Carol Thatcher’s In A Jam

It looks like Carol Thatcher is counting the cost of referring to a tennis player as a ‘golliwog’ after being axed from the BBC’s The One Show. The journalist daughter of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made the remark during a conversation with presenter Adrian Chiles and several guests. After being challenged about the comment, she apologised and dismissed it as a "joke". Her position on the show is understood to have become untenable after she declined to issue an unconditional apology to those she had offended. A BBC spokesman said: "We will no longer be working with Carol Thatcher on The One Show."

Conscious of the fact that younger readers of this blog may be ignorant of the term (it’s entirely a possibility), a teeny explanation (courtesy and © Dr David Pilgrim, Professor of Sociology, Ferris State University, Nov 2000): "Golliwogs are grotesque creatures, with very dark, often jet black skin, large white-rimmed eyes, red or white clown lips, and wild, frizzy hair… The golliwog image, popular in England and other European countries, is found on a variety of items, including postcards, jam jars [Robertson’s used a golliwog called Golly as its mascot from 1910 until the late 20th century], perfume bottles, clocks, books [as featured in some Enid Blyton tales and Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Niggers, which showed a golliwog lynched, hanging from a noose], greetings cards…" etc.

May I direct you to Wikipedia’s page if further explanation is required? In short, and depending on your point of view, a golliwog is either deeply offensive on every level racially, or a loveable, cuddly childhood icon.

This brouhaha is rumbling on, as brouhahas tend to do: viewers are complaining to the BBC about their decision to drop Ms Thatcher from The One Show and her spokesperson is demanding an apology. Four things instantly crossed my mind when the story first broke. 

1. Why do we even know about all this? If the remark was made in the relative privacy of a BBC green room, that’s where it should’ve stayed. I thought the Beeb had internal disciplinary processes.  

2. It immediately brought back my childhood memories of being called ‘golliwog’ at school (I’d almost forgotten that). My mum instructed me to turn the other cheek, but my attitude instead was always ‘wot a bloody cheek!’. Needless to say, I’d then get into trouble for fighting.

3. Where’s Big Ron these days? Ron Atkinson’s ITV punditry came to an abrupt halt in 2004 after an off-air conversation with commentator Clive Tyldesley. Big Ron thought his mike was off and let rip at then Chelsea player Marcel Desailly in an utterly disgusting manner: "He is what is known in some schools as a f***ing lazy thick n***r!" The irony of this is, as manager of West Bromich Albion in the 1970s, Ron Atkinson championed black players. He signed the late great Laurie Cunningham, Brendan Batson and Cyrille Regis who became known as ‘The Three Degrees’ (they even posed with the lovely ladies of Prince Charles’ favourite group as this picture shows).

4. I am 100% not surprised that jolly-hockey-sticks Carol, totally uninhibited, frank and tewwwwwibly upper middle-class, used an antiquated term to refer to a black man. She’s not alone in displaying a bit of cultural insensitivity. Prince Phillip is the classic example (too many gaffes to list, but during a Royal visit to China in 1986 he told British students: "If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.") and his grandson Harry’s clearly a chip off the old block as the Nazi costume faux pas and recent P*ki row show. 

For her part, Carol Thatcher told the Daily Mirror she was "completely baffled by all the fuss". In one respect, I can understand why she’s befuddled. I watched an instalment of Five’s topical morning show The Wright Stuff last year and, while discussing stories from the newspapers, she bemoaned the Jean Charles de Menezes inquest in a manner that exhibited brutal disregard for the feelings of his family. Matthew Wright had to jump in and point out why his loved-ones might have been feeling aggrieved. For all her Academia, she can be rather clueless when it comes to social niceties. Lest we forget, this is the woman that had a wee in the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! camp, in full view of the cameras, and let EastEnders’ Sid Owen take the blame for it.

BBC arts correspondent David Sillito said the row was about "what is and what is not acceptable to say in a workplace" No it isn’t. Not entirely, anyway. The way I see it, Thatcher-gate is about the BBC being in a post Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand/Sachs-gate/Manuel-gate/whatever-gate-you-want-to-call-it era. The powers-that-be have acted swiftly rather than risk being caught on the back foot again. Some may wonder if Auntie has acted a little too swiftly by axing Ms Thatcher as a roving reporter for The One Show. After all, if private conversations in the workplace are fair game, lord help us all.

Her spokesman told The Times that she made, and I quote, "a light aside about this tennis player and his similarity to the golliwog on the jam pot when she was growing up." Maybe so but whichever way you look at it, it isn’t the most flattering of comparisons to make. There’s just no nice way of saying that a black man looks like a golliwog.

* As this is an emotive subject, I will be deleting any messages that overstep the mark or stray too far from the topic. No swearing please; racial terms must be in context with the originating subject only. 

* Due to the fact that I like to think posters here have more imagination, I am issuing a challenge: see if you can express your frustration without using the stock, pat and clichéd, ‘get a life!’ – it annoys the mucus out of me. Come on peeps, do me proud!

Today I am mostly lovin’ – ITV4 are currently using a trailer to promote their Cult Classics strand that parodies The Beastie Boys’ Sabotage video, which in turn parodied 1970s American cop films/TV. The segments with The Sweeney and The Professionals work best (for obvious reasons). But I am absolutely LOVIN’ it. Watch it here – it’s genius.  

Today I am mostly hatin’ – Here’s my review of Five’s new comedy/drama Minder starring Shane Richie. Says it all really.

MSN Editor Coops

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100 Responses to Carol Thatcher’s In A Jam

  1. Good says:

    It\’s YOUR topic Coops.. YOU raised the issues.. I responded. "Perennially inequality pops" up because it\’s DOUBLE STANDARDS however YOU choose to "recolour" it here… EITHER equality means EQUAL in EVERY sense or it isn\’t equality but instead positive discrimination of the type too often encountered but rarely spoken about against those of us of a different colour ie white… and who fyi are becoming a minority in places like London…as one example.I\’m neither for nor against Carol Thatcher whereas your personal bias is already on display but YOUR bias against a collective descriptive in a discriminatory way (which you failed to address in my original reply) and bias against anyone from the "middle class" (no idea what class I fit into before you start) along with your apparent "black power" attitude of those who feel repressed yet are often afforded better terms than others is surely unbecoming someone with the power to own a blog….and you shouldn\’t be using your position of owning this blog to springboard personal views to the extent of trying to drown out reasoned counterpoint by bombing replies that don’t fit YOUR personal bias… after all it is disingenuous to promote inequality (Mobos, Black Police Officers Association, positive discrimination in work AGAINST whites etc) whilst yearning for Equal rights.. which is my entire point… you like so many folk seem to want BETTER rights and that’s discriminatory !Indigenous in this example means going back several generations….. counting those who have paid in family blood to send GENERATIONS to fight for this country when called… don\’t break the laws, try to fit into cultures and don\’t try to create their own conurbations… and "virtually an oxymoron" is a misnomer. Please allow others a view without feeling the need to suppress it by blog owner power and the fact you have the time to be on here all day.Lastly, whilst the indigenous population (see qualification meaning above) is indeed made up of different cultures the big difference between "then" and "now" is assimilation. Cultures past become the one we have had for countless generations and asked to don uniforms of different hues to enforce, but today Neovo- (EU) Brits expect this to be a better country and come whilst not always intending to assimilate into our culture but instead to create growing island conurbations of their own…with factually ensuing increasing levels of violence and offences against the person.. that is hardly acceptable to the rest of us..no matter what your hue despite YOUR cry!

