Political Correctness – is it out of control?

Do we live in an age of Political Correctness?    In the last year we have seen:

Sensibility alert.  If you click the hyperlinks they will take you to reports of the remarks and events that got the individuals into trouble.  If you feel you can’t bear to read their remarks or might be offended – don’t click the links.  The principles remain the same. 

  • British Cycling’s Technical Director resigned over allegations of discriminatory remarks  (Shane Sutton)                                                                                    
  • Britain’s first non-white Lord Lieutenant resigned over remarks about the UK Pakistani community (Paul Sabathy  CBE)
  • A Nobel Laureate resigned after remarks about women in the workplace (Sir Tim Hunt)

This is not just a British phenomenon

  • In Japan, a policeman resigning after tweeting remarks about gay people (Masumi Tsurusashi)
  • In Australia, an ethnically Chinese teacher was fired after his remarks about Chinese students (Wu Wei)

What is Political Correctness anyway?

Everyone seems to have a slightly different idea of what Political Correctness is.   Here is what is common to all:

  • No-one uses it to describe themselves; (“I am politically correct”)
  • It is used to describe other people’s attitudes to language about ‘minorities’; (“They are being PC”)
  • For some people it also includes actions such as positive discrimination or quotas

It is usually used as an insult – never as a compliment.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPpZCJhdhWA]


Join me at the Office Show on 11 May at ExCel

If you nearby do drop by and hear my talk about this  – you can get more information about the hall and times here 

Would you like a copy of the Office Manager's Guide to Political Correctness?

The copy will be released at the same time as the talk on 11th May. Click here 


For confidential advice and support on dealing with problems around language and attitudes at work – contact Annabel Kaye or Christopher Head on 08452 303050 or email advice@irenicon.co.uk.   


About the Author Annabel Kaye

We founded Irenicon in 1980 to help employers make employment law work for them. We were always a mixed disciplinary practice – something quite revolutionary at the time. Over the years we have worked with some wonderful organisations, pushing the boundaries of how employment law can really be made to work without restricting the flow of the organisation.

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