely undemocratic regimes have called themselves “democratic”, e.g. the DDR, to take a salient example. The “socialist” element in National Socialism is more likely to have derived from the so-called “state socialism” of the Bismarck regime, which was quite deliberately adopted to prevent real socialism from gaining political traction in Germany.

            I’m not really familiar with Krauthammer, so I’m not able to comment in detail about the observation of his that you cite, although I’d be the first to concede that socialism has often coincided with (to me, to you and to many others) unacceptably authoritarian systems of government. Indeed, this was the main point of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: a warning to others on the left in Britain that totalitarianism was just as likely to arise from within their own movement as from the Fascist right.

            I also agree with you about the unacceptable coerciveness shown towards the bakery in the Midwest (which has close analogues in my native Britain), but this does not arise from socialism, per se, but from Political Correctness (of which I am an implacable enemy). PC arose in the United States among the New Left, who had been influenced by the Cultural Marxist writings of Antonio Gramsci, and by the Frankfurt School (Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse, etc); these have little to do with the bread-and-butter social democracy advocated by the Labour movement in Britain, until the electoral success of Thatcher (obtained largely through the anomalies of our first-past-the-post electoral system) led them to abandon it.

            The interesting (and disturbing, to me) thing about Political Correctness is that it can and does quite happily coexist with political movements and organisations that are not remotely socialist or social-democratic in their general nature. Multinational corporations and neoconservatives have quite happily embraced speech codes, anti-discrimination, affirmative action, etc.

          • Ed  

            We pretty much agree, then.

            The main point is then whether national socialism is socialist. It can be demonstrated that it is, in a number of ways. You fundamentally agree that much socialism trends dangerously into absolutism. There are philosophical reasons for that, which can be summed up with Karl Marx’s phrase “the dictatorship of the proletariat”. Swap out “race” for “proletariat”, and you’ve converted international socialism into national socialism. That’s exactly what happened in the NSDAP in the 1920s. That’s why the N and the D are there in their name.

          • Neil Saunders

            I’m sorry, but this is silly, desperate stuff.

          • Ed  

            No, it’s accurate. Look it up.

          • Neil Saunders

            I get the distinct feeling that I’m being “had”. So long, and take care of yourself.

          • Ed  

            At this point, the best thing to do would be to pick through the points I’ve made (since you haven’t made any yourself), and indicate which ones are off base, and in what way.

            That, or you don’t have the answers, and have simply lost the argument. Either way, the ball’s in your court.

            Go.

          • JFrary

            An interesting paper on privatization. We learn that Nazi privatization measure were no ideologically driven.

          • Neil Saunders

            Well, of course. The Nazis were famous for their lack of ideologically-driven policies, weren’t they?

          • Neil Saunders

            Incidentally, Pinochet was NOT a socialist.

        • Neil Saunders

          No he didn’t. Orwell never renounced democratic socialism. His target was the authoritarian socialism of the Stalinists who were prominent in the movement in the 30s and 40s, when he was writing. “Animal Farm” and “Nineteen Eighty-Four” are directed against the followers of Stalin, not socialism in general.

      • Haze

        Being a socialist doesn’t mean you hold the sorts of views this article mocks though. A more appropriate term for people with those views might be “liberal”, though even that has other meanings historically. The left isn’t a single homogeneous entity – it’s possible to be socialist without being liberal and vice versa.

        • Neil Saunders

          It doesn’t help that the American notion of what “liberal” is has displaced in Britain the older and more precise formulations, especially among the under-40s.

      • Patrik Fridén

        He was a social democrat.
        Have you read Animal Farm?
        The pigs are more equal than the rest right?
        Those are the trendsetters of the PC “culture”.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cUC0s0tHBw

    • vieuxceps2

      But if we all refuse to adopt this PCgibberish, this manipulative brainwashery then it won’r work, will it~? I have no intention of shouting rude names at anyone but I’m damned if it’s going to stop me from speaking my mind.

