Anorak News | Punch Drunk

Punch Drunk

by | 22nd, August 2002

‘IF A SEEMINGLY innocuous remark by Heather Graham can provoke such extreme reactions from Britain’s uptight males, perhaps we need a more repressive approach to child-rearing. A good place to start is by examining the kind of violence to which children are exposed, and where better to start than with the traditional seaside Punch and Judy show.

”Judy’s left me, the dog’s run off, the police beat me up – has the world gone mad?”

Punch, you will remember, is a typical cold-blooded Brit whose strongest expression of emotion is along the lines of ”I say, this mint cake is really rather good”. Except, that is, when he’s shouting his head off, hitting his wife and beating up the local policeman.

Now the Sun reports (in a special ”COUNCIL KILLJOYS” section) that ”barmy bureaucrats” in Newcastle have informed Bo the Clown that his Punch and Judy show’s old-fashioned approach to domestic violence is likely to cause offence.

The paper has sought the views of Local Conservative Euro MP Martin Callanan, whose role in this most traditional of summer tabloid stories is to provide the trusty ”political correctness gone mad” quote, without which no self-respecting article is complete. But Mr Callanan is clearly a little over-excited by the prospect, and ejaculates the phrase prematurely.

”Clearly this is the work of some politically correct Left-wing zealot,” he begins, and you can immediately see the problem. Having shot his bolt too early, he has thus denying us the pleasure of a long slow build-up, full of tingling anticipation. He could rally, and deliver a second helping, but that wouldn’t be the same. As it is, he wisely calls it a day, and when he reads the transcript, he will be also kicking himself for missing out the crucial suffix ”gone mad” – an elementary error for a man of his experience.

Chances at this level come once in a lifetime for Euro MPs, and he knows that he has made a pig’s ear of his. Let’s hope that he remembers Kipling’s words and, like a good stiff-upper-lipped Englishman, treats disaster for the impostor that it surely is.

Posted: 22nd, August 2002 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink