I am just about old enough to remember when PC only stood for Police Constable, when Les Dawson was allowed to make mother-in-law jokes, golliwogs appeared on jam jars, and Plaid MPs didn’t exist never mind rant and rave every time someone made a joke about the Welsh.
Now before I say anything else anyone who knows me will also know that I am a firm believer in equality, that as it says in the Liberal Democrat constitution we should “reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality.”
I am also fully aware that as a country we are a long, long way from achieving this. But have we gone a bit too far in certain areas?
Chris Evans on radio 2 this morning asked the question – is it ok to call a Welshman Taff / Taffy? Now no doubt there are some Plaid extremists who will throw up their hands in disgust and demand he resigns immediately. But what is wrong with good natured jibes?
Take this past week. As you know the English rugby team crashed spectacularly out of the World Cup, and as a result there have been any number of (mostly very bad) jokes going around. Good natured banter has been rippling around our office for weeks between the ‘warring’ Welsh and English factions. Is it racism? Of course not.
As I say, I believe in equality. One of the reasons I am so against the Royal family is the very idea that anyone one person should be subservient to another, that people should have to bow and curtsy to another person because she holds an inherited title.
I believe in equality – and that to my mind also rules out positive discrimination, although I know there are many who disagree with me. We need to encourage more women into politics, but I am against all women shortlists, or anything that means a woman does not compete equally on merit with a man for any position.
Perhaps it is because I have been fortunate in that I have never felt discriminated against because of who or what I am.
I am fiercely proud of being Welsh – I am always Welsh first and British a long way second. But I don’t feel the need to bang the drum incessantly. And it doesn’t bother me to hear Jeremy Clarkson make jokes about Wales.
Just as long as he doesn’t get too hot under the collar if the jibes go the other way too.
Being a woman has never been a burden either. I don’t feel I have ever been held back from doing anything because I am female. That is not to say discrimination does not exist, and it should be stopped, but the whole ‘sisters are doing it for themselves’ bit has never held much attraction for me.
I am comfortable with who and what I am. Ok, maybe I could do with trimming twenty years off my age, but….... I am confident in who I am and what I do. I don’t feel the need to prove myself as a woman – although I do strive to be the best I can be in whatever I do. I don’t need to feel I am superior to anyone else, because I don’t allow myself to feel inferior.
We are a long, long way from achieving equality across the board - maybe we never wail – but we won’t achieve it by allowing the PC brigade to take the humour out of life.
There was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman…………………………