Nobody is winning in this ludicrous Essex pub golliwog row

12 April 2023, 13:52

Nobody is winning ins this ludicrous Essex pub golliwog row
Nobody is winning ins this ludicrous Essex pub golliwog row. Picture: LBC

By StephenRigley

To put it plain and simple, why do it?

It only takes a cursory Google search to find out the history and background of the golliwog and why it is so offensive to so many.

The clue is after all in the name.

This is why it is so staggering that a community pub in Grays finds it appropriate to have several behind the bar hung like lynching victims.


Then, after the inevitable, justifiable complaint, five, yes five, Essex police officers turn up to confiscate 15 dolls as part of an investigation into an alleged hate crime.

And then, in another twist Home Secretary Suella Braverman waded into the escalating furore by rebuking Essex police for its response. A source close to her reminded forces that they “should not be getting involved in this kind of nonsense” and instead focus on “catching criminals”.

Please can we bear in mind...this is 2023, not 1973.

  • We don't need golliwogs.
  • We definitely don’t need to see them.
  • We certainly don’t need to argue about them.
  • And most importantly If they’re on public display, they should be taken down.

Golliwogs became popular in Britain in the 1970s but without stating the obvious that was 50 years ago. The decade had begun just two years after Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speech.

It was the era of the National Front, Blair Peach, Rock against Racism, and Mind Your Language.

Now, in 2023, why on earth would a community publican think it's a good idea to have them displayed behind the bar near the packs of Scampi Fries?

I get the argument that the right to display the golliwogs is about the rights of freedom of speech, i really do.

They became popular in Britain in the 1970s but are now widely regarded as a racist caricature of black people. If the golliwogs are kept back in the 1970s where they belong, there is no need for the - frankly over-the-top - response of Essex police and Ms Braverman would not have had a bandwagon to jump on.

There are no winners in this ludicrous row.