  2. Susan says:

    If nothing else the whole problem of Carol Thatcher and her comment has opened up the \’still\’ broiling pot of the P.C. application to all manner of issues. I see this as too much indecisiveness from our beloved leaders who should deliver us a list of acceptable and non acceptable words to use in the privacy of our own green rooms/ homes/ work places and public places to accompany the many other guidelines and rules they seem inclined to give us.Personally I loved my sisters Golliwog so much I pinched it on Christmas Eve and put it in my own Christmas stocking. I also loved my Zulu doll with equal passion and mourned the day they died the \’too old for dolls\’ death of growing up. I never did associate those playthings with any particular race or ethnicity simply I had white dolls, pink dolls and a variety of other colours and black was but a choice of many. Where Carol Thatcher seems to have gone wrong (in my view) is using a comparison which is currently unacceptable . I say currently because the Hoss and a few other traditional Dancer/ Festivals of antiquity still have people blacking their faces just as there are still Shamans in other countries who whiten their faces, the startling comparisons created to display threat or imply spirit or even simply difference.Common Sense seems to have taken a back step in the whole arena of public acceptability and I do view the ousting of Carol Thatcher with , perhaps, a less judgemental eye than the Jonathan Ross episode (which in my view was despicable) The gentleman she is reffering to seems to have a hairstyle beyond normal description. Be it deliberate style or inherited trait , it IS unusual enough to create comment. How would any of us have described such a hairstyle ? and who of us wouldn\’t have privately thought of the \’G\’ word. Not because of colour but quite genuinely the hairstyle of the doll is so individualistic and so apt .if only the doll had a different name.As to name calling and so on. The affection I hear from some when they call me a Brit is completley absent from tones heard in Spain who have had the \’benefit\’ of Brit culture impinged on them every summer with our lads and ladette cultures flying over for a few weeks of happy drunkenness and crude and lewd behaviour. Brit is never uttered in Wales where I live but you should hear English used as a description of my background. Wherever we are we are defined from our roots and labelled, it s mankinds nature and perhaps when you log into http://www.Paki.com where everything for the Asian community is available you will understand that often it is not the word but the way it is uttered, intonation and context that makes a word, any word either a complement or an insult.

  3. william says:

    carol thatcher made an off the cuff remark about a mixed race tennis player,the remark"i could cuddle him like a golliwog" was takenout of context,thick as she is,i\’m sure no offence was meant.for gods sake stop making every sentence that is written or said racist .we have a long way to go to stop "politically correct" people making life hell for us all.long live the spirit of free speech.bill vonk. swansea

  4. Coops - says:

    Rumple Stiltskin, yes. The originating article is very much my opinion (as the disclaimer on this blog states). Preferably, I\’d like the discussion to stay on-topic so that it\’s easier to moderate otherwise, in short, can open…worms everywhere. I\’m not sure what you mean by your assertion that I have a \’black power\’ attitude (whatever that is) but I am sure that I disagree with it. But hey, I\’ve been called a lot worse than that. And again, I thank you for your comments.

  5. Tanya says:

    Rumple Stiltskin it\’s so obvious your comments are CLEARLY intended to offend people of colour, your points are laughable and completely off topic. I\’m sure Coops is far too intelligent to be affected by your personal swipe at her. Nice try though.

  6. Tina says:

    Yeah, our Coops is made of much harder stuff! I\’ve always known her opinions to be fair and unbiased. It\’s just some people choose not to take them that way.

  7. Sylke says:

    It would be nice if people did not refer to black people as COLOURED … i am black and i am always the same colour i don\’t recall ever changing colour. AS FOR the golliwog comment I\’m sorry but it is RACIST and anyone that disagrees fine but … you would not black people or a mixed race person a golliwog it is OFFENSIVE ..so carol deserves being sacked and you don\’t go around calling white people honkeys … so don\’t call a black person or mixed race person a golliwog as it is not seen and taken as a nice WORD.

  8. Sylke says:

    i agree with lynne who wrote 23 hours ago.

  9. Sylke says:

    arrrgh , i get so irate in these situations at the end of the day someone dosennt matter who it was or who they are family to was CAUGHT making a RACIST comment ., sooooooooo y are people sticking up for her … its out of order , u really need to consider feelings hear … i would hate for ANYONE to call me a goliwog … argghh cant believe we even need to have these conversations in 2009…THERE IS SO MUCH TO LEARN….. like lynne sed its about a name that is insulting and offensive to black people, which can only make race relations worse anyone who cant understand that is being either stupid or racist. l have yet to hear of any black person or black celeb who would feel ok being called such.

  10. Sylke says:

    arggh i am so passianate about this i woiuld love to reply to each and everyone of u … CAROLE …if she was refering to his afto y not say the man with the afro oir man with the long hair or man that has hair like the golliwog on the jam Jar …. THERE WAS NOOOOOOOOOO NONE WAT SO EVER NEED TO CALL *HIM* A GOLLIWOG .. its unacceptable and the sooner people realise the better ,,,,no need for ignorance now we r in 2009 , we have a black president … there\’s a world full of mix race people so …. get educated if you dont know wats WRONG AND RIGHT…………..get to know!!!! or better yet … ADD ETHNIC OR CULTURAL HISTORY TO THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM ..do u know wats sad none of my friends that are white would eva call me a golliwog and a huge percentage of my friends are white..is that not saying somink… teenagers no wat to say more than a grown adult…

  11. simon says:

    Of course the woman is befuddled by it all and doesnt understand te fuss – she will never have to be on the recieving end, and like all upper middle class twits who have existed in a microchosmic bubble protected by wealth and upper middle class twit parenting, she will have no empathy for anyone who isnt a white heterosexual middle class twit. However, in saying that, considering who her evil mother is, if this is the worst damage she can do, then we have got off lightly!! No place for racism or daft, ill informed judgements from roving journalists – they are paid enough money to be more informed. good riddance.

  12. simon says:

    COOPS – regarding rumplestiltskin – dont even try to impact – he is way too far down the track. I mean, how AWFUL his prejudicial experiences must be as a white minority. It must simply be hell. All that racial abuse and discrimination he must face, poor thing. Back to the topic of Carol Thatcher – perhaps they should hook up and go and re-take London?

  13. burt says:

    It is a stupid comment to make by anyone in the public eye or indeed in private. The woman needs educating not chastising. The BBC should give her a role to investigate why the word is offensive to people, maybe then she would understand the blind ignorance of her ways. I dont believe for one moment there is malious or hatred in her towards any person because of their skin. Lets face it, things could have been so much worse when you consider who her mother is!

  14. Good says:

    Justification for using terms for some and not for others causes confusion, anger etc. as this thread proves.Seems it is unpopular on this site to refer to part of the published article and ask for equality to mean equality for ALL without being accused of going “off topic” despite the article going “off topic” by introducing comments about the term “Pakis” being used by people OTHER than Carol Thatcher, so is the article about Carol Thatcher ONLY or discrimination in general using Carol Thatcher as a specific example ?Coops "justifying" why there should be one rule for some and not others, based on the colour of their skin (ie, OK to have Black music awards, Black Police Officers you were saying) if the readers can\’t see how THAT is discrimination than clearly common sense has already left these isles…or this blog anyway. I was only asking for equality to mean being equal in every way and the more intelligent will have understood that, I hope. Currently it’s not equal yet complaints seem only to be “allowed” to flow one way according to some respondents here.. and that’s not equality either. My point is simple, treat everyone the same, which means neither worse nor any better. ANYTHING else IS discrimination, including positive discrimination.

  15. Coops - says:

    Rumple Stiltskin, the article above was specifically about Carol Thatcher and the mess the BBC made of handling the incident. I really fail to see where positive discrimination comes into it, but I can assure you that if a black celebrity had caused such a furore by racially insulting someone else, I would condemn them also.

  16. Good says:

    Coops, thank you for clearing that up, the confusion arose because you went off the specific subject (ie. off topic) of Carol Thatcher by extending your blog into "She\’s not alone in displaying a bit of cultural insensitivity. " whereupon you introduced other people and incidents, including a "recent P*ki row" comment to which I responded.. then I found myself being accused of going off topic when all I did weas pick up the subject from where you had taken it. YOU said : it\’s off-topic, but I\’m gonna answer you because The MOBOs and National Black Police Association (NBPA) et al argument perennially crops up. The only reason such groups exist in the first place is due to either under-representation at some level or a way of balancing the status quo, if you will. I feel: that to ask for postive discrimination (age,race,sex) shows inequality, but we seem to be going around in circles, so let\’s just agree to disagree and all move on. My stance is simple; I don\’t think discrimination should work one way or another and if this blog is JUST about Carol Thatcher (why ?) the original article seems to have gone off topic. Thanks for your coments anyway also..

