No surprise that troops were duped in these PC times

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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Oh dear. Apparently an April Fool’s joke in the Army’s official magazine has backfired – because so many soldiers believed it was true.

An article claimed that age-old ranks and titles were to be done away with and replaced with politically-correct ‘gender neutral’ alternatives to comply with EU equality laws. A guardsman would become a ‘protector’ or ‘escort’, a craftsman would be known as an ‘artificer’ or tradesperson’ and so on. You get the picture.

The problem was that many troops were taken in and went on internet blogs and messaging boards to complain.

But in a world where there are no longer firemen, policemen or binmen and where meetings are now led by something called a ‘chairperson’, is it any wonder?