TCS Daily


The Paris Hilton School of Political Science

By Val MacQueen - February 3, 2006 12:00 AM

Sometimes I get the eerie feeling that Britain is being governed according to the Paris Hilton school of political science. When asked if any articles about her had appeared in the UK, Hilton replied no, but there had been some in London. When told that London is in the UK, she answered, "Whatever. UK. Right."

Tony Blair couldn't have put it any better himself.

Unlike his long line of predecessors, Blair is curiously uninterested in the history and traditions of the countries which make up the United Kingdom and the historical development of laws, including the freedom of speech and thought that the British have enjoyed -- in sharp contrast to citizens of European countries -- for 800 years. Sometimes he seems to be barely aware of the nature of the people he is governing and anyway, the past is another country. Enjoying far greater power than the President of the United States, Blair has, in the words of conservative columnist Melanie Phillips, "ripped the heart out of the ... British constitution" and "has behaved like a constitutional vandal, fragmenting the United Kingdom and destroying the independence of the second chamber."

Most alarming is the New Labour focus on controlling not only speech, but thought. Political correctness is thought-control under a less threatening name, and The Times of London's Europe correspondent Anthony Browne has described the descent into a Kafkaesque world in his new pamphlet, The Retreat of Reason, published by conservative think tank Civitas. He demonstrates that the new ideology has effectively stifled public debate on topics the government doesn't want discussed. He adds that throughout all levels of government now, "there is an intellectually dishonest response by people who preferred political correctness over factual correctness".

He cites, among other examples, the explosion of HIV infection in Britain. The politically correct response is, too many teenagers are indulging in unprotected sex, which, as we know, won't stand up to scientific scrutiny, but never mind. The factual response is, immigration from Africa. With regard to the rise in anti-Semitic attacks, Brown cites the politically correct response of gangs of white skinheads. The factually correct response is Muslim youths.

Perhaps most disturbing is, this school of political correctness and the devil with the facts has seeped through Britain's police departments where it has been adopted with enthusiasm.

A woman by the name of Lynette Burrows, who is a kind of family values campaigner, took part in a BBC radio discussion panel about Britain's new civil partnerships Act that allows gays to enjoy the same legal rights as married people. Burrows does not appear to be opposed to the Act, but the mother of six doesn't think gay men should be allowed to adopt boys. She said that placing a boy with two homosexual men would offer the same risk as placing a little girl with two straight men who shared a house. Her comments were mild and not hostile to homosexuals.

A keen member of the public called the police and the police contacted Burrows saying "a homophobic incident" had been reported against her. As recently as five or six years ago, the response of the police to such a caller would have been, "Well, it's a free country. The lady can hold any views she likes and can say them to whoever she likes."

Not any more. According to The Daily Telegraph, a spokesman for the Fulham police said, "It is standard practice for all parties to be spoken to, even if the incident is not strictly seen as a crime. It is all about reassuring the community. We can confirm that a member of the public brought to our attention an incident, which he believed to be homophobic.

"All parties have been spoken to by the police. No allegation of crime has been made. A report has been taken but is now closed." A report has been taken? He said it was policy for "community safety units" (isn't an entire police department a community safety unit?) to investigate "homophobic, domestic and racist incidents" because these were "priority crimes". I have no doubt that with the burgeoning violence on the streets, daylight muggings, burglaries with violence, drive-by shootings and a soaring murder rate, the British would prefer real crimes be given "priority" status.

Meanwhile, Burrows has commented, "They were leaning on me, letting me know that the police had an interest in my views. I think it is sinister." Indeed.

Next, we come to public enemies 73-year-old Joe Roberts and his wife Helen, 68, who complained when they saw a table in their local council office displaying homosexual literature. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts were of the opinion that taxpayer-funded premises and employees should not be used for promoting lifestyle issues and called to complain, as is their right. The council reacted negatively, whereupon the pair asked whether they could at least display some Christian literature on the same table. Permission was refused on the grounds that it might give offence to the gay community. Mr. Roberts hit back with along the lines of "Well, what if I'm offended by homosexuality?" The phone call ended and that should have been the end of the angry exchange.

