In the UK, there is a new profession; “offence advisers”. These are people who are trained to give individuals their expert advice before making any comment on Facebook or on television. They check any word that may cause offence to listeners or readers. The offence could be religious, ethnic, or of sexual nature, in particular, if it offends the various sexual categories that are mushrooming in academia from bisexual to transgender, agender, bigender, cisgender, etc.
Yet, these professionals can have another role. They can be employed to ‘sniffer’ offences on Facebook, Twitter, etc, and alert the authorities. There is never a dull moment in this woke society that we are living in.
No doubt that what is taking place in the UK will soon reach us and courses and degrees will be created at our University aimed at training students to become “offence advisers”. Our politicians will soon be needing them. Even academics will be requested to seek advice from experts (as already is happening) when it comes to formulating courses or writing papers to make sure that they are offence free.
For sure, the case of Fr. David Muscat has shown that priests and seminarians should be given courses in this special field of studies if they want to continue writing and giving public sermons. Society needs to remember that offence adviser can have a double job. They can be enrolled to give advice but also so sniffer was is being dubbed as offensive language.
Thus priests and seminarians now risk that in the future some ‘offence adviser’ turns up for their Sunday sermon and if he or she detects something that is not pleasing or is perceived as not being said in the appropriate language, it may be taken as offensive and the poor souls could end up being arraigned in court. Being the professionals in this field, magistrates will have to listen to their ‘learned’ opinion and advice and will deliver their sentences accordingly to their interpretation of whether a word is offensive or not. There is certainly a need for a woke dictionary to start being compiled because none of the leading existing dictionaries will do anymore.
Obviously, this will not only concern priests even if they appear to be the first victims. Doctors and, in particular, lawyers and politicians will need to engage these offence advisers if they wish to make a career in hospitals, courts, or politics.
The Telegraph carried an article stating that the famous TV chef Jamie Oliver has ended up employing an ‘offence adviser’ to scrutinize all his recipes to make sure that he does none of his recipes sound offensive to any ethnic community or defined as gender discriminatory. Oliver learned his lesson some years ago when a British MP of Jamaican origins took offence because Oliver had named one of his recipes after the country of her ancestors! The journalist who penned this topic admits that had a similar controversy to erupt today, Oliver’s career would be at an end!
In Malta, we are following in this same footsteps. If you want to advance in your career, you now need not only to think twice before saying anything, even in a casual manner but, more importantly, you must start thinking of employing an ‘offence adviser’ or at least take a crash course in this emerging new field of studies.
I have no doubt that soon we will have ‘buddies’ presenting themselves as experts or professionals in this field.