    • Patrik Fridén

      It is, and also in the aspect of “correcting” the past.
      Controlling people’s world view with language and historical revisionism basically, like any totalitarian society would.

  • JSC

    Funny article and most of it bang on, I do take issue with the bit about GenX’ers being responsible for this PC crap. Being part of Generation X, we were all very liberal in the classic sense of the word. Sure, far-right racism wasn’t tolerated but Generation X music, novels and other forms of art was notable for its extreme offensiveness – often to the point where that’s all it had to offer. It’s a mystery to me where all these intolerant neopuritanists have suddenly come from; perhaps we shocked Generation Y too much and this is the result?

    • David S

      Expect you are towards the older end of Gen X. Cut off point seems to be about 1968-70 births, in general, with both honourable and dishonourable exceptions.

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

        How very dare you. I’m Gen X and I was born in the dark age of mid-December, 1967.

    • Jody Taylor

      I agree; this is not the fault of Gen X at all. They’ve just grown up to think it’s desirable and compulsory. They’ve fallen for the politburo line, I’m afraid, and they’re distracted by their iphones.

      I was watching “South Park” last night where a man from a Chinese restaurant was forced to build a wall around South Park to keep out pedophiles. He’d been asked to build the wall because he was, well, Chinese. The hilarious lines this character had in his Quixotian challenge to keep out the “Mongolians” and their attempts to destroy his “shitty” (city) wall were the most un-PC lines I’d heard for a long time. The Chinaman was ‘fighting’ the Mongolians with ladles of hot Chinese sauce in between practicing his martial arts moves. It was hilarious, iconoclastic and even beyond the usual standards of satire for this program. Long live the creators of “South Park” and their fresh take on a world gone mad with censorship, grievance and identity.

      • JSC

        Yes, I do love a bit of South Park myself. If you’ve not already seen it, check out the episode “The Cissy” which has especial relevance to this article.

        It’s sad that such a program could never be made here in Britain. The first “offensive” joke told would be its last; charges of X-ism would levelled, death threats would be made, petitions organised, advertisers intimidated, animators assaulted, police admit powerlessness, the show shut down and the right-on lectures on “the limits of free speech” would be broadcast on the Beeb/Guardian for months later.

        • Eric Cartman

          At recess, Cartman enters the boys’ bathroom. Butters
          is using the bathroom and tells Cartman, with joy that he’s not suspended anymore. Cartman ignores him, however, when finding the stalls to all be taken, he goes through with his plan. He places a bow upon his head and goes into the girls’ bathroom, much to dismay of Wendy and Bebe, as well as Red, saying that he is “transginger” of course meaning transgender.

          Principal Victoria attempts to punish him but to no avail, as Cartman knows he cannot be made to use the bathroom with cisgenders.

          Principal Victoria and Mr. Mackey go to Mr. Garrison
          for help. Mr. Garrison explains that Cartman has got them in a “royal flush” because if they refuse to meet his demands then the media will be
          all over them.

          • JSC

            Wow, Eric Cartman reads the Spectator! hahah

          • Jody Taylor

            I love it; and my adult kids sms whenever “South Park” is on air!!! That’s family bonding for you.

            Cheers, “Timmy”

        • Jody Taylor

          I will watch out for the Cissy program, though I suspect I’ve seen it. Mind you, “Little Britain” was very iconoclastic. “South Park’s” bi-curious is “Little Britain’s” only gay in the village!!

          You are right about the consequences though. Same here in Australia which is dominated by left/green moral guardians and censors. As for the “Guardian”; I refuse to read a newspaper with a reading age of 12. And these people have the colossal hide to accuse the Right of “moral panic”!!! I’d say it is merely ‘projections’ on their part.

      • mohdanga

        Unfortunately South Park does not dare poke fun at a, ahem, certain religion. Their un_PC stops there.

        • Kennybhoy

          Have you no’ seen “Cartoon Wars” Parts I & II? 🙂

        • oldoddjobs

          You’re wrong.

