Anorak News | Signs Of The Times

Signs Of The Times

by | 6th, December 2005

‘CONTINUING our look at the tabloid rulebook, we turn to the Express’s cover and learn: “NOW THE CROSS IS BANNED.”

Stop showing off, Jenkins

That “NOW” places this front-page story squarely in a list of similar tales of how the fabric of British society is being undone.

But that’s not the lesson. The story of how “tearful” Samantha Morris, 16, was sent home from Sinfin Community School in Derby for wearing a small gold cross around her neck is merely the wrapping.

Sam, who’s studying for her GCSEs, even missed two day’s lessons after she refused to remove the item that caused so much offence to Howard Jones, the school’s deputy head.

“Should crucifixes be banned in schools?” asks the Express, affording the chance for its readers to spend 25p to vote “yes” or “no”.

But before you snatch up the phone, know that the school’s Sikh scholars are allowed to carry the kirpan, a small ceremonial dagger. They are also allowed to wear karas, metal bracelets.

Now listen to Mr Jones as he tells the Mail that allowing Sikhs to wear the aforesaid items is “part of their religion”. But “Christianity does not require followers to wear a specific symbol”.

He may well have a point. Today a small cross on a chain, tomorrow Christian pupils will be wearing huge crosses in the manner of pious pop stars and dragging massive wooden crosses on their shoulders as they shuffle along the corridor to geography.

But while this story is interesting, it ultimately fails. The rule of tabloid states that such a report must be illustrated by a member of the public, preferably an MP, mentioning the time-honoured phrase, “It’s political correctness gone mad”.

But no. All we get in the Express is Tory MP and virginal Christian Ann Widdecombe calling the whole thing “crazy”. And Sam’s mum, Debra, saying it’s “unfair”.

Which leaves us no option but to gamely help out. “It’s nothing less than political correctness gone mad.” Now, we can get on with our lives…’

Posted: 6th, December 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink