/ Tory MP uses N-word

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johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Jul 2017
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/10/tories-urgently-investigating-after-mp-uses-n-word-at-...

Dear Lord, how does anyone vote for these people? I suppose if you're going to vote for someone whose partner maintains at a public event that we have an education crisis totally owing to the high birth-rate of non-British born immigrants, an n-word more or less probably isn't going to bother you.

jcm
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aln - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Nigger?
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johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to aln:

In the woodpile.

jcm
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baron - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
A perfectly acceptable phrase - about 50 years ago!
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Heike - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
I don't understand how anyone in our day and times has that kind of expression on the the tip of their tongue to be used in everyday conversation; it shows what kind of mindset and background this person has. She surely wouldn't have used it if she thought about it, it must have been subconscious. It should really be very enlightening to the electorate with regards to the character of somebody they voted for (but will it?). Utterly disgraceful and inexcusable IMHO. You just do not use language like this nowadays.
Post edited at 23:32
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johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Heike:

Exactly - it's a mistake, sure, but what was the mistake? Saying what you were thinking, that's what.

jcm
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aln - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Whatever. Just say the word. Nigger, nigga, it's all about context.
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Darren Jackson - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Shocking. And illuminating... Still, it helps to sort the wheat from the chaff.
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Heike - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

No, thinking racist, bigoted and small minded thoughts which then unfortunately pop out through your mouth before you know it was the mistake ;-) ...particularly if you are in public office!

If they were in school they would be called in to discuss their values with the ethical team....and so they should be.
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Dave Kerr - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Nigel?
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Robert Durran - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Exactly - it's a mistake, sure, but what was the mistake? Saying what you were thinking, that's what.

It is just a phrase. An inappropriate, unacceptable phrase nowadays, but I remember it being pretty common when I was a child and I don't think it was ever being used with any overtly racist meaning then. In the context she used it (referring to the possibilty of no-deal Brexit) it is hard to see how it could have been meant in a racist way and reveals nothing about what she was thinking. She did not refer to anyone as a n***** and was not expressing any racist views. I think this is being blown out of proportion. She was silly and unthinking, deserves a slap on the wrist and should apologise, but that's about it.
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Tom V - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Life would be a lot simpler if nobody, absolutely nobody, used the word instead of having a bunch of people condoning its use in certain quarters of the community.
3
Darren Jackson - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It is just a phrase.

It isn't. It really isn't... It is rooted in slavery and has obvious racist overtones.

If she'd used the term 'elephant in the room' then she'd have been okay, as elephants can't type on smartphones to object.

You're backing the wrong horse.
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Robert Durran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Darren Jackson:

> It isn't. It really isn't... It is rooted in slavery and has obvious racist overtones.

Yes, I know it's rooted in slavery, but, like me, she may have frequently heard it as a child as just a phrase, not really unacceptable then, without knowing about it's origins, and now she has it in her subconscious (while consciously being well aware it is no longer acceptable).
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marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

I don't agree. The phrase is so clearly about slavery, and to use it in a trivial context is totally inappropriate. Anyone who doesn't know that it's an inappropriate thing to say is completely out of touch. Ignorance is not acceptable in a highly paid position.

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marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

As a teacher I assume you know it's not ok to use that phrase. I expect the same standards from our MPs.
1
Robert Durran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:

> As a teacher I assume you know it's not ok to use that phrase. I expect the same standards from our MPs.

Of course I know it's unacceptable. I made that absolutely clear in my first post. But I don't think there is any reason to believe she was consciously or deliberately being racist.
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TobyA on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> But I don't think there is any reason to believe she was consciously or deliberately being racist.

I don't think anyone is accusing her of that are they? Far more that how could someone who has asked to be a representative of thousands of people not know how hugely offensive that word is to many, even if she isn't bothered by it.

1
Robert Durran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> I don't think anyone is accusing her of that are they?

Well my first post was responding to somebody saying the phrase revealed what she was thinking, which I took to mean racist thoughts.

> Far more that how could someone who has asked to be a representative of thousands of people not know how hugely offensive that word is to many.

I am absolutely sure she knows how offensive it is and I imagine she is as appalled as most people that it slipped out in the context of a once common phrase which she may have heard hundreds of times when it wasn't unacceptable as it is today.
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Tom V - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
Currently reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" (for the first time, at my age!)
Required reading for all those who haven't got a clue where you're coming from.
Post edited at 00:39
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Tom V - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

You know yourself that language is a fluid and extremely fickle thing.
Who'd have thought that the word "queer" could become acceptable almost overnight, as current TV practice has made it?
TobyA on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
I think you're too soft on her. When I was a kid the eenie, meenie, miney, mo rhyme was commonly said with the n-word, I was told by my parents it was a bad word and why, but I heard it lots in the play ground. It's not going to slip out of my mouth by accident as a result. I can't imagine anyone these days would use the word without lots of thought, whether they intend to hurt with it or completely the opposite (I've had to decide whether to use it teaching - Mohammed Ali's quote justifying his conscientious objection. it's a word you think carefully about even in such a context).
Post edited at 00:47
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Robert Durran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> I can't imagine anyone these days would use the word without lots of thought.

So do you think that she deliberately, after careful thought, decided to use the phrase to refer to a no-deal Brexit, knowing that it would cause great racist offence which would totally eclipse the point she was making in her speech (and land her in a lot of trouble?).
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TobyA on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

No, I think she is utterly gormless and completely insensitive.
2
RomTheBear on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
> So do you think that she deliberately, after careful thought, decided to use the phrase to refer to a no-deal Brexit, knowing that it would cause great racist offence which would totally eclipse the point she was making in her speech (and land her in a lot of trouble?).

FFS, this was so staged, anyone actually believe those cheap ploys ?
Post edited at 01:30
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David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:
> I don't think anyone is accusing her of that are they?

Seems much of the media reporting, and the first page of google results on the matter, do strongly imply she is racist - that she "made a racist remark".

She's not saying black people are inferior or "I dislike black people". So I can't see how she is racist.

She's simply using a very outdated term, one that might cause offense to some people, but I'd say in the vast majority only does so because they have been told to take offense to it.
Post edited at 05:38
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Big Ger - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
Here's another white woman using that dreadful word.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLIkM4wvcC8
Post edited at 05:45
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Wainers44 - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Well she is my MP?

Don't particularly like the woman, I have never voted for her (she's been the MP for a while now).

The phrase used is horrible and racist. No excuse, who knows why she was daft enough to say it.


But, and I really can't believe I am saying this as there might be a slim chance of finally having something other than a Tory if she goes, should she be sacked for that one word/phrase? Not sure.
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Dave Garnett - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Darren Jackson:

> If she'd used the term 'elephant in the room' then she'd have been okay

I'm not even sure that's what it means. I'd have gone for 'fly in the ointment' but I have feeling that's not really it either.

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marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

By saying something like that she is saying that she doesn't care enough to be careful with her language. She doesn't care if she upsets Black people. Like I said she gets very well paid to be an MP and her behaviour is rude and unprofessional. If she can't maintain a basic standard like that she really isn't suitable for the job. What else is she being careless about? There is a basic responsibility with any job not to say racist stuff at work. That responsibility is much higher if you are "customer facing". The N word has not been an acceptable thing to say in a work context for the last 25 years at least.
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marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

Not caring about the feelings of Black people is racist. Trivialising a situation where people fleeing had to hide in woodpiles is very bad manners. We don't make casual references to Jews hiding in attics.
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Name Changed 34 - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Tom V:

> Life would be a lot simpler if nobody, absolutely nobody, used the word instead of having a bunch of people condoning its use in certain quarters of the community.

Yorkshire
Robert Durran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:

> By saying something like that she is saying that she doesn't care enough to be careful with her language.

I don't think that we actually disagree about what she is guilty of - just the degree, in the context, to which she is guilty and the seriousness of it. But I am sure we can agree that what she said is a world away from actually calling someone or referring to someone as a n*****.

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David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:

> Not caring about the feelings of Black people is racist.

There's not caring about the feelings of black people.

Then there's not giving a toss about every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants to be offended by a comment that has no racist intent or who will seize upon anything to accuse a Tory of being a racist.

She's not calling anyone a nigger (sorry, "the N word"!). For all you know, she might be less racist than most of those getting up in arms about her statement. Her crime is to use a phrase that contains a word now considered politically incorrect to be uttered by all but a carefully selected few.

If context allows blacks to say nigger in every other sentence, then context should also allow anyone else to say it if no offense is intended. In my experience, it is blacks who commonly call each other (or themselves) niggers with an intent for it to be derogatory.
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David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:

Again context is everything. In the media, and in work, it is often acceptable to swear if it is in context, but not acceptable to swear with the intent to cause offense or attack. I'm not sure of the actual legalese definition in broadcasting standards but it is something along those lines.

The context here is a colloquialism. Dumb of her to say it, given the inevitable outrage, but probably not much more than that.
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MonkeyPuzzle - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> If context allows blacks to say nigger in every other sentence, then context should also allow anyone else to say it if no offense is intended. In my experience, it is blacks who commonly call each other (or themselves) niggers with an intent for it to be derogatory.

The context in the first case is black people in America being referred to as "niggers" quite openly still in large parts of the country and, rather than just allowing it to be used against them, some have co-opted it to try and subvert it and remove some of its power. The context in the second case is a white woman from Devon using an old slavery term from the deep south of America for absolutely no f*cking reason whatsoever. To try and claim equivalence is to be stupid or deliberately ignorant.
1
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

Sorry, that makes no sense. Black Americans use the term just as frequently in a derogatory sense. A black referring to another black as "just a nigger" (i.e. slack, jobless, feckless) is not removing its power.

I fail to see how a white woman from Devon, who will have pretty much zero connection with any of the historical slave trade, is in some way re-igniting or justifying that history by saying "nigger in the wood pile".

We're almost getting in to the same swamp as when people get up in arms over someone foreign to their culture "culturally appropriates".
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jkarran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Heike:

> It should really be very enlightening to the electorate with regards to the character of somebody they voted for (but will it?). Utterly disgraceful and inexcusable IMHO. You just do not use language like this nowadays.

Except for it to just come out like that, one can only assume unscripted, indicates it's the sort of thing she does think and say frequently. Leaves May with a bit of an issue: continue toxifying the tory brand by accepting an apology (for getting caught on tape) without sanction or erode her authority further by withdrawing the whip as she should and would do in any other circumstance?
jk
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Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Then there's not giving a toss about every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants to be offended by a comment that has no racist intent or who will seize upon anything to accuse a Tory of being a racist.

If you think she was proudly standing up to the politically correct orthodoxy, bravely expressing her freedom of speech, and should be applauded in doing so, then frankly, you're a bigger idiot than she is.

It hasn't been acceptable to use that phrase for decades, for perfectly good reasons. If as a politician you're unable to moderate your vocabulary and speak in the appropriate register for this century, then you've not got the skills to do the job. Anyone who isn't a complete idiot can avoid using the word nigger in public, we're not asking a lot here.

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marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
It's not about calling anyone names, it's about referring to appalling ways of treating people as if it was trivia.

Hiding in a woodpile in fear of your life is not trivial.

As for reclaiming the word, that's a whole other debate, but I wouldn't tolerate a Black person using the word in the workplace either. It is an unacceptable word in the workplace whether directed at anyone or not.

I am not allowed to say "for f*cks sake" at work. You could very much argue it's less offensive than "f*ck off". It's pointless because neither is acceptable enough. Degrees of acceptable are irrelevant if the threshold of acceptable isn't reached.

Apparently UKC thinks the N word more acceptable than the F word.
Post edited at 08:52
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MonkeyPuzzle - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Sorry, that makes no sense. Black Americans use the term just as frequently in a derogatory sense. A black referring to another black as "just a nigger" (i.e. slack, jobless, feckless) is not removing its power.

And when its used as a term of kinship it is. Not saying it's not still challenging, but at least I get where it's coming from. The point is by co-opting it, it becomes *their* word, to do with what they please, and not someone else's.

> I fail to see how a white woman from Devon, who will have pretty much zero connection with any of the historical slave trade, is in some way re-igniting or justifying that history by saying "nigger in the wood pile".

I don't think anyone is saying she's justifying that history, but do you not see how using slavery references to describe unrelated topics in this context is being flippant with a subject not appropriate for flippancy? Has she got any handy Auschwitz-based turns of phrase to lead us on to the trade deficit?

> We're almost getting in to the same swamp as when people get up in arms over someone foreign to their culture "culturally appropriates".

Sure you're not trying to retreat to ground you're more confident of defending?

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Bellie on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

For me anyway, her use of an outdated term, suggests a general mindset that is rooted back then too. However true or not, these kind of things back up many people's fears that some of the 'posh' tory types, still yearn for a time when the little person knew their place.



1
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> we're not asking a lot here.

Really? The list of racist or "-phobic" words we are not allowed to use seems to increase by the day with a cottage industry in academia and blogosphere decreeing ever more utterances to be offended by. Anyone from Benedict Cumberbatch to public intellectuals get attacked because of it.

You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know calling someone a nigger is not acceptable.

But when its part of colloquial phrases divorced of their underlying meaning by a hundred years or more, or simply because you haven't kept up with this year's fashion in language, you can end up being labelled a racist (essentially told you are a cvnt) in seconds. Which is in itself a sure fire way of alienating those making the accusations and hardly surprising that there appears to be a backlash and resulting popularity on "plain speakers"

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David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> I don't think anyone is saying she's justifying that history, but do you not see how using slavery references to describe unrelated topics in this context is being flippant with a subject not appropriate for flippancy?

So her crime is to be flippant?

Perhaps you may have a point that this would be criminal if we were still living in an era that saw nothing wrong with slavery. But were ling past that point now, just as calling someone a witch doesnt disservice a those who were dunked

> Sure you're not trying to retreat to ground you're more confident of defending?

No. You are the one saying it is acceptable for certain cultures to use terms but not ok for others to use them, and that their is ownership of such terms.
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David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Bellie:

I couldn't disagree with that.

But we don't win the argument by running around trying find Tories to falsely call racist any more than Israel wins arguments over its foreign policy by calling people anti-semites.
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jkarran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> But we don't win the argument by running around trying find Tories to falsely call racist any more than Israel wins arguments over its foreign policy by calling people anti-semites.

Who's calling here racist? Fuc*wit without a filter on some rather backward ideas and language: yes. Racist: maybe, maybe not. Fit and proper person to represent a constituency in parliament: in my opinion they deserve better.

You're arguing with Jon that these phrases are harmless if antiquated part of our lexicon and as someone who often seems a bit riled up by having ever more political correctness foisted upon you can I ask you the question: would *you*, do you and if so in what company/context use language like this? If not, why not?
jk
Post edited at 09:26
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Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Really? The list of racist or "-phobic" words we are not allowed to use seems to increase by the day with a cottage industry in academia and blogosphere decreeing ever more utterances to be offended by. Anyone from Benedict Cumberbatch to public intellectuals get attacked because of it.

?? No one's asking her to address some intersex/trans/gender-fluid campaigner by some pronoun that isn't part of the English language, we're asking her not to say nigger in public! I repeat emphatically, this is not a big ask!

> You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know calling someone a nigger is not acceptable.

But you do need to be a rocket scientist to know that even without using it as a term of racist abuse, it's still totally unacceptable in the context she used it in? I'm afraid you don't, you just need to have been aware of social change over 5 or more decades.

