Against Correctness, by Kevin Higgins

tony morrison


In the old days, if a woman casually
suggested of a morning on BBC Radio Four
that the old Queen Mum – Gawd
bless her and all who sailed in her – be taken
to a location on the Scottish Highlands,
and made lie back in a bath of sulphuric acid,
no one was in the least bit offended.

Back then, flaming transsexuals
in rocket fuelled hot pants
could flamenco dance
what they claimed were the bones
of Sir Edward Carson up and down
the Newtownards Road,
and receive only
wild applause.

Pranking students could happily
interrupt the Angelus on
Raidió Teilifís Éireann
to tell the nation
the Pope should be dragged
to the top of Carrantuohill
so the crows could peck
the flies from his balls, and even
the Bishop of Raphoe
would allow himself
to get the joke.

These days, if anyone so much as dares
bring in a law forcing mosques
to replace the call to prayer
with the music of Kate Bush,
or failing that, Ted Nugent,
the politically correct crowd
start making their fuss.

You can’t make a harmless
passing remark:
what a nice gesture it was
for the EU Commission to give
every homeless shelter in Greece
one of those Syrian boat children,
all chubby cheeked and oven ready,
so their drowning wouldn’t be
in vain; without someone
somewhere making a big
thing of it on the internet.
And a man can’t safely admit
in mixed company
that his favourite hobby, of a night,
is following random women
around dark car parks
to see how they react,
without some feminist calling him
sexist or worse. It has come to that.

KEVIN HIGGINS is satirist-in-residence at The Bogman’s Cannon