  17. Good says:

    Oh, and I rose to your challenge…. You said: I am issuing a challenge: see if you can express your frustration without using the stock, pat and clichéd, \’get a life!\’

  18. Alkamal says:

    "picking up on the other part of the content of this article, everyone reacts and rushes to arms if the term "Paki" is used yet no one takes to the streets, airwaves or column inches if we are called "Brits".. so either something IS an acceptable geographic collective descriptive OR it is offensive and no one should use ANY collective term, including "Brit",“Aussie”, “Kiwi” … and then how about Christian, Muslim, Jew ..Man, Woman.. Old or Young ?"Rumple Stiltskin, how stupid are you? I cannot believe you actually compared the usage of "Paki" with "Brit". Haha that is laughable! You seriously think people, and by that I mean quite literally anyone at all, actually use that term as an adjective to describe Pakistani people? I actually want to know, are you being dead serious? If so, please tell me, how on Earth can they differentiate between Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Afghan, Pashtun, Persian, and mixed-race people? It would be phenomenal if they could, I\’m of Asian origin and I still have a hard time distinguishing between those nationalities so Lord knows where they got such super abilities. Oh well, as long as they can sneak in that word "Paki", which of course has no racist connotations at all, then everything\’s fine and "fair".Haha, "Man, Woman.. Old and Young?", that still makes me chuckle, you\’re a funny guy.

  19. simon says:

    Rumple Stiltskin you have NO idea how entertaining you are!! Are you joking/being ironic in your line of argument? If so you are a comic genius – if your points are attempting to be in some way serious however….well I would be lost for words!!But I am not……I think Coops just wants to stick to the one case in point and find out what people think about Carol Thatcher and what she said and what has happened to her as a result. There is no case within that to start banging on about positive discrimination, minority representative bodies and award ceremonies, age or sex discrimination….don\’t you see? Coops just wants to know if people think that the comparison (howver subtle or disguised that may have been) of a black tennis player to a golliwog warrants the current predicament that Carol Thatcher is in. So coops, I think yes, she deserves to be in a mess because of what she said.

  20. Mary says:

    poor carol thatcher, she clearly ment no offence perhaps like a lot of us he had a golly to love as a child

  21. Mary says:

    as i am irish and often get called "paddy,mick,potatoe eater, and thick, also numerous jokes are allowed to be told about the Irish am i too offended, i think not,

  22. Unknown says:

    I think the trouble is we the human race change things and words so often. I am 80 years old and I used to collect golliwogs stickers from jam and exchanged them for lovely brooches ( as a child) wanting to collect the whole series, I never quite managed it. ALSO in those days it was correct to call a black person coloured and I find it very hard to change. I can also remember there was talk of changing the name of black shoe polish to dark tan (ridiculous) but that never materialised. Can other people my age recall all this ?

  23. Tanya says:

    To the Irish person who doesn\’t get offended. You should be offended if people are addressing you in this manner. It\’s a vulger way to treat someone and you need to realise that and do something about it. I would never let someone racially abuse me without taking a stand because I have pride. I\’m not saying you don\’t but don\’t allow people to walk over you like that.People aren\’t allowed to tell jokes about Irish people, not now. Carol Thatcher would have been condemned just as much if she\’d refered to an Irish person as a Paddy. Where do you live where people get away with this stuff?

  24. LISA says:

    You know what makes me mad, ethnic minorities thinking they are so hard done by. Anyone could throw any insult my way, that was related to my colour, make any comparison to a doll, toy or whatever and I wouldnt give a hoot. In behaving in such a sensitive way regarding the colour of their skin, is almost like admitting they are ashamed to be non white. So…….. as long as no one makes reference to the fact that an individual is black, any other insult would be ok, would it? Is that not in itself implying its an affliction or something. Yes, I am white and from where I am standing that attitude is far more insulting to black people, than any comparison to a Golliwog could ever be.

  25. Tanya says:

    Hi Lisa. I\’ve got to say that you wouldn\’t get upset about someone making derogatory comments about your colour because you live in a country where you are the majority and you\’ve always been made to feel superior, even if this isn\’t in an obvious way. You wouldn\’t notice this so much because you are white and in many ways (even though I was born here) this is your country more than it is mine. Blacks have had to fight for equality for many years. My grandad fought in the war for this country but still had to deal with a lot of bigotry in the army and in London in general. I\’m only 32 and I myself remember having to ignore little racist comments from some of the kids in my all white school because I didn\’t want to come across as angry or militant. These comments really affected my self esteem as a child, as an adult I now know better.My experience isn\’t an isolated case. It\’s very common. We\’ve been made to feel inferior for many years in Western society. I will stand up and admit that there is a problem with some young black men in this country at the moment. I\’m not proud of that but I am very proud of being black and this is why I won\’t stand for racism towards black people. We won\’t be made to feel inferior anymore and we\’re in no way ashamed of our colour, so get that idea right out of your head. Our stance comes from pride, not militant pride, not angry pride, just pride. All these people posting here, saying you can\’t call someone \’black\’… that\’s ridiculous! We want to be called black. We don\’t want to be called \’coloured\’. We are black that\’s the right name for us.I can understand why you can\’t comprehend this, your someone who\’s probably rarely if ever been at the receiving end of racism and if you have it\’s in a country where you\’ll never have a problem fitting in, so it wouldn\’t affect you. We\’re not claiming to be hard done by, but don\’t get angry because we choose to stick up for ourselves just because you wouldn\’t.Anyway Coops, sorry for being off topic.

  26. john says:

    Poor Carol Thatcher, she will never be allowed to forget a rude and insensitive remark. I wonder if some of the animosity is not just because she is the daughter of the Mother.If you can be sacked for a casual epythet in a private and I suspect alcoholic conversation then Free Speech is being eroded.Currently aDutch MP and some American have been denied entry to the UK ,respectively one made a remark about Islam, the other about Britain and the Queen.It\’s all a bit Big Brotherishjohn H

  27. simon says:

    To Micheal and No Name and Robin Stewart and others of the same ilk,I don´t understand why you are defending the comment or minimising it by comparing for example to Oz/Pom American/YAnk and trying to find parallels with Asian mothers buying gollywogs for kids – none of which even comes close to drawing a parallel or provides relevant defence of Carol Thatcher´s specific words. I think you ought to LISTEN and LEARN from those contributors to this blog who are members of the minority groups who ARE very offended by the comparison of a black tennis player to a gollywog. How can you possibly continue to defend an action when you are not part of any group that might be offended by it (unless of course you were a white person who was offended by it through your ability to empathise with those who are offended first hand) when clearly, black and mixed race people contributing to this blog are telling you loud and clear that the comment is offensive. They are the only ones who can decide whether it was offensive or not, and they are the ones you have to listen to, not speak from your own ill-informed perspective which does not have any first hand experience of the hurtful, damaging effect that words have on people from minority groups, inflicted by those who are not. So listen to them, please.

  28. LISA says:

    Well, actually Simon, the person who decided the use of \’Golliwog\’ was not a minority group or the intended insultee. It was, as you put it \’someone\’s own ill informed perspective\’ i.e. a WHITE person. So, you think by not being black we are no position to assess a racist comment? Shame on you, that in itself is racist thinking against anyone not a minority. I actually come from a multi ethnic extended family unit. And not one of my black relatives would insult my intelligence by telling me I couldn understand how black person would feel being called a golliwog. Infact, many a time they have joked that they might get mistaken for one when their hair grows long. To me, that is a truly racially intergrated society. They dont go looking for insults, and can see the funny side. Oh, and if your wondering where they live, its London. I am white and English, but on many occassions have been called, Chink, Paki and accussed of being a foreign student. I am white but have dark features from my mothers side. Was I insulted? No, I actually took it as a compliment. So dont patronise us whites with your \’woe is me\’ attitude. Any form of racism is abhorrent, but if you all you have to worry about is being called a golliwog, then your doing alright.

