Friday 6 February 2009


And another thing... Maybe it's just me - it very probably is (as a child, I found the world endlessly puzzling and generally misunderstood everything - yes, nothing much has changed) - but when I was a boy I never made the connection between golliwogs and black people. I just thought of gollies as some indeterminate anthropoid form - like Rupert the Bear, Winnie the Pooh and most toys designed to be held. If I'd thought about it at all, I'd have guessed the golly was based on some kind of animal I didn't know. It was only when the 'racist' interpretation gained ground - by which time I was some kind of adult - that the penny dropped. As I say, it probably was just me...
Meanwhile, here's a remark that is clearly offensive to one-eyed Scottish idiots everywhere.


  1. I too never made the connection when a girl. People used to collect up the paper jar wrappers, and when you had got 10 you could send off for a little silver g*** badge, of a g*** playing a musical instrument. Some girls at school had masses of these, whole orchestras, but we never ate enough jam in our house, or never remembered to keep the paper. I had no idea they were racial depictions, I thought they were black teddy bears.

    However, I do know now - everyone knows why g***s were removed from jam covers, whether or not they realised at the time what the pictures meant.

    I hate political correctness with a fury, and I have no interest in the Carol Thatcher affair. But I did just read a post on the house of Lords blog that I thought quite good - so am "bringing it to your attention" as they say. Enjoy!

  2. Thanks Maxine - I'm relieved it's not just me. And thanks for the link. I do wonder if anyone was offended by g******s until they were told to be so. There was some nonsense a while back about 'nitty gritty' being a racially offensive term - at which a lot of people promptly took offence (or vicarious offence) - but it turned out to be a case of false etymology. (The Dutch should take offence at 'nitwit' though, among much else in English)...

  3. I thing that I find the funniest about it is people being offended for other people.

    Has the person who was supposedly insulted even made a comment about it?

    Because if she isn't offended, what right do others have to be?

  4. I'm sure almost everyone of the same era feels the same as you, Nige. I know I do. It's a generation thing. Kids are kids (thank heavens). Then we all grew up and the penny dropped.

    Outrage fatigue here. Had enough. It's like the Politburo circa 1975. Everyone talks in code and none of it's about what they say it's about. Imho, it's all about power. Jockeying amongst the Establishment for power, position and of course that vast flood of government money. The only thing one can say for sure is that the czars of the grievance culture are all complete creeps. These rows are symptoms of a big hole where the government used to be.

  5. And a big hole where sound judgment, professionalism and responsibility used to be. And many another hole, no doubt...

  6. Hmm - when the story first broke I understood that she made a passing reference to Andy Murray's hairstyle.

    But the Times's account of it today makes it sound like it was much worse than that.

    This is the problem with instant news and comment.