> But when its part of colloquial phrases divorced of their underlying meaning by a hundred years or more, or simply because you haven't kept up with this year's fashion in language, you can end up being labelled a racist (essentially told you are a cvnt) in seconds. Which is in itself a sure fire way of alienating those making the accusations and hardly surprising that there appears to be a backlash and resulting popularity on "plain speakers"

This is just total rubbish. "simply because you haven't kept up with this year's fashion in language" You're joking? She said nigger in public! This has been totally unacceptable for decades! We all know this, it's got nothing to do with "fashion", it's the most basic form of courtesy.

You're making out that she contravened some impenetrable code of political correctness, a mistake anyone could make if they weren't fully briefed on the latest list of unacceptable expressions. But what happened here was that she said nigger at a public event. I'm 38 years old, and never in my lifetime has it been OK for politicians to say nigger in public! What in god's holy name are you blathering about?
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tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I don't think the left and the left of centre press does itself any favours by being so obsessed with language. Some silly old bat says 'nigger in the woodpile' and there is shock and outrage all over the Guardian/Independent/BBC for days displacing other stories. It is wasting time preaching to the choir and a distraction from Tory screw ups which are far more relevant to the sections of the electorate the left need to convince.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Really? The list of racist or "-phobic" words we are not allowed to use seems to increase by the day with a cottage industry in academia and blogosphere decreeing ever more utterances to be offended by. Anyone from Benedict Cumberbatch to public intellectuals get attacked because of it.

Where on the list of racist words do you think "nigger" comes? Near the top or near the bottom?

> But when its part of colloquial phrases divorced of their underlying meaning by a hundred years or more, or simply because you haven't kept up with this year's fashion in language, you can end up being labelled a racist (essentially told you are a cvnt) in seconds. Which is in itself a sure fire way of alienating those making the accusations and hardly surprising that there appears to be a backlash and resulting popularity on "plain speakers"

We're talking about a very much still current, viscerally offensive term of racist abuse contained within a colloquial phrase from a era from which black Americans are still suffering the repercussions of to this day. She's not kept up with 1971's fashion in language, let alone 2017's.
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Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I don't think the left and the left of centre press does itself any favours by being so obsessed with language. Some silly old bat says 'nigger in the woodpile' and there is shock and outrage all over the Guardian/Independent/BBC for days displacing other stories.

I agree that's it's not a big deal with any real consequences. But I am absolutely stunned, and deeply amused by the way anyone can be so utterly disconnected from reality that they can use that kind of language and not be able to see what's coming their way. She must be thick as pigshit!

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Postmanpat on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I agree that's it's not a big deal with any real consequences. But I am absolutely stunned, and deeply amused by the way anyone can be so utterly disconnected from reality that they can use that kind of language and not be able to see what's coming their way. She must be thick as pigshit!

Jon, Agreed, but if this is a "crime" the membership House of Commons would be halved at a stroke (and it wouldn't just be Labour that got hit!)
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David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

I just plugged "tory MP nigger" in to Google. Around a dozen or so results came up on the first page, all featuring the MP in question. At least half of them (anything from the BBC and FT to blogs and buzzfeed) were outright accusing her of racism. I suspect if I opened to read the rest, most of those would have too.

As for my use of the phrase, yes. I do use it every now and then. I do so amongst close friends. I also do so in front of my black American wife. And I do so in front of other black friends. I'm well aware I couldn't say it in front of quite a number of leftie acquaintances because they would be looking to take offense to it (presumably on behalf of the black people I know?).

It's not a phrase I need to use as it rarely describes situations or topics being discussed. And the English I speak is somewhat more contemporary than that of a Tory MP from Devon. But terminology she was raised with, that has no underlying goal of racism, will be different. Ill advised maybe, but hardly justifying the backlash she seems to be receiving. But we do all like to lynch a Tory don't we.
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Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Bellie:

> For me anyway, her use of an outdated term, suggests a general mindset that is rooted back then too. However true or not, these kind of things back up many people's fears that some of the 'posh' tory types, still yearn for a time when the little person knew their place.

This is precisely the point. By her monumentally clumsy use of racist language, she cements in our heads the stereotype of the posh, racist, out-of-touch Tory whose interests don't extend beyond protecting the privileges of the elite. To which I say, Bravo!
1
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> She said nigger in public!

Sorry to be blunt Jon, but whoop-dee-f'ing-doo....she said nigger in public.

That doesn't make her a racist.

Apparently, she has to stand down, no doubt issue a groveling apology, and who knows what else.
13
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> That doesn't make her a racist.

That wasn't the charge, but thanks for making the point again anyway.

> Apparently, she has to stand down, no doubt issue a groveling apology, and who knows what else.

I think she should be made to carry a massive placard bearing the words "I haven't got a f*cking clue what's going on"!
2
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> She must be thick as pigshit!

Or, she's just a 60-year-old woman, of a conservative mindset, in a small town of 25,000 in Dorset, some 200 miles from the parts of the country where people get stirred up by this sort of use of language ;-)

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Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

I'm afraid in her role, you have to be thick as well otherwise you'd have mastered the use of appropriate vocabulary.
1
bouldery bits - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:


> I fail to see how a white woman from Devon, who will have pretty much zero connection with any of the historical slave trade, is in some way re-igniting or justifying that history by saying "nigger in the wood pile".

I beg your pardon - as a proud Devonian I am very well aware of Devon's strong connections to the slave trade!

David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

...strong...and as far as I can deduce, long gone for almost 200 years. I don't think we need to keep self-flagellating because we are white and there indelibly linked to it.
3
bouldery bits - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> ...strong...and as far as I can deduce, long gone for almost 200 years. I don't think we need to keep self-flagellating because we are white and there indelibly linked to it.

Ah, now I agree with that.

I was simply incensed at the idea that Devon was some how immune from involvement in slavery when in fact it was a major part of the operation.
jkarran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> I just plugged "tory MP nigger" in to Google. Around a dozen or so results came up on the first page, all featuring the MP in question. At least half of them (anything from the BBC and FT to blogs and buzzfeed) were outright accusing her of racism. I suspect if I opened to read the rest, most of those would have too.

Not reporting accusations of her having used racist language? That doesn't sound like typical reporting style for major news providers.

Ok, so I checked using your search term. All report her suspension:
Telegraph - no mention of the word racist
Guardian - for using racist term
PoliticsHome - for using a racist slur
BBC - for using a racist remark
Buzzfeed - for using racist language
FT - after racist remark

FT comes closest but all stop way short of what you claim they're saying.

> As for my use of the phrase, yes. I do use it every now and then. I do so amongst close friends. I also do so in front of my black American wife. And I do so in front of other black friends. I'm well aware I couldn't say it in front of quite a number of leftie acquaintances because they would be looking to take offense to it (presumably on behalf of the black people I know?).

Your wife and friends and are happy with you using this unpleasant antiquated phrase? Why do you use it, I can't even think of an appropriate context so presumably it's just shoehorned into conversation occasionally to shock, to sound edgy, to kick back at political correctness?

> It's not a phrase I need to use as it rarely describes situations or topics being discussed. And the English I speak is somewhat more contemporary than that of a Tory MP from Devon. But terminology she was raised with, that has no underlying goal of racism, will be different. Ill advised maybe, but hardly justifying the backlash she seems to be receiving. But we do all like to lynch a Tory don't we.

Personally I'm not for lynching anyone but I expect much better than this of our elected representatives whichever party they represent or none.
jk
1
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

Who's self-flagellating? This woman isn't on my team.

A still more useful step than throwing this sort of person out of public life would be to stop regarding white people as "us" as your post does. That doesn't lead anywhere good.

jcm
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:
Maybe something is lost in translation.

Surely accusing someone of a "racist remark" is accusing them of "racism"? Or is there some subtlety I am missing? Nearly all the reports, as far as I can tell, are accusing her of exactly that.

The UKC community may be moderating their accusations slightly (accusing her of being a prize tool), but the wider opinion formers out there appear to be labelling her racist.
Post edited at 10:37
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David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> A still more useful step than throwing this sort of person out of public life would be to stop regarding white people as "us" as your post does. That doesn't lead anywhere good.

Sadly, if blacks are allowed to say nigger with impunity, while whites cannot say it in any context, then there is very clearly a "them" and an "us".

14
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:
> Your wife and friends and are happy with you using this unpleasant antiquated phrase? Why do you use it, I can't even think of an appropriate context so presumably it's just shoehorned into conversation occasionally to shock, to sound edgy, to kick back at political correctness?

Yes, they appear to be happy with it. Because context is everything and it is used in the context of a conversation in much the same way a black person uses it. If I was using it to talk down to them then I imagine they would have a problem with it.

Sadly, some groups (i.e. Tories or those we don't share similar social views with) appear to be denied the benefit of context and are simply declared wrong/racist as a result of their skin colour and political affiliation.

I am every bit as uncomfortable with that as I am with actual racism, in no small part because it is utterly counter productive in combatting racism (as someone who will have kids with dark black skin, big lips, and afro hair, and who will, as my wife takes great joy in pointing out, far more closely resemble her than they do me, racism represents to me probably a greater existential threat than most).

As I've said before, we are seeing a backlash against the left's policing of language. We see it in the fact that the likes of Trump get elected where, despite many of his own electorate seeing his shortcomings, he is seen as preferable because his unwillingness to regulate his language symbolised something powerful and positive. I'd say this is a similar reason why so many still can't bring themselves to vote for Corbyn - because he represents that same, paternalistic, authoritarian streak of control of expression that the left is tarnished with.
Post edited at 10:53
3
jkarran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> Sadly, some groups (i.e. Tories or those we don't share similar social views with) appear to be denied the benefit of context and are simply declared wrong/racist as a result of their skin colour and political affiliation.

Explain to me how the phrase was used appropriately in this context.

> I am every bit as uncomfortable with that as I am with actual racism, in no small part because it is utterly counter productive in combatting racism...

Ah, so now I'm the problem, not the elected representative with ideas about acceptable use of derogatory language at least half a century out of date? Really?

> As I've said before, we are seeing a backlash against the left's policing of language.

No we're not, we're seeing the consequence of a prolonged campaign of scapegoating the EU and imigrants used to drive a power grab by the already powerful who've used their media and political influence to subvert our democratic processes. This isn't about the little people being told they can't say nasty things to each other anymore!
jk
Post edited at 11:16
1
jkarran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Maybe something is lost in translation.

Translation? You're a native English speaker aren't you? I certainly am.

> Surely accusing someone of a "racist remark" is accusing them of "racism"? Or is there some subtlety I am missing? Nearly all the reports, as far as I can tell, are accusing her of exactly that.

No, they are different things, you can tell because different words are required to describe them. "Is a racist" vs "Made racist comment"... both unacceptable for an MP but different things. None of the news sources you claimed made the former statement actually did, all but the Telegraph essentially made the latter.
jk
Post edited at 11:15
2
Mike Stretford - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Or, she's just a 60-year-old woman, of a conservative mindset, in a small town of 25,000 in Dorset, some 200 miles from the parts of the country where people get stirred up by this sort of use of language ;-)

Made me chuckle, I think you need to re-calibrate your idea of what today's 60 year olds are.... she'd have been 30 in 1987. We're also talking about an Oxford graduate who's worked in law and marketing, not quite the naive farmer's wife you seem to be thinking of.

There's a type of right winger who revels in using this kind of language, knowing full well it is now considered unacceptable. I get the feeling they are feeling emboldened of late and are now pushing the boundaries.
1
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4682354/Tory-MP-Anne-Marie-Morris-uses-word-n-meeting.html

Another bunch of bleeding heart lefties calling this racist language.

jcm
1
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> As I've said before, we are seeing a backlash against the left's policing of language. We see it in the fact that the likes of Trump get elected where, despite many of his own electorate seeing his shortcomings, he is seen as preferable because his unwillingness to regulate his language symbolised something powerful and positive. I'd say this is a similar reason why so many still can't bring themselves to vote for Corbyn - because he represents that same, paternalistic, authoritarian streak of control of expression that the left is tarnished with.

I know you like making this argument, but for crying out loud, it's totally irrelevant here! This has got absolutely nothing to do with "the left" and "policing language": not saying nigger in public is now so firmly embedded in our culture, such a basic requirement for simple politeness that contravening this convention is a bit like getting your dick out.
1
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> Explain to me how the phrase was used appropriately in this context.

Because "nigger" was surrounded by the words "like a" and "in a woodpile". That makes it a colloquialism, where the sum of their parts usually conveys a different meaning than each individual part. It should certainly make clear she wasn't calling anyone a nigger. Nor was the word being used in a negative sense. It's an old phrase, an "elephant in the room", a "bear shitting in the woods" or a "sweating like a paedophile".

> Ah, so now I'm the problem, not the elected representative with ideas about acceptable use of derogatory language at least half a century out of date? Really?

If you're going to go around accusing people of racism when they probably aren't then yes, I would say you are absolutely part of the problem.

> No we're not, we're seeing the consequence of a prolonged campaign of scapegoating the EU and imigrants used to drive a power grab by the already powerful who've used their media and political influence to subvert our democratic processes. This isn't about the little people being told they can't say nasty things to each other anymore!

That sounds way over the top, and certainly at odds with the kinds of things Trump voters say themselves.

As for there being a difference between "making a racist remark" and "being racist", I fail to see it (unless you are referring to the fact that someone can be a racist and make no such comments). If her remark is racist, she is being racist in making it.
10
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Of course they are going to. The Tory party, post election, is falling over itself to u-turn or bend over backwards to resolve any media uproar.
Postmanpat on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

You have to remember, for the "evil" Tories all things are evil. For the Godly left, all things are Godly.

Rational discussion is a waste of your breath.

13
Stichtplate on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> Ah, now I agree with that.

> I was simply incensed at the idea that Devon was some how immune from involvement in slavery when in fact it was a major part of the operation.

Not only a major part of the operation but also a victim. Many villages in Cornwall, Devon and Southern Ireland were attacked by North African pirates in the 17th century, and their inhabitants sold into slavery.
1
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

What do you think would have happened if it had been a Labour MP? It's less likely but still possible, and certainly possible for a Labour peer. The response would have been exactly the same, and of course "the right" would have had a great deal of fun with it.

Why don't you just stop pretending that saying nigger in public has got anything to do with left or right?
1
Postmanpat on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> What do you think would have happened if it had been a Labour MP? It's less likely but still possible, and certainly possible for a Labour peer. The response would have been exactly the same, and of course "the right" would have had a great deal of fun with it.

> Why don't you just stop pretending that saying nigger in public has got anything to do with left or right?
>
I don't suppose JCM would have opened a thread about it, particulalry with the line "how does anyone vote for these people?" knowing full well what he means by "these people". It was started as a political thread. That's why.

You are right, of course, that it is probably more a case of idiocy than racism, and is not unique to the Tories, whatever the Godly left might like to pretend.
Post edited at 12:04
6
Stichtplate on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Stretford:


> There's a type of right winger who revels in using this kind of language, knowing full well it is now considered unacceptable. I get the feeling they are feeling emboldened of late and are now pushing the boundaries.

Don't know anything about the MP in question but by using a racist term she certainly leaves herself open to accusations of stupidity at best and racism at worst.
Something else to consider, certain types (often from the right but not always) deliberately use such language to show that they consider themselves above the concerns of the 'little people', elevated by power or wealth.

