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Saturday, 8 September 2012

The British and Political Correctness

I remember that, when I first came to live in London from Italy in 1984, before political correctness had begun in earnest, I read in books and magazines and heard on the TV many jokes about, say, the French or the Germans which, if they had been about blacks or Muslims, might have started a riot in the ethnic communities areas.

I've never, throughout all the decades I've been living here, seen any sign of discrimination, not even the slightest, tiniest and most insignificant, against Africans, West Indians and Asians, but Europeans were fair game.

Being Italian, it also happened to me sometime to hear jokes or other stereotypes about Italians.

The British then seemed to suffer from a superiority complex and to believe that no one in the world could be as good as they were.

A certain degree of political correctness existed already but, as I said, it was exclusively for the benefit of non-Westerners and anyway not yet as ferocious and draconian as was to become later.

Eventually that political correctness seems to have affected, as if by contagion, unintentionally, Europeans too.

I didn't think that I would ever say this but I would rather change the present time for the days when, yes, the English were a bit insufferable at times with their self-importance, but at least people were freer to speak and they didn't have to censor every word for fear of the thought police as they are now.

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