Mr Dudman - you had me going. For 25 years I've been buying your paper (first for the pictures, now for the writing ... and the pictures). And then, yesterday. For a minute I felt truly let down. As good, honest men like myself crawled out of bed for our daily glut of boobs and bigotry, the sight we beheld was enough to put us right off our cornflakes. Staring at the Sun in wonder, we couldn't help thinking we had gone blind. No tits. No racism! Had the nation's favourite paper finally gone soft?
Well, all seemed fine at first. The front page was provocatively blazoned with the words "nigger", "Paki", "Pikey" and "Spic". No problem there. But it turned out this was no ordinary ethnic-bashing session. Indeed, the paper dared to announce to its readers - now choking violently on our cereal - that all the children who get called these names are in fact British. You what?! Furthermore, it turns out these names are bad. They are insults. Not names to call these children, apparently, but names that must be despised. Racism, Dudman told us, is really, really not nice. In fact it's so not nice, that he even dedicated page three to telling us why. Page three! I mean, come on.
With pictures of children holding racist slogans, he helpfully informed us what each of the terms meant. There stood a boy of 10 called Mustafa, holding a card reading "terrorist", "an insult which began after 9/11". Oliver, 15, from Manchester, held the word "Yid", and not just because "Yiddish is a language used by Jews". A turbaned boy, Alec, held a sign saying "Towelhead" while Zaynab, 16 and sporting a hijab, stood behind the word "Raghead", which, the Sun helpfully pointed out, was "a variation on the 'Towelhead' insult". That distinction had eluded me until now. There was even a little white lad with a shock of blonde hair holding a sign saying "Chav scum", showing that even normal, white folk could be at risk. The children went on to detail how they had been the victims of racial abuse and The Sun agreed that it was all very, very bad.
But just as we readers were starting to feel confused as to how to vent this new-found anger - unsure as to where to find this newcomer "the bigot", currently ruining the fabric of British society with their dirty deeds and filthy language - we only had to turn a few pages to have things put in perspective again.
"Either fit in or get out", ran the headline. Trust Jon Gaunt to tell it like it is. Readers everywhere could relax again - the Sun hadn't gone soft after all. Dudman, I'm sorry for doubting you.
According to Jon Gaunt, it is "the failure of multiculturalism" that is wrong with this country (that and a lack of respect for the police, apparently). "This is Britain," the article continued, "Great Britain - and it will never be a Muslim country or have sharia law. Get used to it or get out."
Thank God for that! We men folk of Britain breathed a huge sigh of relief - things were looking up. We weren't going to have to beat the crap out of Nazis after all. Phew! Time for some tits. But no! Thanks to Dudman, there was still the problem of page three being taken up by a load of school children, and, well, you know what we Sun readers think about that!
Frustrated, I turned the page and was somewhat appeased by "The Sun Says" and its generous offering of gratuitous sexism. "Greedy tart" Patricia Tierney had tried to sue the Sun over prostitution claims and the paper had been forced to "slapper down". Thankfully, the "whore" got told good and proper, which, I had to agree with the Sun, "served her right".
I was then cheered up with a good old chuckle over the cartoon of two Arabs in the desert. One says to the other, "Yes Ahmed, there's something in your eye - it could be sand." Ha! Those crazy Arabs and their sand. What will they do next?!
But I was still eager to wash away that faintly discernible taste of racial equality that had so rudely ruined my cornflakes. Some breast ought to have done the trick, but, skimming on, I still couldn't find any. I cheered myself briefly with the photographic speculation of what supports Jordan's pair, yet despite the "X-ray" photo, I still couldn't quite see what I wanted.
Sure, there was the double-page spread of the good girls who get liposuction to make their bodies more attractive to men like me ("the bruising worsened during the night ... I look like I've had a fall ... My husband says my legs look thinner." Lucky git!). And yes, there were the cartoons and CGIs of women in their underwear, but it's hardly the same is it? I mean - come on, I'm not a perv.
So, somewhat dejected, I turned to the sports pages, to cheer myself up with a bit of football. And there they were, buried on page 49, shining like 22 golden globes: Keeley's breasts. Eleven glorious pictures of the page-three girl in her "best of 2006" range. Dudman, I could have kissed you. (Not like that, of course.)
So, all's well that ends well. For a few moments there, Dudman, I thought your paper had turned its back on decent folk like me. No racism, no tits? Well it's political correctness gone mad, isn't it. But a few page turns, while drinking my tea, quickly showed me life's still better in the sun. Yes, it's good to know that in this "fool's Britannia" where "the decent silent majority have been abandoned to the sharks", there's still one good, old British institution on which we honest, hard-working folk can depend. Cheers Dudman. And cheers, the Sun. You're a star.