        • Jody Taylor

          Well, that’s not going to last long!!

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

      I blame the baby boomers.

      • Jody Taylor

        It’s the Human Rights Industry behind all this. Ask yourself:

        1. What they PRODUCE which is valuable to the society;
        2. How they contribute to social cohesion with their focus on “individualism”?
        3. Why the taxpayer should be expected to continue their navel gazing activities.

        The execrable Geoffrey Robertson – gawd, you can have him – is the typical asinine face of leftist moral vanity. Pass the bucket.

        Here’s a bloke born into a lower middle class family who went to a NSW state school and then went over to the UK, donned a faux House of Lords accent, accompanied by his vulgar and embarrasing wife – and both ‘support’ Julian Assange (a man accused of statutory rape).

        PLEASE, PLEASE KEEP ALL 3 OF THEM OVER THERE WITH YOU. These people are the living faces of political correctness.

    • Aj Retro

      As a Millenial, I’m very ashamed to say my generation is largely responsible for the upswing in this sort of culture. I was born in the late 80’s and the “self-esteem” movement began when I was going through elementary school (every tee-ball game I played in kindergarten ended in a tie, and having kept score myself, I thought it was ridiculous even at 5 years old), but I imagine it became much much worse by the time the kids born in the 90s started to go through school, especially given the current environment on college campuses.

      With these kids having been raised by helicopter parents and indoctrinated at an early age that “everyone is special” and that everyone gets a trophy just for participating, my generation is full of hypersensitive, entitled babies with fragile egos who believe hard work isn’t that important, and everything they want should be handed to them because of how great they are. This makes instilling of PC culture much easier at college age.

      When they arrive at college, many of these entitled kids get their first taste of the “real world,” and it’s a big scary place, their sheltered lives are challenged for the first time, and their worlds are rocked by the concept of working hard. So rather than buckle down and work towards their goals, their entitled, fragile egos eat up their ideologue professors’ rhetoric about “privilege,” “oppression” and so on. White males are conditioned to develop a nice sense of self-loathing, made to feel guilty about any sort of good upbringing, or masculinity they may have, all solely based on their skin color and genitals, and are shamed for being “privileged oppressors,” while women and minorities are encouraged to develop a strong victimhood complex, never taking responsibility for their actions and blaming their standings in life on an endless stream of “oppression” and consequences out of their control.

      This explains why these PC warriors are never satisfied, never happy, perpetually offended and most definitely don’t believe in earning their place in the world. I feel ashamed to be in the same generation as these idiots.

      • Aj Retro

        Furthermore, the obsession with absurd “pronouns” and “labeling” all stems back from the “everyone is special” rhetoric. These sheltered kids with sensitive egos flaunt every single label they can think of to seem “unique,” hence the fetishization of mental illnesses, non-binary genders, made-up sexualities, and so on.

        They were handed everything they wanted in life and never had to face failing, losing, or hardships, so it explains why hurt feelings are one of the gravest offenses in the world to them.

  • David S

    The Ban Brendan O’Neill day reflects great credit on its organiser. The facebook page makes it clear that this is part of a concerted effort to make sure Cambridge achieves a “red” category by eliminating free speech altogether. The worrying thing is how many people have missed the joke.

  • PetaJ

    Now I’m really, really frightened ……………

  • Cyril Sneer

    Ever wondered why ‘progressive’ emit such blatant double standards? Let me introduce you to the Minority Victim Value Index:

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.de/2012/08/the-minority-victim-value-index.html

  • Cosmo

    Is a “rearguard action” what one should do whilst in the presence of Qs? Oh no, I shall have to dob myself in again.

  • beeranddarts

    Amusing, and yet oh-so depressing. I was bumbling along well enough until I failed on the final hurdle, at “Ze”. I thought I had been sufficiently indoctrinated after years of these teachings, but a swift Google later and it turns out that “Ze” isn’t, in fact, a pisstake (is that still PC, or does it offend the catheterised?), but an actual word. The horror.

