The following article first appeared in issue #6 of revolution magazine, May-June 1998. Although nearly 20 years old, the article – which is actually based on talks given between 1995-97 – unfortunately remains highly relevant.
by Philip Ferguson
Over the last few years the term ‘political correctness’ has started to enter the vocabulary here. Originating with a layer of liberals and leftists in the United States, politically correct practices and outlooks have gained a hold among elements of the professional classes in New Zealand. The Anna Penn case in 1993, in which a trainee nurse was expelled from the nursing course at Christchurch Polytech for allegedly being “culturally unsafe”, and several cases in other nursing schools and social work courses, have garnered widespread media coverage.
In many ways, political correctness is stronger in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world. It has become an important industry, with lucrative financial rewards, for a host of touchy-feely middle class liberals. We have a range of counsellors now operating in most spheres of human problems, along with various consultancy agencies and individuals doing very nicely for themselves advising establishment institutions on how to be “culturally sensitive” to the people upon whose oppression these institutions depend.
In a real sense, political correctness in New Zealand has become the new (more…)