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Stewart Graham Lee (born 5 April 1968) is an English stand-up comedian, writer and director known as one half of the 1990s comedy duo Lee and Herring, and for co-writing and directing the stage show Jerry Springer: The Opera.
On political correctness
- David Cameron never mentions it, but the Conservative Party won a by-election in Birmingham, and they sent out little kids with leaflets that said, "If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Liberal or Labour." And if political correctness has achieved one thing, it's to make the Conservative Party cloak its inherent racism behind more creative language."
- It really worries me that 84% of this audience agrees with that statement, because the kind of people that say "political correctness gone mad" are usually using that phrase as a kind of cover action to attack minorities or people that they disagree with. I'm of an age that I can see what a difference political correctness has made. When I was four years old, my grandfather drove me around Birmingham, where the Tories had just fought an election campaign saying, "if you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour," and he drove me around saying, "this is where all the niggers and the coons and the jungle bunnies live." And I remember being at school in the early 80s and my teacher, when he read the register, instead of saying the name of the one asian boy in the class, he would say, "is the black spot in," right? And all these things have gradually been eroded by political correctness, which seems to me to be about an institutionalised politeness at its worst. And if there is some fallout from this, which means that someone in an office might get in trouble one day for saying something that someone was a bit unsure about because they couldn't decide whether it was sexist or homophobic or racist, it's a small price to pay for the massive benefits and improvements in the quality of life for millions of people that political correctness has made. It's a complete lie that allows the right, which basically controls media now, and international politics, to make people on the left who are concerned about the way people are represented look like killjoys. And I'm sick, I'm really sick-- 84% of you in this room that have agreed with this phrase, you're like those people who turn around and go, "you know who the most oppressed minorities in Britain are? White, middle-class men." You're a bunch of idiots.
- From Heresy, BBC Radio 4 (16 May 2007)
- The twisting of the idea of 'political correctness' into a soft, one-size-fits-all punchbag for the right-wing media and your nan is a personal bugbear of mine [...] . In 2008, Edward Stourton published It's a PC World, which explained everything I ever wanted to say on the subject far more eloquently than I ever could have, and used actual statistical facts to back it up. Because no one can imagine a remotely pro-political correctness book, Stourton's book was, tellingly, misfiled by bookshops in the humour section, alongside Richard Littlejohn's Hell in a Handcart, those crappy politically correct fairy tales books and Al Murray's Pub Landlord annuals. Pundits on the Right like to imagine we live in a PC dictatorship, but the fact remains that in a high-street bookshop it is assumed that any book with PC in the title must be a hilarious attack on PC, rather than a book in its defence, because the only time you ever see PC mentioned is when people are complaining about PC. For money. And usually on the very publicly funded radio stations that these dicks believe are involved in a politically correct conspiracy to silence them.
- How I Escaped my Certain Fate: the Life and Deaths of a Stand-Up Comedian, pp. 82–83
Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle
Carpet Remnant World
- I was sorry to see the News of the World go down, I think it was a great campaigning newspaper. Who can forget the News of the World's high profile campaign against child sex offenders which led to News of the World readers burning down the home of a paediatrician, throwing rocks at a pedalo, stamping on a centipede.
- Remember, all that's required for Jeremy Clarkson to triumph is that Richard Hammond do nothing.
What Would Judas Do?
- And John took me by the elbow and he led me, kind of politely, away from the group, and he said to me, "Clearly Judas -- clearly -- Jesus is clearly setting out to fulfil the prophecy. Clearly." Now, John was the sort of person who would use the word 'clearly' repeatedly in a sentence as if that relieved him of the responsibility of actually making what it was he was saying clear. You probably know someone like that.