Woman’s Hour presenter Jenni Murray was on Radio 4’s Feedback today (approx 7 mins in) defending herself against feminist anger over a recent stand-up routine she did as part of Comic Relief. It seems Murray used the word “bitches” and had committed the unforgivable crime (in feminist circles) of calling herself a “girl”. She pointed out that she was trying to be funny (the use of “bitches”, for example, was part of a mock urban slang bit of the sort heard with tiresome regularity from “real” Radio 4 comedians such as Mark Steel, her mentor for the Comic Relief exercise).

Before explaining the “ironic” nature of her comedy routine, Murray treated us to a brief history of the phrase “political correctness”. Referring to herself in the third person, she reminded right-on listeners everywhere about the real enemy:

“Who would’ve thought that Jenni Murray, queen of all things politically correct, would’ve landed herself in trouble accused of using unacceptable language? Well let’s deal first of all with those words “politically correct”, the ubiquitous “PC”. I never use them. It was an expression promoted by advisers to George Bush Sr during his presidency and was a plot by the extreme right wing in America to put down people like me.”

A pillar of the BBC possessing a deranged antipathy towards an imagined “extreme right wing in America”. Who’d have guessed, eh?

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  1. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Time and time again we get a BBC on-air personality inciting hatred against people in the US of whom she doesn’t approve politically.


  2. Jon S says:

    well, she is a silly bitch


  3. john in cheshire says:

    If my memory is correct, the cult of Political Correctness did in fact originate in America. However, it was on the Campuses of the US universities, and amongst the ‘liberal’ intelligentsia; ie. the socialists. I recall this because I was reading about it in such publications as Time, Newsweek and the Economist. I actually smiled to myself about it, never once thinking that it would gain widespread credibility. How wrong was I. To blame George Bush snr. is a bastardisation of history. But that’s what the bbc is good at doing. And no, I don’t blame Americans. I put the blame where it belongs, namely at the door of the communists/marxist/socialists. It was deliberate, calculating and quite wicked. The only reason it originated in the US, to my mind, is that they knew it would eventally flow from there to all parts of the world.


  4. Hugh Chadderton says:

    @JS. Lame comment. If you took the time to listen, you’d know she’s one of the few presenters who takes the trouble to explore both sides of any issue. She handles all comers; do-gooders, lost souls, wimmin, aristocracy, single mums, MILFs, men with an axe to grind (you’ll be familiar with them) and politicians from across the spectrum, with the same down to earth intelligence. In fact, she’s one of the few women employed by the Beeb who’s worth listening to.


    • D B says:

      “In fact, she’s one of the few women employed by the Beeb who’s worth listening to.”

      Apart from the knee-jerk leftie recourse to denunciations of “the extreme right in America” you mean?


  5. London Calling says:

    “Hugh” – “men with an axe to grind (you’ll be familiar with them)” that’s pretty lame itself.

    Shame really, I was with you up until the unnecesary ad-hom. How come you just can’t resist it? It gives the lie to the apparent reasonableness of the rest of your pitch. Its almost like you feel you have to give yourself away.


  6. gud says:

    Think a crash-course on Cultural Marxism & the Frankfurt School may set her straight….

    She’s either a naif, or a malignant socialist.


  7. Hugh Chadderton says:

    @gud. Her interviews show that she’s anything but naive, and being a regular contributor to the Daily Mail suggests she’s probably not a socialist, malignant or otherwise.

    @LC. There’s a difference between being abusive and making spiky asides. I suspect that anyone who calls another a bitch, unless severely provoked, has got issues.

    @DB. I think Bush v1 picked up on what the hard left were doing in American universities and used it to their advantage.

    Jenni Murray’s mistake on Comic Relief was to remind the feminists on left that there’s more than one kind of feminism. To be sure she’s a feminist, in that she campaigns against systematic injustice to women, but she’s a feminist with a mind of her own. This angered them, in exactly the same sense that her ability to buck the trend at the Beeb, angers some of those who post here.


    • D B says:

      Do you agree with Murray that Bush 41 = “extreme right wing”?

      And Suzanne Moore might have something to say about your contention that a Daily Mail columnist can’t possibly be a socialist.


    • Cassandra King says:


      You have made some good comments and I have some sympathy with them but PC fascism was very active against ‘right wing’ comedians well before monkey Hitler ever sniffed power.
      PC hurt the careers of funny men like Bernard Manning, a really funny English comedian. The PC disease was a bit like the Maoist cultural revolution that inevitably turned into an increasingly bizzare witch hunt but then again that is central theme with these kind of leftist causes, they end up in an ever decreasing circle of denounciations with ever more catagories of people being ‘protected’ against ridicule.

