According to the online bookshop of the Brownsuit gang, Browne's book The Retreat Of Reason is not, as its title suggests, an autobiography but:
"A devastating expose of the effects of Political Correctness and its poisonous effect of public debate in modern Britain. The author shows how the media and government even resort to employing misleading statistical evidence to support their PC objectives. A far reaching book which has the left squealing in horror."
Unthinkable, of course, that the BNP or the bringer of "honesty" (N. Cohen) to London himself should seek to mislead anyone in support of their own objectives. Unthinkable too that, say, the Daily Mail which gives a platform to Browne might stand accused of closing down public debate far more effectively and more poisonously than any supposed bastion of "political correctness" has ever done. But there again - incredible as it may seem - some people really do believe that Anthony Browne is not quite the fearless truth-teller his fan club members think - and not much of an intellectual either. Shocking, isn't it?
"Occasionally one encounters a book that reads like a totally satire-free version of Flaubert's Dictionary of Received Ideas, or of Henry Root's World of Knowledge. A recent example is Anthony Browne's The Retreat of Reason...it's like being buttonholed by the pub bore, whose endless views on everything are asserted with supreme self-confidence but appear to have been shaped entirely by the tabloid press, whose every utterance is taken as gospel.
[Its] peevish, aggrieved tone and cavalier approach to adducing evidence for its arguments will almost certainly alienate the already unconverted after a few pages. The whole thing, not least the postscript to the second edition, boils down to a particularly shrill and unappetising mishmash of self-aggrandisement (I'm a stalwart lone voice of truth) and self-pity bordering on paranoia (but the horrid liberal conspiracy of the BBC, Guardian, Observer and Independent won't listen). As such, the book's title is an extraordinarily unwise hostage to fortune, as is the reminder of Lord Macaulay's remark that 'he does not seem to know what an argument is'...
Many of the 'facts' turn out, on examination, to be no such thing. All too often, no sources are given for stories of alleged PC outrages, or sources are tendentious and unreliable...Where one knows something about the subject in question, elementary errors are obvious, making one instinctively distrust Browne's accounts of subjects about which one knows less. A good example of his way with the 'facts' is his assertion that: 'the canteen of the School of Oriental and Asian Studies upbraided one German student for asking for white coffee because it could be construed as racist: she was told to ask for coffee with milk'.
The first problem is that no such School exists, but presuming he means the School of Oriental and African Studies, there is no ban on anyone asking for white coffee there. It's possible that the remark was made by an ideologically over-zealous individual, or perhaps by someone gullible enough to believe the myths about such bans routinely peddled by the press. Alternatively, the incident might never have taken place at all. But the reader is simply not in a position to make a judgement on the matter, and this one concluded that all we have here is a piece of unsubstantiated tittle-tattle."
And that's what most anti-"PC" ranters are: paranoid, affronted, self-pitying, tittle-tattling know-alls frantic to draw attention to themselves. Bad choice, Boris. Very, very, bad choice indeed.