The biggest over reaction of the strange world of political correctness was one of the UK’s newspapers last year, on Bonfire Night. For all of you who don’t live in the UK and understand our quaint little ritual (I have realised this since trying to explain the history behind it to my American cousins and foreign workmates) we celebrate Bonfire, or Guy Fawkes Night, on the 5th of November.
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…
Yep, we have a rhyme.
On the 5th of November 1605, Guy Fawkes got into the House of Lords and tried to barbecue the King. I think it was because he was a protestant and they wanted a catholic King, and it all got a little tense, culminating in them wanting to chop off his head, or blow him up. The English liked that in those days (before the invention of the television we had little to do), so any chance to burn, dunk or chop people was taken with gusto, I gather. Anyway, he got caught, and we celebrate the fact that he didn’t manage to burn the King by, well, burning him on a stake. Well, an effigy of him.
Pretty standard. Loosely based on religion, but no one really knows why we celebrate it as it is more referred to as Bonfire Night. We gather in our hoards in a big field, normally a muddy one as this time of year is always wet. We stand in the quagmire and ooh and aah over a big bonfire with a man on, made out of old jumpers, hay and twigs. We then watch some pretty fireworks go off, have a hotdog and ride on the gypsy fairground rides, and go home, frozen to the core. This normally lasts about ten days, as firework displays are on the weekend before, the weekend after, and all through the first week of November.
So the mad world of PC’ness in England astounded me last time the day came round. For there in the newspaper was an article about Bradford, where the council had banned the burning of the effigy of Guy Fawkes, as they felt that it was discriminatory to the other religions who lived in the area (it is a largely Indian community). OK, I can see this a little, but am totally against it. Other religions are allowed to celebrate their rituals; Diwali, Chinese New Year etc and we do not complain that this is not politically correct. It seems to me that equal rights seems to work in the UK for every religion and creed, apart from white people. I’m not remotely racist, it is simply an observation that if we celebrate our rituals we are discriminating against people, yet other people can go ahead and observe theirs, yet should we say something we are racist. *step down from soap box, carry on with story*
But what really took the biscuit was their alternative. As Guy Fawkes was deemed to be a religious character, they felt it acceptable to burn an effigy of a Bengal tiger.
Damn those Bengal tigers for attempted treason, and damn historians for getting the story so wrong!