  29. jaycee says:

    I\’m sorry but has anyone given a thought about the poor golliwog who everyone seems to be implying is something of a horrific figure? I\’ve had a golliwog since I was very young – I\’m 60 now and I love my golliwog. It cured me of many ailments as a child and kept me safe and happy at bedtimes. I will never part with him and he\’ll stay with me until I die. Has the world gone completely mad?

  30. simon says:

    Well, actually, Lisa, you have entirely missed my point. I am merely suggesting that the person to whom the golliwog comment was aimed was not white and that other members of the same minority group expressing support for the subsequent action in relation to Carol thatcher´s position are the voices to learn from primarily. I agree with you that white people can assess a racist comment – in this case they DID quite accuratley. What I am saying is that the people who would be offended first hand by this particular comment would be black and as thus, I would personally choose to learn from them before adding my opinion. Simple as that. I also said in my last post that empathetic white people could also be offended. "shame on me??" a bit harsh and unnecessary Lisa – I am not attacking any white person, I assure you. Apologies to anyone, including you, if that is what was ascertained from my last post.

  31. LISA says:

    So Tanya, you think that by being white we dont get racially insulted or descriminated against? OH, how you must walk around with your blinkers on. Look around you. Everyday whites are passed over in favour of their ethnic compatratiates in attempt to show that there is no racism going on. We are told daily, that we have to embrace other peoples cultures and religious beliefs at the xpense of our own. Why is this curtesy not a two way thing? Being white does not exclude us from other types of racism or insults. ie. fat, thin, ugly, four eyes, ginger knob and Paddy, all based on a persons physical appearance or heritage. My husband , who is Irish, when working a good few years ago on a Sea Defence Project, was told by his then employer, when the wet weather gear was being handed out, \’Sorry, Paddy doesnt get any\’!!! And this, I am ashamed to say, was another white man telling my husband (he dealt with it, on his own!) Make no mistake, racism and descrimination against whites and British born citizens is alive and well. And most of it is meted out by our own countrymen, regardless of colour. The government and media are doing a sterling job of dividing an already shaky multi cultural existance. In their attempt to appear non racist, it has gone the other way. But whites are told they cannot be racially insulted. Ermm, is that not a contradiction in terms? Anyway Tanya, your entitled to put your view, as we all are. It is very interesting to see this type of thing from all perspectives.The bottom line is, and I think we would all agree here. We all feel hard done by, LOL!Coops, Off Topic, Sorry.

  32. Tanya says:

    Well Lisa, in an ideal world we\’d all treat each other with respect and we wouldn\’t have adults calling other adults silly and childish names. Unfortunately this isn\’t one. Maybe we are all hard done by. I need to go and wash my hair.

  33. LISA says:

    I cant believe you just said that. Irrespective of colour, we are human, and as such, should be treated with dignity and respect. And as for \’what have they done\’? If you really knew your anthropology, then you would know, it is widely reported that, mankind actually started in Africa and worked its way across the continents. So, in answer to your question. They only started off modern day human evolution! But, you contradicted yourself. Clearly, with you, it is about colour! And as for helping out their fellow folk, you cant see through your own bigoted prejudices and accept and help yours. Whilst I might bulk and stick up for Carole Thatcher for daring to utter the word Golliwog. It does not compare to your blatant disregard and ignorant view of black people as a whole.

  34. simon says:

    Lisa I am intrigued a bit by the following quote from your last but one post….."you think that by being white we dont get racially insulted or descriminated against? OH, how you must walk around with your blinkers on. Look around you. Everyday whites are passed over in favour of their ethnic compatratiates in attempt to show that there is no racism going on. We are told daily, that we have to embrace other peoples cultures and religious beliefs at the xpense of our own."Whites passed over for ethinic compatriates…..hmmmm. Lame excuse for the right person getting the job if the one who got the job happens to be not white."White British people being asked to embrace other cultures at the expense of their own." No, what is good about Britain is that there has become a political demand for appreciaiton of difference on all sides. Some might say this is idealistic – I say good if it is – in reality there are compications along the way, fair enough, but to my mind it is a good ideal to have.Also in earlier posts you mention that you are non-white by heritage and are compilmented by others remarking on your darker skin when they call you chink or paki. Good for you. But many chinese (or japanese or korean or thai or philipino) who have been ignorantly lumped together and called chinki in a derogatory fashion may disagree. As would every Indian, sri lankan, malaysian indian who has been lumped togetherunder the derogatory term Paki. A friend of mine who is Persian by birth was smacked in the mouth in Manchester by a white british man who was upset that she was about to enter a nightclub from which he had been refused entry, shouting at the time " you wont let me in but you will let this Paki bi**h in. She was just standing there having a nice night until that point. That, Lisa, is racism that is alive and well. Another example was when a mixed race woman who I met on a professional course told me the story of how she had complained in a clothing store that an item of clothing she had bought the week before was falling to bits – the assistant would not acknowledge the problem and said to her colleague in fromt of the woman and a large queue that there was a "paki complaining as usual" so she "supposed they had better change it". Please tell me, Lisa of a parallel experience that a white British person has had in Britain? So again, when a high profile person says someting that is percieved as racist either from a particular ethnic minority group or from an empathetic member of a majoority ethnic group as you quite rightly mentioned post or two ago, do people not just accept from those people that the feeling of racial put down IS strong and learn from it and move on?

  35. LISA says:

    Simon, you seem to be intrigued or curious about a lot of peoples posts, except your own. You waffle on about certain sentences and your lack of understanding at peoples quotes. Well, even after all your endless posts, you never actually come out with anything contstructive. You bang on and on about racism being alive and well. We know racism is alive and well as my posts have so rightly said. If you bother to take the time and trouble to read them properly, instead of skim reading, and completely missing the point, you might find all will become clear. I am afraid Simon, that your mind might know what it wants to say, but unfortunately, you dont relate that well on paper, thus creating a muddled and pointless piece of writing that leaves the reader even more confused than you are.

  36. Coops - says:

    Mick\’s comment has been deleted. It was off-topic and it was, frankly, a load of tosh. LISA, Simon\’s made some very solid points and I do hear where you\’re coming from too. In order to make the debate easier for me to moderate, you may have to agree to disagree so that we can broadly stay with the topic in question.

  37. famous says:

    just to throw another stone in the pond lorna,we have a former immigrant from UGANDA who is now ARCHBISHOP OF YORK speaking out for the CHRISTIAN religion saying it is becoming discriminated against.!!DR JOHN SENTAMU for prime minister say i !! this post could become like that play in the west end at this rate.

  38. simon says:

    COOPS – thank you for clarifying that my points can come across as solid to someone, that feedback is appreciated. I sort of understand Lisa\’s frustration with me – we are on two totally different pages, so yes I agree to disagree with her. And if she wants to put her lack of understanding of my point of view down to my written expression well hey – I think we were two people destined not to understand each other!! Rock on diversity!!

  39. Coops - says:

    Sara – thanks for your comment. Re: the Paris Hilton blog entry, I\’d be very surprised if anyone did, in your words, throw "a hissy fit". The word \’gay\’, on its own, is not a derogatory term for a homosexual; just as the word \’black\’, on its own, is not a derogatory term for someone of African descent (and by that I include African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans). Not the case with \’golliwog\’…

  40. simon says:

    Hi Sara,I agree with you about the media making an example of someone in the public domain – I also agree with the fact that they are making an example of this person for this reason, in the public domain. I also agree with you that if people didnt "make a song and dance about things like this it would all be forgotten about." But to ignore the comments or forget about them straight away and the hurt caused by them and to not talk about reasons why they are offensive afterwards, I believe, allows them to continue happening silently and unchallenged. But the hurt that is caused to individuals would continue – it would just go unchallenged.I agree with you also about people being judged on their own merits being a better way to be and if everyone DID have your commendable ethic, then yes, creativity of speech would never harm. In this case, the comparitive reference of a black tennis player to a gollywog I dont think is an example of particularly creative speech.

