If a social worker came out with the insults uttered by Jeremy Clarkson and Carol Thatcher last week or a remark similar to that allegedly made by a diplomat this week, they would be out of the door quicker than a Chelsea football manager.
Not so those with rather less to offer society.
Clarkson infuriated the Royal National Institute for the Blind after calling prime minister Gordon Brown a "one-eyed Scottish idiot". The charity has offered to meet the Top Gear presenter to discuss his views on sight loss.
Perhaps the RNIB should also offer to meet the BBC bosses to discuss why they will be taking no further action against someone who associates disability with a person's ability to perform a task, in this case run a country.
But it's OK: Clarkson has apologised. The phrase was uttered in the heat of the moment. So now we know. When Clarkson's engine overheats, he gets personal. Lovely.
Carol Thatcher showed herself to be at the very least a relic of a bygone age by comparing a black tennis player to a golliwog.
The BBC sacked her from The One Show where she was a roving reporter. But don't worry: she is already back at the BBC working on a programme called appropriately, Who Do You Think You Are?.
Thatcher said her remark was "made in jest". So now we now. When Carol Thatcher indulges in humour, she gets personal.
Last month Outside Left wrote about the worrying rise in anti-semitism. Now a Foreign Office diplomat (of all things) has been arrested after allegedly launching into a tirade against "f...king Jews" while watching a TV report in a gym. So now we know: keep diplomats away from rowing machines.
There is no news about the diplomat's current employment status, so we can assume he remains in post. Much as the services of Clarkson and Thatcher remain sought after.
It almost seems that there is a creeping acceptance of insults that go beyond the pale. Whether they come from members of the royal family ("Paki" and "Sooty" anyone?) or self-important TV presenters, they are inevitably followed by a half-hearted apologia along the lines of "lighten up, you lot, it's just a bit of a laugh". As if we are the ones who lack humour.
I tell you what it really is: it's political incorrectness gone mad.
Outside Left, 10th February 2009
I'm sorry mike but you are so totally wrong about all this.
Who cares if I get called a cripple by some TV presenter because I use a wheelchair? What bothers me more is the fact that I still get stared at in the street, never catch the barman's eye on busy Friday night. And can I get a cab home after a night out?
Who cares what some celebrity says?
PC or no PC Who cares? Fundamentally acceptance by society for people with a disability can only really happen when we are just seen for what we are, ordinary people who just happen to be a bit different. Arguing about what might or might not offend, simply gives the public the wrong impression of disability.
Just shut up - Otherwise inadvertently you are just giving more importance to the fools in the first place!