    At this point, I must conclude that a lobotomy is the only safe course of action to avoid offending people in future, because when in years to come I spit my supposed insults out in between gobfuls of dribble, nobody will be able to hold it against me.

    And on the plus-side, Scrabble just got a whole lot easier.

  • AffectedNotOffended

    What IS the socially-stigmatising/ violence-inviting word for straight, able-bodied, white, male, rich people?

    We have an embarrassment of riches for literally everyone else.

    And who complains most about language policing?

    Tells you everything you need to know.

    • vieuxceps2

      “What is the socially-stigmatising/violence-inviting word……..etc etc?” Why, they’re called white people or men or normal or chaps or blokes. Sometimes ,when lefty gets more rude than usual he calls them English.Or French or German. Or American if he’s having a bad-hair day.If you feel the need to be ruder than that, why not invent your own terms,after all that’s what you did with the PC game isn’t it?

      • AffectedNotOffended

        Exactly, no word exists. Why IS that?

        Could it have anything to do with centuries of censorship and repressive political correctness by those in charge? That they’ve conveniently brushed under the carpet or can’t see because of their gigantic privilege?

  • AffectedNotOffended

    I love how white men think the language developed naturally and political correctness is a new invention of non white non men.

    It’s like they’ve literally forgotten that they spent several millennia burning books and heretics and banning anyone but themselves from reading, publishing or speaking in public. Or that the last several decades is the first time anyone but themselves has had any influence over the language.

    Suck it up boys, you had your chance to try non-censorship and you blew it.

    • Ed  

      If you want a language, build one. If you want the world to speak your language, run it. That’s how it was done last time.

    • mohdanga

      “…they spent several millennia burning books…”. KInd of hard to do when the printing press has only been around since the late 1400s.
      White men living in Europe had control over Indians and Chinese speaking in public and reading? Who knew!!
      “Or that the last several decades is the first time anyone but themselves has had any influence over the language.” Do the English have influence over Mandarin, Urdu, Farsi and other foreign languages that all have derogatory terms of whites? Then why should people that speak these languages have influence over English?

      • AffectedNotOffended

        What so books weren’t written until there was a printing press? You heard of the Bible and the Koran and the library of Alexandria? Women wrote religious treatises in the first few centuries of Christianity and they were burned, and the men stitched up the dogma.

        • mohdanga

          And these were English texts, correct? Didn’t know that white English speaking men destroyed the library at Alexandria.

          • MenControlTheMedia

            Dont be dense. I said they have burned and destroyed books for millenia. You retorted that this was impossible because you thought books have only been around since the printing press was invented.

          • mohdanga

            And where is your evidence that white English speaking men burned books ‘for millenia’….a difficult task given the modern English language only started about 1,000 years ago.
            Books in the English speaking world prior to the printing press were a relative rarity…only the church and the aristocracy and land owners would have access to them and be able to read. The peasants and serfs would not have been able to read….so why would they have wanted to burn them?

          • MenControlTheMedia

            Ironic that my comment has been moderated wouldn’t you say?

  • AffectedNotOffended

    Like the Speccy boys don’t whine like pyards when their Muslim brothers call them kuffar.

    • vieuxceps2

      Well Old Cock. I’d rather be a Kuffar than a mozzie any day. At least I have a mind of my own,albeit not a good one. But it’s mine nonethelesss.I’m happy to be called Kuffar . It means “infidel” or “non-muslim”. Compliment whichever way you look at it.Now can I use the term “w*g”? Only fair.

      • Trofim

        Excuse my pedantry, but kuffar is plural; kaffir is the singular form

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

          That may be so, but as far as I’m concerned they can stick the kaffirs up their kuffar and lump it. Being wrong about a sick alien ideology’s grammar is one of my many charms.