  41. cynthia says:

    All this fuss about Carol Thatcher is ridiculous. It certainly would not worry me if I was called \’whitey\’. Our skin is the colour it is and none of us can do anything about it so why all the fuss? When I was a child I had a golliwog and I adored him. He certainly was not grotesque. He was nice looking and and very cuddly. Incidentally I have just looked in my 1978 edition of The Popular Oxford Dictionary and for \’Golliwog\’ it says \’Black-faced soft doll with bright clothes and fuzzy hair\’. (orig. uncert.) It is a sad day when there is no longer free speech in England. I think Carol should be re-instated. I have actually stopped watching the \’One Show\’ on principle. I\’m sure Carol did not mean it in the spiteful way that the person who snitched on her did. From Cynthia.

  42. derek says:

    The majority of the public all agree that the BBC is a biased left leaning organisation biased in favour of the present goverment so it is no surprise that gutless turd that reported her did to so gain favour with there superiors, as for the people in the room I think they are the most useless shower with about as much talentas a headless chicken

  43. derek says:

    My grandaughter has a lovely big golliwog and is proud of it

  44. derek says:

    One of the mistakes this goverment has made among the many 100s is to have renewed the BBC charter to carry on being funded by licence fees, the grossly overpaid layabouts should be made to earn there pay out in the market place with the other TV companies

  45. LISA says:

    What I do find interesting is that most of the people on this blog, myself included, have really fond memories of their Golliwogs, as a loveable inoffensive childhood doll, and, whose name or physical appearance infers no malicious intent to black people. It was, what it was, their Golly. But, and I could be wrong here, the black community, clearly sees it as an insult. It appears that a Golliwog was purely a white childs toy. It just shows that a childs fond memories of this, extend into adulthood and with it, an inability to see how it could possiby be regarded as a racial insult. This of course, could be intepreted as ignorance on our part. But, I would like to think it stems from a childhood innocence in such matters as racism. It just goes to show that experience is a forbearer of personal belief.

  46. simon says:

    LISA: There is nothing wrong with having nice memories of your golliwog doll because as a child, it was just another doll that you loved along with any others you happened to love. I have tonnes of memories like that for other reasons and no-one is attacking people who have fond memories of playing with their favorite doll when they were children. Its just that some white people sadly went on to use the word golliwog to put down black people. As you yourself would never do that, the only personal connotation you have of the word is a fond childhood memory. That doesnt mean you are ignorant at all. It just means that your understanding of the word as an innocent child is not the perception for many black people when used in contexts such as that which Carol Thatcher did as an adult. It sounds like you yourself choose not to use the term in any racist way. But knowing what we now know, surely people on whacking great salaries with a responsibility to broadcast to lots of British communities should live up to that responsibility and not make such references. I think the subjects of any berating should be those who chose and choose to use the term as a racist insult, not those who had dolls and played with them nicely and never thought or think of using the word in that way.

  47. LIZ says:

    I and my daughter loved our Gollys and she would have liked her daughter to have one. The thing is her daughter is the product of her black daddy and her white mummy. What would daddy\’s family think? But I ask, why would they think it is an insult ? It is a soft toy. It is only copying the minstrels from vaudeville isn\’t it? Were they meant as an insult at the time ? I don\’t think so in the way we would mean it now, it\’s just with hindsight we can see it was maybe insensitive. Is the problem with gollys because the majority of the black community did not grow up with Robertson jam, didn\’t have the childish exicetment of collecting gollys and sending off for your badge ?We have all moved on and mostly attitudes have changed. Although I have often heard the word n*gg*r used as an insult , very often by black people in the caribbean. I have also heard the word n*gg*r used with humour within the black community in the caribbean. Never have I heard anybody use the word Golliwog as an insult. Although I have heard it used with affection humour(too long a story to go into here) It is comments from the black community that have made me think of the association with black people and gollys. Never ever did I think a golly was to do with black people. It was a toy, as far removed, as the blonde nylon haired dolly was from any girl I ever knew. I worry that we are too careful and too sensitive about what we say in this country. I grew up in a true multi racial society and insults flew left right and centre but were not taken to heart and forgotten immediately. I do agree that Carol Thatcher comes across as lacking any kind of tact, subtlety, or sensitivity. I blame the parents. I do think she comes across as generally a good person though and probably cannot understand what this is all about.I wish we could all relax, I want if I care to , to be able to chuck the odd insult at close family and frfiends, and if my son-in law grows his hair and takes to wearing a bow tie, blue jacket and stripey trousers, I reserve the right to call him a golly.

  48. Beryl says:

    I am totally behind Carol Thatcher. It seems to be a generation thing. To me, a Golliwig can ONLY mean a much loved doll. I\’ve NEVER EVER thought of it as even representing a black person. I had a pink doll, black doll, teddy bear & a golliwog. Those 4 were my favourites. I also collected the badges, with love. It\’s incredibly difficult for us oldies to remember that we are forbidden to use th "G" word. This may be a word that will die out when our generation is no more.

  49. simon says:

    Hi Beryl and Liz,You arent using the term Golliwog offensively. Do you accept that around the time of your lasting and lovely memories that black children on school playgrounds, black sportspeople and celebrities were being called "golliwogs" by people in a patronising and put-down way? Because if you do accept that reality, then the comparison of a black tennis star in 2009 to a golliwog by well paid BBC journalist is surely not an action to defend. People aren\’t here to attack "golliwogs -the item" just to ask that comparisons to golliwogs and black people are not made because many black people find it offensive. As for having "a pink doll too" when have you ever heard a sports commentator say about a white tennis player – "ooh look he looks like a pink doll?" You wouldn\’t would you? And as for caribean people using the word "n**g*r between each other, there is a really good explanation for that. It is quite empowering for groups to re-take and reclaim phrases that when used by others outside of that group, have been used as insults. Another example would be in the gay community where you might hear two gay friends using the terms poof or queer within their own dialogue. That is something very different from a heterosexual calling someone a queer or a poof. Just as it carries a very different connotation if a white person refers to a black person as a n*g*er or a golliwog.

  50. Coops - says:

    With regard to the n-word, I want to make it VERY clear to white people that this is very much a black American thing, as opposed to a black British thing. It is especially prevalent in rap music and is also used by certain black American stand-up comedians (e.g. Chris Rock). Please don\’t make the mistake of thinking that it is a universal black thing – it\’s not. Historically, Africans don\’t use that word and neither do West Indians. Even today\’s British \’yoots\’ are more likely to use the term \’bredwin\’ (brethren) instead. Reclamation or not, it is an abomination of a word and if it was up to me, nobody would say it – black or white. As Simon pointed out, golliwogs as dolls are one thing – using the word as an insult against black people is another.

  51. LIZ says:

    I agree with what both Coops and Simon have said, although on the West Indian island I lived on the N word was used but I accept it was a different culture to most islands.I think what I am trying to say is I think Carol Thatcher should not have said what she did but I think what Ross et al said was much more personal and offensive.

  52. robin says:

    I wish this country would grow up and get a life.I\’ts far to pc nowadays.Do i moan when i get called a limei,a whitie,or an essex boy.Poor Carol getting punished for useing the word Golliwog….It\’s the name of a well loved toy of my childhood and a jam i love. Come on then pray tell me what name am i not aloud to use next . Great Britain ,because i should be called Euopean………

  53. simon says:

    Hi Robin. A question – what terms would you like to be able to define people with in a non-pc britain? Given the case in point, more specifically, what terms would you like to innocently and harmlessly use to refer to black people in your ideal of a non-pc britain? And she didnt just utter the word golliwog. I can wirte it – look – golliwog. And thats not offensive. But if i liken a black tennis player to a golliwog, its offensive, so I wont do it.

  54. Stuart says:

    I cant even believe that people can say that Thatcher should be reinstated, she is ignorant, a golliwog may have been a once fondly loved childhood toy for many people, and using the term golliwog on its own to refer to this cherished toy is by no means offensive to anyone. But, to use it to refer to a black person is offensive, for obvious reasons, no one should need to go into this it is obvious. If I were to call one of my blond friends a barbie doll she would find it offensive- and to be honest, being compared to a barbie doll is more flattering than being compared with a golliwog- again for obvious reasons. Shes an ignorant fool and I hope to never see her on my television again.

