Beware the nursery racists!

PUBLISHED: 11:32 12 May 2006 | UPDATED: 21:52 28 May 2010

Political correctness for its own sake has always driven me to distraction. I have criticised and poked fun at the PC brigade in this column on many occasions, but this time the purveyors of this suspect philosophy have excelled themselves. The recent war

Political correctness for its own sake has always driven me to distraction.

I have criticised and poked fun at the PC brigade in this column on many occasions, but this time the purveyors of this suspect philosophy have excelled themselves.

The recent warning to our nursery schools by the former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality is as pernicious as it is stupid. Herman Ouseley tells us in the latest edition of 'Race Equality Teaching' that pre-school children may already be racists and that nursery schools should help them "unlearn any racist attitudes".

This smacks of the fashion of a few years ago when the favoured paranoia was 'Reds under the beds'. Those who promoted this nonsense were rarely taken seriously.

But paranoid people who brand young children as racists cannot be dismissed as a joke. In the current climate in which political correctness rules (or almost does) there will be those who will believe this garbage.

And before we know it there will be pages of silly, restrictive rules hampering the good work done by so many of our pre-school groups.

Co-author of the article, Jane Land, says that although children don't learn their attitudes until they are about five years old, children as young as three are categorising people and many are racially prejudiced.

And the way to counter this? Make sure children of different cultures or ethnic groups learn to play together.

Without this prodding from 'Race Equality Teaching' would our teachers have thought of that? Of course they would. I'm sure this has been normal practice for a long time.

This outpouring of paranoid bile has done nothing to help the battle against racism. Its only achievement is to make the campaigners look genuinely out of touch and dangerously stupid.

I note with interest that postmasters in the Isle of Wight are considering dumping the Royal Mail and running their own postal service, with their own postage stamps and franking system.

Main reason behind this mutiny is that the island's branch of the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters reckons an independent mail system will be more efficient and stave off post office closures.

Good luck to them. When they've got it up and running they should export it to the Fens and the rest of the UK. We could do with a decent postal service.

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