Rod Liddle

Why are businesses like Center Parcs so terrified of a small minority?

24 February 2018

9:00 AM

24 February 2018

9:00 AM

I am boycotting Center Parcs. Admittedly, this is not going to have an enormous impact upon my life. It’s a bit like announcing with great pride and fervour that I am boycotting Clare Balding or Pakistan or goat’s cheese. All of those things I am perfectly able to live without and already do so. I will never eat goat’s cheese, visit Pakistan or watch Clare Balding.

I did once visit Center Parcs, mind — about ten years ago. It was excruciatingly awful — the kids hated it as much as we did. Extortionately expensive, restrictive, boring and full of who I can only describe as ‘tossers’ cycling along tarmacked lanes through scrubby faux-woodland with their awful children shrieking in kind-of hanging baskets affixed to the back wheels. A place for middle-class people possessed of no imagination and too much money. The awful chain-food slop in the overpriced restaurants, the supposed attractions which resembled the stuff in the brochure in much the same way as Theresa May resembles Margaret Thatcher. The enforced jollity and the petty little niggling rules, designed to screw as much money out of you as possible. A confected simulacrum of nature and wildness for people who really hate both of those things.

So, no loss then. As a political activist, I yearn for the day when I am forced to boycott something I actually care about and would miss. Such as cigarettes or toad in the hole. Or indeed Virgin East Coast trains — which I did in fact boycott for a week when it announced it would no longer sell or give out copies of the Daily Mail on its dreadful, deteriorating, bankrupt service from London to the north-east. This was a real problem, as my only alternative to get up to Teesside was Grand Central, which has far fewer services and takes longer. But old beardie Branson caught wind of the flak coming his way and smartly reversed the decision. So now I’m back with Virgin — until it is mercifully nationalised next year.

The Center Parcs boycott has been similarly occasioned. Its head office has announced, in pious tones, that it will no longer be placing adverts with the Daily Mail on account of something written by one of the newspaper’s columnists, Richard Littlejohn. The offending paragraph from Mr Littlejohn reads as follows: ‘I’d rather children were fostered by loving gay couples than condemned to rot in state-run institutions, where they face a better-than-average chance of being abused. That said, I still cling to the belief that children benefit most from being brought up by a man and a woman.’


I suppose there must be some people in the UK who disagree with that assessment — my wife, for example, who thinks kids would be better off in local authority care rather than placed with a gay couple. I suspect that if you asked the question in an opinion poll, a good 80 per cent would agree with the thesis: ‘children benefit most from being brought up by a man and a woman.’

But the 80 per cent do not matter anymore. The 80 per cent have no purchase. Far more important are the 1 or 2 per cent who insist that not merely is Littlejohn wrong, but that his moderately expressed opinion constitutes ‘hate speech’ and that any newspaper which publishes such an unspeakable vileness must be punished.

And so the congenital idiots who run Center Parcs can swathe themselves in the glory which attends — briefly, very briefly — to companies which connive with such a censorious, politically correct closing down of debate. They are hip, with-it, right-on and virtue-signalling, despite being an organisation which treats its staff, according to a worker, as follows: ‘You are a slave for a very poor wage, 12-hour shifts, one day off a week. If you are a good worker, your management will put more work load on you than your other colleagues, creating an unhealthy work environment. Customers pay huge amounts of money to be disappointed with facilities.’ No kidding, mate, on that last point.

And a quick suggestion to the SJW legions who now approve of Center Parcs for its progressive policies, by the way. Check out the differences in pay between men and women at their godawful resorts. Check out how much the cleaners — almost all women — earn.

But then you can level the same charge of hypocrisy against the mimsy, boring stationery chain Paperchase — hell, here’s another boycott which isn’t going to spoil my evening — which recently announced it would not be advertising with the Daily Mail for more generic politically correct reasons.

And yet this is how our businesses act these days: oblivious to the views of the 80 per cent, terrified of the views of the 1 per cent. You can see it in the Christmas advert put out by John Lewis a few months ago. Voted the worst of the major Christmas adverts. Because, in its desperation to be right on, it featured a mixed-race couple. And I suspect that the British people are getting sick of this social engineering being rammed down their throats at every available opportunity. They don’t think there’s anything wrong with mixed race couples, per se — it’s simply that increasingly the advertisers and the companies (and the TV shows, especially on the BBC) are insisting that this is firstly how society actually is and secondly, if it isn’t, then definitely how it should be.

And the ordinary viewer recoils, because he is being force-fed political propaganda along with commercial propaganda. All to keep that tiny minority happy. Don’t be surprised if next year’s John Lewis ad shows a transgendering mixed-race eight-year-old finding a vagina in his stocking. And don’t be surprised if the British people hate that, too.

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