Gingerbread 'person', the PC pudding: Now even biscuits can't escape Britain's politically correct brigade
In the nursery rhyme, the Gingerbread Man fled from the clutches of an old woman and her husband. But now he has been cornered by an even more unforgiving foe – political correctness. Council bureaucrats have stripped gingerbread men of their gender and renamed them gingerbread ‘persons’ on menus for 400 primary schools.
Parents in Lancashire were astonished when they discovered the change. ‘It is absolutely ridiculous,’ one mother said. ‘Someone has obviously taken the effort to change this and it is almost offensive. ‘I am all for anti-discrimination but this is a pudding. The gingerbread man is a character from a rhyme in a book, for goodness sake.’
Laura Midgley, of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, added: ‘It is totally ridiculous political correctness, nobody wants to talk about gingerbread people. They are what they are. ‘It is not just an innocent mistake. Whoever did it, I hope they will think long and hard about it. ‘If these sorts of things go unchallenged, they become the norm.’
The wording went out on the new autumn-winter weekly menu provided by the Lancashire School Meals Service. Preston MP Mark Hendrick described the change as ‘daft’.
The outcry has since forced officials into an embarrassing U-turn. They now claim renaming the biscuits was a mistake and that their gender will be reinstated as soon as possible. Last night a spokesman for Lancashire County Council confirmed the gingerbread man would be back on school menus after Christmas.
It is not the first time the gingerbread man’s gender has come under threat from the PC brigade. In 2006 branches of Bakers Oven in the West Midlands changed the name of gingerbread men to gingerbread persons, but reversed the decision after opposition from the public.
It follows a series of similar decisions by councils nationwide, including the renaming of school dinner favourite Spotted Dick to Spotted Richard last year by officials in North Wales. They said they were fed up with customers’ childish sniggering.