It has been a day of terror: throughout Christchurch and throughout the Labour Party.
But I’m sure you’ll agree that the biggest news story of the day concerns the altering of history.
One of the big questions hanging over Sir Peter Jackson’s Dambusters film has finally been answered – the dog Nigger will be renamed Digger as it might offend Americans.
The film’s script writer, actor Stephen Fry, revealed the change to British newspaper The Daily Mail.
In the original 1955 film the name of pilot Guy Gibson’s black Labrador is spoken 12 times as a code word to report successful dam breaches to the RAF’s bomber command, The Daily Mail reported.
Fry said: “there is no question in America that you could ever have a dog called the N-word. It’s no good saying that it is the Latin word for black or that it didn’t have the meaning that it does now – you just can’t got back, which is unfortunate … Digger seems OK, I reckon”.
However some historians and aviation enthusiasts were unhappy with the name change.
The dog is buried at RAF Scampton in Britain, where the Dambusters 617 squadron was based. Curator of the RAF Scampton museum accused Fry of trying to “rewrite history”.
“It’s not a problem with coloured people, it’s the people in power creating the problem. Sod their political correctness and sod human rights,” said Mervyn Hallam.
Quite. This PC nonsense must stop. We didn’t fight two world wars to preserve human rights Tolerance? Bah!
I’ll wager that the film ends up depicting a great many things other than as they occurred. If you seek historical authenticity in your blockbuster films then expect to be perpetually disappointed.
As any aficionado of Hollywood cinema will know, when it comes to historical pieces the British are almost always the villains. So the old buggers bleating about authenticity ought to just be grateful that for once the Brits are the good guys. If the film was being made in Hollywood it would probably have Mel Gibson as the lead, and he’d be playing a heroic Nazi saving the Fatherland from those evil Jew-loving Englishmen. A role Gibson was born to play, incidentally.
But despite the many liberties to be taken by the makers of the film, the only complaint we’ll hear is that they changed the name of a stupid mutt from one that is utterly offensive.
The bigger question is whether it will be a serious enough offence for Murray Deaker to boycott the film.