The press’s decision to make a news story out of Roy Hodgson’s recent choice of humour in his half- time talk has been broadly, and quite rightly, rubbished. However, what is really at stake here?  The Press’s penchant for making a story out of nothing?  Bonkers political correctness? Yes and more. What is really in evidence here is a social throwing out of ‘babies with the bathwater’. In Hodgson’s case there is the implication that it may be ‘unwise’ to use a word, that has assumed a derogatory meaning in one context, in every context. I am prepared to wager that Hodgson will think twice before telling that joke* again. But why should he? What has happened in our society when we are afraid to physically comfort a distressed child because our act may be misinterpreted and doctors are fearful of offering assistance for fear of the legal implications. It’s a tricky one and I don’t know the answer. But I do know is that I’d rather be basing my behaviour on a belief in mutuality of intent than the minority eventuality that others want to do me wrong. Anything else, IMHO, carries dangers of making monkeys of us all.


* [For those who haven't been following the 'story'.]

In trying to impress on England full back, Chris Smalling, that he should be looking to pass the ball to Andros Townsend, -who during the 1st half had shown himself to be the most effective England player on the field – Roy Hodgson came up with this joke:

“NASA decided they’d finally send a man up in a capsule after sending only monkeys in the earlier missions.” 

“They fire the man and the monkey into space.

“The intercom crackles, ‘Monkey, fire the retros.’

“A little later, ‘Monkey, check the solid fuel supply.’

“Later still, “Monkey, check the life support systems for the man.’

“The astronaut takes umbrage and radios NASA, ‘When do I get to do something?’

“NASA replies, ‘In 15 minutes – feed the monkey.’”





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