Monday, February 09, 2009

Ashby de la Zouch: Golliwog capital of Britain

From the Leicester Mercury:

A shop owner has vowed to continue selling "golly" dolls, despite the controversy which surrounds the toys.

David O'Neill and wife, Angela, of Ashby, have received numerous poisonous e-mails accusing them of being racists.

Interest in the cuddly toys had been sparked by the national row involving Carol Thatcher.

The broadcaster and journalist was axed from her role on the BBC's One Show for referring to a tennis player as a "golliwog" in a private conversation.

Mr and Mrs O'Neill's business, Ashby, based in Rushton's Yard, off Market Street, in Ashby, sells teddy bears and gollies to collectors across the world.

Mr O'Neill, 49, said: "Since the controversy over the BBC affair, we have received a number of nasty e-mails, but also messages of support."

It turns out that Carol Thatcher's crass remarks and the overhyped reaction to them was not the first Gollygate. Guernsey had its own one at the end of last year.

The Guernsey Press reported on 21 November 2008:

Deputy chief minister Bernard Flouquet is today at the centre of a race row after telling a racist joke at a press briefing.

Opening a presentation yesterday on the work needed at Guernsey Airport, he told journalists he wanted to lighten the mood with a funny story he had heard.

It included a reference to American president-elect Barack Obama and the Americans agreeing to allow golliwogs to be put back on jam jars in return for being allowed to use the Queen’s head on their stamps.

Deputy Flouquet, pictured, last night issued an unreserved apology. However, pressure on him to resign as deputy Chief Minister was growing this morning as a result of the gaffe.

He survived a resultant motion of no confidence last week by 24 votes to 21.

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