One of the most worrying phrases we hear every day is the chilling mantra: "You have to be careful what you say these days" as if somehow the Smile Stasi are lurking around every corner, awaiting the next unwitting citizen to break the language laws.
And, whenever someone points this out, they're accused of being some sort of fascist fear monger who just wants to gratuitously offend everyone. Which, in relation to this column, can be assumed to be reasonably accurate. But that's not the point.
Just look at the case of Tory councillor Jonathan Yardley, who spent two hours as a guest of the Her Majesty's Thought Police the other day -- for making a joke that someone thought was homophobic.
At a constituency presentation, guests were given a handset and asked to press button A if they were men and button B if they were women.
And, when someone asked what they should do if they were transsexual, Yardley joked that they should press both buttons.
In fairness, it's hard to know what to say to these people. This column once did a piece on a cross-dressing club and when we pointed out to the person in drag doing our hair and make-up that the only way we'd know he was a man was from his hands.
They stopped, pulled the wig painfully tight and snarled: "I'm a f***ing woman, you ignorant bastard."
Honestly, there's no pleasing some people.
POOR LONESOME GEORGE
You probably know the heart-rending story of Lonesome George, the ageing relic that is the last of his kind and faces extinction due to his inability to adapt to the modern world.
(And then there's George, the Galapagos tortoise that faces a similar fate.)
So it is with a degree of sympathy this column must bring you the news that our old friend George Galloway has had his appeal against a barring order from entering Canada turned down.
Those nasty Canadians have banned him from the country because of his open support for the charming Islamofascists of Hamas.
Defending himself, lonesome George said: "I support democracy. I don't support Hamas. I was making the donation to the government."
And the government is? Yup, Hamas.