Mr. Roberts had issued no threats and had simply expressed an opinion that might not be uncommon among his age group. He wasn't advocating violence or discrimination against gays. It was a harmless complaint to his local town hall. But in today's Britain, the holding of unfashionable, or outdated, views is not only not tolerated, but is subject to police scrutiny.

The next day, two police officers came to call on the elderly couple and spent over an hour grilling them about the 10-minute phone call. The officers told the pair that they were "walking on eggshells". The Robertses were left with the impression that repeating their request to the council could lead to their being charged with a crime.

National British columnist Peter Hitchens, writing in the conservative Daily Mail, argues that British police officers now "have been carefully and systematically trained in the [Orwellian] Newspeak of the New Left." He writes that he has been shown a document that is used to train officers in "community awareness" and that "it smacks of the re-education camp and the thought police."

"Land of hope and glory, mother of the free"? I think not.

Val MacQueen is a TCS contributing writer.

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9 Comments

The (global?) Paris Hilton School of Political Science
I'm currently living in Australia (Melbourne) and your article quickly reminded me of the recent racially motivated riots in Sydney.
I am an immigrant to this country. I'm originally from Mexico. I'm making a good living in this country which I really like, but U can tell you right now, that this country has also embraced the political correctness b.s. in a big way.
I can tell you that there is some form of racism (from white people) in this country, but also, due to the government's Paris Hilton policies, those Muslim youths in Sydney seem to be able to freely harass and abuse people, because the authorities are so scared of being perceived as being biased against them.
For the same reason, they refuse to accept that some underlying racism exists in the country, as I mentioned before.
My point is that I absolutely agree with the content of your article, and again, it's not happening only in the UK.
From my personal point of view, this country (Australia) will get into serious trouble in the not so distant future, because hiding under the umbrella of P.C. (b.s.) everybody refuses to acknowledge that allowing into the country so many unskilled (Asians) or fanatic (Muslims) immigrants is a recipe for disaster.
I know that people who read this will start pounding me, and the old argument of "you can not say that all of them are like that" will promptly arise. I know not all of them are like that, but the few good ones can not make up for the (many) bad ones. I think this particularly applies to Muslims, since their views are so drastic and irrational. They complain that the world is against them, but they can not tolerate other religious beliefs, other ways of thinking. They can not even tolerate women (who are just one more piece of furniture for them). But nothing of this is said aloud because we are in the times of P.C. (b.s.)

The Paris Hilton School of Political Science
""Land of hope and glory, mother of the free"? I think not."

Oh, partially true, I think. The Scepter'd Isle is still the Mother of the Free, but sadly, she's rather dotty now and needs bundling off to the Home.

PC Bill of Rights
All this nonsense is based upon the following:

1. The right to be free from the consequences of your own stupid choices.
2. The right to demand acceptance and approval from people who think you made dumb choices.
3. The right to be free from restrictions on your ability to make more dumb decisions.

Anyone care to add some more?

Gee Cydonio were are you hiding
The NSW Gov scarred of Muslims your full of it. Did they not pass special stop and cease laws to shut the riots down. Over a thousand police were put on the streets and whole bubs shutdown. Now maybe we don't do third world style and just start shooting people like they do in your country but we like our methods just fine.
As a mexicon you would know that many Americans have a problem with your kind coming to the fair country as well. So maybe we should take your advice and deport all this third world trash yourself included out of Australia. Maybe before opening that ignorant mouth of your you could explain that the last two riots we have had in Sydney were by Anglos, one when police tried to arrest a driver of a stolen car and the second started by white supremacists who would put you in the same hole as the Jews and Muslims they hate.

