Have you ever noticed how refreshing it is when someone says what they're really thinking and to hell
with the consequences? By contrast, how sickening it is to hear someone grovelingly attempt to justify
having once said, done or believed something that is now deemed unacceptable. Values change with the
times, certainly, but where did we get the idea that our past belongs in the confessional? When we read
something that might be considered non PC what do we find most disconcerting, the fact that the writer
has broken the rules or the dreadful acknowledgement that we might have done the same?
Does anyone ever stop to think what we're doing when we apologetically utter that enfeebling expression
"Oops, we're not allowed to say that now"? I recently heard a journalist on the radio describe how he
survived rolling his classic sports car many years ago. His story shocked me, not because he also
admitted to being rolling drunk at the time (we've all done that), but because he knew it wasn't
politically correct to admit that what saved his life was not wearing a seat belt. As he spoke
I sensed him genuflecting to the nursery God, "forgive me Nanny for I didn't know any
better at the time".
It's a fallacy to believe that forbidding the expression will inhibit the thought. I've noticed an increasing
tendency amongst kids to use "immigrant" as an insult. Not just casually, but spat with the same venom
as words like paki and nigger. So how long will it be before the "i" word becomes taboo and takes its place
in the naughty corner? The proliferation of the politically correct mind-set is a naive attempt to avoid
confronting the inconvenient truths about human nature by painting life baby pink. It's telling people
they won't be invited to the party if they don't at least pretend to play nicely.
Having grown up in an era that valued freedom of thought I can't understand how we could possibly have
reached the situation where we now feel obliged to apologise for contradicting the latest approved version
of contemporary wisdom. Even as I write this I find myself briefly wondering if I'm allowed to criticise the
established principal of self censorship. Allowed by who, for Christ's sake? It was understandable that
everyone was expected to sing from the same infernal song sheet when there was a war on, but there
isn't one now. Not a real one anyway. And yet the inadvertent release of an unfashionable notion
seems to be more shameful than a good fart at the dinner table.
Between them 1984 and Brave New World were accurate predictions of the future because they
documented the logical progression of a process that had been well known for centuries. If you beat
a dog for long enough it thinks it deserves it. After years of suffering the restrictive regimen of the
stick in the hope of jam tomorrow, we were finally offered the carrot which, in gratitude, we accepted.
Then sadly, we chose to beat ourselves with it.