  55. paula says:

    White people haven\’t spent their lives being insulted, raped, killed, castrated because of their colour (racism in the US, the holocaust and before, apartheid in SA). They don\’t seem to be able to imagine that golliwog is another part of that generalised oppression which has finally been challenged and , or the most part, stopped. Occasionally it leaks out and whitey\’s say its all too pc and the world has gone mad. No it hasn\’t. Racism still exists, and each of these happenings reminds us that it still continues, and, no it hasn\’t suddenly become acceptable to make such remarks. If you grow up with these insults putting you and your family and all like you down, then it does matter, and it should be acknowledged, challenged and stopped. Carol Thatcher, the Royle Family (lol) are part of the problem, as are others like Esssex boy, (not ethnic minorities calling you that) not grasping the point, language is how we communicate, and you have to respect others, not denigrate them. No one challenges a white man walking into a hotel or anywhere else, whereas there is still suspicion about people of colour, or if you are a woman there is always the thought that you may be a prostitute. Until we have a level playing field, then those that have lived with privilege courtesy of their skin, or a bit of protruding skin between their legs, need to accept that others are insulted by racist and sexist terms. Carol needs to go on an racism awareness course; in fact, it would make a good programme, and bring out lots of issues that could do with a good discussion with a much wider audience.

  56. david says:

    Whilst I personally think that it`s all hysterical rubbish and that I`ve been called far more hurtful names at school, AND by black people, I find Carol Thatcher, as do most people, a typical crass ignorant, arrogant, insulting piece of work who has had a priviledged life and been protected from the harder aspects of living. Consequently, she says stupid things like the poor are lazy and other old chestnuts out of pure unadulterated ignorance. The sooner she is cast to obscurity the better. Awareness training would be wasted on here. It would just bounce of her narrow mind.

  57. Joe says:

    An enviroment in which casual racist remarks are acceptable breeds nastier kinds of racism. I think the UK has come a long way in this area however there are still many people out there who find racism funny. Although this is better than genuine racial hate and discrimination it is still unacceptable. Also i find Carol Thatcher incredibly annoying – who on earth could consider her for a presenting job i dont know and i am glad she will no longer grace our TV screens. What a bunch of loons the Thatchers are!

  58. Dominic says:

    I\’m a 30yld black British male. Growing up I used to like watching, what we called at the time, \’Cowboy and Indian\’ films. …. Sometime in the 80\’s I became aware that it was not a PC to use the term \’American Indians\’ ,since then i never use the term and instead will say the \’native American\’. I have never had a problem with adjusting my terminolgy to avoid offence, why does it seem so many white people do?

  59. simon says:

    Dominic – i quite agree. I think people can only have a problem with it because they secretly want to say things to put others down and enjoy the power that is commanded when people dont respond, or belittling them and saying things like "I cant believe what all the fuss is about" when they do respond as though the complainant and aggrieved are the ones with the problem. As a child, I shudder to remember that my gran would send me down to the p*k* shop (which on our street was actually run by an Indian family ironically thus highlighting the ignorance yet further) and until the day I was told or realised that this was racist and offensive (not too long after thank goodness) I accepted it as a valid description for the shop I was expected to go to. BUT I DONT NOW. Just like there would be no excuse in 2009 for a white reporter to liken a black tennis player to a golliwog. WE really ought to be past all this level of debate by now.

  60. ann says:

    I really don\’t think C.T. had any intention of being unkind she is yet to learn obviously that the FREE speech this country was noted for is no longer as with many other things. I don\’t agree with being offensive to anyone regardless of who or what they are BUT I do have a problem with things being said in private being hypocritically repeated especially by the vulgar and often very offensive Ms Brand. The problem is we as a country have become scared to open our mouths for fear of being called racist and yet we are often insulted and offended in our own country and nothing is done. Well I for one live by the rules I was brought up with that Britain is a democratic country and we can speak freely (as previously said I would not knowingly insult or be rude to anyone deliberately) however I am not going to walk around being afraid to speak. My father did not end up on the beaches of Dunkirk for FREEDOM of this country to be told by people wanting to come here tolive how I mus t live, what I must say, what hymn I should sing at Christmas etc., etc., However, I deviate back to carol leave her alone and BBC DONT BE SO HYPOCRITICAL.

  61. simon says:

    ann wright – if you dont use your mouth to be offensive to anyone, rest assured you have nothing to fear. Do you accept that likening a black tennis player, regardless of what company you are in at the time, is indeed offensive? I don\’t fear opening my mouth in Britain because like you I use words to be nice to people. And no, sorry, not everyone should be allowed to speak freely in a democratic country when the words uttered infringe on the democratic rights of others to be equally valued within that democracy.

  62. Teresa says:

    I think Carol\’s words ill chosen and an apology would be in order, but as a 70plus white women married to a black african I\’ve been called worse things by the black community. But that is all water under the bridge. In the late 50\’s when I met and married my husband things were a lot different. Now my children are married to or partnered by various nationalities and we all get on fine.

  63. Andrew says:

    I got so fedup with all this bull, that I knited my wife a \’WHITE\’ golliwog. She called it \’Carol\’. What is done in private should stay there. The person who took this forward should be the one to be dismissed. I am gald that someone has the mind to speak how they see it. The reason I left teaching was of the PC. There was no fun it doing it anymore. I think in England we need to listen to \’The views of Patriotic Australian Prime Minister\’ Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – Australia.

  64. Coops - says:

    Andrew said: "I think in England we need to listen to \’The views of Patriotic Australian Prime Minister\’ Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – Australia." What for? The issue here isn\’t patriotism – it\’s simply one of respect. Oh, and good manners too… Teresa owusu, thanks for your comments – an interesting read.

  65. Irene says:

    when i was a child a long time ago as i am 81 a go;;ywog was just a toy ande a rather nice 1 at that i had 1 and cuddled i8t a lot it is what some some stupid people make of it to cause trouble for something innocent

  66. Phil says:

    I think the whole story is totaly pathetic! The question that comes to my mind, is the motive behind the revelation of what was said in the green room, The person who ran out of the room fully intent of exposing this slip up, surley that person new full well the stink it would create.I therefore put to you all, this revelation was vindictive and released to create mayhem.A total attack on CT and nothing more.If it was not the above and was indeed a slip of the tounge by the person who revealed the information then obviously that person did not find it offensive either.

  67. margaret says:

    i think this subject has went to far the goliwog doll has been in this country for years i don\’t find it offensive at all i think it\’s really cute and now it\’s classed as racist everything in this country is classed as racist by certain nationalities not all and it\’s getting over the top even the black jelly babies its ridiculous we can\’t even mention the words black or brown some people think we should scrap xmas because it\’s not in their religion maybe they should think 2wice in trying to change the country they chose to live in i think it\’s all going a bit to far now let it rest before there\’s more mayhem

  68. Frances says:

    Carol Thatcher was speaking privately and said something quite innocently, everyone is guilty of making comments about others, some are malicious with intent and others innocent. I think CT is innocent of malice. She is a very nice person indeed and has more common sense about everyday issues than most people. I had a golly when I was little and never associated it with people from Africa it was just Golly and went into my bed with Ted, Mr Mouse and all the others. I have also spent many years in Africa and also the US and people in other countries call refer to one another by different names, I have heard black men in the US refer to one another as N***er which is totally taboo here. In some countries in Africa black men call one another some very nasty names if they are arguing and refer to white people with even worse ones. I feel very sorry for the person who \’reported\’ this incident off air, as I feel their motives need examining, they have for one thing a rather swollen impression of their own self importance. This country is becoming increasingly paranoid, it seems that we are now unable to be ourselves without being spied on. There is always someone willing to play the racist card on any minor pretext. This is not freedom and in itself gives rise to frustration which will eventually backfire and cause people to be even more racist. It is time we pulled ourselves together and started addressing really important issues like child abuse, poverty and crime rather than this mad pettiness when an innocent remark should be addressed and dealt with by internal administrative measures, rather than airing yet more dirty linen in public. The British public seem to be losing their identity and back bone and seem no longer to have any common sense in this media driven culture. For goodness sake let\’s stand up for what we think whilst remaining polite to everyone around , where are all the English gentelmen? I really despair that this once great country has been reduced to a minor island with its population turning inward on itself – there are smatterings of left wing Eastern European Cultures here under the Communist regime. We will end up only being able to talk freely whilst sitting in a car with the engine running…..Reistate CT somehow and I might add I was really glad to see her on the Wright Stuff one day last week…thanks Matthew and thanks Carol you both have guts.