Thought Police?
Humm...while I guess in principle I understand and agree with the author of this article, and I think it is rather creepy to have the police come to a person's door to investigate something they said, and this kind of state or police action is something we don't really want happening, I am nevertheless in a way glad to see it happen in these two cases. SOMETHING has to be done to STOP these kinds of ignorant and emotionally-backward people who have been causing so much trouble for so many for so long. Like Dark Ages clerics of ancient history, their day is PAST. I think that while they do have a right to say what they think, no matter how stupid it is, maybe, finally, society as a whole is sick of them, thank God, and want them to just shut up and keep their bloody lies and opinions to themselves instead of blabbing it all over the televisions or in government offices, etc. As a MALE, I am deeply offended by that woman's characterizing all males as pedophiles, so that two gay fathers would endanger an adopted little boy and two straight fathers (if there even WERE two straight men who would possibly adopt a child together, which there isn't) would endanger a little girl. This kind of attitude adds not one whit of intelligence to any serious discussion and should be shut up and taken off the (public) airwaves. Likewise, the elderly couple upset that some government office is attempting to assist the acceptance of the "gay lifestyle" (which is a meaningless concept)...that isn't even close to the same thing as pushing the literature of a seriously devisive religion whose goals are the exact opposite of the one of British civil society, that is, to form a safe and accepting culture for all citizens who make up the whole of British society. The classic limitor on free speech is "shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater when there is no fire," and these two examples fall squarely within that limit. Assuming a pedophilic sexual danger from two men is shouting "fire" in a non-burning theater, as is being offended by gay-acceptance literature in a government office. I think the punishment for these people is to be sent back to school so that they can learn something. That way, when they speak, as is their right, they will issue forth something INFORMED and worth listening to. Otherwise shut them the hell up.

Swift?
Thomas,

I truly hope you are just offering a Swiftian "Modest Proposal" Or do you really wish for the marginalization of all who do not share your worldview?

Political Correctness
I had already heard about the "friendly re-educational police visit" to the elderly couple - and I completely agree that such visits are not visits but coercions, something we thought we had eradicated - or were trying to when going on the barricades in the 60ies and 70ies.
We had even thought discrimination would disappear. But here I have to give the good lady in Britain something to think: If she believes that men should be banned from asdopting children (and perhaps from sitting next to children on a plane, as brought forth by the "politically correct" rulers of New Zealand and Australia) - while no such limitations are applied to any women (perhaps even some like the late Myra Hindley, or the child rapists of Angers, who were 40% women) methinks she cannot claim to be an "Egalitarian". Her argument is discriminatory and sexist. I'm afraid: She does not deserve our support - but some re-education - simply a very basic lesson in "What is Equality?" and "What is Prejudice?". - You, on the other hand, are wrong to say her argument was "not hostile". Of course it was: She called ALL MEN child rapists - if that's not hostile, what is? Would she also fear for little girls brought up by *******s? All her thoughts are built on is that TABOO of "WOMEN DON'T DO THAT". Equality means: we have to see, to recognize, and to accept that there are Men and Women who are good - and Women and Men who are bad. Equality is equal in good as in bad. If your good "Lady of the Correct Manor can't see that - Don't listen to her.
Jo Boost

Political Correctness
I had already heard about the "friendly re-educational police visit" to the elderly couple - and I completely agree that such visits are not visits but coercions, something we thought we had eradicated - or were trying to when going on the barricades in the 60ies and 70ies.
We had even thought discrimination would disappear. But here I have to give the good lady in Britain something to think: If she believes that men should be banned from asdopting children (and perhaps from sitting next to children on a plane, as brought forth by the "politically correct" rulers of New Zealand and Australia) - while no such limitations are applied to any women (perhaps even some like the late Myra Hindley, or the child rapists of Angers, who were 40% women) methinks she cannot claim to be an "Egalitarian". Her argument is discriminatory and sexist. I'm afraid: She does not deserve our support - but some re-education - simply a very basic lesson in "What is Equality?" and "What is Prejudice?". - You, on the other hand, are wrong to say her argument was "not hostile". Of course it was: She called ALL MEN child rapists - if that's not hostile, what is? Would she also fear for little girls brought up by *******s? All her thoughts are built on is that TABOO of "WOMEN DON'T DO THAT". Equality means: we have to see, to recognize, and to accept that there are Men and Women who are good - and Women and Men who are bad. Equality is equal in good as in bad. If your good "Lady of the Correct Manor can't see that - Don't listen to her.
Jo Boost

Yes, Thought Police
thomasdosborneii is just the kind of fool that the First Amendment was provided to protect against (too bad Britain doesn't have teh 1st Amd).

Yes, Thomasfool, free speech also protects speech that YOU consider stupid, devisive, or any other moniker you want to put on it. To equate the examples with shouting "fire" in a theater shows who the ignoramus really is. There is no requirement that such speech be "informed", but if there were, your post would surely be purged.

-Bob

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