Michael Howard: I will end the insanity of political correctness

From a speech by the Conservative leader, given in Stafford
Click to follow
The Independent Online

In Britain today, political correctness has gone mad. And it is driving people crazy. There are so many examples of political correctness, it's hard to know where to start.

In Britain today, political correctness has gone mad. And it is driving people crazy. There are so many examples of political correctness, it's hard to know where to start.

Staff were warned by their local council not to drape England flags from office windows during the last World Cup in case it offended those supporting other teams. A father of four who chased a gang of vandals with a rolling pin for his own protection because they had just smashed his shop window was bound over to keep the peace and charged with carrying an offensive weapon. A magistrate who, when considering a publican's request for an extra hour's drinking, ruled that St George's Day was not "a special occasion" - even though the publican had not encountered any such problem with a similar request for the Chinese Year of the Goat.

Political correctness has been used as an excuse to increase centralisation and the power and size of Whitehall. The Government is currently recruiting new officials at the rate of 511 a week. Political correctness is, in essence, about power. It is someone telling someone else what to do, how to behave, how to speak, how to think. That is why the politically correct brigade needs bureaucrats who churn out paperwork, telling us what to say, what to do, what not to do.

You should be free to lead your lives as you see fit. We will only intervene when the need to do so is clear and necessary. We will end the culture of regulation, interference and centralisation which is destroying our sense of community. Once again, government will serve the people. It will no longer be its master.

Comments