Anna Mikhailova, Telegraph, August 23, 2019
Political correctness has gone too far and “exceeds common sense”, three quarters of Britons have said in a wide ranging study.
More than half of people also said political correctness is “eroding the expression of Britain’s values and traditions” in a report by the LSE using findings from Opinium.
In the report due to be published next week, 76 per cent of people agreed political correctness “sometimes goes too far and exceeds common sense”.
Only 17 per cent of people surveyed said they want to see politicians determining what is or isn’t politically correct.
When asked who should be responsible for adjudicating the boundaries of acceptable language and behaviour, a majority of Britons said this responsibility should lie with “ordinary people” and society as a whole.
Younger people were more likely to defend political correctness. Nearly 40 per cent of men under 35 said they think it “protects people like me”.
In addition, 40 per cent of people said political correctness “helps to create a fairer society by enabling more citizens to feel comfortable and participate to their fullest extent”. One in three said it is a “small price to pay for a more equal society”.
The survey’s respondents were also asked to assess a range of statements, with 13 per cent saying it was “negative” to say “The British Empire was a force for good as well as bad.”
Nearly half of respondents said it as acceptable to say that “High levels of immigration are eroding British culture, values and traditions”.
Sophia Gaston, Visiting Research Fellow at the LSE, who carried out the study, said: “The rise of social media has also added a tremendous degree of fuel to the fire in the ‘culture wars’ between progressives and conservatives.”
Writing in the Telegraph, Ms Gaston says: “It is rare in these polarised times of ‘snowflakes’ and ‘saboteurs’ to find an issue that brings the country together, but the British people find a surprising point of unity on the very topic supposed to evoke their most ardent divisions.”
Ms Gaston adds: “More than half of the country blames political correctness for eroding the expression of Britain’s values and traditions, and believes it has enabled politicians to avoid addressing sensitive social issues, such as integration. In this light, political correctness has come to stand for political failure.”