  • Big Ern

    Wouldn’t it be great if we just lived in a free country where you could say anything and people were free to choose to ignore it if they didn’t like it?

    • AffectedNotOffended

      Yes that would be great if the world was a place where propaganda and incitement didn’t work.

  • FreeKip

    As a rule I go in the opposite direction of anyone checking privilege or using a pc phrase book in order to communicate. It is a path less trodden these days, but worth the walk for anyone who values their individuality and enjoys the company of others who still enjoy free will.

  • Dino Fancellu
  • Mc

    Sad that O’Neill didn’t pull up Tim Squirrell about his infantile claim that the Cambridge debate couldn’t be held on Cambridge premises because students need to have a safe space. As others have said before, the likes of Tim Squirrell are interested in one thing only: exerting control over others. Demands for politeness and non-offensiveness are simply a facade. Rather like socialists and communists who justify their authoritarianism with claims that their activities all for the higher purpose of helping the downtrodden.

    Squirrell et al aren’t even embarrassed by the irony that universities are meant to be the very place where ideas are robustly challenged.

  • Chet Carter

    What’s a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party doing writing for The Spectator?

  • SOMARA556

    This article is so predjudiced against queer intersectional non-gender-identifying Muslim transwomen of color. The author should be re-educated and corrected asap.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

      I’m just offended that he didn’t even mention us non-trans colorqueer interwomen without any sectional identification whatever!

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

    I agree that the American military should not have written that note to the Taliban. We have a rich vernacular of distaste in this country, and they should have known that some varmints just need killin’ was the appropriate phrase.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

    Facebook now has 71 gender choices.
    Someone’s having a fine old laugh. Even Baskin Robbins only boasted ‘thirtyone-derful flavors’.

  • Roy

    Like the school yard, multicultural populations are bound to get the inevitable name calling or worse. In the rest of the animal world their is an even a more aggressive phenomena, when differences in looks and manners are not tolerated and fights and aggression take place until a position of acceptance is arrived at, if it is indeed possible.
    It is obvious that the powers that be do not have an inkling of the nature of animal behavior due to the mixing of differing types. The forces of cohabitation has been proved to be severely detrimental to the health and wellbeing in tested overcrowding and living in too close confinement with others of dissimilar habits.

    • AffectedNotOffended

      Not differences, hierarchies. White male straight people are at the top, they control the resources, they control the language and the sh*t rolls down hill. When ever it threatens to roll up hill they react with blanket press propaganda, censorship, ultra violence and the legal structures they have put in place to protect themselves (see: reaction to jihadists). All the while hypocritically crowing about how libertarian they are and how orthodox and censorious everyone else is.

      • Roy

        I am trying to compare that other animal world out there with the human world. How our leadership has tried to do the impossible and force co-habiting with peoples that don’t mix, and will always cause trouble.
        In a normal society there will always be hierarchies in the leadership. As in, say, the pecking order and herding systems with leaders and followers in the animal kingdom.
        You point out problems that have only arisen because society has seen fit to admit them as normal, when they are new and strange to orthodox living and thinking in the society at large.
        What is wrong with the established society trying to keep a reliable order in the theme of things that is tried and tested over the centuries? It is only natural that people will protest over sudden influxes of foreign people to their country, especially when it incorporates different law structures and terrorism etc.

      • mohdanga

        Are white male straight people at the top in non-white, non English countries? Do they control the resources of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria,etc, all countries with ample resources that could benefit the population but in most cases accrue to those at the top.
        What ‘ultra violence’?? The spineless politicians like Obama and Cameron wax on about ‘nothing to do with Islam’ and are more concerned with hurt Muslim feelings than the indigenous populations they rule.
        If white countries and whites are so bad why do non-whites continue to pour into Western Europe, Canada, the US and Australia? Surely they should stay in their non-white utopias?

