Oxford University Press bans sausages, pigs, beef and pasta from children’s books in effort ‘to avoid offence’: Bizarre clampdown branded ‘nonsensical political correctness’.
Guidance from leading educational publisher the Oxford University Press prohibits authors from including anything that could be perceived as pork-related in their books.
The bizarre clampdown, apparently aimed at avoiding offense among certain groups, emerged yesterday during a discussion about free speech on Radio 4’s Today program.
Here is the full list of banned topics and the group they hope to appease:
- Pigs, pork, sausages etc – Muslims and Jews
- Beef, hamburgers, hot dogs (kosher) – Hindus
- Spaghetti and other noodles – Flying Spaghetti Monsterists
- Child sex – Catholics, Muslims and Evangelists
- Leather, meat, animal products – Vegans
- Fresh vegetables – The English
- Walking, running, skipping etc – Paraplegics
- Sex – Catholics
- Contraceptives – Catholics
- Alcohol – Muslims
- Money – Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Protestants
- Sunshine – The English
- Weight loss – The Americans
- Dogs and cats – The Chinese
- Running away – The French
- WWII – The Germans
- WWI – The Germans
- The Falklands – The Argentinians
- Free speech – Muslims, Catholics, Jews, Politicians
A spokesman said: ‘Many of the educational materials we publish in the UK are sold in more than 150 countries, and as such they need to consider a range of cultural differences and sensitivities.
‘Our editorial guidelines are intended to help ensure that the resources that we produce can be disseminated to the widest possible audience.’
But last night the publishing rules were ridiculed amid doubts either Muslims or Jews would be offended by mention of farm animals in a children’s book.
Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘How on earth can anyone find the word “sausage” or “hamburger” offensive?
‘No word is offensive. It is the context in which it is used that is offensive.’
He added: ‘On the one hand you have politicians and the great and the good falling over each other to say how much they believe in freedom of speech and on the other hand they are presiding over people being unable to use and write words that are completely inoffensive.
‘We have got to get a grip on this nonsensical political correctness.