Whatever was going on here I'm more than a little bemused that people on here are defending her. She is clearly unsuitable for the role of MP.
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

Well yes, the stupidity does neatly fit the stereotype of the racist old Tory, which makes it even more stupid and unhelpful of this complete nitwit.

But surely the intelligence response to JCM isn't "blah blah the left blah blah the left the left the left blah blah", it's "this woman is an idiot, and *coincidentally* a Tory".
1
Postmanpat on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> But surely the intelligence response to JCM isn't "blah blah the left blah blah the left the left the left blah blah", it's "this woman is an idiot, and *coincidentally* a Tory".
>
David has tried the "intelligent response" route (so did you). My point is that it is a waste of time in the face of visceral prejudice.

Anyway, I'm off climbing
Post edited at 12:21
1
jkarran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> Because "nigger" was surrounded by the words "like a" and "in a woodpile". That makes it a colloquialism, where the sum of their parts usually conveys a different meaning than each individual part...

Please explain to me why 'like a nigger in a woodpile' is an appropriate colloquialism in the context, especially why she might have chosen that loaded, long since socially unacceptable phrase over a more appropriate, less distasteful one to describe 'no-deal brexit', something like say 'a serious threat to our economy and well being' which is I presume what she was getting at.

> If you're going to go around accusing people of racism when they probably aren't then yes, I would say you are absolutely part of the problem.

Quote me accusing anyone of racism.

The point we've been arguing is that you've said the papers and others online have accused her of racism, I checked and as I suspected they, like those you're butting heads with here have correctly accused her of using racist language.

> That sounds way over the top, and certainly at odds with the kinds of things Trump voters say themselves.

Trump? Sorry, what are you on about?

> As for there being a difference between "making a racist remark" and "being racist", I fail to see it (unless you are referring to the fact that someone can be a racist and make no such comments). If her remark is racist, she is being racist in making it.

I see, if I have this right you don't believe she's a racist because you don't believe the remark itself is racist, presumably because it's the sort of language you say you still like to use particularly in the company of your black family and friends who don't complain about it? I don't buy your argument. I believe it is an unacceptable and racist phrase but that its use in isolation tells us only a little about the person that used it, mainly that she is unfit for elected office in my opinion by reason of demonstrating very poor judgement. The fact such an unusual, outdated, unpleasant and derogatory phrase appears to have just casually tripped off the tongue does hint at the character and mindset of the woman and at a desire to push back at the boundaries of acceptable language, ideas and behavior in what she presumably and worryingly considered a safe space but I'd go no further than that.
jk
Post edited at 12:28
1
Stichtplate on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:


> Quote me accusing anyone of racism.


You're pretty good at inferring it when you slip into left wing frother mode.
;-)
9
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> David has tried the "intelligent response" route (so did you). My point is that it is a waste of time in the face of visceral prejudice.

We'll have to agree to differ on the intelligence or otherwise of David's response, which reads to me rather like a load of "blah blah the left blah blah the left the left the left blah blah" nonsense.

2
jkarran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

I've explained exactly what I have and haven't inferred from her comments which is categorically not that she is a racist (though I remain open to that possibility). Nor have I implied she, you (on other threads where we've butted heads) or anyone else on here today is a racist. There are some users on here who consistently use racist language and express prejudiced ideas, those I will call for what I see. To date you are not one of them, nor is David.
jk
1
Martin Hore - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I am absolutely sure she knows how offensive it is and I imagine she is as appalled as most people that it slipped out in the context of a once common phrase which she may have heard hundreds of times when it wasn't unacceptable as it is today.

I gave Robert a "like" for this one. I hope I'm as far from racist as most but at my age (66), yes, this is a phrase that was used in common parlance when I was young and I can conceive that I might just use it by mistake today, in a non-race-related context such as this, though I would be pretty horrified that I had done so.

If this Tory MP has any history of expressing racist views - eg in relation to immigration - then it's pretty inexcusable, but if not, then after a forthright apology, and acceptance with good grace of a period of suspension from the party, I would say it would be OK to re-instate her.

Controversial I know.

Martin



1
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

As the OP pointed out, her partner, while campaigning on her behalf, apparently told the public that the crisis in the education system was due to the high birth-rate of non-British-born immigrants. That racist enough for you?

Of course she said those weren't her views. And to be sure she can't control who campaigns for her. Still, it adds to the picture, I think.

jcm
1
Stichtplate on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Well thank you for the glowing endorsement, and while I can assure you that I'm not a racist I feel I must own up to a great many prejudices.
People who like Coldplay and anyone who pronounces hospital as hospical, to name but two.
1
captain paranoia - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I assume none of us has ever let slip a word or phrase that we regretted immediately, and not simply because we'd 'be in trouble', but because we knew immediately that it was not something we wanted to say?

We're all in perfect command of what comes out of our mouths, at every instant of the day?

I'm not.
jkarran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

Obviously not but is there any chance you would you ever accidentally use that phrase as a metaphor for 'a bad/dangerous thing'?

It's not a little Jeremy Hunt/C*nt type slip of the tongue it's either a conscious choice to use a derogatory phrase long unacceptable in company she believes will tolerate or applaud it, an attempt to reclaim language taken from her by 'political correctness' it or it's a phrase she uses/thinks frequently enough in private that it just comes tripping out while she's not considering her position and audience. Neither are good!
jk
Post edited at 13:33
1
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

> We're all in perfect command of what comes out of our mouths, at every instant of the day?

Perhaps not after 36 solid hours of booze and drugs, but at work I usually manage to make it through almost a whole day of seeing patients without once uttering any of the words, "whore", "pissflaps" or "nigger".
1
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> Told by whom?

The Left of course. Without The Left, we'd all be able to say nigger whenever we liked and life would be much better.
1
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> Please explain to me why 'like a nigger in a woodpile' is an appropriate colloquialism in the context

No, not appropriate. Bad taste, etc etc. That's the extent of the problem - up there with Corbyn talking to Sinn Fein or being ambivalent towards Hamas for all it really matters. Charging her with being a racist is smashing a small nail with a sledgehammer.

> Quote me accusing anyone of racism.

Not you directly, but you are accusing her of racist speech so indirectly (at the very least) of racism. If your evidence for that is her saying "like a nigger in a woodpile" then I would say this evidence is flimsy at best.

In fact, what exactly IS racist speech?

Which brings us to...

> I see, if I have this right you don't believe she's a racist because you don't believe the remark itself is racist,

No. She could be a card carrying KKK member for all I know. I'm simply not going to jump to that conclusion based on her saying "nigger in a wood pile". Or are you?

I don't believe her statement is evidence of anything other than being out of touch with the language allowed to be spoken by a white Tory in public. If she was a black Tory, or just a black, presumably she'd be free to scream nigger as much as she wants. The boundaries appear not quite as clear cut as our shared understanding that I can't unleash my cock in a public place. Silly of her not to realise this.

On the other hand, if she called Diane Abbot a "fvcking nigger" I'd say her racist qualification would be highly likely.

> The point we've been arguing is that you've said the papers and others online have accused her of racism, I checked and as I suspected they, like those you're butting heads with here have correctly accused her of using racist language.

Sorry, you are really going to have to spell out to me why someone using racist language isn't the same as them being racist. And if they aren't the same, why is using racist language apparently as much a crime as being racist itself?

You and others appear to be wanting your cake and eat it - using her statement to effectively say she's up there with the EDL in terms of ideology, but not willing to actually come out and say she is racist.

> I believe it is an unacceptable and racist phrase

Nigger gets said every day. It is on the radio, on the TV, in cinema, in writing. It is practically screamed from the rooftops. It very clearly can be used and you seem to be making value judgments about who can and cannot use it based on skin-colour. A black American of East African descent probably has a closer connection to slave-trade profiteering (i.e. more blood on his hands and history) than I do, yet he can say nigger with impunity, while I can't?

The policing of the word and the degree that whites will go in to palpitations when it is said is absurd - particularly in light of how often it is said by blacks. That might have had some kind of useful purpose back when transformative change was required to deal with white southern racists, their hiring practices and general demeanour towards blacks. Back when calling someone a nigger still meant something. But we are no longer in those times. The plantations and slave-owners are long gone, Elmina Castle is a tourist attraction. The ironies are, far from lessening its power, the taboo just perpetuates its power as a term of abuse....something the blacks have long got over by throwing the word around in to every day use.

Anyway, I leave you with this. Niggas need to be a little less sensitive nigga.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MBaEEODzU0
11
Timmd on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> The Left of course. Without The Left, we'd all be able to say nigger whenever we liked and life would be much better.

That explains it. ;-) It's my understanding that nigger became unacceptable after the 1970's (ish), makes it hard for me to know where David Martin is coming from, in talking about language trends changing too quickly for people to keep up with.
Post edited at 14:00
1
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> I don't believe her statement is evidence of anything other than being out of touch with the language allowed to be spoken by a white Tory in public. If she was a black Tory, or just a black, presumably she'd be free to scream nigger as much as she wants. The boundaries appear not quite as clear cut as our shared understanding that I can't unleash my cock in a public place. Silly of her not to realise this.

I do feel for her, the bewildering codes laid out by the cruel, authoritarian Left, applying only to white Tories and designed specifically to trip them up in this fashion. My advice to her, if she really can't understand when it's appropriate to say nigger in public, and when to avoid it for the sake of embarrassment would be to simply err on the side of caution. Same goes for "battyboy", if she was wondering.
1
Stichtplate on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

No. Battyboy is out now too? Please God , don't let them take wankpuffin away.
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

So do tell: who can say nigger?
3
Nevis-the-cat - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

I think the point you are missing is that black people who use the word "nigger" are adopting the negative, in the same way a couple of Asian friends of mine use the word "Paki". Given I, as a white bloke, have never been on the receiving end of such hate filled words I have neither the right nor the wish to use either.

I think for most people using the word, other than strictly in context, it would never occur to them, much the same as they'd never call their mum a kunt.

The point being made here is that someone in public office, should choose their language wisely, - they represent more than just their immediate echo chamber.
1
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> So do tell: who can say nigger?

Oh for god's sake.

Why are you asking such a transparently stupid question, when you know precisely what the answer is?

Here's a quick test for when any given individual should or should not say it: try it and see if it makes everyone feel horribly embarrassed. If so, you shouldn't have said it. If no, well done, you've mastered the art of using controversial language in an appropriate context and you can pass on to the next level: when to display your penis to a member of the opposite sex.
3
jkarran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
Christ on a bike! Why not respond to what I actually say rather than creating a position for me then arguing against that.

During a public speech as an elected MP representing her party and her constituents she found herself in need of a metaphor, the one she alighted upon either scripted or quickly off the top of her head is the 'nigger in the woodpile' conjuring an image of an escaped black slave in hiding to represent a threat to economy and well being. I think that is very clearly a racist idea and a statement utterly unbecoming of a serving member of parliament. I haven't said she's a racist, she may be, she may not be but at the very least she has exhibited very poor judgement and opened a window onto her mindset and perhaps also onto how she views the attitudes of her colleagues and audience as well.

If you think a black or Labour MP would get away unscathed with exhibiting the same poor judgement you're delusional. If you genuinely believe it's acceptable as a phrase because it isn't simply pointing and calling someone a nigger then that's just weird. Sorry to be blunt.

You asked so off the top of my head here are some reasons someone may use racist language: accidentally without understanding its meaning or power or ironically or to shock or to play to the prejudices of their audience or to challenge the audience to consider why the language has power or to mark their bold exceptionalism from a group or to probe the attitudes of that audience all the while without necessarily actually holding racist views themselves. IMO it is perfectly reasonable to say someone used racist language without saying or implying they are a racist (even if you believe that likely the evidence is clearly insufficient). It isn't a difficult concept!
jk
Post edited at 14:41
1
Darren Jackson - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> I'm not even sure that's what it means. I'd have gone for 'fly in the ointment' but I have feeling that's not really it either.

You may be correct... I just wanted to reference elephants because I found the idea of an elephant trying to use a smartphone quite amusing.
baron - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:
While, for probably the first time, agreeing with what you said, could you please not blaspheme in order to show your exasperation?
3
Philip on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> So do tell: who can say nigger?

Wing Commander Guy Gibson.
1
jkarran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to baron:

I don't know if you're being serious or not but you made me laugh
jk
baron - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:
Sorry, should have put a in my post.
Nevis-the-cat - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

Go to Handsworth

Ask that question

Let us know how it works out for
1
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Yeah, I figured that out. It's rhetorical.

Do you really believe for a second that the vast majority reading of this case were actually offended? And not that they simply saw this as a too good an opportunity to pass up grinding their political axes, regardless of racist intent?

Again, crying "racist!" has become a tool to shut people down (or in this case, lose their jobs). Just because some people choose to be offended doesn't make them right.
4
Timmd on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> You have to remember, for the "evil" Tories all things are evil. For the Godly left, all things are Godly.

> Rational discussion is a waste of your breath.

I'd like you to say that to my Dad's new Tory voting partner within the context of said Tory MP saying nigger. You'd be told to stop being silly.

On her behalf...'Stop being silly'.
1
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The Left of course. Without The Left, we'd all be able to say nigger whenever we liked and life would be much better.

Funny you should say that. I have just read the thread with interest and started to wonder if we actually benefit from a government/parliament who are absolutely terrified of saying anything that is deemed to be "unacceptable" by this shadowy kangaroo court of PC (I am not defending her BTW, nigger has been a no go word for a long time. Just having a thought experiment)

Obviously using racist language is bad, but if the reaction is so OTT to the point of using equally offensive language of a non racial hue then do we risk asphyxiating sensible, fair handling of the ethnic minorities in this country due to fear of offending, potentially leading to more situations like Rochdale and Rotherham ? Or am I over thinking this?
2
Timmd on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> Again, crying "racist!" has become a tool to shut people down (or in this case, lose their jobs). Just because some people choose to be offended doesn't make them right.

If a word has historically racist roots for it's usage, it doesn't seem top unreasonable to me, for anybody to say that somebody saying it, with creating an accommodating society in mind, shouldn't use racist language.

It's quite straight forward, no?
Post edited at 14:56
2
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

I don't even know what you mean by "offended". The most likely reaction when someone says nigger in a wildly inappropriate context as this MP did, is embarrassment. Personally, my reaction would be that mixture of embarrassment and amusement (the David Brent or Alan Partridge type of humour) - but I assume most people wouldn't see the funny side and just be utterly embarrassed.

It's been pointed out countless times already that the objection to her use of the phrase isn't simply crying "racist" at her, but you just keep ignoring that fact over and over again.

I can't for the life of me understand what your point is. If an MP says nigger in public, they're going to get crucified, because of the enormous weight of the history of racism hanging on to that word. You know this perfectly well. This same weight is what makes it effective in other ways, in other contexts too - it's used to sound edgy, or to play on controversy, or whatever depending on the specific context. You know this as well.

It's never going to be OK for an MP to use the expression "nigger in a woodpile" and the reasons are incredibly obvious to everyone, including you.

Why can't you accept that brute fact of the world you live in? It's been that way for decades, and will be for decades more. What is there to argue about here?
1
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Or am I over thinking this?

Yes.

The taboo around the word nigger is one issue. It has nothing to do with child abuse in Rochdale, and any argument to suggest it does is barking mad.
1
tony on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> Again, crying "racist!" has become a tool to shut people down (or in this case, lose their jobs). Just because some people choose to be offended doesn't make them right.

