An Idea Whose Time has Gone

This poem owes a lot, style-wise, to Sean O’Brien’s ‘Timor Mortis’, and a lot, content-wise to a group of Facebook friends from whom I crowdsourced the ideas.  But I wrote it to support a cause I strongly believe in. The Sun began Page 3 in 1970. Women stripped to the knickers in a ‘family newspaper’ sends poor messages to both men and women.  If you want to understand the sexual intimidation and bullying women still have to put up with, take a look at the Everyday Sexism Project. Then ask yourself whether Page 3 is likely to make the situation A) better or B) worse.

Big in the 70s

Sometimes it’s good to bring to mind
all the naff stuff we left behind;
Fanny Cradock, nylon sheets,
avocado bathroom suites,
Bernard Manning, Love Thy Neighbour,
crinkly Izal toilet paper,
Stylophones and Irish jokes,
‘I mean that most sincerely, folks’,
public payphones, party lines,
crimplene and Rise ‘n’ Shine,
Bob Monkhouse and the Golden Shot,
the decade that all taste forgot,
Checkpoint Charlie, dolly-birds,
Brut and ‘Are You Being Served?’
blacking up for Minstrel shows
how that was normal, no-one knows.
George and Mildred, Benny Hill,
seaside postcards, sleeping pills,
OMO, Gary Glitter, flares,
Kevin Keegan’s curly hair,
incense sticks – patchouli-scented,
all dead, all gone, all unlamented.
Flowery wallpaper, New Faces,
cigarettes in public places,
Stars on Sunday, Uri Geller,
Cinderella Rockefella,
Austin Allegro, Ford Cortina,
Confessions of a Window-Cleaner.
Showaddywaddy, Paper Lace,
all disappeared without a trace,
Dennis Wheatley, Robin Day,
no legal right to equal pay,
Playtex girdles, Dr White’s,
Vesta curries, orange tights,
Inflation, twenty-five percent,
Mrs Thatcher’s government,
the Vietnam War and Watergate,
golliwogs with marmalade.
Tommy Cannon, Bobby Ball,
we didn’t need them after all.
Ali Bongo, Whitbread beer,
the Yorkshire Ripper, Slimcea,
Jimmy Savile, Legs & Co.,
scarletina, polio,
apartheid, birching, Chopper bikes,
the three-day week and all-out strikes;
ideas whose times have come and gone
and almost all of us moved on.
But while there’s knockers on page three
the Sun’s stuck in the Seventies.

So, support the petition, please. No More Page 3.


photo from Tim Ireland’s excellent blog: