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No, Peter, you’re PC gone mad

It’s one thing to protest the banning of communion wine in prisons, but it’s another to label it “political correctness gone mad”, as United Future leader Peter Dunne did.  The careless and irresponsible use of that phrase like that is an insult to the anti-PC brigade.  The corrections policy isn’t political correctness gone mad, Peter: you’re political correctness gone mad.

The law is simple: alcohol is banned in prisons.  What Peter Dunne wants from his complaint to the Human Rights Commission is an exemption for a specific group from this otherwise general policy.  Paraphrased, he wants special treatment for a specific group.  And what’s political correctness?  Well, no-one really knows, but among other things, one thing that does categorise politically correct acts is special treatment for specific groups—typically as a kindness, for fear of offending them otherwise.  In other words, pointless discrimination for an honourable purpose.

So, it goes like this.  The Catholics are offended by the policy.  They think they deserve an exception.  We don’t want to offend them, so we grant them the exemption.  Aren’t we nice people?

Peter Dunne is deceived to be calling his complaint “common sense”.  It is not common sense.  It might have substance, but it is not common sense.  Common sense is a complaint that inmates are not allowed access to drinking water (by the way, they are, so don’t be worried).  There is no reason compelling enough to be common sense to allow a group to bring alcohol where it is banned.  It is political correctness, because it emphasises the politically correct traits of tolerance, goodwill, and freedom (in prisons).

Dunne’s complaint isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I will not stand here and argue that Catholics shouldn’t be allowed to practise whatever they need to practise that requires communion wine.  Equal cases could be made for whether such an exception would be justified, and for all I know, there could be a suitable alternative, as this blogger reckons.  It’s just not political correctness gone mad, but the opposite: one rule for all, no special treatment, no fear of offending groups, just keeping it simple.

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