      • georgesdelatour

        You’re arguing for the existence of a kind of conspiratorial Protocols of the Elders of Straight White Men. But you offer no data to support it. The data for the UK tends to put whites in the middle of the income distribution, not at the top. A 2006 study (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/research/SocialSciences/Key-Facts-Background-Paper-BPCIV.pdf) tracks household income against religion: people who identify as Jewish come at the top, followed by Sikhs, with Christians in the middle. Maybe some Jews can pass for whites; but Sikhs?

        • Aj Retro

          That’s pretty much all the “Patricarchy” theory is: A socially-acceptable conspiracy theory, virtually interchangeable with the Illuminati conspiracy theory.

  • Guest

  • Sam Martini

    This is a disgusting, unacceptable piece of trash journalism.
    How dare he say ‘their harebrained belief’?

    This is hareism at its most blatant. I’m reporting it to the Home Secretary.
    Did we spend all that money on Leveson to end up with this sort of oppression?

    • Liberanos

      Did you mean Leveretson?

      • Sam Martini

        That’s it!
        Your name goes on the list!
        😉

  • Hard Little Machine

    A good approach would be for everyone to violently scream and protest about everything, literally every word uttered in public. If someone asks you what time it is demand a boycott and a public beheading.

  • http://thelogician.net Avi Sion

    Brilliant, educational article. Shocking, horrific, sad, sick, doomed generation.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Sadly there is zero irony in this.

  • Roger Daily

    Is anyone else offended that this article did not come with a trigger warning?

  • Roger James Michael Sutherland

    Not bad, though I think Jim Goad carried the same concept better for Taki’s Mag a few years ago (“The Progressive Glossary”), offering more concise and Bierce-like definitions. Still, let a gorillion flowers bloom!

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q- fun-time freddie

      Having looked at the piece you refer to, I find it over-obvious (once you get the idea, you get the idea) and, just on the letter C, I’d correct it.

      CHOICE—The act of forcing people to pay for a woman’s one-night stands. You mean she was there by herself? It’s hard enough being the baby-incubating s-x without also taking all the blame for said incubation.

      And he totally missed a trick on this one:

      CORPORATIONS—Malevolent yet generally non-coercive superorganisms that must be combated with a malevolent and entirely coercive superorganism known as government.

      To the contrary: progressives believe that government — their government, the one they control or hope to control or try to control — is entirely benevolent and wonderful and well-meaning even as and when it strips the citizens of their freedoms. Coercion to their mind is just about making people ‘do the right thing’, even though this same Leftist mind does nothing but crack on about how relative everything is. Talk about a lack of self-understanding! They don’t see who the really threatening authoritarians are!

      [Not that it’s a competition, but since you made it one:] My laurel goes to Brendan O’Neill.

      • MenControlTheMedia

        Who gets forced to pay for a woman’s one night stands? Are you talking about rapists?

      • Roger James Michael Sutherland

        His definition of “choice” is not amiss if you acknowledge the fact (not opinion) that other people are forced to pay for so-called reproductive health programmes on both sides of the Atlantic, as if tax payers have an obligation to subsidise the mistakes of women who’ve chosen to make them but don’t want to pay their own dues. They can, rightly, choose to sleep around, but if we choose not to pay taxes to bail them out, prosecution awaits. Choice for some, compulsion for others. It looks straightforward to me.

        If you think Goad is claiming that big government advocates would describe their state as “malevolent”, you might have misread his definition. He is writing from his own point of view, not theirs. Your second paragraph seems like a reasonable exposition of his definition, at least according to my reading of it.

        Fair enough if you prefer O’Neill, though! I favour Goad’s succinct vulgarity.

  • jusletnuknow

    Brendan O’Neill – I am surprised he did not put in P for Paddy, or T for Thick Mick, both used very commonly in the past and still be some people as a term of abuse to people of Irish or celtic origin. Note, not as part of he right to offend, but as part fo the non-right to abuse, physcialincluding i abuse. I particualrly liked the atempt to appropriate Martin Luther King – presumably BON thinks that now is that golden time that MLK was referring to where no person with a different skin colour is treated differently and we are all judged by oiur character. What a clown!
    P.S. There is another way of saying PC – it is do unto others as you would have done unto you. Where does that come from and is it a left-wing crazy minority idea?