For a start, she hasn't lost her job. And just because some people are offended doesn't make them wrong.

Making a fuss about this sort of thing is part of the process of working out what is and what isn't acceptable in current society. Conversely, not making a fuss about it means the consensus is that such language is acceptable and anyone offended by it just has to put up with it. Is that really what you want?
1
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> Yes.

Ok, fair enough

> The taboo around the word nigger is one issue.

Agree

It has nothing to do with child abuse in Rochdale, and any argument to suggest it does is barking mad.

Of course it doesn't , but that wasn't my point. My point was about a wider issue of hysterical reactions to people using inappropriate language of a racial nature, to the point that people in a position of power are too afraid to confront issues because of the potential pandoras box of savage vitriol just waiting to be hurled by anyone who is susceptible to take offence on others behalf. You said yourself you personally found it amusing and embarrassing, rather than reaching for a pitchfork.
Post edited at 15:22
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> conjuring an image of an escaped black slave in hiding to represent a threat to economy and well being.

Oh, bullsh1t. Its a phrase people have used for years. In fact it appears to have been used by quite a number of Tories over the years in all kinds of different contexts. It doesn't necessarily mean anything other than something isn't being addressed that should. You're reading way too much in to her intent.

> If you think a black or Labour MP would get away unscathed with exhibiting the same poor judgement you're delusional.

Given its an old fashioned term, and they aren't by their nature conservative, they would be less likely to say it. So its hard to say. But I'd go as far as to say Labour would likely get an easier ride, yes. Corbyn or Abbot getting grief for saying "nigger"? She certainly didn't lose her job when she claimed white people "Like to divide and rule" or strongly implied that Brexit voters were racists, with attacks on her ability countered by claims of racism themselves. Labour MPs would be far more likely to have a get out of jail free card - they aren't automatically assumed to be racist and are on the right side of the people who cry racism.

I still don't get how you can claim racist speech where no racism is intended or the person saying it simply isn't racist. Is every black saying "nigger" using racist speech? Someone directly refers to someone as a "mong" or a "spas", at worst they are impolite or insensitive. Someone uses "nigger", not even targeting it at a black person, and they have said something racist? Really?
4
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to tony:
> Making a fuss about this sort of thing is part of the process of working out what is and what isn't acceptable in current society. Conversely, not making a fuss about it means the consensus is that such language is acceptable and anyone offended by it just has to put up with it. Is that really what you want?

In this day-in-age of twitter storms and social media hype, you may need to be careful about what constitutes a fuss. How much of the noise is actually signal.

I wouldn't be happy with people calling friends of mine niggers if they mean it in a derogatory sense.
But I have no objection to golliwog dolls, blackface at Haloween or someone saying "nigger in a woodpile".
As far as I'm concerned they are two entirely separate things, two completely different contexts - one intends to and unarguably causes offense, and one doesn't.

So no, the kind of society that polices speech based on who claims to be most offended isn't the kind I want. Fortunately I don't live in the UK any more so it isn't something I really encounter so much these days. In these parts (West Africa or SE. Asia) few if any people get hung up on this sort of stuff, and in this area speech feels palpably more free. However, based on my skin colour alone I'm simply labelled a barang or an ebroni, the kind of racial distinction that would no doubt have some in the UK spitting tacks.
Post edited at 15:54
1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Oh, bullsh1t. Its a phrase people have used for years. In fact it appears to have been used by quite a number of Tories over the years in all kinds of different contexts. It doesn't necessarily mean anything other than something isn't being addressed that should. You're reading way too much in to her intent.

> Given its an old fashioned term, and they aren't by their nature conservative, they would be less likely to say it.

This is confusing. Why is being conservative more likely per se to make you turn to racially charged expressions when speaking in public?

> I still don't get how you can claim racist speech where no racism is intended or the person saying it simply isn't racist. Is every black saying "nigger" using racist speech? Someone directly refers to someone as a "mong" or a "spas", at worst they are impolite or insensitive.

No, at worst they are using hate speech and could face serious consequences

Mong - offensive reference to Down's syndrome

Spaz - likewise to cerebral palsy

Please tell me you don't object to the use of these expressions being made socially unacceptable. Or that you think if that MP had been filmed using them it would be any less of a story.

1
jkarran - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> Oh, bullsh1t. Its a phrase people have used for years. In fact it appears to have been used by quite a number of Tories over the years in all kinds of different contexts. It doesn't necessarily mean anything other than something isn't being addressed that should. You're reading way too much in to her intent.

Well that's ok then! No it isn't just in case we have some communication difficulty. It is and has long been a socially unacceptable turn of phrase, in this context it's intended meaning was frankly bloody awful. That you apparently like using it and similar racially charged phrases and appear to believe others should once again feel free to does not change that. I really hope your friends and family are as cool with it as you say they are because I think you sound like a proper wally.

> Given its an old fashioned term, and they aren't by their nature conservative, they would be less likely to say it. So its hard to say. But I'd go as far as to say Labour would likely get an easier ride, yes. Corbyn or Abbot getting grief for saying "nigger"? She certainly didn't lose her job when she claimed white people "Like to divide and rule" or strongly implied that Brexit voters were racists, with attacks on her ability countered by claims of racism themselves. Labour MPs would be far more likely to have a get out of jail free card - they aren't automatically assumed to be racist and are on the right side of the people who cry racism.

My turn to call bullshit.

> I still don't get how you can claim racist speech where no racism is intended or the person saying it simply isn't racist. Is every black saying "nigger" using racist speech?

Yes, probably to shock or to re-appropriate the word, to wrest control of it from those that would and do use it as a term of abuse or subjugation. That clearly isn't what Ms Morris MP was doing.

> Someone directly refers to someone as a "mong" or a "spas", at worst they are impolite or insensitive. Someone uses "nigger", not even targeting it at a black person, and they have said something racist? Really?

At worst they're impolite? Well there we part with little common ground on which we're going to agree. You really don't seem to have much grasp of the power words have to do harm especially when wielded by those in power. I'm done with this, I've explained as clearly as I can how it is possible for someone to use racist language and dependent upon the context for one to consider that unacceptable (or not) without needing to believe the person actually holds racist views. I don't see any merit in going over it again, I believe it's a simple point adequately made and I suspect you've already understood it. If you've genuinely failed to understand what I'm saying then either my argument is poor or poorly made, either way making it again seems pointless.
jk
Post edited at 16:04
1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Your argument isn't poorly made.
1
keith-ratcliffe on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
'Olivers Army' by Elvis Costello also uses that word - albeit in a rather different context - and is still played regularly on mainstream radio.
marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
Well if you are outside the UK that's understandable that you don't get it due to different cultural values but should you come back to visit you may wish to take more care with your words.

The word is not acceptable in any formal or workplace context, in the UK from anyone, black or not. Possible exceptional cases may include American rap stars and mentions of a certain historical dog.

FYI you might also want to avoid sexist and homophobic slurs as well.

The "good old days" are gone. It isn't acceptable here to drink drive, grope women, make nasty jokes about gay people or use hate words. We don't call people spaz either.

It hasn't been acceptable for quite some time.

As Stonewall said "get over it".
Post edited at 16:42
2
marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Oliver's Army is usually beeped out on the radio.
1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:

Apparently not; indeed caused controversy when it was. Given the context, seems entirely reasonable.
1
marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Reasonable to beep or reasonable use of the word?

Personally I think it should be censored during the day in the same way I wouldn't expect to hear the uncensored f word version of "don't marry her" played during the day when people have children listening in the car. Maybe that makes me old.
1
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> This is confusing. Why is being conservative more likely per se to make you turn to racially charged expressions when speaking in public?

I thought it would be evident by the nature of one being deemed conserative, with an older voting demographic, drawing more support in traditional areas with lower mixing, that they would use older, possibly outmoded language. We might feel uncomfortable with their choice of words (i.e. the kinds of things many people of that age would see nothing racist in saying). But coming down on them like a tonne of bricks for it is just plain silly...and again, smacks of political opportunism.

> Please tell me you don't object to the use of these expressions being made socially unacceptable. Or that you think if that MP had been filmed using them it would be any less of a story.

Read back a bit. She hasn't called anyone a "nigger" any more than she has called anyone a "spas" or a "mong". So no matter how hot under the collar anyone gets about any of those words, acceptable or not, it doesn't matter.

She is however being leveled with accusations of racism for using a figure of speech that included one of these words....somewhat of a lesser charge I would have thought. That accusation is being made either implicitly through being accused of "racist speech", or explicitly from people claiming this supposed racist speech constitutes outright racism.

On the first accusation, according to JKarran's explanation, "racist speech" is simply saying a word that is considered racist, regardless of whether there is racist intent or not - i.e. even saying "nigger" inadvertently is racist speech. But presumably, the definition of "racist speech" doesn't apply to a black person saying "nigger"....because they are instead "re-appropriating", or empowering themselves with it...i.e. context matters.
Sorry, but you can't have it both ways. You can't allow one skin colour impunity to say "nigger", for it not to constitute "racist speech", because in their case you allow for intent and context....while not allowing another skin colour to say "nigger" because, regardless of context and intent, it will always be deemed "racist speech". That is just hypocrisy and does neither blacks nor whites any favours.

On the second accusation, I struggle to see how anyone could make a clear decision. She would probably be pretty racist by my definition of what a racist is. Most certainly by what the UKC massive's view is. Saying nigger in public speaking is odd. But then again, my parents and my grandparents say some pretty weird stuff and would fulfil the UKC definition of being Tory racists - yet they couldn't be more welcoming to any ethnicity or to their daughter-in-law (a welcome not shared by my own in-laws towards whites). From hard experience, I'm loathed to label someone a racist on account of clumsy speech and have likewise been labeled a racist on too many occasions by acquaintances in left-wing circles to give them much credibility.
Post edited at 17:11
5
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:

I've lived in the UK for the last 20 years. Thanks for the patronising tone though.

I actually used to somewhat share your views. Unfortunately after spending 12 years working in a left-wing academic institution in the UK and seeing exactly where the experiment in ever more policing of speech led, I tend to be more circumspect about leveling accusations at people - be that of racism, homophobia, or sexual harassment. Hopefuly you never have to experience the same...it really is Orwellian where it can lead.
2
Stichtplate on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:

> Reasonable to beep or reasonable use of the word?

> Personally I think it should be censored during the day in the same way I wouldn't expect to hear the uncensored f word version of "don't marry her" played during the day when people have children listening in the car. Maybe that makes me old.

Shouldn't be censored IMO, and if my kids heard it I'd be happy to discuss the difference between casual racism and the use of an offensive word to make a point about the disenfranchised in an intelligent lyric.

marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

I fully understand your point about some older people saying unacceptable things due to being from a different generation without meaning to be unkind. However this woman is a degree educated MP. She is not old enough for the generation gap to be an excuse. She is paid well to do a very very public job. It's not like she is an uneducated idiot. She is in a position where she absolutely should know better. The expression itself is very derogatory and unpleasant, not just one word, but the entire expression is about hiding for your life. You seem to be making excuses for her.
2
marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
I've seen the reaction of the kids I teach get when someone uses words like nigger or terrorist or poof or mong.

You call it Orwellian I call it manners. It's rude and unpleasant to use phrases like the one in question.

BTW I would equal opportunities tell off a Black child for use of the n word in a classroom in the same way as anyone else.
Post edited at 17:24
2
marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

Fair point. It's a protest song there is a reason. Would you be happy to explain it to children is a reasonable test I guess.
1
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:
No, not making excuses for her. I fully expect she is an idiot. I'm just not going to make claims of racism, or climb aboard what appears to be a witch-hunt, post-election, to crucify as many Tories as possible, no matter how weak the evidence against them.

I always felt the left prided itself on not resorting to dirty politics. But from Brexit to Grenfel, it seems it has decided there is justification to play the political game as nasty as is possible. While the right has the Daily Mail, the left appears to dominate social media, and the vitriol on the later is every bit as bad as the former, if not worse.

Edit: as for the expression she used, I've been clear about this earlier: when I have heard it being used I've seldom, if ever, considered its original meaning. It's a series of words that collectively convey a meaning and like so many idioms and colloquialisms are better off not even considered in their original context.
Post edited at 17:28
2
Stichtplate on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:

> Fair point. It's a protest song there is a reason. Would you be happy to explain it to children is a reasonable test I guess.

Fairly easy to explain Costello's usage but I'd really struggle to explain why an MP would slip that particular phrase into conversation.
David Martin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:

> I've seen the reaction of the kids I teach get when someone uses words like nigger or terrorist or poof or mong.
And not once have I argued that calling someone anything like that, with the intention to hurt them, is to be tolerated.

> You call it Orwellian I call it manners. It's rude and unpleasant to use phrases like the one in question.
The Orwellian nature I was referring to the propensity for those enforcing these manners, ostensibly to protect people's feelings and welfare, to become the attackers - themselves launching and justifying outright campaigns of hatred and intimidation based on limited evidence and creating fear and division.

I've watched it on too many occasions to be able to dismiss this sort of thing as isolated or unusual circumstances. It occurs out of the very structures designed to protect people. It is insidious and appears to be a pathology of the left. It is also the reason I brought up politics earlier on in this thread as the same language I've seen leading up to this sort of thing now appears to be replicating in the Left political discourse. It is alarming.
2
Stichtplate on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
I'm no fan of PC or increasingly vitriolic politics ,both stifle communication rather than foster debate, but the word nigger has become the most loaded in the English language. Whether this MP is a racist or not is almost besides the point. Her casual use of such a word reveals her judgment to be astonishingly poor, so much so as to render her unfit for office.
Post edited at 18:10
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

It seems to be a thing with the Irish comparing themselves and/or the white underclass to black people - there's some remark in The Commitments about the Irish being the blacks of Europe.

I've never understood what the context of Oliver's Army is anyway. I mean, mercenaries, fine, but who's Oliver?? I remember being told it was Oliver Tambo, but that doesn't make much sense. Oliver Cromwell?!

jcm
Stichtplate on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
As I understand it there were layers of meaning in it. Costello wrote it after a trip to Belfast at the height of the troubles. Oliver Cromwell lead a brutal campaign in Ireland. Murder mile could reference any number of streets in Ulster notorious for attacks on the British army. 'White nigger' was a slur used against both US civil rights activists and underclass white Americans. In the context of the song it probably refers to the working class origins of most squaddies and also reflects what Costello saw as the contempt in which their political masters held them.
Post edited at 21:33
Nevis-the-cat - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

That's what I understood it to mean - poor white lads recruited to die for their masters.
marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antrim_Road

Many many deaths on both sides and those caught between.
1
marsbar - on 11 Jul 2017
TobyA on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

Was it you who said earlier that your wife is black American David? Is your very strong view on this word somehow connected to experiences stemming from that? Race seems such a deeply tragic and f***ed up part of American history and contemporary politics and culture. This being a good example of something I heard recently that only reinforced that to me: http://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/13-miss-buchanans-period-of-adjustment

I've heard plenty of black people say they find the word upsetting to hear and really wish other black people wouldn't use it, even if its with -a or -az endings common in hip hop culture.
FactorXXX - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Nevis-the-cat:

That's what I understood it to mean - poor white lads recruited to die for their masters.

