Nothing to apologise for

Only people a very long way from mainstream social debate could possibly imagine using the expression '˜Polish prison' to describe the new Pets at Home building in Tweedmouth is racist or offensive.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 17 December, 2016, 08:00

This level of political correctness mocks any real cases of social prejudice.

There are properties in Berwick which can be fairly described as being like a Chinese pagoda or a Russian dacha, a French bordella, a German bunker, a Spanish hacienda, an American flophouse, a Scottish tenement, an Irish hovel or a Mexican shanty – the list is endless.

To identify something by its place-name is a standard form of speech.

An English bar, for example, identifies a type of drinking house not found in other countries. A Turkish prison suggests a place of horror, yet doesn’t remotely reflect on the Turkish people themselves. To suggest it does is simply illiterate.

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The point about Polish prisons is that most of them are good examples of brutal Soviet-era architecture and, as such, perfectly describe the new Pets at Home building.

The Mayor of Berwick has nothing to apologise about.

Justin Gudgeon

Berwick-upon-Tweed