Wednesday 28 December 2016

Double standards

Some Radio 4 comedy is both funny, clever and surprising. It's not all predictable anti-Brexit jokes and political correctness. 

Unless you're one of those people who can't stand Stephen Fry under any circumstances, I bet most of you would very much enjoy Some Hay in Manager (broadcast on Boxing Day and yesterday) for example. There wasn't a Trump joke in sight, and there were distant shades of CS Lewis's Screwtape too. It was charming. 

I heard the final episode of that festive delight last night and then went straight on to a Christmas edition of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, which wasn't bad either (I laughed occasionally) but, alas, it wasn't in the same league at all. 

Its running joke was about turkeys voting for Christmas, and giving their silly reasons for voting for Christmas - all of which sounded uncannily like those given by Leave voters in BBC interviews. 

Ah yes, it was just another bit of wholly one-sided BBC Brexit-bashing!

Of course, that could just me being one of those green ink internet types with no sense of humour who rages against BBC comedies for being too PC.

And those were pretty much the very words used by John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme to describe the kind of people who object to programmes like this mocking Christian belief but failing to mock Muslim belief - i.e. having a complete double standard when it comes to Islam. 

For, lo!, yes, John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme did tackle that double standard last night by asking why they weren't also mocking Ramadan. 

And their answer, essentially, was because it's the right thing to do not to mock Islamic belief. 

Yes, it's a double standard but it's a good double standard. It just is. 

And those nasty green ink internet types with no sense of humour who rage against BBC comedies for being too PC are just that: nasty green ink internet types with no sense of humour who rage against BBC comedies for being too PC and for not being mean enough to Muslims. 

So the BBC is right to call in "all its lawyers" at the first sign of a programme embarking on an Islam-mocking joke. 

So there you go! They aren't doing it because they fear a violent reaction (a possibility or likelihood not mentioned). They are doing it because it's the right (BBC) thing to do. Simple as that!


  1. I also heard John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme and for a millisecond I genuinely thought someone in the BBC had at last found the courage to make a joke about Islam. My second thought, equally brief, was that there was a kind of misguided ingenuity in the way the facts had been twisted. But of course it wasn’t ingenious, it was dishonest and stupid - really just another bunch of useful idiots kowtowing to BBC groupthink.

  2. I think I heard one of the Now Show guys complaining about people who complain that liberal-lefty comedians don't have a go at Islam in the way they do at Christianity. They get very upset about the charge because really they don't have an answer to it.

    I think the Now Show guy might have used the "It's what I know" defence...which was really pretty pathetic, as not being Tea Party of UKIP members doesn't seem to prevent them making jokes about such memberships...also, I think we've probably all heard a few jokes about Mormons and Buddhist reincarnation in our time.

    Nope - it's pure PC-tinted cowardice.

  3. Can't stand Fry at any price so won't be listening to that. Clicked on the John Finnemore prog link. Whose voice was that at the beginning of the clip (I mean the announcer) introducing the programme? Listened to the first four minutes but didn't get it or get into it and mind wandered with boredom more than anything. How long does one have to listen before reaching the bit about joking about Islam?


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