So John Terry hasn’t been hanged, drawn and quartered

By acquitting John Terry of racial abuse, Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle of Westminster proved he doesn’t move with the times.

As a guardian of modernity in general and its politically correct language in particular, I’m aghast. John Terry, you’ll remember, inserted the chromatic adjective ‘black’ between the participle f…… and the noun c…, both described by the BBC as ‘extreme sexual swear words.’

This shows that even the BBC, a news organisation typically not only ready to join my crusade for political correctness but indeed eager to lead it, doesn’t understand the nature of the offence Terry didn’t commit. There’s nothing remotely offensive about the words ‘f……’ and ‘c…’, and neither epithet is extreme.

If you don’t believe me, stage this simple experiment. Drink 12 pints of beer if you’re a man or 12 vodka cocktails, preferably with whipped cream on top, if you’re a person. Then, if you’re a man, pull one skirt of your shirt out of your trousers or, if you’re a person, undo your blouse to show some skin below the bottom edge of your brassiere. For the experiment to be pure and statistically significant, there should be some dry or, ideally, fresh vomit on either garment.

Now scream the words ‘f……’ and ‘c…’ at the top of your voice in a public place of your choosing, such as a bus, street, stadium, church or political rally. You can use the words either together (‘Whatchu lookin at, you f…… c…?’ or any other rhetorical question along the same lines) or divided by other words (‘F…… Cameron is a c…’). To expand the experiment, the first word can even be used as an adverb (‘You f…… what, you c…?’)

These are just some sample uses, and you can let your imagination go way beyond this rough outline. The important thing is to enunciate the key words distinctly and loudly. After the specified amount of alcoholic refreshments, the second task is more easily achievable than the first, but mercifully both words are easy to get out, and even if you swallow a phoneme or two (‘Kin cu..), the nature of your utterance will be contextually comprehensible, especially if you prolong the vowel in the second word.

Proving my point that neither word is either offensive or extreme, no one is likely to take issue with your language, and even a policeperson, should one be within earshot, is likely to feign deafness. Thus it was neither one of the flanking words that landed Terry in the dock. In fact, at the risk of besmirching the sterling reputation Mr Terry shares with most of his colleagues, including those who speak English as a second language, one could venture a guess that he must have been overheard bellowing those words before, drawing no opprobrium and certainly no legal consequences.

No, the word that made the sentence culpable was the one in the middle: ‘black’. Now this word, ladies and gentlemen, undoubtedly is offensive, irrespective, in my unbiased opinion, of how it’s used. Terry’s barrister managed to get him off by claiming that Mr Ferdinand, the victim, had called Mr Terry ‘f…… b…. c…’ first, or else had accused Mr Terry of calling him ‘f…… b…. c…’, thereby forcing Mr Terry to repeat the words ‘f…… b…. c…’ in his indignant refutation: ‘Mr Ferdinand, how could you conceivably have intimated that an upstanding pillar of the community like me, a male person who avidly contributes to every b…. charity in Her Majesty’s realm, could possibly have referred to you as a ‘f…… b…. c…’?’

The fact that this refutation was delivered in the dying moments of an ill-tempered football match, and that neither those present nor subsequent lip readers detected any words preceding ‘f…… b…. c…’ doesn’t make the case for the defence any less airtight. Not being a legal male person myself, I’ll refrain from commenting on the legal aspects of the case. These are in any case secondary to the main point.

Which is that the word ‘b….’ must be made illegal, however it is used. There is always a possibility that someone may be offended by it, and offending persons of any faith, creed, religion, belief or colour must be avoided at all costs. Wasn’t that Washington D.C. politician made to apologise in 1999 for having used the word ‘niggardly’ in a speech? Yes, he was, and yet again we’re lagging behind the Yanks. To close the gap, the word ‘b….’ must be expurgated from our language and replaced with ‘nowt’, which stands for ‘not white’.

Thus, when talking to a friend on your Nowtberry in public, you’ll be made, on pain of severe legal repercussions, to talk about Nowtpool, nowt pudding, Nowt & Decker and so forth. If you choose, you may use the words ‘f…… c…’, especially in the plural, when talking about champions of political correctness. Like me.

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