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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 October, 2004, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Tories target political correctness
The Conservatives declared war on "political correctness" at their annual rally in Bournemouth this week - and they had no shortage of examples to draw on. Here are just a few from the course of the week:

  • Ann Widdecombe
    Ann Widdecombe told a fringe meeting she was offered a cup of coffee recently on a visit to a school. "Yes please I'll have it black," said Ms Widdecombe, "and they said 'you can't say that anymore'. Now hang on, if you see a cup of coffee and it's got no milk in it what colour is it? What is it you are supposed to say? Can I have something that's not white please? Can I have something that is darker than dark brown please? That is an example of political correctness gone mad."

  • Julie Kirkbride
    The Bromsgrove MP told BBC News Online of a local school "where boys of 11 are being marked down for making racist remarks against other children. I am not sure whether I want children of 11 indulging in playground chat to be actually marked down in that way. I think we have to be more sensitive about some of these things and perhaps be a bit more relaxed," she added.

  • Boris Johnson
    The Henley MP Boris told of "shocking and demented" procedures that led to an incident in his constituency in which police and ambulance crews did not attend a shooting incident for up to an hour as they carried out a risk assessment.

  • Michael Howard
    In a Q&A session ahead of his closing speech, the Tory leader mocked a ban on playing conkers without protective eyewear that had been introduced by school, as a perfect example of political correctness.

  • Sandip Verma
    The prospective parliamentary candidate quoted the example of an 11-year-old boy who had been on a crime spree in her area, but could not be "named and shamed" in the local paper because it would infringe his human rights.

  • Ann Widdecombe (again)
    On Mel Gibson's film the Passion of the Christ: "Too many sections of our society criticised it for having the gall to be filmed at all, that the Christian religion shouldn't actually film the most sacred part of the New Testament and we mustn't do that because it would give offence to people who 2,000 years ago carried out the crucifixion. Who are we supposed to be upsetting? The Italians?"





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