It is reported that Thomas the Tank Engine is to be made more politically correct by replacing Henry and Edward with Rebecca (who is presumably female but only if she is happy with that) and Nia (African, orange and perhaps of indeterminate gender). The Liverpudlian narrator is also to disappear and Thomas will leave his home on the Isle of Man. Sodor that!
With all these changes, where to start,
And not upset the apple cart?
The Thomas, he whom we all love,
Is under pressure from above,
To reinvent some of his friends,
And in this way to make amends,
For all the sexist stories he,
Has told in the last century.
So out goes Henry, Ed as well,
To both of these we bid farewell,
And in their place comes Nia who,
Is African and orange hue.
To go with her is Becky who,
Is likely to get in a stew,
’Cos in the world of trains and steam,
Girls are not held in high esteem,
Because with Barbie, also Ken,
They just do different things than men.
But, nonetheless, we have to pay,
Lip service now from day to day,
To make sure everything you see,
It perfectly – you know – PC.
So, to this end, more changes are,
Required so Tom is not bourgeois;
And one more consequence of this,
Is everybody will now miss,
The dulcet tones of Ringo Starr,
Which I’d have thought were on a par,
With persons who’d not claim to be,
A member of the bourgeoisie.
And finally, Tom goes on tour,
To countries, some of which are poor,
To show some empathy with those,
Where a steam engine never goes.
But with all this it’s a surprise,
Especially with coal’s demise,
That Tom’s steam engine friends have not,
Been scrapped now and all left to rot.
But above all steam engines are,
Still very, very popular,
So changing things to be PC,
Is fine if not causing ennui,
But if it should sell fewer words,
Well, then, PC is for the birds!
Image – Duncan Harris / Wikimedia commons