Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
4 March 2010

Political correctness: a defence

Watch Mehdi Hasan put the case for political correctness against Ann Widdecombe.

By George Eaton

If you’ve got a spare moment, I’d really recommend watching this debate on political correctness at the Cambridge Union.

Our own Mehdi Hasan, the Times’s David Aaronovitch and English PEN’s Robert Sharp argue for the motion that “Political correctness is sane and necessary” against a triumvirate of right-wingers including Ann Widdecombe.

What’s most satisfying about the debate is that, contrary to the right’s depiction of liberals as po-faced and humourless, it’s the proposition that turns out to have the better arguments and the better jokes.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A weekly round-up of The New Statesman's climate, environment and sustainability content. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Watch this and never be left grappling for a reply against a reactionary Mail reader again.

PS: I should add that the proposition, of course, carried the motion by 221 votes to 177.

Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter.