How PC Gone Mad stories spread like Urban Legends vol. umpty-umpty-ump

Wot no Winterval?

Last year, because the Sun couldn't actually come up with any examples of any companies banning Christmas decorations to avoid offending people of other faiths, it decided to showcase those where plans had been changed for health and safety or other reasons instead.

One of the resulting stories was 'Baubles Banned in Job Centre' about a Job Centre in South London that didn't have Christmas decorations so that the poor people visiting didn't feel bad for not being able to afford their own. I'm sure I saw a story from a few days later saying the manager involved had relented, but I can't seem to find it now.

Anyway - via Rhetorically Speaking comes this gem from the Times, 'Christmas is cool, says equality boss':
Examples of the erosion of the traditional Christmas festival are becoming increasingly easy to find. Last year Tower Hamlets council in east London banned decorations at JobCentres.
So, a Job Centre in South London that didn't have decorations (that later probably relented) because of not upsetting the poor becomes Job Centres across Tower Hamlets banning Christmas decorations to avoid offending people of other faiths in one quick jump. I wonder if this will acquire the same Urban Legendary status as Birmingham's banning of Christmas in favour of Winterval. (Incidentally, the illustration at the top is Birmingham City Council's homepage. Note the word 'Christmas' in massive letters in several places all over the page. Note the distinct lack of the word 'Winterval' anywhere).

Also included is reference to the IPPR's rabid calls for banning Christmas, which seem to have entered the official PC Gone Mad Christmas ban mythology despite not actually havinig been published anywhere yet. Oh, and despite the fact that the IPPR report doesn't say what the Times says it does.

Still, doesn't seem to have stopped Trevor Phillips being caught hook, line and sinker. That is, of course, providing the paper is honestly reporting his comments and not just fibbing about them. See, even this article could be another example of confected outrage about banning Christmas. It's not always easy to spot where the baubles end.

This madness must stop!


Chris said...

On the subject of Birmingham Council and Christmas, they sent me this email.

In case that link expires, it says:

It’s a magical Christmas in Birmingham at the Museum and Art Gallery - bring the little ones to meet Father Christmas or follow the Nativity Trail as it traces the Christmas story through artworks.

You can also pick a bargain at the late night shopping evening or sample some great festive fare in the Tea Room.

And for more Christmas fun, don’t miss the spectacular Canal Boat Light parade illuminating the canal.

And then there's quite a big painting of santa presenting a doll to a little girl.

There's also a link to this flash animation with a tedious backing soundtrack detailing events over Christmas.

Far from being banned / censored / dumbed down / whatever the papers have made up this year, Birmingham are welcoming Christmas with a flurry of events as they do every year.

eric the fish said...

Initially I was willing to give Trevor the benefit of the doubt as the original report I read seemed to suggest he seeking to address the annual mythmas but he does seem now to be giving ammunition to those wanting to perpetuate these lies for sinister motives.

I do have a conspiracy theory that there are loony right-wingers in middle manager positions who set about makinh cack-handed decisions safe in the knowledge that they will be misinterptreted by the tabloids. But maybe I've been at too much grass from the Knoll.

Unfortunately, many still believe the Brum winterval story etc. Keep up the good work.