Monday, 10 October 2011

The BBC, before Christ, and political correctness

Dr Giles Fraser, a Canon Chancellor at St Pauls Cathedral asks:
When did respect turn into political correctness? Giles Fraser,Guardian,28 Sept 2011

This is in regards to the BBC's decision to replace BC (as in Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domino) with BCE (before common era) and CE (common era).

Giles Fraser seems to like established institutions.  He supported the royal wedding in a previous article and now here he has interpreted the outrage at the BBC's decision as an attack on the BBC, not an attack on political correctness.  So he seems to be a fan of the BBC.

His most recent article is on liberalism.  But how can you be a liberal (meaning "freedom" not "toleration") if you support established institutions like the BBC and the monarchy?

The monarchy takes away our freedom to choose our representative.  It creates a social hierarchy based on accent and background that we cannot change.  If you are working class you stay working class.  It restricts our ability to express emotion particularly, positive emotion, due to social pressure not to get above your station.
As for the BBC; we have to pay the government, whether we like it or not, to watch TV.  Very illiberal.

I don't know if Giles is claiming to be a liberal (in the British sense, not the American sense); I just assumed he was since he wrote an article on the subject.  But because the monarchy and the BBC has such a profound negative impact on British society, I don't think he can champion liberalism as a concept while being pro-monarchy and pro-BBC.

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