Talking Points 5 February

"Golliwog" doll

Public and Private Space

Carol Thatcher, the daughter of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has been sacked from her reporter job at the BBC for using the word “golliwog” when referring to a tennis player. The story has certainly kicked off a storm here in the UK. Miss Thatcher used the term off air when talking to production staff after the programme. She said that the comment was not made for public broadcast and was meant to be humorous. This article believes that it is not treating someone as an equal if you think you have to guard your tongue in their presence. So can you no longer have private conversations at work? How safe is it to tell a joke? Are there degrees of offense?

Guantanamo Terror

President Obama’s administration has been accused of threatening to withdraw cooperation in terror cases from Britain if a UK court disclosed evidence of British detainee, Binyam Mohammed who claims he was tortured in Guantanamo. Is this the first real test of the so called special relationship between US and Britain?

The British court has decided that evidence in Binyam Mohamed’s case should be kept a secret on the grounds of national security. Do you feel it is in the public interest for torture evidence to be revealed? Should security come before openess?

Women Drinking in India

One story that has caught my interest in recent days is about women drinking in India. A protest has taken place in Delhi against the release of a group of men who beat up a group of young women for drinking and dancing in a pub in the city of Mangalore.

Pramod Muthalik, the chief of a popular political party in India has said that the raid was justified as it was protecting youngsters from falling into the wrongs hands.

Poorna Shetty in today’s Guardian talks about how there is one rule for boys and one rule for girls in South Asian culture. Do you think this is true in your community and should this still be the case? Do women still need “protecting”?

18 Responses to “Talking Points 5 February”

  1. 1 steve
    February 5, 2009 at 12:20

    I’ve always kept the rule that it’s not even wise to socialize with coworkers. I speak about nothing but work related issues. They probably think I’m boring for it, but i’m there to work, not socialize. I’ve never even heard of the word at issue here.

  2. February 5, 2009 at 12:42

    At work one should avoid talking about politics, religion, and topics that immediately lead to either. But doing so should not be a sacking offense. Just know that opinions differ greatly, because whereas some people have done their research and have the facts, as for other people, well, it’s as PT Barnum said: There’s a sucker born every minute.

  3. 3 gary
    February 5, 2009 at 13:29

    Journalists enjoy privileged status in society, more or less regardless of their personal merits for such a position. Listeners tune-in, agree or disagree, praise or curse their comments; but listen just the same. Comments concerning important events of day can seldom be given without offending some segment of the population. Truth can be a source of considerable stress for those wishing to avoid it. However, a journalist must strive to avoid, at all costs, offending accidentally. Microphones, live or dead, look the same. Ms. Thatcher may have been sacked for the word. If so, this was wrong. However, she certainly should have been sacked for lack of personal discipline and professionalism.

  4. 4 Daniel from the Netherlands
    February 5, 2009 at 13:57

    Do you feel it is in the public interest for torture evidence to be revealed? Should security come before openess?

    Yes i believe it is in the public interest for torture evidence to be revealed. In this time of ‘democracy’ the electorate should have the right of information on state activities. Especcially when that state turns to medieval means for extracting information from people who have not had the chance of a fair trial. I think this whole notion of ‘security’ that western states try to propagate is questionable at best. If anything it has been an excuse for limiting our personal freedom and infringement of our privacy. The kind’s of dangers our states claim to protect us from are unstoppable. It only takes one heckler, or in this case one determined fanatic with a gun or bomb.

  5. 5 John
    February 5, 2009 at 14:12

    Ms Thatcher should not have been sacked, if what she said was a lack of personal discipline and pofessionalism what was the so called conversation between that foul mouthed object Jonathan Ross and the equally foul mouthed and totally unfunny so called comedian Russell Brand.
    She was sacked for a totally innocent remark which either the conceited presenter of the One Show or another so called comedienne took exception too and just like the class room sneak went running to tell tales to any one that would listen.
    It is time these people grew up and stopped trying be so politically correct and got a life.

  6. 6 mandie in cape coral
    February 5, 2009 at 14:29

    I for one would like to know more about what was going on in that green room that would allow Ms. Thatcher to be so comforatable to make the comment. People don’t just come out and make off hand remarks unless they think they are among a very close group of friends. Who said they heard her say it? Who tattled in class?

