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Little Darlings

Independent Online Edition > News : app5

But when G P Taylor, a former vicar turned publishing phenomenon with his fantasy novel Shadowmancer, addressed 120 pupils at a Cornish secondary school, staff took a different view of his use of the English language.
The talk by the children's author was abruptly ended and his audience of 12-year-olds ordered to return to their classrooms after he used what the school termed "inappropriate language". His crime was to have used words such as "bum", "fart", "bogey" and "crap", as well as comparing Harry Potter to a gay character in the television comedy show Little Britain.
He said: "I have done this talk in many schools and I have been invited back many times. If the words 'fart' and 'bogey' are unacceptable, that's sad.
"I heard these kids speaking in the school and outside, and they were using language far worse than the language I used. I didn't set out to offend. I'm a priest - I'm very careful about not offending people.
"I think it is down to a growing climate of political correctness. It is curbing freedom of speech...."
He described television as "crap" compared to books and used "bogey" while discussing Fungus the Bogeyman, the classic illustrated book by Raymond Briggs.Taylor denied making any homophobic remarks, saying the teachers had misunderstood. He said: "All I said was that my villains are scarier than those in Harry Potter - and they are. I call Lord Voldemort Lord Vulgarwart and said that Harry Potter was not 'the only gay in the village'. It was a joke; a joke from Little Britain that the children would know."

Obviously they live a sheltered life in Cornwall but it sounds like he gives a racy, robust talk, but not inappropriate for 11-12 year olds, for goodness sake. The sort of talk that might actually make kids want to read books and be seen reading books because they are cool. And the headmistress seems to have given a real lesson in rudeness to a guest - if she was being offended a note passed across or asking him to pop outside for an urgent phone call to have a little word would have been appropriate.


Obviously the rich diversity of the speakers language was not the kind of rich diversity that these schoolchildren are to be permitted to celebrate. I for one am grateful that our children are being taught to tolerate the tolerable and not the intolerable. I'm a tolerant person, but I won't tolerate what I feel is intolerable, and nobody else shold be allowed to either.

Oh dear "homophobic remarks" as well as "Fungus the Bogeyman", which we all know is a thinly-veiled reference to Reichskommisar Charles Clarke.......he's lucky there weren't any armed Plods in the area.........

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