    • zoid

      interesting that you seem to be broadly in support of the politicisation of language as a tool of social control, but that you’re quite happy to use epithets that irish people, not just brendan. may find offensive…

      in line with the current thinking and the way that the appropriate legislation reads, then i’m offended on brendan’s behalf….which means that you’ve committed a hatecrime……

      ….stupid innit? outlawing words that are in the dictionary and making up more to avoid ‘offending’ the terminally offended/those who are professionally offended for money/the ‘more right on than thou’ types, giving them something else to whinge about…

      • jusletnuknow

        The point of what I wrote, oh man who appears not to have any understanding of irony, is that BON appears to have left out items that could be construed as offensive to Irish people (I presume he is of Irish origin, though of course I could be wrong) and that is indicative of him believing that some offensive terms should not be used. I can’t believe he just forgot there were epithets that were (and are) aimed at Irish people, that did indeed induce hate crimes.
        I haven’t committed a hate crime as is quite clear from the legislation. Read it and then come up with a sensible comment instead of whinging pointlessly about free speech when you have no understanding of it and have probably done nothing in your life to promote it except whinge to your friends or on websites.

        • jusletnuknow

          BTW if I was genuinely interested in free speech I would be actively supporting organisations such as Index on Censorship or PEN – people who are fighting for the rights of genuinely brave people around the world (including the UK) who are really risking their lives for free speech (not mentioned in the spiked manifesto and I cannot find much mention anywhere). I had the honour a few years ago to be invited to the Index annual awards (merely attending it put some of the awardees at greater risk). Attacking PC is just an excuse for armchair politicians (mainly white males IMBO) to splutter into their tea rather than think about real issues and do something (and yes, I do, and have done, things).

          • Zach Smith

            Apparently, you believe censorship is good, as long as it is practiced by people of good faith and good hearts, who don’t particularly censor things you agree with. You don’t seem to be interested, however, in protecting the speech of people you disagree with. I assume you are unable to understand the danger in such an approach.

          • jusletnuknow

            Is this comments board (and readers of the Spectator) full of peoiple who don’t understand anything, inlcuding irony? As should be apparent from my message above I am very interested in preserving free speech and protecting those who use it, whatever their policitical views, so long as it does not involve the active promotion of violence agaisnt individuals or groups who are different to them. I have spent my whole life, in one way or another actually doing things to promote freedoms of others (by which I mean actively as opposed to message boards) including freedom of speech. I actually don’t believe in any form of censorship at all save for protection from harm of vulnerable groups where a clear causal link can be established between the thing said and the harm (e.g. I say kill the English and Englsih are killed (shortly after) by the listeners (though there are other complications in law and causation). I also think that no freedom is absolute – it is always balanced against another freedom – and that is from knowing intimately the history of the development of those freedoms and the philoophical underpinning of those freedoms in common law systems (e.g. the freedom to do what you want is balanced by the freedom of others not to be interfered with to their detriment by you doing what you want – pretty much the definition of common law negative rights). The understanding of negative rights as opposed to positive rights helps you to understand the reasons common law systems have a much more liberal/free history than civil law systems. The problem with all you guys are you think freedom of speech means talking shit (which of course it does to some extent) without any detail or consideration of actual scenarios or effects. The devil (and god) is always in the detail as is freedom. Start reading some books about it.

  • jusletnuknow

    Sorry about the typos – had to do quick as off to work.