  7. 7 Peter
    February 5, 2009 at 14:29

    Back in the good old days b4 911 ,in our multi racial country we banter among ourselves with racist jokes .
    I never got angry at others degrading my race or typecasting us nor do they take offence to my degrading. We have a common bond , our nationality.
    Loosen up BBC

  8. 8 David Ancel (Oregon)
    February 5, 2009 at 16:43

    In America, I always had the perception that the BBC was for free thinkers, perhaps even with a bit more liberalism than we enjoy on popular talk radio here (it is broadcast on NPR afterall). But in my brief sojourn here I’ve come to the realization that the BBC is about as restrictive and sans-ethical judgement as to be on a par with Bill O’reilly or Rush Limbaugh. They wouldn’t even approve of my post criticizing the horrendous ‘moderation’! No language, no personal attacks, just criticism with brevity. And of course this post will disapear as well. What a waste of time.

    The concept of a worldwide radio discussion and forum is a great one. But without the dubious production values and ham-handed censorship.

  9. 9 Greg White (indianapolis)
    February 5, 2009 at 19:27

    Response to castration of sex offfenders story. My belief as well as others is that sexual suppression from religeous or idealogical perspectives is the root cause of sexual abuse. Castration will stop an offender from repetition and may as well be a deterent for some others but it will do nothing to get at the root cause. Until we re-educate humanity on the natural virtues of our sexual nature there will always be a portion of society lurking in the shadows prepared to violate innocence.

  10. 10 ~Dennis Junior~
    February 5, 2009 at 19:37

    So can you no longer have private conversations at work? How safe is it to tell a joke? Are there degrees of offense?

    1)I do not think that having private talks at work are no longer safer…

    2)Telling jokes are not that safe…

    3)Yes, there are degrees of offense regarding telling jokes…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  11. 11 Roberto
    February 5, 2009 at 20:25

    RE “” So can you no longer have private conversations at work? “”

    ————– The state I live in corporations and private business pretty much have free reign. You can be fired for any reason under the sun.

    They can just make up reasons if they have no good reason. However, if you fall under those special Federal minority guidelines, you can seek some justice if fired for poor reason. Ms Thatcher was born with a silver spoon and has no such worries save some public fallout.

    Much ado over nutin’.

  12. February 6, 2009 at 00:54

    Guantanamo Terror
    Is this the first real test of the so called special relationship between US and Britain? Yes, it looks like a real test for the U.S. & the UK.

    Do you feel it is in the public interest for torture evidence to be revealed? Yes, evidence of torture should be revealed….

    Should security come before openess? There are equal chances for both aspects in a country’s best interest.

    ~Dennis Junior~

  13. 13 Robert Postance
    February 6, 2009 at 11:35

    Jonathan Ross and others of his ilk can be as offensive as they like with their peurile smut, on air or off because Jay Hunt likes them. Miss Thatcher, on the other hand, was overhead by some creep who saw a golden opportunity to tell tales and get her into trouble with the PC brigade. Of course, what she said was not suitable for transmission, but it was off air and there is much more offensive on air which goes uncensored. It all contributes to the coarsening of society as we now know it today. Foul language, gratuitous violence, and all kinds of filth are all considered acceptable entertainment but woe betide anyone upsetting the PC brigade. The slightest transgression can cost you your job.

  14. February 6, 2009 at 19:25

    Ms Thatcher has been given a golden opportunity to find work elsewhere away from the Politically Correct addled Socialists who run the BBC.

    With the collapse of the worlds monetary systems on the horizon then the BBC as well as many other bloated government instruments are for the chop anyway so she got out at a good time and can now cheerfully watch it crumble from the sidelines. I know I will.

  15. 15 Luci Smith
    February 7, 2009 at 10:23

    Who should get sacked for what?

    I have been married twice and one of my reasons for the second divorce was that my husband and my mother-in-law became increasingly racist and sexist in their language and observations.
    I once worked with retarded people and my husband has never known any but he insisted on calling them something like golliwog in Danish.
    Rudeness and disrespect for other people is universal among those who feel themselves to be superior. I chose to get a divorce rather than getting into arguments at every family gathering. This occurred over 15 years ago, before anybody here was touting political correctness.
    I grew up among racists in Texas and it has always made me angry when people use ignorant derogatory language about other human beings. (Probably with one exception: politicians!)

  16. 16 Luci Smith
    February 7, 2009 at 10:24

    I meant- it is always open season on politicians.

  17. 17 Emile Barre
    February 7, 2009 at 12:29

    Idiocy runs in the family.

  18. February 8, 2009 at 02:47

    The ability to profit from capitalizing on anothers error has always been popular. The former CCCP and Communist China made an industry out of it. If we persist in these behaviors, there is little room to declare our systems superior. If the British Zampolit can have you sent to Siberia for expressing non-Party thoughts, free speech is a hoax.

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