A writer in the New York Times has accused the 1964 Disney film version of Mary Poppins of racism. According to academic Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, Poppins is ‘shamefulling flirting with blackface’ when she gets covered in soot during the famous ‘Step in Time’ number. ‘Instead of wiping it off, she gamely powders her nose and cheeks and gets even blacker’, he writes.

Pollack-Pelzner isn’t the only person recently to take offence at soot. On the same day the NYT ran his piece, a writer at ‘AZ Central’, a news site in Phoenix, Arizona, published a piece complaining about an old photograph in a restaurant that depicted soot-faced coal miners. ‘Phoenix restaurant says this is a photo of coal miners. But I see offensive blackface’, reads the headline.

As PC bores have set about taking offence at even the most inoffensive of cultural works, it has become a cliché to say that their screeds have become indistinguishable from satire. But as spiked columnist Andrew Doyle points out, that is literally the case with Julie Andrews and the ‘minstrel’ miners. Godfrey Elfwick and Titania McGrath, two satirical ‘woke’ Twitter characters, actually got there first: