The political correctness sheep haven’t yet grazed cricket’s many pastures of weird idioms and phrases. Not yet. And before I go on – is that the most bizarre metaphor I’ve ever written? Yup.
In English, what I meant to say was Cricket Australia have given the term “pom” (and its derivatives) the all clear, in the wake of yesterday’s clamping down on racism by the thumb-twiddlers in Dubai. It’s terrific news allround. I personally don’t give a hoot if an Aussie calls me a pom; quite the contrary. I’m sure every England cricketer is proud to be a “pommy bastard” and a “dirty little pommy scumbag” or whatever else the Australians will bleat at them this winter. In this age where even the trusty manhole cover is cowering in fear from the political correctness giant (New Labour: new words), it is terrific that cricket is just about escaping his all encompassing snare.
On similar lines, my Mum’s old boss – a terrific person, the lead in her field (rheumatology) and a remarkably resilient character – reminded me of society’s pathetic pandering to equality. I got to know her really well, and ended up working with her at the NHS for a while; although a senior consultant, revered by everyone and frightening medical students due to her authority, we got on like a house on fire. But even she, when I cheerily asked “So then Miss Chairman, how was the meeting?”, retorted furiously with “It’s ChairPERSON, Will”. I put my hands up (without coming to the party) – a fair point, and I respected her too much to disagree. But nevertheless, how pathetic it is that these words and phrases are taken so bloody seriously these days. I’m seeing it from a bloke’s angle, and I’m sure most girls don’t squirm when they drive over a manhole cover, not a womanhole cover or personhole cover.
Anyway, back to the poms. The term pom is permissible but only if it’s not preceded or followed by something which would be considered obscene. In short, pommy bastard could yet be made extinct – not to mention the more colourful variations (remember Katich?).
But for now, let’s just enjoy the insults.