Today’s Star columnist, Ron Clayton: A place for loose cannons?

GAGGING ORDER: housebound
GAGGING ORDER: housebound
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And now for something completely different as they used to say on that vastly overrated show Monty Python’s Flying Circus – well sort of different, anyway.

Its been great fun recently imagining that I’m in the editor’s office in York Street rubber-stamping approval for contributions (is this right, Ed?), especially from J Robin Hughes, Vin Malone, Terry Palmer, David Slater, Michael Parker and Don Alexander, not forgetting Dr Ian Rotherham, who writes so passionately about environmental issues.

It’s also very illuminating to note online comments regarding recent local issues here in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

I mean, aren’t you relieved to find that your road isn’t in the top 10 for call-outs for rat infestations? I must try harder next time, otherwise I’ve wasted 27 years in S6 trying to lower the tone of the neighbourhood.

I think I’ve made some progress recently though, despite having tamed my burglar alarm on Friday nights.

Back to the censorship malarkey – yon James and his organ has had some flak over his decision not to fuel the flames of far right extremism’ in Rotherham.

Now it’s worrying when newspapers appear to censor the news but let’s face it the Star isn’t Private Eye or in the mould of certain websites , which often give you an insight into South Yorkshire affairs from time to time.

As regards investigative journalism – well there was the Rhino Whip affair of 1963 and the Trade Union Outrages of the 1860s.

Newspapers always print opinions of course – which is part of their function – but one worries if we are going to see anoydyne and politically correct passed-by-the- press officer columns in The Star.

Is there no place for loose cannons in the world of political correctness with its minefield of eggshells?

Political correctness is most zealously used as a lingua franca by those who haven’t a single individual thought in their body.

It’s the way up the greasy pole and woe betide you if you if you aren’t one of them – you end up like a albino pigeon – pecked to death.

It’s part of our everyday lives and it can be as toxic as carbon monoxide, yet who champions against it?

Did Magna Carta die in vain?

For its debilitating effects – well look around you.

Yours, behind the shower curtain by popular demand-one knife at a time please.

* Ron Clayton, Sheffield Historian