Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett says he still has a basket full of them. “I love golliwogs”, he told a radio interviewer last year. “My godmother made and presented to me on my birth Jacko, who is my golliwog. I still have it, I have a basket full of golliwogs.”

Well, Jeff had better be careful to leave Jacko behind the next time he visits Britain. A woman in Suffolk has has been charged with racially aggravated harassment after a neighbour complained about a golliwog displayed in her window. The BBC reports:

Police investigated Jena Mason, 65, of College Road, Worlingham, over an alleged incident in August, Suffolk police confirmed.

Officers made inquiries following a complaint from a member of the public.

“Both the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and ourselves have agreed there is enough to prosecute,” police said.

Ms Mason is due to appear before Lowestoft magistrates on Tuesday.

No doubt the police action will confirm the view of the former Premier that “golliwogs are the most repressed toys in society today.” He declared that removing a golliwog from a shop so as not to offend American tourists accompanying Oprah Winfrey on a visit to Melbourne was  “such a sign of political correctness it makes me upset. I think every golliwog should rise up as one against this political correctness.”

Back in July Melbourne’s Herald Sun reported that Mr Kennett, now president of the Hawthorn Football Club, had added to his golliwog collection a tall and thin one he named after his team’s star forward Buddy Franklin.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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