24 March, 2011
Brian True-May has apologized for causing offence by preferring White characters in Midsomer Murders. He has in consequence been re-instated. Or has he? No, he has been re-instated for the remainder of the current series. He is effectively working out his notice. So, if he did indeed apologize as reported, what good has it done him?
Big Ron Atkinson made a perfectly defensible criticism of the footballer Marcel Desailly but couched it in robust terminology of a forbidden nature. He tried to save his career as a football pundit by extreme grovelling, including, as I put it on a previous occasion, verbally sucking Darcus Howe's cock. Where is Big Ron now? Producing podcasts for William Hill, apparently.
The dynamic duo of half-time commentary, Keys and Gray, made some flippant crack or other about a lino of the distaff persuasion. They grovelled. Not as fulsomely as Big Ron, it has to be said, but it made no odds. They were fired anyway.
The Top Gear team made some disparaging remarks about Mexicans. Scripted remarks, it would seem. Did they apologize? Well, no. The BBC uttered some token mumblings into its beard on their behalf and without their explicit sanction. They're still there. Well, let's be honest here. They're still there because Top Gear is a serious moneyspinner that is built around the manner and personality of its presenters. Had the boyish trio been expendable, they would have been expended. Anyway, yer Mexicans aren't proper Darkies, so it's not all that bad, eh?
Making a grovelling apology for breaching one of the many taboos of politically correct dogma in the forlorn hope of rehabilitation is uncomfortably reminiscent of Mao's Cultural Revolution, in which the bewildered and often accidental perpetrator of some act of counterrevolutionary crimethink is ordered to perform an act of self-criticism and is then taken out and shot anyway.
And another thing. Never, ever begin a sentence with "I'm not a racist but...". By doing so you have already conceded the argument in advance. It translates as "I know I'm a racist, but I'm not really a bad person, so please don't shout at me". Say what you want to say, and when they accuse you of racism, ask them to explain precisely what they mean by that. And if they can't or won't explain, they have lost the argument.
If you are going to point out that the BNP, or these days the EDL, have got something right, never, ever begin with a formula like "The BNP are vile scum, but..." or "The EDL are brainless violent chavscum; on the other hand...".
The Righteous have controlled the language of polite discourse for the past forty years. That hegemony has begun to crumble. These people have been shown up for the paper tigers they are. When one growls at you, grab him and hold him to the fire; and then use the burning tiger to light your cigar.
Ah. That's better. I needed that. (© Ken Dodd)