Out of interest, which 'poor white lads' are you referring to?
1
Lusk - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

My hardcore leftie parents gave me 'Little Black Sambo' to read as a nipper back in the 60s.
Look at me now, buying drugs off my nigger friends.
(Mother disapproves of the drug dealing)
1
marsbar - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

The boys from the Mersey and the Thames and the Tyne presumably.
1
Tom V - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:



> I've heard plenty of black people say they find the word upsetting to hear and really wish other black people wouldn't use it, even if its with -a or -az endings common in hip hop culture.

I sympathise with them completely and wish that the whole idea of "co-opting" an offensive word for your own exclusive use had never seen the light of day.

1
Darren Jackson - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I've never understood what the context of Oliver's Army is anyway. I mean, mercenaries, fine, but who's Oliver?? I remember being told it was Oliver Tambo, but that doesn't make much sense. Oliver Cromwell?!

I've always understood it as a reference to, and protest against, Cromwell and, by extension, British imperial interest in Ireland and elsewhere.

According to the quote in the Wikipedia entry, Costello is maybe being more ambiguous about things?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver%27s_Army

Some of the lyrics are less ambiguous:

"Only takes one itchy trigger
One more widow, one less white nigger"





Big Ger - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:

> Oliver's Army is usually beeped out on the radio.

That's a bit stupid;

"The song lyrics contain the phrase "white nigger", a racial slur which usually remains uncensored on radio stations. In March 2013, the radio station BBC Radio 6 Music played the song with the word removed despite BBC radio stations having played the song uncensored for over 30 years. Their move attracted public criticism given the intended anti-racist and anti-war theme of the single. Costello performed the song at the 2013 Glastonbury Festival, which was broadcast by the BBC, with the phrase uncensored."
Big Ger - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Again, crying "racist!" has become a tool to shut people down (or in this case, lose their jobs). Just because some people choose to be offended doesn't make them right.

It's the wonderful schizophrenic attitude of those on the left.

Something is only bad if they define it to be bad; ie, to use the word "bitch" when referring to women is VERY BAD as it is SEXIST, except if your are referring to Theresa May, or any other Tory woman, as then it is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE.

8
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

No, not really - "nigger" only one example. Its the principle I have issue with.

Blacks I know don't care about the word particularly. It's like how "f*ck'n" can be used as an all purpose particle, liberally thrown around for emphasis. By contrast, a whitey says nigger and its as if a murder has been committed. The drama created is out of all proportion and as a general rule I don't like the idea that one set of people are allowed to use a word while others aren't - I'm strongly against the paternalistic left view on this, especially when it appears to be used more for political point scoring.
4
FactorXXX - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to marsbar:

The boys from the Mersey and the Thames and the Tyne presumably.

Doesn't it make more sense, that it's the squaddies that are the ones with the 'itchy trigger' and the 'white niggers' are the ones that they kill?

When you've been on the murder mile
Only takes one itchy trigger
One more widow, one less white nigger
Stichtplate on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:


> Doesn't it make more sense, that it's the squaddies that are the ones with the 'itchy trigger' and the 'white niggers' are the ones that they kill?

I'd never looked at it that way (showing my own prejudice). I'd guess the lyric works whoever is on the receiving end.
Big Ger - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Doesn't it make more sense, that it's the squaddies that are the ones with the 'itchy trigger' and the 'white niggers' are the ones that they kill?

"The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once and say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud."
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> It's the wonderful schizophrenic attitude of those on the left.

> Something is only bad if they define it to be bad; ie, to use the word "bitch" when referring to women is VERY BAD as it is SEXIST, except if your are referring to Theresa May, or any other Tory woman, as then it is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE.

No it isn't. Honestly, you are such a prat. There's really no other word for it.

jcm
3
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Sadly, if blacks are allowed to say nigger with impunity, while whites cannot say it in any context, then there is very clearly a "them" and an "us".

No, there are black people and white people. The moment you start saying 'them' and 'us', it's a short step to saying that 'they' are not like 'us', and we know where that leads.

There is only one us, and if we can't get that simple fact right, we're doomed.

jcm
2
Big Ger - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> No it isn't. Honestly, you are such a prat. There's really no other word for it.

I love you too.

GT
1
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> She is however being leveled with accusations of racism for using a figure of speech that included one of these words....somewhat of a lesser charge I would have thought. That accusation is being made either implicitly through being accused of "racist speech", or explicitly from people claiming this supposed racist speech constitutes outright racism.
> On the first accusation, according to JKarran's explanation, "racist speech" is simply saying a word that is considered racist, regardless of whether there is racist intent or not - i.e. even saying "nigger" inadvertently is racist speech. But presumably, the definition of "racist speech" doesn't apply to a black person saying "nigger"....because they are instead "re-appropriating", or empowering themselves with it...i.e. context matters.

You really are utterly incapable of understanding or accepting what I've said aren't you. I have *explicitly* said we cannot conclude she is a racist on the basis of this one recording yet time and again you say I *imply* she is, I do not. I do not object the the utterance of the word nigger per se (though it is seriously ill considered in any context for a politician in 21st century Britain), I do strongly object to the manner in which it was used, what to you see as an innocent and meaningless turn of phrase is to me the aggravating factor and what makes the use of the word racist, she's using the 'nigger in the woodpile' to symbolise something dangerous and undesirable.

> Sorry, but you can't have it both ways. You can't allow one skin colour impunity to say "nigger", for it not to constitute "racist speech", because in their case you allow for intent and context....while not allowing another skin colour to say "nigger" because, regardless of context and intent, it will always be deemed "racist speech". That is just hypocrisy and does neither blacks nor whites any favours.

That isn't what I'm doing. I'm white, I'm using the word in this conversation, I don't believe I'm using it in a racist or harmful way but nor am I doing anything to reduce the power of the word to cause harm.

> From hard experience, I'm loathed to label someone a racist on account of clumsy speech and have likewise been labeled a racist on too many occasions by acquaintances in left-wing circles to give them much credibility.

It keeps coming back to this, your objection to what I'm saying which now appears to be basically what you claim you believe (a racist saying does not a racist make) stems not from what I'm saying but who you believe I am politically! Ironic.
jk
Post edited at 09:10
1
Jon Stewart - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> It's the wonderful schizophrenic attitude of those on the left.

> Something is only bad if they define it to be bad; ie, to use the word "bitch" when referring to women is VERY BAD as it is SEXIST, except if your are referring to Theresa May, or any other Tory woman, as then it is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE.

What a load of shit. You just made something up so you could say how much you don't like it. Garbage.
2
krikoman - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> No it isn't. Honestly, you are such a prat. There's really no other word for it.

There's loads of other words for it?

Come on, John you're not even trying.
1
Big Ger - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Mate, my facebook feed is full of the most vile and sexist memes about T May, all (presumably) not from Tory supporters.
Jon Stewart - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> No, not really - "nigger" only one example. Its the principle I have issue with.

> Blacks I know don't care about the word particularly. It's like how "f*ck'n" can be used as an all purpose particle, liberally thrown around for emphasis. By contrast, a whitey says nigger and its as if a murder has been committed. The drama created is out of all proportion and as a general rule I don't like the idea that one set of people are allowed to use a word while others aren't - I'm strongly against the paternalistic left view on this, especially when it appears to be used more for political point scoring.

But this isn't true, and you know it isn't true. There are loads of contexts in which white people say nigger and nobody reacts, because it is, as is so painfully obvious to everyone, more complicated than "black people can, white people can't". The problem in this case was the context, it was hilariously, wildly inappropriate. There was no acknowledgment of how it would be perceived, and this is the key.

If when you use the word nigger you show you understand how it is perceived and you're not using it as a way to denigrate or wind people up, then you're using controversial language with some degree of skill and will probably not provoke a reaction, if you've judged your audience correctly. However, if you just blurt out the word nigger as part of an old-fashioned expression at a public meeting, you're going to get crucified because it shows a staggering lack of understanding of the world - you look like a total idiot, an embarrassment, you're showing you can't meet society's most basic requirements of politeness. Part of the context is whether the speaker is black or white, but there is so much more to it.

Surely, having married a black woman, you've learnt to navigate this stuff by now? Really not? I don't believe it - I think you're claiming ignorance of the obvious in order to prop up a ridiculous position that you won't back down from.
2
Jon Stewart - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> Mate, my facebook feed is full of the most vile and sexist memes about T May, all (presumably) not from Tory supporters.

So what.
1
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> Mate, my facebook feed is full of the most vile and sexist memes about T May, all (presumably) not from Tory supporters.

Maybe it's the caliber of your friends? Mine isn't and my friendship group is broadly left leaning.
jk
2
Tom V - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:



> There is only one us, and if we can't get that simple fact right, we're doomed.

Couldn't agree more and that's why we should use the same language without seeking to deliberately exclude others by claiming "ownership" of certain words.

1
Jon Stewart - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:
> Maybe it's the caliber of your friends? Mine isn't and my friendship group is broadly left leaning.

There seems to be something odd going on to do with social media and people's perceptions of politics. When someone says "The Left" to me, I think of Owen Jones, Jeremy Corbyn, Polly Toynbee, James O'Brien, David Mitchell, Bernie Sanders, Noam Chomsky, etc, etc. Whereas when a lot of people on this website think of "the Left", for some reason (i.e. facebook? dunnon, I don't use it), they think of "Social Justice Warriors" - a phenomenon confined entirely to university campuses, especially in the States - and people who send vitriolic memes on the internet. These things are just totally irrelevant to what it means to be "on the left" - which for me is about how to run the economy (high progressive taxes to fund good services for all as a means to reduce inequality (a well-accepted route to increase wellbeing)). Equal rights for minorities is a part of that reduction of inequality, it's only about acceptable or unacceptable language at the most trivial possible level.

Yet what we debate over and over again, as if somehow it's interesting or important, is this so-called authoritarianism of the left when it comes to the words used to talk about minorities. But if you listen to anyone who I consider as representing "the left" - those above - none of them support any such scheme of limiting the language people can be use. This is something that "the right" - by which I mean specifically the people on this website who support right-wing political ideology - are totally obsessed with. There's never a shred of interest given to how people are actually treated under the policies and cultural norms we operate under in our society, just a constant whine of "the left blah blah language, why-can't-I-say-nigger-when-I-want-to, the left left blah blah the left the left the left". F*ck me I'm bored with it.
Post edited at 10:56
2
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> There seems to be something odd going on to do with social media and people's perceptions of politics. When someone says "The Left" to me, I think of Owen Jones, Jeremy Corbyn, Polly Toynbee, James O'Brien, David Mitchell, Bernie Sanders, Noam Chomsky, etc, etc. Whereas when a lot of people on this website think of "the Left", for some reason (i.e. facebook? dunnon, I don't use it), they think of "Social Justice Warriors" - a phenomenon confined entirely to university campuses, especially in the States - and people who send vitriolic memes on the internet. These things are just totally irrelevant to what it means to be "on the left" - which for me is about how to run the economy (high progressive taxes to fund good services for all as a means to reduce inequality (a well-accepted route to increase wellbeing)). Equal rights for minorities is a part of that reduction of inequality, it's only about acceptable or unacceptable language at the most trivial possible level.

It's baffling. I do use facebook and as I say, my friends (like me) are by and large left and liberal leaning so I get a fair bit of stuff from Labour, Greens, LibDems, lots of pro-EU stuff from the organisations which grew out of the brexit debacle, lots of gay rights campaigning and stories, lots of anti-austerity stories' and campaigns, bloody loads of dog stuff and baby pictures, lots of motor sport stuff, some photography, lots of Isle of Man stuff. It represents reasonably well (though imperfectly) my connections beliefs and interests, it does little to challenge them. I get none of the shouty university SJW stuff, nothing from the demonised Momentum, nothing personally abusive of May, a little abusive of Hunt but I count a few medics among my friends and patience is wearing thin). I do get a fair few mostly moronic bacon related anti-muslim memes as a result of one 'mate' (mutual interests) with far right leanings and connections.

I can only assume most of the noise is actually about Mail/Telegraph/Fox/Breitbart et al's representation of 'the left on social media' since I don't suppose many of the right leaning sorts complaining about it get any direct exposure (like I don't to right leaning campaigns, parties and propaganda).

> Yet what we debate over and over again, as if somehow it's interesting or important, is this so-called authoritarianism of the left when it comes to the words used to talk about minorities. But if you listen to anyone who I consider as representing "the left" - those above - none of them support any such scheme of limiting the language people can be use. This is something that "the right" - by which I mean specifically the people on this website who support right-wing political ideology - are totally obsessed with. There's never a shred of interest given to how people are actually treated under the policies and cultural norms we operate under in our society, just a constant whine of "the left blah blah language, why-can't-I-say-nigger-when-I-want-to, the left left blah blah the left the left the left". F*ck me I'm bored with it.

Totally agree.
jk
Post edited at 11:38
1
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

This is getting tedious, so I'll leave it at this. But perhaps rewinding and summarising for clarity would be useful as I think you are getting completely the wrong end of the stick.

- Despite claims from yourself and others that she ISN'T being accused of racism on account of this single phrase, my point is that, yes, she is being accused of exactly that. Needless to say, I think it is a ridiculous assertion to make of anybody in such circumstances.
- That, at worst, this is ill-advised, about as appropriate as me saying "cvnt" in front of my grandmother. But nothing more than that and devoid of anything that could be termed "racist".

That is the background. Now,

* You (among others) claim that actually, she is not being accused of racism.
* I say she is, drawing as an example the results of a Google search for "tory MP nigger", where essentially every result, be it mainstream media or blogosphere, accuses her of "racist language", or words to that effect.
* You claim that these are not claiming she is "racist". That they are instead accusing her of having "used a racist term", "used a racist slur", "used a racist remark", "used racist language", etc etc etc, and that this is different from calling her "racist".
* You claim you too are not accusing her of racism, just of racist speech.
* I say that is crap, that the two are the same.
* See the second section of my post of 17:04 on Tuesday to see exactly why I make that claim; that your argument, that there is a distinction between "racist speech/language" and "being racist", is inconsistent. To summarise though:

** You claim that using the term "nigger" is using "racist language", despite there being no racist intent - ie. "nigger" is "racist language" irrespective of context.
** That this does not imply someone is "racist" however because such language, as above, may be used without intent, or as irony, or accidentally.
** Therefore the two terms are separate.
** My point is, if the use of the word "nigger" is always "racist language", because intent, racism or context don't matter, then anyone who says "nigger" is using racist language - be they a gangster rapper, a large proportion of black people I know, or a Tory MP.
** And if this media furore is not the result of our Tory MP being a "racist", but simply the result of her using "racist language", then everyone who uses racist language in public should receive the same attention - be they the Tory MP, the gangster rapper, or Aphex Twin. Whether they are "racist" or not doesn't matter, the language matters.

Simply put, if you say something with no racist intent, no intent to injure or offend, then you are neither racist, nor making racist remarks, nor making racist speech. Basically, you are not racist, there is no racism, and there should be no fvcking massive media circus throwing the word around at you!

I suspect even you accept that the media frenzy, the haste with which people are jumping on the racism bandwagon, in response to her remark is uncalled for.

And as a result you are trying to imply that no such accusation of racism is being made. That all the references to "racist" actually imply something else.

If you are going to say she was racist in speech then you are saying she is racist. Simple as that. No amount of twisting will get out of that. You, therefore, have to accept the media (and thread) response is OTT.

Being labelled (or implied) you are a racist is as harmful, if not more so, than being on the receiving end of racist abuse. It is likely career ending and leaves you potentially open to criminal proceedings. So there is something fundamentally distasteful in the propensity for people to throw around such accusations, knowing that the shit will stick, even if entirely untrue.

