Offended? You respond to Michael Bywater's attack on political correctness...

view gallery VIEW GALLERY


Think before you speak


What do anti-PC lobbyists want? The right to call out insults at every passing OAP, fat person, black person, veil-wearing person, disabled person? Will the new political correctness be unlimited offensiveness? Since when did the right to be as vilely insulting as one likes become the mark of an advanced society? If people want to go back to the days when landlords could advise, "No blacks, Irish or dogs" with impunity, just go on giving the foul-mouthed bigots a licence to present themselves as brave upholders of free speech. Otherwise, think before you speak.



Larkspur_14

Try moderation

Might there just be a middle way between the ludicrous situation where one has to choose words so very, very carefully, where "failure" becomes "deferred success", etc – and a return to a bullying and bigoted society?

Chrisp666

Don't be so ungrateful!

Yeah, all those dark-skinned types who just cannot take a good joke at their expense, and all that other PC garbage can just go home then, eh? And just leave us normal good-humoured Brits to ourselves to be comfortable making whatever comments make us feel better about ourselves. How dare "other" people take offence – didn't we treat them all so well during the Empire? Ungrateful, is what I say. Shameful. If only every one of them was like Prince Charles's polo friend "Sooty" who knew his place.

Boudicca_Brown

We're all different

1) We all have different definitions of what is "offensive". 2) The corporate and media response to offensive remarks is disproportionate.

Shegelu

Let's take responsibility

The other day, I read that the rebellious spirit of 1968 is resurfacing at universities – I applaud these students! I hope they shake up society and help us rediscover some "old- fashioned" values, like thinking for ourselves, taking responsibility, not blaming others, etc.

Taxan975

You have to experience it

Perhaps if Michael Bywater had the experience of bringing up a mixed-race child in an openly racist community he would be less likely to sit comfortably with the golly image. Unless one goes through oppressive experiences, it seems one is unable to understand or act sensitively to the plight of others in a less fortunate position... hurtful words can have long-term consequences for a person's mental health and self-esteem.

Splash_8

Boot on the other foot

It is never admitted or discussed, by the way, that non-white people also have their own nicknames or terms - of varying degrees on the scale of derogatoriness – for white people.

Catherine Doherty, Australia

Some boots are mightier

While it is true that different nationalities, races, etc have derogatory terms for others, real harm begins when there is no balance in power between the groups. White people still hold most power and influence, and their derogatory words, accordingly, have more power and harm in them.

Triestine

Try to be like Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson clearly intended the "one-eye Scottish idiot" summary of the Prime Minister to be disparaging. It's a simple use of rule of three listing, whereby the first two articles are emphasised and defined by the emphatic and indisputable third. It is a comedy staple. So yes, "one-eyed" and "Scottish" were employed by Clarkson to suggest some manner of absolute deficiency in our great leader, but it was a remark made by a silly old man in too-tight trousers. Now, if Clarkson has just one quality going for him, it's that he has the backbone to get on with his life after being so thoroughly insulted – as, I'm sure, does Gorden Brown, most one-eyed people and the Scots. We might all aspire to be more like Clarkson.

Turk_ diddler

Legislate on language

We need a definitive list of words or phrases that might insult or cause stress to others - and we need to see it enshrined in law.

leewilson

Offendedly superior

Readiness to be affronted is a means of implying how much higher than others is the moral plane upon which the affrontee exists.

dinsylwy

Political misdeeds

I'm offended Blair took the UK to war, I'm offended that Brown encouraged a financial system that was bound to implode, I'm offended that laws are passed that take away my freedom to "prevent terrorism".

sc_dunfermline

Old-fashioned values?

Whatever happened to sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me?

andrea_2

And the debate rages on... Have your say at independent.co.uk/offence

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
people
Sport
SPORT
News
people
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Biggins as Mrs Smee in Peter Pan
theatreHow do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY - An outstanding high level opportunity...

Austen Lloyd: Construction Solicitor - London

Very Competitive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NICHE CITY FIRM - We are making a disc...

Austen Lloyd: Construction Solicitor - London

Very Competitive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NICHE CITY FIRM - We are making a disc...

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick