Scottish Daily Mail

The carnival is over: Race row golliwogs hand themselves in

... as police say revellers will not face any further action

- By Bill Caven and Jim Lawson

THREE teenagers at the centre of a golliwog race- row have handed themselves over to police.

The two boys and a girl sparked controvers­y after donning curly black wigs, covering their faces with black make-up and sporting distinctiv­e costumes to attend a town’s gala.

But yesterday, as a war of words developed on social media, it emerged that others had also ‘blacked up’ to join in last weekend’s festivitie­s at the annual Wick Gala in Caithness.

It is understood some posed as 1970s chart band The Jackson Five, to be photograph­ed beside one of the floats.

The three secondary school pupils who dressed as golliwogs are understood to have called at the local police station.

A police spokesman said: ‘We are aware of all the individual­s concerned but there will be no further action. Our inquiries are at an end.’

The row erupted after a member of the public rang the police to complain about the trio’s ‘inappropri­ate behaviour’.

Officers later approached the local newspaper to ask if staff could identify them, despite the fact the youngsters had been collecting for charity.

However, police are trying to play down the whole episode after contacting the charity gala organisers to advise on future events of a similar nature.

Wick Gala chairman Donna Plowman insisted it would be extremely difficult knowing where to draw the line.

She said: ‘If we said to people they can’t go out as f amous characters such as the Jackson Five, it will be difficult to know where you stop dictating.

‘How would you be able to tell people what they can and can’t go as? I am not sure how it would work.

‘All we want is for people to have a good night and raise money for the community.’

Meanwhile, the mother of one of the three teenagers said: ‘It’s political correctnes­s gone mad. The kids are devastated and in tears.

‘I doubt if they will ever go to the gala again or raise money for charity. It was an innocent bit of fun and they are being pilloried for it.

‘What’s the world coming to? They are kids that’s all. There was nothing sinister or racist in it like some people are making out.

‘The person who complained was not even at the gala and did not even come from the town. They saw it on social media and took it from there. You would think they would have better things to do.’

However, the incident has ignited debate on social media, with comments being aired from across

‘World has lost its sense of humour’

the world. One local resident, Sam Piper, said: ‘I’m confused… would it still be portrayed as racist if those who were dressed up were actually black?

‘Maybe I’m not looking very well, but to me you can’t tell what colour their skin is underneath the make-up.’

Most people who aired comments seemed bemused by the row. ‘Has the world lost its sense of humour?’, asked William Innes, adding: ‘It’s a fancy dress fun day, hardly donning pointy hats and having “kkk” tattooed on their foreheads.’

John M Johnston suggested: ‘Complainan­ts get a life’, while Les Blackall said: ‘Britain has lost the plot.’

However, Kris Murray Browne said: ‘Bad taste yes, racist yes. But deliberate­ly, who knows? But for heaven’s sake, calling in the Old Bill for a kids’ prank?’

Charles Wonch asked: ‘Would I be racist if I came and wore a kilt?’

Many suggested it was a joke and a waste of police time. Brian BB Ritchie said: ‘ Ho ho ho! Political correctnes­s hasn’t reached Wick yet. And I’d like you to know I loved my golly as a kid.’

Richard Trees asked: ‘ How are these costumes racist?’, while Colin Stewart supported the youngsters, saying: ‘ Keep your heads held high – you were collecting for a good cause.’

 ??  ?? Gala day costumes: The mother of one of the three teenagers said they were being pilloried
Gala day costumes: The mother of one of the three teenagers said they were being pilloried
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