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London transportation agency slammed for embracing ‘woke culture’ by banning words such as ‘accident,’ ‘bikes’

Transport for London, a British government agency in charge of the city’s transportation systems, is being criticized for embracing “woke culture” after rolling out new guidelines for staff that ban words such as “post World War II” and “accident.” 

“This guide explains when and how to use abbreviations, punctuation, numbers, branding and terms related to equality and inclusion. It indicates which words should be favored or avoided, as well as when to use upper or lower case,” the TfL website states. 

The guide predominantly focuses on the use of abbreviations, punctuation and style guides for staffers, but also has a handful of other words with a disclaimer reading “do not use.”  

The massive list says “employees” should be used instead of “staff”; “Community, Safety, Enforcement and Policy” instead of “Transport Policing and Enforcement Directorate”; “collision” instead of “accident”; and “gay man” or “lesbian” instead of “homosexual.” 

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Increased traffic is seen in King's Cross as a London Underground strike hits the capital, Aug. 19, 2022.

Increased traffic is seen in King’s Cross as a London Underground strike hits the capital, Aug. 19, 2022.
(Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The guide has set off a firestorm of criticism of “woke culture” running rampant in England. 

“This is ridiculous. TfL should focus on providing the best network it can, not wanting to be offended all the time,” Conservative MP Nigel Mills told the Sun. “Woke culture in this country is out of control.”

The director of The Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, Nile Gardiner, told Fox News Digital that the pervasive “wokism” in the country is a “nefarious destructive ideology.”

“It is just completely ridiculous the rise of wokism in the U.K. It’s a nefarious destructive ideology that is advanced by the far left but adopted by a large number of British institutions. And it has no place in British society. It is hugely divisive and fundamentally un-British,” he said. 

Transport for London is responsible for the city’s taxis, buses and rail systems, such as the London Underground. 

The guide even outlines in a section regarding “War(s),” that employees should avoid “referring to conflicts by name if possible – for example, use ‘late 1940s’ instead of ‘post World War II.'”

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Taxi drivers join a demonstration along the Mall in central London on June 11, 2014.

Taxi drivers join a demonstration along the Mall in central London on June 11, 2014.
(Reuters/Luke MacGregor )

The words “bicycles” or “bikes” should also no longer be used, and should be replaced with a “more inclusive” word: “cycles.”

Under a “disability section,” the guide notes that employees should “use positive language about disability, avoiding outdated terms that stereotype or stigmatize.”

“Do not use ‘handicapped’ or ‘wheelchair-bound’ and avoid referring to people as nouns (for example,’the disabled’) or as suffering from, or afflicted by, a condition.”

Gardiner added in comment to Fox News that he believes woke culture in the U.K. is an export from the United States. 

“Wokism has been largely a U.S. export to Britain, and it’s just being championed by the American far left for many, many decades, and it has now seeped into British society,” Gardiner said. 

“I think it’s very significant that the American woke left hate what Britain stands for in terms of its history and traditions, the British monarchy. British conservative society is anathema to the American wokers and it is very sad to see British institutions caving in to the far-left Marxist dogma that has exploded across the Atlantic,” he added. 

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The government department was criticized last year when it published a different guide saying botanical terms “invasive” and “native” were offensive.

A London underground sign is pictured below Big Ben in London Sept. 3, 2007.

A London underground sign is pictured below Big Ben in London Sept. 3, 2007.
(Reuters/Luke MacGregor )

“The fact that the current craze to blame colonialism or slavery for almost everything has now reached our plants is a measure of how absurd things have become,” Zareer Masani, a historian of Britain’s colonial past, said at the time, according to the Telegram. 

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“Organizations like TfL need to get a grip and focus on the services they’re meant to provide,” he added. 

TfL did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on Tuesday on the criticisms and the guide. 

However, a TfL spokesperson told the Telegram, “Many of the terms within the guide have been this way for more than a decade and are in line with the wider transport industry.” 

 

 “We provide editorial guidance, developed with key stakeholder groups, so that customer information uses consistent language to make sure it is easily understood,” the spokesperson added.

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