Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sticks and stones...

...are no longer necessary. You can outrage the English with a single word.

The word in question--this time--is 'Pikey', a term I have never used nor have I mingled with those who do. It refers to travellers, whether Romany or otherwise, also to the thugs known as chavs, to anyone mean with money or short of money. In other words, it's an insult that transcends racial boundaries. Anyone can be a pikey.

And yet, I quote: A spokesman for race equality watchdog the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) said: "These distasteful comments are highly derogatory and have caused much offence."

To whom, precisely? I didn't watch the programme in question but that passing comment would have gone in one ear and out the other. It's not a racist word, the speaker did not apply it to anyone in particular, yet we have outrage once more.

Another TV chef, Gordon Ramsay, is well known for his love of the expletive. His shows are full of 'F-- this' and similar chef jargon. Nobody seems to mind.

In other news, a senior judge wants the whole of the UK population, including visitors, recorded on a national DNA database. This generated no outrage at all.

One casual remark can end a career in the UK, while calls for a 1984-style control state are met with nods of approval.

Does anyone else think this is entirely stupid?


Scary Monster said...

Me loved "The Art of Insult" will look up uncle Tony when me gets to hell.

Thank's fer the new word. Didn't even know what a Pikey were before this post explained it to me.

There gonna be a day, or mebbe it be here already, that we ain't gonna be able to express ourselves without someone making a claim that it is derogatory . What then shall we do for conversation? Mumble Hallmark card inanities to each other?


Romulus Crowe said...

Scary- he was Toby, not Tony. He preferred to be called Tobias to his face, and he'll be wearing a suit with waistcoat and watchchain. If you get there, and Satan looks worried, Uncle Toby won't be far away.

Uncle Toby never really made it out of the 17th century. A man born behind his time, I think.

He wouldn't have lasted in the modern world. Political correctness, to him, meant voting for the right party.

I intend to follow his example, even though it might land me in court the way things are going. I'm definitely doomed to be held in contempt of court. I've never been in one and I have nothing but contempt for them all already.

tom sheepandgoats said...

When I was a kid (late 50's, early 60's) it was common for people to say "I'll kill you," or "I'll kill you for that," to express disapproval, or even to jest. Reacting to some childhood shenanigans, I vividly recall my mother saying "I'll kill you." It was said almost approvingly, with affection, as if acknowledging that "boys will be boys."

How far we've come. Now, no one would ever say such a'd have the hate-speech police all over you. But people have fewer qualms about doing it, something infrequent in the old days

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