At least in this case study from Absurd Britannia, the backtracking began almost immediately. “Mother told to take down her Christmas lights… in case they offend her non-Christian neighbours,” from the Daily Mail, December 16 (thanks to James):
A woman has spoken of how she was told to remove her Christmas lights by a housing association worker – in case they offended her non-Christian neighbours.
Dorothy Glenn decorates her home in South Shields with hundreds of festive lights every year, including a giant tree and a 4ft Santa Claus.
But she was left stunned this year when a South Tyneside Homes worker called at her house to inform her that the decorations she was displaying might be offending her neighbours.
The association last night apologised to Mrs Glenn and insisted that removing Christmas lights was not part of their policy.
The 41-year-old mother-of-three said: ‘I put the lights up in the first week of November and then recently a uniformed housing worker was outside, and it looked like he was counting my decorations.
‘When I went outside he said that the lights were “offensive to the community”. If I was offending anyone I could understand why he was telling me, but nobody has complained.
‘My neighbours are Bengali and Chinese and I know that they love the lights – the children will always point them out when they walk past.’
Mrs Glenn, who has lived at the property for four years with son Owen, 19, and daughters Samira, 21, and Chelsea, 15, said she had a close relationship with her neighbours and enjoyed living in a community with people from different backgrounds.
She said: ‘I told him that I am far from a racist and that I wouldn’t be taking the lights down. I’m shocked, annoyed and upset. At the end of the day, it’s the festive season and they’re staying.’ …
In the balance of the article, the officials backtrack. As well they should.