Thursday, October 27, 2005
I would just like to second Lyndon in saying: WT actual, physical F?
It was interesting to wake up this morning to the sound of Wayne Mapp on the Eradication of Political Correctness (don’t forget those capitals), and I wish I had been more alert for it. I tried to listen to the interview again on the new Radio New Zealand website, but wasn’t able to open the file (a Mac thing?), but what I did absorb in my sleepy state was disturbingly funny indeed.
According to Mapp, “Political Correctness” is any attitude divorced from mainstream values. Just what those are is still unclear, although if we are to believe Don Brash pre-election, mainstream society is anyone who doesn’t vote Labour. So, to extrapolate, Mapp is going to try to eradicate the legitimately held views and values of all of his opponents. As others have noted, it sounds a little bit totalitarian, doesn’t it?
In fact, “Political Correctness” is one of those heated terms that are bandied around for political capital despite the fact that there’s no clear consensus on what it actually means. Ryan Brown-Haysom, Critic’s Features Reporter, wrote an excellent piece about this earlier in the year, which you can read here.
Practically, if Mapp were in power, it seems we would be looking at such things as removing references to the Treaty of Waitangi in legislation and requirements that public servants demonstrate a knowledge of the principles of the Treaty, the disestablishment of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and maybe even the Human Rights Commission (yeah, those pesky rights are soooo divorced from our mainstream values).
Scary stuff. Despite my alarm when the government arrangements were announced last week, if having Winston Peters as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Peter Dunne with far more power than he is electorally entitled to is the alternative to a government which is prepared to disestablish Ministries and Commissions on the basis of a loaded term like "Political Correctness" - well, I can see where Helen Clark was coming from.