Being PC's not easy-peasy

EVERYONE complains about political correctness don't they?

EVERYONE complains about political correctness don't they?

You often hear the cry “It is political correctness gone mad” - which rather assumes it was sane in the first place.

But political correctness is simply indoctrination by authority - something that is as old as human society itself.

While it may be abhorrent to be told what we can say and think and while everyone says they have little time for it, most people follow the crowd. Few dare to be truly politically incorrect.

Of course, if I'm honest, I don't really know what I mean by politically correctness.

I guess it is that raft of people telling us what we can and can't do - environmentalists, campaigners, governments, capitalists, socialists - the list goes on.

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But while we can't disparage ethnic groups or use certain words that used to be perfectly acceptable but now I can't even publish, there are a few hypocrisies I have noticed recently that fly in the face of some of the PC movement's most treasured beliefs and annoy me intensely.

You can have a go at the French - any rules on being racist go out of the window if it is about the French. Ancient enmity and mistrust between our great nations is as strong as ever.

If you're Scottish you can be rude about the English - again rules no longer apply but one way abuse only though.

You must recycle your rubbish but we're encouraged to scrap perfectly adequate cars in the name of the economy.

You can't smoke anywhere, least of all pubs - but you can drink everywhere.

We all must be aware of our carbon footprint - but the moment you go on honeymoon, or on a cruise or on a holiday, or want to go somewhere everyone totally ignores any worries about messing up the environment.

Supermarkets - and this is an old bugbear of mine - charge us for carrier bags in the name of the environment but provide great big car parks for us to drive to them in the first place.

We must use public transport - I would if it didn't cost more than driving and got me to work on time.

You can't hunt a fox, which is vermin - but horses can be raced to death in the Grand National.

We must embrace wind farms - as long as they are near someone else.

We must build houses - as long as they are near someone else.

We must all stop borrowing vast sums money - unless we do it to get out of recession and then the government does it for us.

We must not talk to terrorists - unless they are Irish then we do.

We don't like Colonel Gadaffi - until we do again.

We don't wage war any more - we bring “regime change” and “democracy” and “stability” instead.

I don't know what you think but I feel better already.

Q: Doctor, I've heard cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise.

I FOUND myself at the theatre the other evening with my plain-speaking-photographer-friend Lucy watching my tall-glamorous-friend Lucia being tall and glamorous in a production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies.

It was a great show and apart from the rather irksome drunk who sat next to poor Lucy throughout the first half and sang along - interestingly, Lucy noted, he was word perfect - it was a lovely evening and Lucia was as stunning as ever.

The show was based around a group of middle-aged ladies looking back at their youth in theatre played by what are best described as the grandes dames of the Ipswich amateur theatrical scene - Margaret, Brenda, Lynne, Pat, Sue, Sue and Sheila - they stole the show.

FOR those among you who are keen on the internet I have joined the blogging community.

I am - on the world wide web - Man from Mars and completely free to look at and you can even leave a comment.

Marvellous isn't it?

One moment I am an almost-celebrity on the Felixstowe peninsula - the next I am a global phenomenon.

If you'd like to have a closer look visit www.eveningstar.co.uk and look for me in the blogs section.

Dear James,

Glad you like “good old Camilla” - I've always warmed to her.

For one thing she dresses and behaves like royalty, rather than like a pop star.

She can be seen laughing, rather than smiling sentimentally. I just wish Charles had been allowed to marry her to start with - I bet he'd not have replied to the question of love, “Yes, whatever love is”.

Love your take on horoscopes! Often I've found in the past that some descriptions of my sign (Libra) do apply. However, the new(ish) horoscope in the paper is ludicrous; it often makes definite statements which cannot by any stretch of the imagination apply to an old (68) woman working part-time in a job not her original career and happily (if a little pedestrianly) married for 35 years with no desire for “romance”.

Anyway, I always enjoy your page.

MRS L MAYNARD,

Eastgate Street,

Bury St Edmunds.

REHEARSALS have begun for my next foray into the world of amateur theatre.

I shall, dear readers, be once again the large lad at the back, in Sounds Familiar, the latest production by the Ipswich most Operatic and terribly Dramatic Society.

We are singing one of my favourites - Starmaker from Fame - I have already mentioned to Pam the costume lady that I shan't be wearing a leotard under any circumstances even if she sews three together.