In the powerful and provocative authored film Has Political Correctness Gone Mad?, airing on Thursday 23 Feb at 9.00pm on Channel 4, Trevor Phillips investigates the liberal urge to protect minorities from offence by gagging so-called populists and concludes that for liberals it’s backfired. The backlash has stirred the Trump-Farage-led revolt – and even alienated the minorities whom liberals claim to champion.
From the sacking of a Nobel scientist for a politically incorrect joke to the banning of sombreros on campus, the liberal elite’s unwritten rules about what you can or can’t say risk becoming not only ridiculous but self-defeating. For Trevor, the acid test of a democracy is whether it truly encourages the airing of different opinions whatever they might be – a test that Britain seems in danger of failing.
Whether it’s trans campaigners who want to ban Germaine Greer from speaking in public or the more politically potent topic of what you can or can’t say about immigration, banning words and images may make liberals feel more virtuous but it leaves large sections of the electorate angry that they can’t even share their views without being labelled bigots.
In Trevor’s view liberals need to stop obsessing about who can call who what – and to recognise that the price of real progress may be learning to live with offence.
Presenter: Trevor Phillips
Executive Producer: Helen Veale
Production Company: Outline Productions