Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Spotted Richard Stirs Up Ill Feeling

When a case of a council going PC mad was revealed recently, everyone from The Daily Mail to The Telegraph wanted a piece of the pudding, with blanket coverage across both print and online media. The story that prompted the reaction? Traditional suet dessert Spotted Dick has been renamed as Spotted Richard in the canteen of the Flintshire Council headquarters. Why? Because customers kept making jokes about it.

A council spokesman said: "The correct title for this dish is 'Spotted Dick.' However because of several immature comments from a few customers, catering staff renamed the dish 'Spotted Richard'. This was not a policy decision, canteen staff simply acted as they thought best to put an end to unwelcome and childish comments, albeit from a very small number of customers." Typical, huh? It’s always the small minority that spoil it for everyone else…

In a public backlash to the decision, one councillor said the move was "political correctness gone mad" and that the people who made the decision would soon be "frightened of their own shadow". The Daily Mail called Flintshire Council “prudish”, while The Telegraph, Daily Post and BBC also chipped in with opinions.

It’s not the first time that Spotted Dick has come under the spotlight. In 2001, Tesco opted for Spotted Richard on its packaging, claiming that female shoppers were offended, and Gloucestershire NHS Trust caused a stir in 2002 by changing its menu. But both eventually admitted defeat. The Pudding Club has also now spoken out on the matter, stating that “this is totally bonkers”. At last, someone talking some sense…

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