As one of his first actions as London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has moved to ban adverts featuring “unrealistic and unhealthy body shapes” on London’s busses and the tube. Under new rules submitted to Transport for London (TfL), the company which operate the London public transport network, adverts like the one run last year by slimming product company Protein World and featuring a young, slim woman in a bikini, are set to be turned away. The mayor has bowed to politically correct pressure groups and we are to be protected against pictures and products which may make us feel inadequate.
The arguments against the slimming product add are ridiculous, but as a general principle we are very much in favour of companies being in charge of who to do business with. TfL (even though it is a public and not a private company) should be free to refuse a client like Protein World. No, what is galling about the move is the way it contrasts with how, when the shoe is on the other foot and the PC crowd take a stand against the seller rather than the buyer, the exact same thing is not only frowned upon but downright illegal. The most obvious case is the one of Belfast-based Ashers Bakery, who lost a court case brought by a homosexual couple after the devout Christian bakers refused to bake a gay-themed wedding cake.
How is it admirable to discriminate against a business on the grounds of disagreement with their message, but at the same time illegal for another business to turn away a customer due to a discord with fundamental values they hold dear? It is blatantly obvious that the only difference is where the politically correct position is, whether with the company or the client, and it is yet another example of how social justice warriors have managed to make PC an overarching parameter in forming public opinion – and policy – today.