As many in the world defiantly stand with Charlie Hebdo in the wake of last week’s terrorism in France, one UK publisher has decided to self-censor so as to not offend anyone by showing pigs and sausages in children’s books.
Schoolbook authors have been told not to write about sausages or pigs for fear of causing offence.
Guidance from leading educational publisher the Oxford University Press prohibits authors from including anything that could be perceived as pork-related in their books.
The bizarre clampdown, apparently aimed at avoiding offence among Jews and Muslims, emerged yesterday during a discussion about free speech on Radio 4’s Today programme.
It was immediately branded ‘nonsensical political correctness’.
Presenter Jim Naughtie – whose writer wife Eleanor Updale is in talks with Oxford University Press (OUP) over an educational book series – said: ‘I’ve got a letter here that was sent out by OUP to an author doing something for young people.
‘Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork.
‘Now, if a respectable publisher, tied to an academic institution, is saying you’ve got to write a book in which you cannot mention pigs because some people might be offended, it’s just ludicrous. It is just a joke.’
Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said: ‘I absolutely agree. That’s absolute utter nonsense. And when people go too far, that brings the whole discussion into disrepute.’
Indeed, it does, but political correctness and fear now dominates eveything. Ironically these same people act as our moral and intellectual superiors while they’re the cowards and idiots.
But last night the publishing rules were ridiculed amid doubts either Muslims or Jews would be offended by mention of farm animals in a children’s book.
Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘How on earth can anyone find the word “pig” or “pork” offensive?
‘No word is offensive. It is the context in which it is used that is offensive.’
He added: ‘On the one hand you have politicians and the great and the good falling over each other to say how much they believe in freedom of speech and on the other hand they are presiding over people being unable to use and write words that are completely inoffensive.
‘We have got to get a grip on this nonsensical political correctness.
Good luck with that.