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It's the inconsistencies about political correctness that confound most of us, isn't it? And once you start to try and frame legislation or regulations about it, you pretty soon end up imposing unfairness of crushing proportions.
 
For example, if The GOS went to Hyde Park Corner, stood on Mrs.GOS and made a speech about how all Muslims are the spawn of the devil and their women are whores, he'd find himself in a cell at West End Central nursing extensive bruising to the face and a groin injury (those stairs at West End Central, they're a b*gger), and facing a charge of preaching racial hatred in the morning.
 
But if a Muslim imam calls on his flock to obey the instructions of the Koran and the hadith and tells them "kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush", or that the trees will call out to the Muslims "there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him" - that's OK, is it?
 
The lunacy has escalated now to the point where you can't even direct pejorative language at yourself. Next time you forget to lock the car on arrival at the supermarket, and hit yourself on the head and say "Oh God, I'm such a wanker!" - watch out. That sort of language is highly offensive to us ordinary masturbators.
 
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is conducting a 'full consultation exercise' over their fans' habit of referring to themselves as the Yid Army. The club claim it will give rise to 'casual anti-Semitism'. A meeting next week will be attended by representatives of the club and its supporters' trust, the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign, the Football Association, the Premier League and the Community Security Trust, a Jewish defence organisation. All the people who are really in touch with the common fan on the terraces, in other words.
 
Spurs have a sizeable Jewish fanbase, and they began referring to themselves as "the Yid Army" in the 1960s. They describe it as a badge of honour - and of course if you're already calling yourself "the Yid Army" it's difficult for rival fans to insult you by doing the same. In any case, "Yid" is a perfectly normal Yiddish ethnonym for "Jew" and about as offensive as calling a British person a "Brit". YID - Your Ideal Dating - is an international Jewish dating site, Yid Vicious is an American folk music band, and Yid Kids is a clothing line for newborns.
 
But now, apparently, precisely because Jewish football fans actually like being called "Yids", they are themselves causing racism. If anyone else uses the word "Yid" meaning it to be insulting, that's the Yid Army's fault. So long as something offends someone somewhere - regardless of whether it was said with racist intent - it can be, and will be, construed as racist.
 
It makes you wonder how long it will be before the first Spurs fans are arrested for calling themselves Yids. That'll be quite a poser for the authorities, won't it? - arresting people for being Jewish?
 
As one Spurs fan put it recently "the history of the Yid Army is bound up with popular fights against racism. These days, it seems racism can only be fought on our behalf, by anti-racist quangos and officials." Another said "I'm Jewish and a Spurs fan and I'm very proud that Spurs fans - whether they're Jewish or not - have taken up the yiddo name as a badge of honour. I think that's what anti-racism is about: people standing together whatever their race/origin/skin colour etc and shoving it back in the racists' faces." Bit dodgy, though - it sounds as if Spurs fans are in severe danger of committing the heinous crime of thinking for themselves.
 
Of course the rivalry between London football clubs is long-established, so when the Chelsea management heard what Spurs were up to they felt they had to go one better. So they banned celery.
 
That's right, Chelsea Football Club has banned celery from Stamford Bridge. The right to bear celery has become a civil liberties issue.
 
Celery throwing, in case you weren't aware, is a slightly surreal Chelsea tradition that dates back to the 1980s. The vegetable throwing is an accompaniment to the famous "Celery song" which goes "Celery, celery, if she don't come, I'll tickle her bum, with a lump of celery". God, they don't make 'em like that any more.
 
Mind you, this isn't the first time celery has fallen foul of the football authorities or even the law. In 1996, Gillingham FC banned celery from the Priestfield stadium after a goalkeeper complained that he had been struck by the vegetable. In 2002, four Chelsea fans were prosecuted and fined for throwing celery without lawful authority during the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham. Which makes you think - if they were throwing celery without lawful authority, how does one go about getting lawful authority to throw celery? Do you have to apply to the town hall for a celery-throwing licence?
 
As a precedent, this one's a lulu. If celery needs banning, what else should we outlaw from out football grounds? In 2002, a linesman was struck by a half-eaten meat pie at Millwall .
 
The football authorities don't see the funny side, though. On their website Chelsea are asking supporters to ring a special hotline and inform on anyone seen throwing celery.
 
A celery hotline. Don't forget you read it here first.
 

 
The GOS says: Thought we ought to check our facts on this story, and went to the official Chelsea FC website. We have to say that we found no mention of celery. The "Chelsea Songs" page lists such immortal ditties as "Ten men went to mow", "Blue Flag", "Over land and sea", "Blue is the colour", "Super Chelsea", "We love you Chelsea", "Come on, Chelsea" and "Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea" - but sadly there don't seem to be any song about vegetables.
 
The unofficial Chelsea fans website was no better. It just kept going on about bloody football.

 

 

 

 
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