In short, if you aren't willing to call her racist, don't accuse her of racist language.
6
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Surely, having married a black woman, you've learnt to navigate this stuff by now? Really not? I don't believe it - I think you're claiming ignorance of the obvious in order to prop up a ridiculous position that you won't back down from.

Maybe you need to be less worked up over the fact that a Tory MP said the word "nigger" in a figure of speech?
There have been groveling apologies, calls for sacking and the suspension of an MP as a result.
Yet as far as I can tell, the word didn't cause the sky to fall, no black people I know have lost sleep over it, yet it would seem this is up there with the fall of Mosul as far as major political events go.

Can you not see the absurdity in the reaction?

When it comes to "nigger" perhaps (quoting Marsbar above), "As Stonewall said 'get over it'."



6
Jon Stewart - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

Ignoring the fact that your argument is full of fallacies, which have already been pointed out, you should probably consider that it leads to an absurd conclusion (not usually a pointer that you're on the right track): that when a politician blurts out the single most taboo word in the English language this should just be ignored and thought of as normal. Doesn't sound right to me!
2
Jon Stewart - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Yet as far as I can tell, the word didn't cause the sky to fall, no black people I know have lost sleep over it, yet it would seem this is up there with the fall of Mosul as far as major political events go.

> Can you not see the absurdity in the reaction?

You're really not listening are you?

> I agree that's it's not a big deal with any real consequences. But I am absolutely stunned, and deeply amused by the way anyone can be so utterly disconnected from reality that they can use that kind of language and not be able to see what's coming their way. She must be thick as pigshit!

1
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> "Social Justice Warriors" - a phenomenon confined entirely to university campuses,

Really? Try reading any post from Momentum and seeing where the comment section goes. Or comments on the Independent about Grenfel, our Tory MP in question, or basically anything about anything not considered Left-enough.

You are in denial if you haven't noticed social media commentary from the left isn't every bit as obnoxious and deluded as what you'll find on the Mail or Brietbart.

The mainstream Right seem to have understood what Tony Blair understood, something the Left don't seem to have grasped. That the old ideas of left and right no longer apply. That the traditional image of a right-winger, as someone who attacked minorities, perpetuated bigotry, and undermined equal rights, relative to the left, is no longer so clear. In some cases the roles have reversed. Philosophically, the left hasn't quite grasped the degree to which it has adopted neo-liberal individualism.

The attitude of the Left however seems to be that the left is intrinsically right, even when it resorts to the same BS as its political opponents.
4
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

How much clearer do I have to be!

Using the word is not inherently racist whatever one's skin colour, I have never claimed otherwise. It is however deeply misguided in almost all contexts for a 21st C politician.

Using 'a nigger in the woodpile' as a metaphor for something dangerous *is* an expression of a racist idea, it is racist language.

A person using racist language (see phrase in context, not just the word above) may or may not be a racist in so much as they hold and act prejudicially on racist ideas, a single instance while indicative is insufficient evidence to draw that conclusion.

All the mainstream media are claiming is that she used racist language, despite your initial dissembling then later protestations that they mean something else by what they say because it's impossible to separate is a racist from used racist language. It simply isn't.

No, I don't think the response has been over the top and not because she's a Conservative. I think her remark in context is appalling and demonstrates at best very poor judgement. She should have the whip withdrawn and bearing in mind her past support for right-of-recall she should consider her position as an elected representative.

You don't appear to understand how the British criminal justice system operates. Public outrage has little bearing on whether someone is charged with a crime and in principal none whatsoever on whether they're convicted. Being a racist quite rightly is not a crime in Britain.

I believe I've adequately demonstrated why I and I presume others believe her language was racist and as I've said, time and again it isn't simply because it contains the word nigger. Again, while the use of racist language would be consistent with a person holding racist views an isolated instance is insufficient evidence on which to draw firm conclusions so I won't.
jk
Post edited at 12:11
2
Jon Stewart - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

Let's rewind. I said

> When someone says "The Left" to me, I think of Owen Jones, Jeremy Corbyn, Polly Toynbee, James O'Brien, David Mitchell, Bernie Sanders, Noam Chomsky, etc, etc.

Now you're telling me that these people aren't "the left", "the left" are in fact the people who comment under Momentum posts (on facebook?) or in the comments section of The Independent. And because these people - those who really do represent the left rather than the irrelevant jokers I listed above - make obnoxious remarks on social media, this undermines the whole philosophical underpinning of left-wing politics.

You'll be unsurprised to learn that I haven't got time for this and I'm going out climbing!

1
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Surely you can see that most people's encounters with the left aren't with Owen Jones or Bernie Sanders?
It's far more likely to be with someone on social media from Momentum telling them they're racist for wanting controlled immigration or bigots for using last year's transgender pronoun.

The people who you think represent the left are in turn being represented by others - that's how social media networks operate. Maybe you need to get on to Facebook. Being one of the primary means people (especially of the Left) use for political communication these days, and get an idea for just how the Left conducts itself.

3
FactorXXX - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Whereas when a lot of people on this website think of "the Left", for some reason (i.e. facebook? dunnon, I don't use it), they think of "Social Justice Warriors" - a phenomenon confined entirely to university campuses, especially in the States - and people who send vitriolic memes on the internet.

In the same way that anything/anyone remotely bigoted is automatically labelled "the Right"?

For what it's worth, I characterise 'Left' and 'Right' on politics alone and believe that people of all political persuasions can be equally bigoted/nasty/insensitive, etc.
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

By your argument the mouthbreathers who follow and comment on the EDL's output are 'the right' in Britain, not people like Rees-Mogg, Redwood, Tebbit, Lamont, Lawson etc. Your argument is absurd!
jk
2
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Last time I checked, the EDL and its supporters weren't the main backing force for the Tory party. Unlike Momentum, UNISON, etc.

The irony here, is I've long considered myself left-wing, certainly never right-wing. But the left cannot see how it is alienating its own supporters.
1
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> The irony here, is I've long considered myself left-wing, certainly never right-wing. But the left cannot see how it is alienating its own supporters.

Sounds to me like you're seeking out excuses to alienate yourself. Newspaper and social media comments sections have never been the gathering place of intellectual debaters, whatever the hue of the discussion.
jk
2
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

I thought you were going to leave it at that?

Since you're still here, perhaps you could do one thing for me:

The expression was, I believe, 'nigger in the woodpile'. This was being used as an analogy for brexit. In the analogy, are black people being used as an example of a positive or a negative thing?
1
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> I thought you were going to leave it at that?

I was referring to the symantic detail of "racist speech" versus "being racist". I'm done with it - we're clearly not going to agree, as evidenced by his response.

> The expression was, I believe, 'nigger in the woodpile'. This was being used as an analogy for brexit. In the analogy, are black people being used as an example of a positive or a negative thing?

Neither.

As a kid we used to sing "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, Catch a nigger [insert shock horror here] by the toe.....".
It wasn't until adolescence or young adulthood that people started telling us we had been racist. Prior to that, the white kids, the brown kids and the black kids at kindergarten or primary school would sing it without concern. To us it was just a tune.

It carried no more meaning than do fears of someone's spirit escaping (thus increasing the likelihood of them catching plague) compels us to say "bless you" after they sneeze today.

All kinds of old-school terms have weird, wonderful and colourful histories if you want to look back at them. "Nigger in a woodpile" is just one of hundreds. I never use it, but I am willing to grant those that do the benefit of assuming they aren't taking any literal meaning, or therefore trying to stir up negative stereotypes of black people.

Are you implying, unlike Mr. Karran, that her statement was in fact racist? In which case, maybe you are better off asking him rather than me.

EDIT: jesus, I thought all that was relatively uncontentious. But still earned a dislike.
Post edited at 13:03
5
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Are you implying, unlike Mr. Karran, that her statement was in fact racist? In which case, maybe you are better off asking him rather than me.

I've clearly said her statement was a racist statement. You can tell I have because I said this to you not 30 min ago: "Using 'a nigger in the woodpile' as a metaphor for something dangerous *is* an expression of a racist idea, it is racist language."

You seem quite confused.

It's a simple question David, do you think in the context of her speech the 'real nigger in the woodpile' was meant to represent something positive or negative?

Link to speech incase you're not actually clear what we're discussing: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/tory-mp-racist-brexit-recording_uk_59638608e4b02e9bdb0e2c77
2
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

No; I'm not asking what the speaker's intent in using the phrase was. As you say, habitual use of idioms over time means we stop thinking of their literal meaning

I'm asking about the literal meaning though; idioms start off somewhere, and at that stage mean what they say they mean.

Are black people a good thing or a bad thing in the expression?
1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

Ps re eeny meeny- even in 1970s Glasgow it had become 'catch a tigger by the toe'. It's been getting on for half a century since using nigger as a turn of phrase was acceptable, even in parts of the country not necessarily associated with political correctness.
1
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Christ, being dragged in.

Yes. I apologise. In my previous post, I inadvertently used my own wording (i.e. that "saying something" racist is no different from "being" racist). Because to me they are no different.

I realised soon after I had written it that this would be a problem for you and should have, for your benefit, said:

"Are you implying, unlike Mr. Karran, she is racist because she said "nigger"?"

Again, no I don't think it was meant to imply blacks are in any way negative. If you really want to go out on a limb, you could argue that there is a negative implication in that "nigger in a woodpile" was associated with a failure to deal with Brexit properly. But if she had used "elephant in the room" it would have been tarnishing elephants with negative stereotyping as well.
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> Are black people a good thing or a bad thing in the expression?

I think I've answered that twice now. No.

I don't deny, that if you *want* to go out looking for racism, you could absolutely make the claim that her using a term that includes a word signifying a black person, in the same sentence as a reference to political failure, is making negative associations with blacks.

But if you are going to do that, then you might as well start with the low hanging fruit. Rename "manhole covers" to "person-hole covers" (because I'm offended with the association of the former with my gender), demand that aircraft or ocean-going vessels are no longer referred to by the female pronoun "She" (clearly and crudely privileging one gender)....how long have you got?

The things you can find offence in, if you really want to be offended, are endless.
Post edited at 13:18
3
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Ps re eeny meeny- even in 1970s Glasgow it had become 'catch a tigger by the toe'. It's been getting on for half a century since using nigger as a turn of phrase was acceptable, even in parts of the country not necessarily associated with political correctness.

Well good for you. Clearly we needed a good, modern day, media storm to sort us and our racist language out much earlier. I'm disgusted in ourselves and am horrified to think of those souls destroyed by our continuing to use the term in to the 80s.
2
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> "Are you implying, unlike Mr. Karran, she is racist because she said "nigger"?"

Jesus wept! I'm making three simple points, please try to follow them then if you must challenge them one at a time.

1) Using the word is not inherently racist.
2) Using it aggressively or in a negative phrase or context is.
3) A person using racist language may or may not be a racist.

> Again, no I don't think it was meant to imply blacks are in any way negative. If you really want to go out on a limb, you could argue that there is a negative implication in that "nigger in a woodpile" was associated with a failure to deal with Brexit properly.

So you don't think using an outdated derogatory term to describe a black person then equating that person with something you accept is negative represents an unjust negative representation of black people? You don't think that constitutes racist language?

> But if she had used "elephant in the room" it would have been tarnishing elephants with negative stereotyping as well.

[facepalm] I don't even know what to say.
3
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

It would be more productive if you didn't try to guess or make assumptions about where I'm going with this, and just answered the question I asked. Which you haven't yet- you've sidestepped and answered a different question you've substituted instead.

In the expression 'nigger in the woodpile', are black people being used as an example of a positive or a negative thing? In the context that the idiom arose, would having a black person in your log store be something that you should be pleased about, or troubled by?
1
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> But if you are going to do that, then you might as well start with the low hanging fruit. Rename "manhole covers" to "person-hole covers" (because I'm offended with the association of the former with my gender), demand that aircraft or ocean-going vessels are no longer referred to by the female pronoun "She" (clearly and crudely privileging one gender)....how long have you got?
> The things you can find offence in, if you really want to be offended, are endless.

Who is it that is liking this nonsense! Willing put your name to the like and chip into the discussion? There must be something I'm not getting and David is clearly not managing to get through to me.
jk
2
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Well good for you. Clearly we needed a good, modern day, media storm to sort us and our racist language out much earlier. I'm disgusted in ourselves and am horrified to think of those souls destroyed by our continuing to use the term in to the 80s.

Petulance isn't going to make your arguments any more persuasive.

2
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Nope, your arguments are entirely clear. Perhaps the phantom disliker is aware they aren't able to engage with them openly without coming across poorly...

2
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Christ, being dragged in.

> Yes. I apologise. In my previous post, I inadvertently used my own wording (i.e. that "saying something" racist is no different from "being" racist). Because to me they are no different.

> I realised soon after I had written it that this would be a problem for you and should have, for your benefit, said:

>

> "Are you implying, unlike Mr. Karran, she is racist because she said "nigger"?"

> Again, no I don't think it was meant to imply blacks are in any way negative. If you really want to go out on a limb, you could argue that there is a negative implication in that "nigger in a woodpile" was associated with a failure to deal with Brexit properly. But if she had used "elephant in the room" it would have been tarnishing elephants with negative stereotyping as well.

No she wouldn't, as you well know.

Is this level of absurd non sequitur really what your argument has come to?
2
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:
Ok, this really is starting to hurt.

> 1) Using the word is not inherently racist.
Agree
> 2) Using it aggressively or in a negative phrase or context is.
Agree [edit: just read this closer; if you are trying to say the context she used it in vis a vis Brexit is "negative" and this implies racism then "no", I don't agree]
> 3) A person using racist language may or may not be a racist.
Errr, Agree? In as far as using the word "nigger"..."may or may not be racist".
But....if a word.....(such as nigger)....."is not inherently racist"......then using it....does not necessarily imply....["racist language" was used]/[the language was racist].....(how many ways do I have to rephrase this so that you understand?). Can you see what I'm getting at? The term "racist language" is no different from "racist", "being racist", so on and so forth. You are creating an entirely arbitrary distinction to support your case.

> So you don't think using an outdated derogatory term to describe a black person then equating that person with something you accept is negative represents an unjust negative representation of black people? You don't think that constitutes racist language?

No. Explained why above twice already. I'm not going to do so again. You may, however, be correct that this was her intention. But knowing how people who use old-fashioned idioms, I very very very much doubt that was the case. Feel free to be so paranoid as to suspect her of that. But if so do me a favour. Just come out and say she is a racist and her intent was racism and that's what everyone is accusing her of. Which you seem to be doing all sorts of linguistic gymnastics to avoid. Concerned about slander possibly?
Post edited at 13:47
3
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> In the expression 'nigger in the woodpile', are black people being used as an example of a positive or a negative thing? In the context that the idiom arose, would having a black person in your log store be something that you should be pleased about, or troubled by?

Sorry, missed that. I see what you are getting at.

In all honesty, prior to the whole media-storm, I knew what the term implied in a modern sense, the fact it includes the word "nigger" clearly means it was from a time when slavery was the norm, but I really (and I assume most people) wouldn't know the exact meaning of it. I've Wiki'd it.

You could take it many ways - negative or positive. Concealing a nigger in your wood pile means you are defying authorities and aiding the underground railroad [positive?]. Miffed that someone has an escaped nigger in their woodpile [negative]? Hooray, they've escaped [positive]? The slave I own has escaped [negative]? etc.