      In the beginning PC protected cripples from being laughed at and perhaps that was a good thing but the PC illness inevitiably moved on and now we are where we are with even the most PC of PC people being attacked. There was always going to be a backlash against PC and I am glad that some of its suporters are getting the PC treatment, it might evoke some little sympathy for PCs first victims but I doubt it.

      Humour is funny thing 😀 ! The Nazis used it to kickstart their Jew eradication scheme, it can make peoples lives better or it can make some peoples lives far worse. Humour used to perpetuate deep seated hatreds and usd against helpless minority groups is an age old problem and there has to be a line drawn. Unfortunately the PC fascists kept moving the line.

      BTW there are some like bullies who use humour as a cover for prejudice and their own vile inner core, who among us would laugh at the plight of a homeless person? Who among us would laugh at a person with a facial disfigurement? Who among us would laugh at a dying person?

      Things like comedy aint black and white, they never were.


    • Paddy says:

      @Hugh George bush senior was hardly extreme right wing. If you feel he is/was then I hope you never stumble into a true right wing extremist.

      If Our Jen feels he’s extreme right then she too is sadly misguided and it’s very unlikely that a Tory or even a lib dem like myself (a bit lapsed it has to be said)would consider him so to be. Like young Ms laverne she can’t help it if sometimes her inner trot seeps out.

      She may be that rare breed… A reasonable socialist. One who enjoys the challenge of debate for enlightenment and for it’s own sake. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…..


  8. Demon1001 says:

    I think in football terms, she has just done the equivalent of scoring an ‘own goal’.


  9. Phil says:

    I don’t listen to Feedback.

    I’ve given my feedback to the government funded broadcaster by ending my subscription.

    HMRC don’t collect the TV tax, or chase those who don’t pay it.


  10. RGH says:

    Herbert Marcuse famously said:

    “Surely, no government can be expected to foster its own subversion, but in a democracy such a right is vested in the people (i.e. in the majority of the people). This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and if they are blocked by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means. They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc”

    This, from the Left, is what has been described as the birth of ‘political correctness’ on the campuses of the ’68 generation.

    The psychological double think of the exponent of ‘politically correct thinking’ is the appropriation of the moral superiority of their programme which brooks no opposition. The mindset even flatters itself that it is ‘civilisation’.

    Of course ‘political correctness’ appeared in the marxist inspired intellectual ‘cool’ circles of the late sixties and seventies. The joke was that it was similat to ‘ideologically sound’ but less threatening.

    The ‘Right’ as Murray points out did cotton on (after all many saw it on the same campuses and weren’t impressed at the time) and knew what they saw and called a spade a spade with an accuracy that the ‘politically correct’ find irksome.

    To those who are PC, the extent of their mindset inclines them to deny PC as a defensive posture. ie they don’t get it that they are criticised as they cannot see beyond the PC paradigm.


  11. As I See It says:

    Isn’t it odd that when challenged from the left BBC personalities so often reach for their own left wing beliefs and credentials with which to defend themselves. When they are criticised from the right, however, we are rutinely reassured of they are all so very imparatial.

    Of course the humourless stormtroopers for PC are bound to react in this way to a Beeboid using a few words that are just a little out of her normal line (In humour and for charity). It is because they react fast and loud and get disproportionate publicity that they are able to impose PC modes of thought.

    My understanding is that Political Correctness certainly began in the US. My own rationalisation is that it became a force in Britain in the 1990s because the New Labour tendency was cosy up to business and dump working class values and ways of thought. I can distictly remember a friend of mine, who was very New Labour, explaining ‘There’s nothing wrong with Political Correctness, I can’t see why people criticise it – it’s a good thing’. Once in governement you have to have some kind of idealogy and in the absence of anything else it was PC.


    • Cassandra King says:

      PC when all said and done is nothing more than a political weapon used by the left to crush dissent and to show off their own supposed moral credentials.
      The leftists dont really care about victims, they have always been aconvenient tool.


  12. The Cattle Prod of Destiny says:

    Politcal Correctness is what used to be called ‘being Right On’.  It is just another way of making sure that everyone is on message and that no other views are aired. 

    It’s been around for decades under various names and is simply an extention of Critical Theory.  As such it is not the least bit American as it comes from the collectivist left of 1930’s Germany.


  13. As I See It says:

    Thinking (or more realistically modes of speech that reflect certain ways of thinking) once considered quaint and “Right On” are now “PC”. This is a serious issue because over the last decade or so this has begun to be backed up by legislation. There is also a broad area of PC offences that although not yet prosecutable do lead to censure and in some notable cases loss of employment.

    The BBC has played a major role in bringing us PC, in maintaining it, and in ratcheting it forward.

    I think PC is now the most powerful tool of the left. Red flag waving and industrial disputes are on the wane but PC rules!