The right loves to accuse the left of having no sense of humour and being “politically correct”. Yet, while they would deny it, political correctness exists on their side too. Nationalism, ‘traditional’ family values, law and order, corporate greed, Winston Churchill’s appalling racism, William Hague’s head… make a joke about those things and the right will call for you to be hanged! Right-wing windbags routinely offend people at the drop of a hat but when the shoe is on the other foot, they squeal and squeal and squeal.
It’s pretty easy to offend right-wing sensibilities. I left the following comment on the Shepherds Bush blog yesterday.
I couldn’t make it to the meeting but once again, I see that H&F Tories have ridden roughshod over the wishes of the residents. I wonder how much money in brown envelopes has changed hands in advance of this decision?
It’s a joke and I cite the Jeremy Clarkson ‘defence’.
A council planning committee meeting was held on Wednesday over the proposed disruption of Hammersmith’s skyline. The meeting was a lively one. One plan is to build a footbridge over the insanely busy A4. Fair enough, you may say. But the bridge that is being proposed will effectively wipe out a quarter of Furnival Gardens. Green spaces are in short supply in Hammersmith and the building of this bridge would be nothing short of environmental vandalism. On this particular issue, someone heckled the Tories with,
“You get an extra bung for that, do you?”
But politically correct Tory councillor and planning committee member, Peter Graham, took offence to the above heckle and my comment. Yesterday, upset and close to tears, he tweeted the following to Chris Underwood
@chris_underwood – of course people will disagree with vote, but blog comments about “bungs” and “brown envelopes” are absurd and offensive.
I find Harry Phibbs’ views on social housing offensive but I don’t think Cllr Graham would understand exactly how offensive his colleague really is. I mean, after all, they sing from the same hymn sheet. BorisWatch raised exactly this point with him with this comment on Graham’s Twitter page,
BorisWatch Boris Watch@
Here’s what Underwood said in reply to Graham,
@peter_graham yes, it is close to the line I will say something in the comments when I get in front of a computer.
Graham was still fuming,
peter_graham Peter Graham@
@chris_underwood – the comments left go beyond suggesting a conflict of interest (legally, not the case). And we DON’T all live in Fulham!
Well where do you live Cllr. Graham? Chelsea? So this morning,
Chris Underwood said…
People – I share the view that the Council has ignored local people and should be criticised for that – but that does not excuse references to Hitler or allegations of brown envelopes – please refrain or I will need to moderate comments – and that just kills discussion.
Lets keep it above board.
The truth of the matter is that the Tories want to control discourse. If they make ‘jokes’ about minority groups as Emperor Boris has done with his “piccaninnies with watermelon smiles” comment a few years back, it’s called “having a sense of humour” and you should “lighten up” and “get a life” and stop being so “politically correct”. I remember the 1970’s, when it was perfectly acceptable for many white people to use words like “coon”, “darkie”, “paki” and “wog” in polite discourse. I remember how women were objectified but not listened to… what am I saying? That still happens. I thought we would have become more enlightened by now. It’s clear that we still have a long way to go when it comes to understanding the nature of power relations and how narratives are produced to keep certain groups of people in their place. The Enlightenment was a bourgeois intellectual movement, whose ideals of liberty did not extend beyond the boundaries of their own social class. It is these Enlightenment ideals of free speech that are always invoked in response to a complaint that is expressed by an injured minority.
Now Cllr Graham won’t admit to this, but Hammersmith & Fulham Tories look after their own narrow class interests. They do not work for all the residents of this borough and this was demonstrated by the Dear Leader’s thoughts on social housing.
King Street Developments, who are to be handed the contract to build these postmodern, anti-human monstrosities, is a partnership between Grainger and Helical Bar. Both companies are members of the Conservative Property Forum.
Here’s Hands complaining about a T-shirt that he saw someone wearing at an event that Ed Miniband attended,
May we have a debate about the decorum of senior Members of the House participating in other elections? Did my right hon. Friend notice the extraordinary sight of the Leader of the Opposition appearing at a campaign rally with a Labour council candidate sporting a T-shirt in appallingly bad taste, which said:
“A generation of trade unionists will dance on Thatcher’s grave”?
I’ll be dancing on her grave too. In fact, I’m taking a week off to go on a bender when Thatcher dies. That isn’t a joke. That’s a plan.
If you’re reading this, Cllr Graham, you might consider changing your photo. It makes you look like a self-parody of a young Tory toff. That isn’t a joke. That’s an observation.