  • Lynn Robinson

    I love Ed (from comments), someone should give him his own column. This article is important! Thank you for writing it. My white privileged ass is so confused these days about what I’m to feel shame about. Every conversation is a ticking time bomb and I’m the target. Are you a good person? Great – let’s start and end there and find a place for everything in between from our empathy for each other as humans on a shared planet. Please and Thank You 😉

  • seouldout

    T is for trigger warning. Its purpose is to warn feeble-minded people, say uni students, who are easily offended that they might find what is being posted or discussed offensive in some way due to its content, causing them to overreact or otherwise start acting like a dipshit. For instance a trigger warning ought to have preceded (Mr) O’Neill’s A-Z Guide. Keep in mind for some the word “trigger” may actually be their trigger. Tread carefully.

  • Zerbertina

    Gen X-er here. We didn’t create PC. It was forced down our throats by Boomers who taught in universities in the early 90’s. Many of us rebelled against it.

  • http://twitter.com/lexcorvus Lex Corvus

    Under T I’d add Tolerance, but this is a quibble. Good show!

  • seouldout

    S is for snigger. An inoffensive word meaning half-suppressed laugh. Use this word among a grievance group and you’ll brought up on hate-speech charges. Use snicker. See also Niggardly.

  • Cobbett

    This is today’s ‘West’…worth fighting for?

  • Claud Hopper

    Dinosaurs! I can’t believe that one. Does this mean that atheists are privileged? Find a black LGBTAAP disabled female-orientated person and make her democratically elected Queen of the World and we can all then get off our privileged penis-shaped pedestal.

  • http://social.xfire.com/profile/darkfie1d Darkfield

    It was just fucking great!

  • Sean Detente

    Kind of missed “P for Patriarchy”. That seems to be a pretty catch conspiracy theory for feminists, too.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    Nothing on Zionists, the source of all evils?

  • http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu RhymesWithRight

    B is for “Bugger Off” — what I tell any PC idiots who try to enforce this crap with me.

  • Simon Fay

    I never for a moment thought that this sh1t had passed away. If anything it has got rather stronger in recent years, helped by social media’s proliferation, a Machiavellian elite’s Gantt charts and the induction of ever-more-indoctrinated cohorts of vindictive little drones.

  • therealguyfaux

    Intersectionality– where you get the proverbial two-for-the-price-of-one, as you are not only a womyn, you are a womyn of colour! Hence, you are doubly fortunate in the PC Top Trumps! On the gender issue, perhaps a white woman trumps a black man, on strictly -female-specificity like “reproductive rights”– certainly generally, where there is no genderness to be considered, the black man trumps the white woman. But hey, the black woman is in a special position, able to chime in on both sets of issues– unless she is told “Don’ be dee-masculinizin’ the brutha– the white man been doin’ that fo’ fi’ hunnud years!” or “Don’ think that jus’ ‘coz you be black, you ain’ affected by womens bein’ underpaid an’ $#!t– shee-it, y’all got it even worse den those white beeyotches wit’ they straight hair an’ $#!t– so stan’ wit’ yo white sista on equal pay!”

    It might turn out to be an intersection without a traffic light and nobody knowing who’s supposed to yield.

  • khrysoprase

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry that this is so spot on!

  • C. S. P. Schofield

    You, sir, have an instinct for the jugular.

  • Ariep

    How dare you identify generations. A clear case of age discrimination. Almost as O as the D-word.

  • http://nzillatron.wordpress.com/ Norbert Zillatron

    Warning!
    This article may contain traces of irony and sarcasm. Perceptionally or intellectually challenged people should not have read it!

  • David Mullen

    Hilarious in parts.Some people setting themselves up as philosophers,only to be taken down quicker than they got up there in the first place!

  • davejon

    I have a black female dog and a white wife, so I refer to them in public as my “black bitch” and my “white bitch” – also I use “queer” often to describe something odd and not quite right. Young people are stupid and unclean if they subscribe to that nonsense outlined above. A life of unemployment, strife and misery awaits them. BTW – blacks are not racist. Only whites are.

  • Patrik Fridén

    I as in Idiotic Occupational Government/Culture.

  • truthteller13

    We can’t say the for “tranny???” I love that word.

    TRANNY….TRANNY….TRANNY….

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