  69. jean says:

    I still have a golliwog. It belonged to my children and my grandchildren play with it and have never commented on its colour or style of doll. I feel if it was a comment made in private the persons who need axing are the ones who leaked the story for the publicity or perhaps they did not get on with Ms thatcher. Mr Chiles and the other guest should take note of how easy it is to fall off a perch and how media rule! Too much PC and not enough common sense in Great Britain nowadays. Ross should have gone for sure.

  70. simon says:

    Jean – you still have a golliwog. Frances, "Carol Thatcher was speaking privatel and innocently". Phil C – "this story is pathetic." And to everyone else who has fond memories of golliwogs and jam as children, I just want to ask you one question and the answer can be yes or no from you. Do you believe it is ok for anyone to liken a black person to a golliwog?

  71. Teri says:

    I guess all the people defending the right to use the term "golliwog" have never seen the BNP wall posters plastered all over the north in the 1990s showing black people as "golliwogs" claiming that white men had better protect their wives, daughters, sisters, mothers….etc from marauding black rapists. This is our recent racist past and is extremely offensive. I\’m white, not that old and have seen racism acts towards black and asian people, I\’ve heard appalling comments as though the whole world agrees with a racist interpretation. Funny how it always begins with "I\’m not racist but…" I\’m saddened that our society still fails to see how free speech is meant to be based upon fairness and equality and not lead to adverse treatment of any person. People defending Carol Thatcher are obviously defending their own racist stance because they either don\’t care about a free society or are just too ignorant and selfish to try to think about the implications for others. Nazis defended their right to exterminate those "others" who did not match their definition of what is acceptable, is society forgetting Pastor Niemuller\’s wise words listing who the Nazis came for to take away and eradicate "and I did not speak out" and ending with "…. and when they came for me there was no-one left so speak out". German citizens at the time did not believe any of it was any kind of ..ism and were in denial and look what happened. As has been said several times and which I entirely endorse if I was causing any kind of offence by my language why not change it. Language is powerful tell someone they are stupid often enough they end up believing it. Let\’s make our society a fairer more honest and safer society for all and think about the language we use.

  72. Ann says:

    simon are you so PC you have never said anything wrong yes or no

  73. Phil says:

    Simon “is it ok to call a coloured person or liken a coloured person to a gollywog” YES & NO! It would totaly depend entirely in which context the term was used!My question is it all right to call a person, coloured or white a bast*rd? This word is in common use but none the less is has certain meanings when used in various contexts.It too can indeed be used as a term of phrase quite innocently, however it too can be used as a major racist and or derogatory remark but you don’t see any one running to the media screaming, when some one uses it, which was what my original post was aboutI note that no one has commented about the correctness or the type or character of the person who ran to the media-screaming CT is a racist!! Which I repeat was the subject of my posting.

  74. Phil says:

    Teri. “People defending Carol Thatcher are obviously defending their own racist stance because they either don\’t care about a free society or are just too ignorant and selfish to try to think about the implications for others.”You are making or appear to be making a cart blanche statement inferring that we are all racist.Working on the markets, I have many associations with different cultures and races; I hold no racist opinions about my fellow traders. In fact I hold many in extremely high regard.I do not have any racial stance; my stance is more on the reason bellowI defend CT for two reasons.1) What she said was said in innocence, and not meant as a racial slur! 2) The right to say something in innocence without it being used as, what can be only be termed as press fodder! (See my first post)

  75. Coops - says:

    Thanks for your comments guys. Having read Simon\’s posts, it\’s clear that he feels strongly about the concept of respect. It\’s nothing to do with being \’PC\’. Of course all peoples are capable of prejudice and intolerance – nobody\’s denying that and I\’d be the first to acknowledge it. In my eyes, Carol Thatcher was guilty of insensitivity and what so many people keep forgetting is that a professional tennis player was extremely upset at her remarks. The BBC definitely made a pig\’s ear of all this – but they were caught between a rock and a hard place…

  76. simon says:

    Phil C, sorry, I thought the discussion was about Carol Thatcher. So I am only referring to that if thats ok? I just want anyone to be able to find one black person who would feel that it would be ok for a white person to liken them to a golliwog in any context. I would feel that the vast majority of black people would indeed not find that acceptable in any context, therefore its wrong to do it and indefensible in my point of view. And yes, I too am capable of getting things wrong in some contexts as are we all, Ann, and I dont even know or care what being politically correct really is. What I express in this discussion is born from my own value system and I hope you wouldnt be trying to deomnise me and belittle my opinion by distancing it from me and my own values and placing it into a mockable third person collective zone, known as political correctness, because that really isnt necessary. I just asked the question"Do you believe it is ok for anyone to liken a black person to a golliwog?" becasue I thought it would be interesting to discover the answer – if you dont feel comfortable to answer that, you dont have to. But my views are as much mine as yours are yours, and nothing to do with any such notion of PC – in fact neither is the subject matter here.

  77. Phil says:

    Hi SimonIt is a good and emotive discussion, you arguments are totally valid, however there is more to discuss other than “lets demonise CT”Within the context of this blog by Coops (article 4-paragraph 3)My question still stands, is it right for a private conversation to be made public, The coloured tennis player would not have known (nor would we) he had been referred to as a gollywog and therefore could not have been offended.Admittedly CT caused an upset in the privacy of the green room, and fellow presenters raised objections. However in my opinion that is where it should have stayed.

  78. Toni says:

    Coloured? Was he blue, pink or purple? I thought he was black?I agree however that CT did not seem to cause offence, and that more often than not her upper class upbringing is responsible for the ignorance of issues she so often shows. Whilst I don\’t think she was being malicious, I think it is a good idea she has been sacked as I don\’t think someone should be a reporter if they cannot be sensitive and keep themselves upto date with terminology and meanings of that.

  79. LISA says:

    Its a bit difficult to know what to call a black or ethnic person. One week its ok to say black, the next week its not. So people play safe and say coloured. Now that\’s wrong too. For goodness sake, why are people so sensitive about the colour of their own skin? I\’m white, or pale or milky or pinky or slightly in summer, tanned. Whatever it is you wanna describe my colour as, is fine by me! Call me on a bad hair day, a white golliwog. I dont care! But for goodness sake stop all this hand wringing about CT\’s reference to a Golliwog, SO WHAT! There are a lot more detrimental references to peoples colour than that. And as for black people being persecuted and raped. White people through the ages have come in for some strong prejudices, and bad treatment too. Namely, Jews or the Irish. Its not limited to blacks. And nor is rape! I surely hope that none of you people on here who have a problem with the term Golliwog, have to deal with real out and out racism, if you are so sensitive to a reference to a cute doll. Grow up, and put your energy into something that really matters. The person who went snitching to the BBC to curry favour for themselves should be disgusted at the furore they have caused.

  80. Coops - says:

    LISA, there are plenty of things I can never identify with too…

  81. Robert says:

    Dominic, what word would you prefer to gollyw*g ?

  82. Janet says:

    Aw for goodness sake i`m 53 and had a gollywog and all the badges off the jam plus the chalk orniments . The worlds in a mess nd your talking about a toy , maybe yo need too read the papers and watch the news or even get outa little more ………………GROW UP …………….Janet

  83. Pippy says:

    I cant believe this is still being discussed after all this time, + 480 comments!! Why not give Carol her job back which she did really well, and forget the whole nonsense!! She did not mean to cause offence + she was in the green room, not on air like Jonathan Ross..

  84. Leah -Ace- says:

    @Lisa- I can identify with what you said about Irish people. I am Northern Irish, but I can get hurtful comments thrown my way.

