The unfathomable depths to which political correctness has plunged Britain has been underlined with a court ruling that it is now a criminal racial offence to call someone a “coconut” in public.
The astonishing decision was made by Bristol Magistrates' Court after a Jamaican-origin black city councillor, Shirley Brown, referred to an Asian Tory councillor as a “coconut” during a council debate in February last year.
Although Ms Brown did not specify what she meant, she said in the council chamber that her “community” would understand the meaning of calling someone a coconut.
In the black community, to call someone a coconut means that that are black or brown on the outside, but white on the inside — in other words, they are traitors to their people and side with whites.
The Indian-born Tory, Jay Jethwa, had earlier in the chamber called for the £250,000 annual grant to fund “ethnic minority groups” to be halted.
Ms Brown, a proud Liberal Democrat, was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £620 costs after being convicted of “inciting racial hatred” against Mrs Jethwa.
District Judge Simon Cook said that he was “satisfied there was a risk to public disorder and stimulation of racial hatred” even though there was absolutely no evidence that any racial hatred had erupted or been caused as a result of the comment.
The issue here is not whether two immigrants seek to lambaste each other over whether there should be funding for a ceremony to mark the 200th anniversary of the ending of the slave trade or not.
The real issue here is that political correctness has reached such impossible levels that even a mild and humorous comment such as calling someone a coconut can now be classed as a criminal offence.
Where will it end? And what meanings will be attached to other fruit sorts in the future? Will it be illegal to call someone a banana because they get blacker with age?
This is an extremely dangerous precedent to set, and one which needs to be opposed by all sane and rational people, no matter what their political party.
It is nothing less than an attack on the very principle of freedom of speech and democracy, and one more step towards George Orwell’s predicted totalitarian state.