We used to say that what happened in the USA would be shortly followed by the UK â but these days Australia is the place to study for the diligent student of the politically correct.
I have taken an unexpected interest in the macho world of working class heroes â the sacred turf whence the âbeautiful gameâ (sic) is played. Once the province of the flat cap and pigeon fancier, a refuge from the working week, before âer indoors set out the working week-end, it is being steadily transformed into the ultimate politically correct arena.
No longer may Jews refer to themselves as the âYid Armyâ in case they offend themselves; Glen Hoddle was a passable England Manager until he offended the âthought policeâ and netted Tony Blair on the Richard and Judy show (such a serious politician!) demanding his resignation for his weird belief that the disabled âwere being punished for sins in a former lifeâ; the FA stamped their little feet and squealed âracismâ when Luis SuÃ¡rez called Patrice Evra a âSudacoâ â a derogatory term for South Americans â and âSouth Americanâ is a race, already? Womenâs football results are now routinely printed before the menâs football results in the Oxford Mail; Liverpool football club have an official list of gender and disability related âoffensive termsâ that you are not allowed to utter within the stadium â and stewards wearing head cameras to catch you in the act should you shout out âyou big girlâs blouse, or âbloody moronâ as some unfortunate player rolls on the ground complaining that SuÃ¡rez has just consumed his left leg. Across the Big Pond, President Obama has embroiled himself in the controversy started when the Native American community leaders tried to force the âWashington Redskinsâ to change their âoffensiveâ name.
The Yid and Redskins controversies tell us a lot about the craziness of PC. Both are underpinned by the central conceit of PC: that the ârightâ of certain groups or individuals not to be offended trumps the freedom of speech of other communities. Neither the USA, nor yet, the UK, have gone quite as far as Australia in bowing â with nose to the ground â before the most hallowed groups of âmight be offendedâ.
The Australian Football League is quite literally in a league of its own:
The AFL is committed to reflecting Australiaâs cultural diversity by providing an environment which welcomes people from all backgrounds to enjoy our game as supporters, players, umpires or administrators.â
How do they achieve this? Well, first of all they draw a sharp division between their traditional supporters, the Australian version of the flat cap and pigeon fancier brigade, who are expected to shell out some of their hard earned cash to buy a season ticket or at least a ticket to the latest match where they can practise saying âWell played, Sirâ and âI say, you truly virile individual, methinks you protest too muchâ should any player employ the SuÃ¡rez tactic on a visiting footballer – and those from er, any one of 90 other countries, who may or may not be persons of various hues of the rainbow, but qualify as ânew arrivalsâ in football parlanceâ¦or âasylum seekersâ in old fashioned English.
âThe AFL and Australia Post have invited more than 30,000 new arrivals to Australia to watch a game for free in round 18.â
Do not throw your passport over the side of the rustbucket you arrived on â you need to produce it to prove you are not a hard working Australian resident and are âculturally diverseâ in order to qualify for free ticketsâ¦
Even this left them with thousands of unused tickets, so the next day they came up with another humdinger.
Hijab football outfits. No kidding.
League boss Gillon McLachlan will announce the AFL-approved headwear range at an AFL breakfast in a speech outlining how important it is the football code embraces all cultures.
Is the AFL really interested in multiculturalism? Will they be releasing a range of football shirts incorporating the Star of David? Or the Coptic Cross? How about those with Pagan beliefs?
What happens to the hot-dog, succour for the alcoholically overloaded traditional supporter â will it be exchanged for halal Merguez sausages? Definitely forget the pork scratchings! Sale of alcohol? We couldnât possibly!
It can only be a matter of time before the cry goes up for segregated matches, those virile males rubbing shoulders with the hijab covered ladiesâ¦.swimming pools have been obliged to go down this route.
Can it be right for the young Muslim lovelies to be gazing upon men in shorts with bare legs, who have even been known to remove their sweat stained shirts and toss them into the stands? No, what Australian football really needs is women only matches with women only players â in hijabs. Then they will be truly multi-cultural.
Laugh at your peril. Sharia football should reach Britain in time for the next cup-final.
Abdus-SalÄm United v.Qurâan Park Rangers.