by Martin Odoni
The “anti-Semitism-in-the-Labour-Party” non-story of the last five years should never have received even five per cent of the media coverage it got. One of the reasons why it should not have, one that is seldom commented upon, is that its sole justification has been “offence.”
Offending people for the sake of it is seldom a good thing, but the problem with preventing any behaviour purely on the basis of offence-caused is that there is no hard-and-fast rule about what is offensive and what is not. Anyone can claim any remark they hear is offensive. I find typical Tory rhetoric about ‘scroungers,’ asylum seekers, or single mothers offensive, but that reason is not enough to have the rhetoric banned, only to criticise it.
The term, “That’s offensive,” should not be imbued with the power that has increasingly been granted to it. In too many areas, it…
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