06 May 2010

Why are British people afraid?

Yesterday, I was accused of not being ‘politically correct’ in my opinion on freedom of speech. The accuser obviously didn’t know me well enough to understand that one of my pet hates is the business of being PC all the time. I am not a diplomat. I do not work for or get paid by any government organisation. Therefore, I believe I have the right to say what I like when I like without any fears of being ‘held to account’ by any organisation.
Moreover, I am not in the habit of saying anything wild or offensive to people. If I did the members of the BBCU would soon tell me.

Obviously, there is a line to be drawn concerning what you actually say and one must remember to not cause offence or insult to any individual or group. However, I do feel that this PC business has gone completely over the top particularly in the United Kingdom. Why do I mention this?

Well, just to show I am not getting too old, I have been using Facebook to keep in contact with old friends, some of who still live in the UK and others who now live in other parts of the world. I have recently exchanged messages and emails with many people, some of whom I have not been in contact with for over forty years or more.
Each and every one of these people expressed their concerns over the issue of ‘freedom of speech’ in the United Kingdom. Many have told me how they feel afraid to say what they really want to say. This fear is as a result of the likely or maybe certain consequences that follow for someone who says something to a colleague in a work environment or in a public place and it is considered to be ‘not correct’.

All these comments make me think…’What’s happened to British people’.
This PC ‘system’ is like something you would expect from a country in the former USSR. But those of us who live and work in former soviet countries all agree that we do not live in fear of any PC environment. In former soviet countries we have freedom to say whatever we like. Who would have thought this? (Admittedly the freedom of the press/media in many former soviet countries is another issue).

The Australians have been demonstrating recently how they will ‘say what they like’ when discussing the thorny subject of immigration. Many in the Australian government have voiced openly how they intend to protect Australian culture and if immigrants coming to Australia do not like it…then don’t come to Australia is what they are told.
This is refreshing. Why can’t British people do the same?

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