Good Golly Miss Molly

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Poppy, Mar 15, 2007.

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    Golliwogs seized in racism charges
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    When police received allegations of racism, their reaction was impressively swift.

    They swooped on the premises in question and seized a pair of suspects for further examination.

    Questioning them was not an option, however - for the two alleged culprits were both rag dolls.

    The alleged crime was that they were designed in the style of a golliwog, and a visitor to the store where they were on sale had complained to police.

    Gavin Alexander with some of the golly rag dolls and a selection of the other ornaments he sells

    It left shopkeeper Gavin Alexander facing a possible £1,000 fine after being accused of a public order offence.

    On Thursday, fortunately, common sense prevailed, as police returned the dolls and said charges were not being pressed.

    But Mr Alexander, 39, attacked the decision to take the complaint seriously in the first place and said officers had got their priorities wrong. "I think it's petty-mindedness," he said. "It's cases like this that cause racism."

    He runs In Touch in the village of Wrightington, Lancashire, selling a range of soft toys and curiosities as well as furniture and other products.

    Along with the £4.50 "golly rag dolls" and matching key-rings, he sells everything from African statues to decorative Buddha figures.

    "There are things in this shop from every corner of the Earth," added Mr Alexander.

    "It's a multicultural shop - we sell stuff from all over the world. If it wasn't legal to sell the dolls we wouldn't sell them."

    One 6in doll and one key-ring were seized after a woman customer apparently called police to complain they were racially offensive.

    The next day two officers arrived and confiscated and photographed them as evidence as well as taking a statement from Mr Alexander, who was told to remove the remaining gollies from sale.

    Finally, however, it was concluded that no offence had been committed and the dolls were returned them to him, and are now back on sale.

    He said he had been selling the dolls for the past three years to customers from every ethnic group without receiving any complaint.

    "I can't believe the police became involved - it's such a waste of their time. Surely they've got more important things to do?"

    Mr Alexander is just the latest trader to face possible prosecution for selling golliwogs, once popular toys but now widely shunned as crude racist stereotypes.

    Last year shopkeeper Donald Reynolds was threatened with prosecution for offensive behaviour after displaying golliwogs in the window of his hardware shop in Bromyard, Herefordshire.

    The 53-year-old was having lunch with his wife when police arrived and dragged him away after receiving a complaint from a member of the public.

    Furniture store boss John Scadgell was threatened under the same legislation for putting gollies in the window of his shop in Worthing, West Sussex.

    The Commission for Racial Equality said the question of whether golliwogs were considered racist depended on the context in which they were displayed.

    "Some people might find them offensive, some people might not - it's a grey area," added a spokeswoman.

    A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "This incident was reported to us by a member of the public. No offences have been committed and it is no longer a police matter."

    The golliwog first appeared in a children's story by American writer Florence Kate Upton in the 19th century and was popularised in Britain when jam manufacturer James Robertson & Sons adopted it as a symbol for its products in 1910.

    By the 1980s, however, it was increasingly seen as offensive, and Robertson's dropped the golly in 2001, although it denied it was reacting to accusations of racism.

    What kind of person could find a doll offensive? I particularly like the "it's a grey area" comment - do elderly people find this offensive?

    Edited to add: if people genuinely find these dolls offensive they are free to lobby for them to be outlawed. Having read this article immediately after one about a teenage boy being stabbed to death in the street in Hammermith I think a sense of perspective is called for
  2. I recall a similar case but I'm senile and can not recount the details.
  3. It is ludicrous situations like this and mindless political correctness that stir up hatred, not a harmless childs toy.

    Frankly the mind boggles!
  4. yes but are you grey?
  5. In Huddersfield yesterday, the local council theatre insisted that a childrens play be changed from the three little pigs to three little 'anything else' to avoid insulting Muslims. Maybe three little golliwogs may not offend their delicate racial tempers.
  6. :frustrated: :pissedoff: :spiderman: :pissedoff: :frustrated: :spiderman: :pissedoff: :pissedoff: :pissedoff: :frustrated: :frustrated:

    Iwish people would stop posting these things. Oh my blood pressure...where are my pills?!!! :frustrated: :frustrated: :pissedoff:
  7. The reason plod responds so quickly to complaints of this nature is:
    (a) Golliwogs don't fight back
    (b) It's a 'racecrime'.
    (c) It looks good on the stats.
    (d)They are pra*s.
  8. FFS!

    Still, all part of Bliar's much vaunted 'legacy'.
  9. Golliwogs seized in racism charges"


    Golly, indeed! If this were not so serious, it would be hilarious. The PC fruitcakes have well and truly taken over the madhouse that is Bliar's Britain in the 21st century.

    The sun is setting and I need a drink. I may well need the whole decanter . . . .
  10. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    With you, pal. Here's to the mass burning of the PC community ... regardless of colour, race or creed, so that'll be alright and the police won't interfere.

  11. Right on, blue_sophist! Pass the matches . . . . (and don't knock over the decanter, there's a good chap).

    (BTW, are you related to a chap whose nickname is Blue Logic?)
  12. Fortunately I can and I'm senile as well.

    Clicky linky thing
  13. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    I am an only child ... my mother [bless her] decided I was enough for society to cope with ...
  14. Perhaps she thought "why mess with perfection?". VERY non-PC, as it smacks of eugenics.

    Back to the decanter, methinks . . . .
  15. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)