Sunday, March 05, 2006

Well golly!

The Magistrates Blog has reported on this little gem from the news. A shopkeeper in Bromyard, Herefordshire who was displaying Gollywogs in his window had then removed by the police after a complaint from a member of the public that they were racist. They were later given back after the CPS advised NFA.

Initially when I heard this story on the news, I thought "Dammit, another case of political correctness taken way too far, which will only get the public more against us". However, I've been forced to reassess this viewpoint. Firstly, most of the comments on The Magistrates site seem to suggest that they do find the Gollywogs offensive, and were glad they were removed. No one was suggesting that the shopkeeper was delibrately seeking to offend, but hey, he wasn't charged - sensibly.

In the end, I have to concede that perhaps here, political correctness did have a part to play. A complaint was made, and sensible action taken - the offending articles removed and the shopkeeper advised. If a complaint hadn't been made, I'm sure no action would have been taken.

Its therefore unfortunate that because political correctness is often taken too far (still no arrests from those cartoon demonstrations?), its often always assumed that its a bad thing. Its not. Political correctness is needed, but its also needed to be sensibly applied.

Which is exactly why I've pointed out that in this circumstance, I agree with the action taken, but have also referred to the Gollywogs as "Gollywogs", and not "Gollys".


At 2:32 pm, Blogger Chairwoman of the bored said...

I'm a baby-boomer, and when I was a child we all had Gollies. Let me assure you I loved my Golly, its name, strangely enough, was Golly, and I still have a photo of him.

I had absolutely no idea that he was anything but a Golly. He wasn't supposed to be a person. He was what he was. It wasn't until people started making a fuss about them that the man in the street was made aware that they were apparently some ghastly racist caricature.

I'm Jewish. Should I object that Mr Punch, or the wicked witch of the west have large crooked noses?
If we try we can find prejudice anywhere. I wish everybody would stop looking for differences and start finding similarities.

At 8:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only had a toy gollywg as a war baby and I loved it to bits. Never thought of offending anyone. When is this nonsence going to stop? Where can I get a gollywog, to bring back the baby memories of 1946/7?

At 8:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is time that the Police stopped taking these frivilous complaints seriously, they should start using common sence.

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