But, damn, have we really not drifted a million miles from any connection with reality in getting to that level of "should we or shouldn't we damn her?"
2
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> But....if a word.....(such as nigger)....."is not inherently racist"......then using it....does not necessarily imply....["racist language" was used]/[the language was racist].....(how many ways do I have to rephrase this so that you understand?). Can you see what I'm getting at?

No, either your thinking or your expression of it is muddled.

> The term "racist language" is no different from "racist", "being racist", so on and so forth. You are creating an entirely arbitrary distinction to support your case.

I'm not making anything up to support my case, I've explained very clearly how a phrase containing a racially loaded taboo word could be a racist expression or not, it depends on the specific phrase and context in which it's used.

I've explained why in the specific context we're discussing the phrase containing the taboo word represented a racist expression.

I've explained why a person not holding and acting on racist views (so not discernibly 'a racist') might choose to use a racist expression in speech. In this case the most likely seeming reasons are in no particular order, there are more:

*Carelessly, it's just how the person speaks and thinks, it's not socially acceptable and they don't tend to act on their prejudiced views but they exist and occasionally slip past the filter.
*To appeal to an audience believed to hold the views espoused.
*To probe the willingness of the audience to support the expression of socially unacceptable ideas in a time of social change.

> No. Explained why above twice already. I'm not going to do so again. You may, however, be correct that this was her intention.

I don't give a toss what her intention was, it really doesn't matter.

> you seem to be doing all sorts of linguistic gymnastics to avoid. Concerned about slander possibly?

Liable? Not especially. It's out of a sense of fairness and a desire for accuracy. As explained time and time again I simply do not have enough information on which to decide whether Anna Marie Morris, MP is a racist so I decline to speculate. I do have enough information to say categorically and with no fear of the law that her language was on the occasion we're discussing racist.
jk
Post edited at 14:01
4
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Ok, I'm starting to get the impression you are being deliberately obtuse. Your arguments are inconsistent.

> No, as far as I can tell either your thinking or your expression of it is very muddled.

If someone says "nigger", I will only say they used "racist language" if I also know they are "being racist", "are racist", intend to commit "racism".

That is to say, I only throw the term "race-ism/ist" at someone if they embody that term, by being racist.

I am not going to say someone used "racist language" or "racist speech" while also claiming "they may not be racist".

Racist language comes from being racist. If you are not racist, no matter how many times you say "nigger", you are not using racist language. The language becomes racist because of intent (ie. context), hence why the black person is not being racist, nor using racist language, when they say "nigger".

I really really hope that clarifies as I don't think I can spell it out any simpler than that.

> I don't give a toss what her intention was, it really doesn't matter.

Lordy. Read what you've written.
3
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

So 'nigger in the woodpile ' can be a positive reference to black people?

You are prepared to make that claim even though you are aware of the real origin of the phrase?

Really?

That's quite a contentious claim. I'm sure you are able to provide a link to a reference supporting this, so that we can dismiss the thought that it's a bizarre product of your imagination, invented to try to get you out of a tight spot in a debate.

You can post the links that support your claim in your reply...
3
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> Ok, I'm starting to get the impression you are being deliberately obtuse. Your arguments are inconsistent.

Not in the least, I'm seeking to be logical and fair.

> I am not going to say someone used "racist language" or "racist speech" while also claiming "they may not be racist".

Sigh. I've just explained to you how someone could use racist speech without themselves holding racist ideas! Perhaps the easiest example to understand is of someone, perhaps a psychology researcher or an anti-racism campaigner feeling out the attitude of a person or crowd to racist ideas by expressing them and observing the reaction.

> Racist language comes from being racist.

No it doesn't. Some racists use racist language.

> If you are not racist, no matter how many times you say "nigger", you are not using racist language.

You easily could be. Take for example the case I just described where someone is expressing racist ideas and using racist language to test someone else's response to it.

> The language becomes racist because of intent (ie. context), hence why the black person is not being racist, nor using racist language, when they say "nigger".

Its use is aggravated by negative or aggressive intent.

> I really really hope that clarifies as I don't think I can spell it out any simpler than that.

It just about clears up what you think but I don't agree with you, I don't think what you propose is a logical or useful way of thinking.

> Lordy. Read what you've written.

I do. Which bit and what specifically that you haven't covered already do you have a problem with? I know there's the odd typo, stray word and other mistakes but I stand by what I've said.
jk
Post edited at 14:21
3
David Martin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

You're twisting my response.
I, and I'm sure most people, don't read a 200 year old situation in to figures of speech, or feel the need to ensure the historical context was positive before using one.

But you are asking me to, and I am objectively looking at the various ways the phrase could be viewed.

The answer to your question is here in my first paragraph. If you want to find negative
(Or positive) connotations in the phrase, you most certainly can. For most people, the intellectual and historical exercise of doing so is completely unnecessary.
4
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

I'm doing nothing of the sort. I'm asking a very simple question: is the sentiment toward black people expressed in this idiom positive or negative?

you claim to have read the historical context, and so are aware that it is profoundly negative. your speculation that its ambiguous and could be read as having positive connotations is absurd. no one in the history of the human race has every used that expression with intent of creating a positive impression of black people; that would be entirely at odds with its origin and usage.

the challenge stands: provide a link to one single example that supports your claim. i'm waiting patiently.

3
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> Agree [edit: just read this closer; if you are trying to say the context she used it in vis a vis Brexit is "negative" and this implies racism then "no", I don't agree]

I'm not trying to trick you. I was trying to say what was in the sentence you responded to. So now you *don't* agree that using racially loaded taboo words and phrases to impact or reflect negatively upon a person/people or to denigrate them or to intimidate them constitutes using racist language? Wow! If not what does?

I just don't believe your (sorry for paraphrasing) 'only a racist person can say harmfully racist things, from anyone else they're just harmless words and phrases' position is coherent or logical. Let's reduce it to the absurd to see if it holds together: an actor delivering a vile racist diatribe, does that make the actor a racist? No. May the actor be a racist? Maybe, we can't say on the evidence from that scene but probably not. Are the words powerful, able to inflict pain, to denigrate, is it racist language? Yes. So there we have someone who in all probability is not a racist using the most vile, violent racist speech which has the power to hurt and shock but that speech does not make the person delivering it a racist (while it strongly suggests the character they portray is). Ok, it's an extreme example but if an extreme example exists, I'd argue many less clear cut examples can too.
jk
Post edited at 16:35
1
FactorXXX - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Let's reduce it to the absurd to see if it holds together: an actor delivering a vile racist diatribe, does that make the actor a racist? No. May the actor be a racist? Maybe, we can't say on the evidence from that scene but probably not. Are the words powerful, able to inflict pain, to denigrate, is it racist language? Yes. So there we have someone who in all probability is not a racist using the most vile, violent racist speech which has the power to hurt and shock but that speech does not make the person delivering it a racist (while it strongly suggests the character they portray is). Ok, it's an extreme example but if an extreme example exists, I'd argue many less clear cut examples can too.

Does that mean we should ban the film and stop the person acting again?
Pursued by a bear - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I believe that back in the mists of time and space - which in this case is at a meeting in Birmingham in the late 1970s - Roy Hattersley had to apologise after saying that 'he believed in calling a spade a spade'.

Now, in the course of things that's fairly small beer; an expression used without slur intended and the further implications of which once realised brought forth a fulsome and immediate apology. However, it does serve to illustrate how carefully words must be chosen and such things have been explained to pretty much everyone in the years since, whether in politics or not. So for a current day politician to even have the phrase used here in their lexicon at all means that there's a serious need for them to get some urgent training in issues of diversity and equality and not to be let near anyone in public again until that's been fully assimilated. That a political party could have such a person amongst their elected members suggests that there's an urgent need for them to take a good look at themselves to see how they could let such a thing come to pass.

T.
1
baron - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Pursued by a bear:
Why should using the expression 'call a spade a spade' need an apology?
Pursued by a bear - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to baron:

Because back then calling a black person 'a spade' - as in 'black as the ace of spades' - was a derogatory slang term used by some white people of limited intelligence. Hence the offence, however unwittingly it was caused.

T.
3
FactorXXX - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

That a political party could have such a person amongst their elected members suggests that there's an urgent need for them to take a good look at themselves to see how they could let such a thing come to pass.

How about: 'White people love playing divide and rule'?
The MP who said that is very much still in politics...
1
baron - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Pursued by a bear:
I do understand the use of the word spade to describe a black person.
But neither calling a spade a spade nor black as the ace of spades have racist meanings, unless one goes looking formoffence.
I do agree that he could have used a different expression but why would/should he?
Pursued by a bear - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to baron:

Times were different, back then; those terms came loaded with social meta-data that meant no-one of right mind would consider them acceptable to use in a Labour party meeting in Birmingham, or any other meeting anywhere else for that matter.

T.
1
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to baron:

Call a spade a spade historically has another layer of meaning derived from rhyming slang, spade > digger, digger > well I'm sure you can guess. It's a phrase with the ability to cause genuine offence due to it's historical use and associations but in most cases these days it's used innocently or completely unwittingly to simply mean 'be blunt'. Used unwittingly and without malice it's in a rather different league to Morris's foot in mouth gaffe.
jk
2
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:
> How about: 'White people love playing divide and rule'?
> The MP who said that is very much still in politics...

Diane Abbot's words here presented shorn of context, clarification and apology. A moment of poor judgement for sure but handled properly and not all thing's considered of quite the same seriousness in my opinion.
jk
Post edited at 18:00
6
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

What was the context? It does sound pretty bad....
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Does that mean we should ban the film and stop the person acting again?

Is that a serious question? What do you think?
jk
1
FactorXXX - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Is that a serious question? What do you think?

You're the one that raised the analogy, what do you think?

(I don't think either film or actor should be banned)
baron - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Pursued by a bear:
Calling a black person a spade is extremely offensive.
Calling a spade a spade has nothing to do with race and predates the racial slur by many years.
I can see why using it in front of a group of black people might raise an eyebrow but that's more to do with many people's fears about using the word black in any sense.
1
Tom V - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

I have liked a "lot" of David's comments in this debate, though not this particular one.
But the sooner UKC adopts a real name only policy so the insults and the bullying have a name behind them, the better.
As a rider, I steadfastly refuse to dislike anyone's comments, however wrong footed they are.
tev on 12 Jul 2017

I'm slightly puzzled by the “urgently investigating” in the headline. The MP has admitted to using a distasteful colloquialism, so what is there to investigate? The facts are undisputed, and her constituents can decide for themselves if the facts warrant voting her out at the next election. As for the colloquialism itself, what does it say about the rest of us that we all recognise it as a colloquialism 152 years after the U.S. abolished slavery?
Post edited at 20:36
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Tom V:
As a matter of interest, why is that? It seems to me that the line that jkarran is arguing is clearly correct; there are words that have potency given their cultural origins and context, and are as indelibly tainted with discrimination and oppression as the swastika is with naziism. Nigger is one of these words; it is so ingrained in culture as being associated with racism that there are very few circumstances where it's use could be justified. It is the clearest example of 'racist language' I can think of; though 'Paki', or 'wog' would be others I suppose.

Their status as taboo is a cultural consensus, based on the history of the way the term has been used in that culture. As such it can change with time, and people can find themselves on the wrong side of that shift by being unaware of the shift. So it is clearly possible to use 'racist language' without being a racist, if the language is genuinely used without awareness that its cultural baggage has shifted. As has been pointed out, such language can also be used deliberately as part of art to make a point. I think David is wrong on this, and his inability to engage with this is frustrating.

There's an argument to be had about the 'reclamation' of terms of oppression, and the unfairness of some people being allowed to use them when others would be censured, which also seems to bother David. I don't personally have a problem with that; as restrictions on freedom arising from race/gender/sexuality go, not being allowed to say nigger or paki or poof is a pretty trivial one that has zero practical impact on my day to day life

The point that jkarran and others, myself included, are making, is not that the MP is a racist; we have insufficient evidence to base that on. It's that her judgement is shocking. David was going to absurd lengths to deny that in the expression 'nigger in the woodpile', the reference to black people is self evidently negative, even without considering the use of the 'n' word. Nigger hasn't become taboo recently- as I pointed out, even in 70s Glasgow, kids were using a modified version of the eeny meeny rhyme; the MP can't have been unaware of the explosive potential of using it, never mind in an expression where black people are an analogy for a 'bad thing'.

Words have power, and their inept use has political consequences for politicians. Just because David disagrees with this doesn't change the fact that it's true. It doesn't matter if she's a racist or not, as that's not the point. And it's not really that hard, it's not a minefield that public figures have to walk blindfold; just avoid using expressions with 'nigger' in them and your pretty much home and dry.

It should cut both ways too- I'm going to take some persuasion that Diane Abbott should have held onto her job after what looks like an overtly racist remark.
Post edited at 20:39
1
TobyA on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

I'm genuinely interested David as you seem to have a quite a unique position here in that your wife is not only black, but American also - is she not bothered about you or other people (white or black) using the word? There seems something a bit weird about a bunch of white people arguing over whether the n word should or shouldn't upset black people, but I guess you know at least how your wife and perhaps her family feel about it? The American dimension is particular here, because it is a word that is so loaded there because of the continuing legacy of slavery and jim crow.
2
wurzelinzummerset on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> Their status as taboo is a cultural consensus, based on the history of the way the term has been used in that culture...

That might be the consensus of a certain subset of our overall culture -- the type of people a young middle-class public sector worker from the home counties might mix with are completely different to those with whom a middle-aged construction worker from, say, the valleys of South Wales might mix with. In the latter case most of the "taboo" words you have written will be common currency. The cultures are very different, and the inability to recognise there are differences is evident in a lot of what's written in these kinds of discussion. Obviously those are two extremes, but I know from my own experience most of those words were used frequently when I was growing up in the 70s/80s and neither the rhyme or expression using the N word had that particular word replaced with another. They weren't always used in a particulary insulting way, either, they were just words used to describe different people, as there were words used to describe Welsh people, Irish people or the people from the adjacent district. It has to be said, though, that the N word was generally only used within the context of the eeny meeny rhyme, or the expression that MP used, there were other words used instead.

With regard to the MP, it is very easy to slip up and use expressions stored away in your head that you might have used freely twenty years ago. As an example, I was having a phone conversation with someone last year in a work-related context when that person used the expression in question. I was quite taken aback, and was expecting them to suddenly realise their error and apologise, but they just carried on. It was completely out of character for that person who was acting in a professional capacity and whom I didn't know that well. Clearly it was just a mistake, so I remember it as an amusing incident rather than anything more sinister.

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wurzelinzummerset:

Yes, I'd agree with much of that. It would be entirely unreasonable to hold someone to account for using an expression that had an offensive meeting in one subculture, but which wasn't widely recognised in this context. But there are few cases where something is as universally recognised as outside acceptable use as the word nigger. As an MP, its her job to be aware of this, and the likely effect using language like this would have. Dismissing it as the product of the 'authoritarian left', as some have suggested, is wrong in this case; if it was something obscure, then they'd perhaps have a point, but everyone in the U.K. in 2017 knows that using nigger in a public meeting is going to be controversial...
1
FactorXXX - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

What was the context? It does sound pretty bad....

