Saturday 27 December 2014


Oh, and while I'm getting things off my chest, like some BBC-obsessed Chippendale...

I was driving home from work the other day listening to, of all things, Michael Rosen's Word of Mouth on Radio 4.

As I was listening, it suddenly struck me - in a Chippendale-like revelatory flash - that I must surely be listening to exactly the kind of rarefied, politically-correct conversation that goes on prior to some logic-defying, self-righteous, right-on, Right-baiting pronouncement of the kind beloved of local councils, student bodies, arts councils, BBC committees, etc - i.e. just the sort of thing that Richard Littlejohn keeps telling us we couldn't possibly make up. 

The title of the episode pretty much says it all: Ebola: How should we talk about it?

Michael Rosen, playing the part of the po-faced presenter, steered his guests to condemn insufficiently right-on media headlines and comments: It's wrong to say this, as it implies Western superiority; it's wrong to say that as it implies African guilt. We shouldn't say this, we shouldn't say that, etc.

If you didn't know better you'd think he was some sort of bossy, censorious Trotskyist extremist rather than a loveable children's author and BBC presenter. 

Actually, it's a strange thing, when you come to think of it. One day I'm driving home listening to Michael Rosen and his left-wing, almost invariably politically-tinged take on language, the next I'm driving home listening to Laurie Taylor and his left-wing sociological chums and their left-wing, almost invariably politically-tinged takes on everything else under the sun. All courtesy of BBC Radio 4. 


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