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Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan performing Fairytale Of New York: should the song now be shunned? Pic: Getty

In today’s enlightened climate, there’s no getting around it: a lot of our old favourite songs, films and books are going to have to go in the bin

No matter how much tinsel we drape over the problem in an effort at a Christmassy disguise, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, it has become glaringly obvious that some of our favourite old movies, songs and books have become impossible to love, or at least to stand over, in the modern era. Sure, there will always be commentators – mainly white, straight guys and Katie Hopkins – who’ll tell you different; who’ll bitch and moan that we live in times of “PC brigade nonsense”, and that we’re all being way too harsh about homophobic, racist or ‘rapey’ aspects contained in the lyrics of songs like Fairytale of New York and Baby It’s Cold Outside, or in 1990s sitcoms like Friends. But the truth is: they are unjustifiable in the modern era. It really is as simple as that.

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