Why shouldn't we show Churchill smoking a cigar or Enid Blyton's Golliwogs?
Why are we rewriting history, asks Grimsby Telegraph Thursday columnist Peter Chapman.
Read an excerpt from today's Odd Man's Week column below - and add your comment.
Read the full Odd Man's Week in today's Grimsby Telegraph.
THIS week I thought I’d give a final airing to a word you won’t see again or hear again but which was once a commonplace at Riby Square.
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This word is not a nice word and, with the passage of time, has virtually vanished from our vocabularies.
But it was – and is – a word. And simply because habits and circumstances change it does not mean it never existed.
Scrobs. There we are. Six letters. Derogatory. But a word.
This week the revisionists have been “at it” again, redesigning our pasts to fit our present day, denying the very existence of yesterday.
Harold Wilson was our Labour prime minister for many years. He smoked a pipe. He was seldom interviewed without his pipe being in view.
Like Stanley Baldwin before him, he enjoyed a pipe. Some of you will recall the old advertisement for Dr White’s Glasgow Presbyterian Mixture “as smoked by the Rt Hon Stanley Baldwin”.
“My thoughts grow in the aroma of that particular tobacco,” said Mr Balfour. And the Glasgow firm used the quote in their ads.
In the immediate future there is to be a television programme about Harold Wilson and, because smoking tobacco is now – now! – frowned on, shots of him with his pipe are to be erased, deleted, at least minimised.
Let me give you another example.
Down in Berkshire Enid Blyton’s home town is to celebrate her life and books.
But the books were for another age 50 or 60 years distant. And oddments, odd words, are not now in use and modern sensitivity now calls for their review.
Thus The Three Golliwogs is now The Three Bold Pixies.
I am reminded of Robertson’s jams and Florence K Upton’s wonderful postcards!
We can’t go thorough life denying the past and its attitudes.
We can’t turn our backs on Captain W E Johns, and Percy F Westerman and G A Henty and so on who all wrote for Empire.
We can’t separate cigarettes from Hollywood and cigars from Churchill. Nor can we fiddle about with Dickens and Shakespeare.
Come On England. We don’t use these words now or hold disagreeable attitudes. But we did and denying it is, frankly, pathetic.