  85. Linda says:

    I think all this is terribly hypocritical. Her comments were made in private so the person who exposed her to the media, is just as bad. It was not a sensible thing to say but to expose a private conversation to the media is despicable. Maybe it was because of who she is they felt compelled to expose her. I think it is a real shame.Personally I have never linked golliwogs to black people they were just toys to me and it was always a thing to be prized to obtain a golliwog from collecting labels from Robertsons Jam jars. Now can we please move on from all of this nonsense. Linda

  86. Kim says:

    Look at that picture above of the golliwog. I think everyone is just too quick and too angry to realise this situation for what it is……….absolutely pathetic. Someone said this world is in a mess and that\’s about the truest thing that\’s been said here. I\’m not so sure I am aware of the history of the lexis used ie when did \’wog\’ come into use, before or after all the furore surrounding the \’Black and White Minstrels\’. Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not. These (Golliwog/Minstrels days) were relatively innocent times with regard to the colour of a persons skin, or what we called the colour and personally I think we should go back to those days ie if someone has brown skin, pink skin, white skin or black skin then we should say the colour of their skin. You wouldn\’t get a witness calling a black person anything other than black or a white person anything other than white. So why has it to be different in society. If someone\’s hair style reminded me of my golliwogs hair I wouldn\’t think twice about saying that. It would be a fact after all and it certainly wouldn\’t be said in an offensive way. If the world and his wife (and I think you\’ll find it\’s mostly the fairer skinned of us who have got up in arms about this) want to get angry and hurt because of a statement of fact then we are in a very sorry place indeed. And, indeed we are. We are already there, in that place of madness and anger. Golliwogs were sweet, fun little toys and \’The Black and White Minstrels\’ were loved by all………the BLACKS and the WHITES. Get a life you people who seem intent on stirring sh*t for society. Don\’t you see enough pain and offence caused by knives and guns everywhere. Forget what f*****g colour everything and everyone is. It doesn\’t matter. If something or someone looks like something else, so be it. What does matter is how we relate to each other, regardless of what we each look like. By the way, it\’s an absolute disgrace that Carol Thatcher was ousted by the BBC. It just show what Tarts they are there now.

  87. Kim says:

    NB I meant \’witness\’ in a court of law……………sorry!

  88. Kim says:

    Simon…… I forgot to answer your question. Yes, if they looked like the golliwog, I would. If it be a fact, state it. If I thought the person would actually take offence (and there\’s no reason for them to, just media hype) then I would not wish to offend them and I\’d keep my mouth shut and say in private what I thought.

  89. Teresa says:

    If Carol Thatcher expects to work as a reporter of any kind she needs to be aware of how others think and feel. Her values are not the only ones. The fact that she is befuddled by all the fuss, shows that she is not in touch with people outside her own set of values.Common courtesy and respect demand that she take the trouble to understand why her words upset so many people. Presently I\’m living in Thailand and my first task was to get the traditional greeting, the wai, right, (palms together about chest height and a light bow of the head along with the "swadee khah" that goes with it. Being polite costs nothing and makes others happy. I\’m all for it.

  90. Pippy says:

    Teresa.I dont think her comments did "upset so many people" as you said. A comment made in a "green room" should have remained in the green room. The BBC were so concerned after the Jonathan Ross episode which was on air, they were terrified for the wrong reasons!! The removal of Carol Thatcher has caused more comments of upset, than a mention of a Golliwog!! Most of the 486 comments are for Carol, not against. Think about it!!

  91. simon says:

    Teresa – I agree.Jerimiah – I have thought about it – and if most of the 486 comments are for Carol Thatcher not against, it only goes to show the fact that there are a lot of people who think it is ok to liken a black person to a golliwog. Just because they are numerous, doesnt make them correct. This statistic indeed only goes to show that still in some cases, majority groups still dont get it in terms of the negative impacts they can have on minorities and that minority group voices are not listened to, as in this thread. In fact, even when the minority voice in this thread raises itself, in quick succession afterwards there are numerous responses tellin them to "get a life" or to "grow up" or that "golliwogs are nice toys" – even, which shocks me somewhat, that it is"ok to liken a black person to a golliwog if they LOOK LIKE ONE?!?!?!?" This pattern of patronising and belittling retorts to the experiences of those people who object to, or are themselves black people, being compared to a golliwog, simply mirrors the wider social experiences of minority groups.

  92. LISA says:

    How come its only one or two people on here who resolutely refuse to see a Golliwog for what it is, a doll? No one has said that it is ok to equate a black person to a Golliwog. Although, whats interesting here, is the white community does not see any resemblence of a Golliwog to a black man, and it is purely a black assumption that Golliwogs are indeed, similar to a black person. Does this not indicate that, perhaps certain individuals are somewhat sensitive to their own negroid features, and as such, a tad touchy, when it comes to references such as this. In most respects, myself included, the only reference, that could moderately be compared, would be the hair. But, this applies to white people too. On a good day, my hair is tame, but on a bad day, I have been known to bare the odd resemblance to a Golliwog. Purely in the metaphorical sense. The comment is used in jest, it is not designed to patronise or belittle. Frizzy hair is not limited to the black community and nor is being likened to a Golliwog. We take it in the context is was intended. Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone. And we absolutely do not, throw our hands up in horror and demand the person who dare utter the word, be shot at dawn! Or, be sacked!!!We laugh and the world laughs with us, cry and you cry alone!

  93. Pippy says:

    Lisa,How refreshing to read your comments. I totally agree with you.

  94. Fred says:

    i\’m 76 years young now! It takes a little time to get there! However,and if i\’d ignored the the common sense old adage,that says: "sticks an\’ stones,might break my bones,but names can never hurt me!" That\’s if i took umbrage against every so-called degrading remark made,or imagined sleight? Look at all the stress that the adverse psychological concepts could have brought forth! Ar\’nt we just becoming too "politically correct" and paranoid for our own good?

  95. Fred says:

    I\’m also an agnostic,and often considered more tolerant than many "dyed in the wool" religious concepts and hitherto double-standards and ecclesiastical double – talk! However,this does not mean that i\’m insensitive to well meaning but often irrational "political correctness"and those with a morbid and achnied feeling of being put down? I merely hope that they condider the situation before they jump to the wrong conclusions?

  96. Frogz says:

    Gollywog. What\’s the problem? It\’s a soft toy with black skin (material). Would we rather children play with guns or with caucasian Barbie dolls?? Keep the image and toy, but change the perception and costume. Gollys are often dressed in servant attire from a long gone era (slave era). Lose the wog tag and keep the toy. At least kids are relating to the fact that people are not just white people in the world.Roberton\’s started having their TM character in all sorts of different jobs. It was actually quite PC. It\’s a toy and a traditional icon. Don\’t get rid, just change peoples perceptions. Golly instead of Gollywog. Jolly maybe. Change the name, get all the ethnic minorities represented and let kids see that. Do a PR job on the iconic image and don\’t wind people up….just change their perceptions.As a child growing up in the Seventies, I never really saw the image as something negative. It\’s just a toy. It\’s society and and parents that impose everything else on the doll, not the kids. They just play with it. To them it could be green, pink, yellow or orange. Think back….

  97. Philip says:

    Intresting post Frogz! lets change its name too, Jollynice person, then when we refer to it as CT did it wont be offensive. Or would it?

  98. simon says:

    Frogz. I am thinking back now…..hmmmm. Let me see. I am seeing black and asian children being called golliwogs at primary school. Then later on things like "shut up you f – ing golliwog" at secondary school. I am hearing football chants and shouts to black footballers "get that f-ing golliwog off the pitch"….. SO NO – lets NOT say its ok to liken a sportsperson or anyone to a Golliwog please because of its clearly proven offensive history. I agree it was not the fault of a soft toy but if you dont like the connotations it now carries, blame your white ancestors and accept that the item is somewhat a casualty to FORMER BIGOTRY not a casualty to any notion of modern PC BRIGADES, the umbrella term which existing bigots tend to lump anyone who challenges unfairness under in order to somehow detract from their articulate viewpoints.

  99. Pippy says:

    Do we think that Claire Balding should now be sacked for an inapporpriate comment on TV like poor Carol was?

  100. Laura Irving Hayes says:

    yer

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