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/brett-leppard/diana-abbott-white-people_b_1184936.html
captain paranoia - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> As an MP, its her job to be aware of this,

Ah, that's what MPs are supposed to do, is it? Gotcha.
1
jkarran - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Tom V:
Thanks Tom, i don't understand your viewpoint but it's good of you to stick your head up. My user name is my name, always has been and I don't use the dislike button either.
Jk
Post edited at 23:31
2
Tom V - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

I've always been interested in your point of view and have often even agreed with you
The people whose views are more valid to me usually have a name to them, even if I disagree wholeheartedly with what they are saying.
1
Tom V - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
In simple terms I agree with most of what you said.
Using the word "nigger" in this day and age is utterly reprehensible," the most taboo word in our language", to quote someone else on here.
The politician who used it is very short on communication skills, it seems obvious.
You said that there are "very few" occasions where its use could be justified. I don't know of any.
I just want us ALL to stop using the word unless we are using it in quotation marks.
Post edited at 00:46
1
johncoxmysteriously - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

>Call a spade a spade historically has another layer of meaning derived from rhyming slang, spade > digger, digger > well I'm sure you can guess

Really?? I've never heard that. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd be slightly surprised if that were a genuine derivation and not a rationalisation.

jcm
1
johncoxmysteriously - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> Diane Abbot's words here presented shorn of context, clarification and apology. A moment of poor judgement for sure but handled properly and not all thing's considered of quite the same seriousness in my opinion.

I'm not sure I agree with that. They were disgraceful IMHO.

jcvm

1
Big Ger - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> So what.

So it illustrates that sexist abuse is considered OK by those of left leaning inclinations, as long as they deem the target worthy of it.
5
Big Ger - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

I don't believe you.
2
Big Ger - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:
> Maybe it's the caliber of your friends?

That's a pretty low blow, even by your standards. I don't mind you insulting me, but please...

Most of my friends are nurses, doctors, social workers and teachers. They are in the main left leaning, and Corbyn supporters.
Post edited at 05:29
4
garycrocker - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:
Yes, some of us are. Thousands of teachers who never tell children to shut up or that they are idiots or who never swear. Some do and they are rightly punished for it. If you are in a position of responsibility you should be able to control what comes out of your mouth. And who uses phrases like that nowadays anyway?
garycrocker - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

I know Wikipedia is not always a bastion of truth but the origins of the phrase seem to predate your suggested usage. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_a_spade_a_spade
Stichtplate on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> Diane Abbot's words here presented shorn of context, clarification and apology. A moment of poor judgement for sure but handled properly and not all thing's considered of quite the same seriousness in my opinion.

> jk

If you believe that then you show yourself to be completely blinkered.

The Tory mp should be sacked for her poor judgment in using an offensive phrase.

What Diane Abbot tweeted was a lot more racist. She generalised about a whole race of people loving to behave in an underhand manner based on the colour of their skin.

If a white public figure had tweeted -' black people love to (insert any dodgy behaviour here)' , then they would rightly be hounded out of their jobs and certainly not be sitting on the front bench.
jkarran - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

I was a question. You said your Facebook is full of vile hateful leftwing memes, mine isn't despite left leaning friends. Explain the difference, if it isn't our friends what is it?
Jk
1
Jenny C on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Tom V:

> Currently reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" (for the first time, at my age!)

Read that for GCSE in the mind 90's and was shocked by the use of language, and at 15 felt very uncomfortable using the N word in class when reading aloud.

(that said I grew up with Enid Blytons Noddy books and throughout my childhood thought that a Gollywog was just another type child toy - I was totally unaware of any racist conection until my late teens)
Offwidth - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to garycrocker:

Wikipedia has very few major problems these days. If you spot one, edit it thats the point.
1
jkarran - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Really?? I've never heard that. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd be slightly surprised if that were a genuine derivation and not a rationalisation.

I've no idea if it's where the phrase actually originates, it probably isn't but I've heard a few times over the years that it is one of the ways in which it was used insultingly. I could be wrong of course.
jk
1
jkarran - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:
> The Tory mp should be sacked for her poor judgment in using an offensive phrase.

From the party, I agree. Given she's campaigned for right-of-recall she really should be carefully considering her position as an MP.

> What Diane Abbot tweeted was a lot more racist. She generalised about a whole race of people loving to behave in an underhand manner based on the colour of their skin.

I disagree that it is more racist but Abbot's tweet in isolation looks bad and does represent a lapse of judgement. As far as I'm aware it was part of and relevant to a longer conversation about attempts to subvert the Stephen Lawrence inquiry by the white people to whom she carelessly refers, she clarified her position in subsequent tweets and apologised.

> If a white public figure had tweeted -' black people love to (insert any dodgy behaviour here)' , then they would rightly be hounded out of their jobs and certainly not be sitting on the front bench.

I'd love to see Ms Morris MP clarify and explain what she meant by her use of that phrase, how it was relevant to the discussion and how she has been misunderstood.
jk
Post edited at 09:17
2
jkarran - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> I don't believe you.

About what?
jkarran - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

> (I don't think either film or actor should be banned)

Nor do I (where the film is art, not advert/propaganda), I'd assumed that would just go without saying.
jk
1
Big Ger - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> I was a question.

LOL! It was a slur, and you're not man enough to admit it. Mind you you confirm all I say about a certain type of lefty.

> You said your Facebook is full of vile hateful leftwing memes, mine isn't despite left leaning friends. Explain the difference, if it isn't our friends what is it?

Yes ok, I allowed my hyperbole to run a bit unchecked, my bad. (See, that's how you do it.)
8
Big Ger - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> About what?

Anything really.
3
Big Ger - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> I'd love to see Ms Morris MP clarify and explain what she meant by her use of that phrase, how it was relevant to the discussion and how she has been misunderstood.

What is there to explain? She used a stupid and outdated expression, one she should have known better than to use, and one which she should know it is expressly forbidden to use in today's society.

If she's claiming to have been "misunderstood" then she's either lying or stupid.
2
planetmarshall on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

I'm with Robert on this one. It was a spectacularly dumb thing for an MP to say, and I'm mystified that anyone has this phrase in their vocabulary ( I never heard it used when I was a sprog, but I remember watching Eddie Murphy in 'Raw' in the 80s and thinking that what is now grossly unacceptable homophobia was hilarious ).

But I'm not convinced it reveals anything about her opinions - for that I'd sooner look at her voting record - but neither do I have much sympathy for her situation. She's in a position where she has to be careful with her use of language, and her party are desperately trying to throw off the image of a party of upper class old white men with all the attitudes that go with it.
jkarran - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> What is there to explain? She used a stupid and outdated expression, one she should have known better than to use, and one which she should know it is expressly forbidden to use in today's society.
> If she's claiming to have been "misunderstood" then she's either lying or stupid.

My point is that Diane Abbot was able explain what she meant and in context it was a reasonable point very badly made, her frustration was understandable. I don't see Morris as being able to do that, there is so far as I can see no reasonable explanation for what she meant or why she chose those words.

> Anything really.

Rightio, that's constructive. So do you have any ideas why your facebook is apparently full of vicious leftwing bile and mine isn't beyond simply accusing me of lying?

edit: sorry, just spotted the post where you explain your facebook isn't actually full of leftwing bile, you made that up. I withdraw my question about your friends since it is now redundant.
jk
Post edited at 09:46
3
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

We had a whole thread about how stupid Diane Abbott was on here not so long ago (after her incredible TV and radio performances due to her diabetes, remember?). Quite a few posters whilst struggling to defend her resorted to implying anyone calling her stupid or taking the piss out of her were basically being racist. So tread carefully when criticising Diane.
FactorXXX - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

My point is that Diane Abbot was able explain what she meant and in context it was a reasonable point very badly made, her frustration was understandable.

Explain away: -

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/brett-leppard/diana-abbott-white-people_b_1184936.html
jkarran - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

She explains it perfectly well herself in your link, minorities that stand together do better. She expressed it poorly.
jk
3
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

I thought you had more than that. whatever the point she was trying to make was, making reference to colonial policies of the 19th century and contending that this is relevant to how white people in positions of authority behave now needs some pretty hard evidence to back it up or else it's just blatant racism. The conspicuous absence of such proof suggests it's the latter, and the non-apology apology says she doesn't really think it was a problem.

This is considerably worse than the woodpile comment; she explicitly made negative generalisations about another group based on the colour of their skin and historical prejudice. You're defending the indefensible with this one.
1
FactorXXX - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

She explains it perfectly well herself in your link, minorities that stand together do better. She expressed it poorly.

How exactly does that explain her use of: 'White people love playing "Divide and Rule" we should not play their game' and the use of the hash tag: #tacticasoldascolonialism?
jkarran - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I can't find the piece I read on this last time it cropped up but this puts the comment in a broader context.
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/laurie-penny/2012/01/white-british-power-divide

To be clear I think tweeting what she did as a one-liner was daft, it just makes it easy for those inclined to to portray her as a black racist and in so doing diminish her work. It's a mistake but do I believe she holds broadly anti-white views as a result of that tweet? Probably not. In light of her subsequent clarification? No.

I'm not trying to defend what she wrote, it looks bad, she should have known better how it would look and be used, I'm saying I accept her explanation for it as adequate, as apparently did her boss and her electorate who she's been to twice since. I wouldn't seek any more than that for Ms Morris.
jk
Post edited at 13:40
2
David Martin - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> I'm genuinely interested David as you seem to have a quite a unique position here in that your wife is not only black, but American also - is she not bothered about you or other people (white or black) using the word? There seems something a bit weird about a bunch of white people arguing over whether the n word should or shouldn't upset black people, but I guess you know at least how your wife and perhaps her family feel about it? The American dimension is particular here, because it is a word that is so loaded there because of the continuing legacy of slavery and jim crow.

This is part of my argument. The people who ought to feel they are on the receiving end of nigger's connotations, by and large don't give a hoot about its casual use. Don't get me wrong; its still a "rude word" and a bit crass in most settings, and if said with venom will get anyone's back up. But the biggest issue they appear to have is one of bemusement, in that coming from a whitey, with no ill intent, it tends to sound funny - like attempting some lame high-five. But it can be thrown around without concern. For fear of generalising, my experience with black Americans, and especially (West) Africans, is that their speech is a hell of lot more casual and direct. Things we would take offense to, they simply don't, and stuff we tie ourselves up in knots over isn't on their radar at all. A bit like comparing the Dutch (or Finns?) to the English when it comes to being direct. Or similar to something I experience here in Cambo, where the discourse of ethics and economic/social advancement we high-mindedly postulated over in development studies might as well be flushed down the toilet for all its relevence in this cultural context.

To put it a bit blunter (and paraphrasing the words of said friends); its a classic case of liberal whites trying to make amends for something by window dressing in a way that is utterly inconsequential to its intended beneficiaries, while giving the impression of doing something meaningful. There are more effective ways of addressing racism than blanket banning of words that no longer carry their original meaning.

There are of course plenty who do take offense. Namely white people. But in terms of blacks, outside of blogosphere, student unions, first year UGs in common rooms, or activists, its actually not that common. It depends how you frame the question. I love the words "c*nt" and "sh1t", feel they should be used more often, and will use them as liberally as I see fit. But if you sat me down and said "Now David, do you think that's a rude word and is it appropriate?" I'd probably concede it is maybe a bit unsavoury. Likewise, if a spurred and booted American southerner started saying nigger overly loudly in the presence of black Americans, it might be safe to assume racism is intended. But that is so far removed from the situation in question.

And as before, if we accept that blacks have re-appropriated the word, to the point they are literally screaming it from bass-heavy car stereos, while we resort to conniption fits when it is said once in the context of an old fashioned phrase, perhaps we could learn something from them and start the process of positive re-association. Taboos tend only to reinforce themselves and this one is up there with pixelated-nipples for all the good its doing us in 2017.
2
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Interesting article; but in the end i don't buy it. The article makes a case (debatable, but a reasonable case to make) that 'divide and rule' is a relevant concept to a degree- but the evidence advanced is that this is done on class and political ideology rather than race. The author then conflates that with historical policies based on race to suggest that Abbott's comment was excusable in context.

That's not what Abbott said. She could have said 'the establishment', or 'the right wing', but she didn't- she said 'white people'. Her apologists can spin that how they like, but that is a racist sentiment.

Like the Tory MP, she may or may not have racist beliefs that led to her tweeting that- but there is a lot less room for claiming unintended use of racist language in Abbott's case and I think it should have ruled out a place in the shadow cabinet.
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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

Perhaps that's how the world should be- though I have grave doubts that going round Bradford where I currently live addressing black people you meet as 'nigger' would get anything like the casual response you suggest- but it isn't, and the MP should know it isn't, and blaming the entire response on student union members and 'the blogosphere ' is risible stuff- that you know some people you claim aren't bothered doesn't change the fact it's massively taboo and has been for over a generation.
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jkarran - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> That's not what Abbott said. She could have said 'the establishment', or 'the right wing', but she didn't- she said 'white people'. Her apologists can spin that how they like, but that is a racist sentiment.

If that's what she meant, how she meant it to be read you're right but I believe her when she says it is not how she meant it to be taken. If that makes me an apologist for a racist in your eyes then so be it, I don't think she is and I don't think she holds the views implied by that one-line tweet read in isolation. I do think she was right to clarify her position and apologise for that tweet.
jk
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Mike Stretford - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> There are of course plenty who do take offense. Namely white people. But in terms of blacks, outside of blogosphere, student unions, first year UGs in common rooms, or activists, its actually not that common.

That's roughly 1 Billion people you are speaking on behalf of.... I hope you've done your research!

I was in St Louis for a conference, not long after the Ferguson riots. There was tension in the air, and it was fairly obvious that white people banding the word 'nigger' about would be unhelpful, to put it mildly.
Post edited at 14:11
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David Martin - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

No doubt, and I was somewhat generalising about the areas who have an issue. But the point was, the people on the receiving end of the term, the people for whom it should have the greatest impact, don't mind much - it no longer means much to them, and they've got bigger issues than whites, with no ill-intent, using a word they themselves use every day. Those that do seem to have the biggest beef are those that live in a strata of society where they will seldom, if ever, experience actual racist use of the term. Or they live in a society where we are repeatedly being conditioned to be aghast at the word. In the UK we're 200 years beyond when the word really had meaning and a good half century beyond the period where its mainstream use was really problematic. It's time to move on.
David Martin - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> I was in St Louis for a conference, not long after the Ferguson riots. Therewas tension in the air, and it was fairly obvious that white people banding the word 'nigger' about would be unhelpful, to put it mildly.

And being a Tory or a council member and turning up at Grenfel your presence would likely be unhelpful too. The context of a killing and a riot is hardly comparable to an MP talking about Brexit.
Stichtplate on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:


> I'm not trying to defend what she wrote, it looks bad, she should have known better how it would look and be used, I'm saying I accept her explanation for it as adequate, as apparently did her boss and her electorate who she's been to twice since. I wouldn't seek any more than that for Ms Morris.

> jk

You are obviously trying to defend Abbot and in so doing you are defending the indefensible . In her apology she claims that she was in fact referring to 19th century colonialism. This is so obviously bollocks as to be totally laughable.

An apology supported by lies as justification is worse than no apology at all. To me this non-apology reflects far more badly on her basic character than any number of botched interviews or misremembered figures.
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Mike Stretford - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> And being a Tory or a council member and turning up at Grenfel your presence would likely be unhelpful too. The context of a killing and a riot is hardly comparable to an MP talking about Brexit.

Irrelevant. We all know it is a racially loaded term, particularly in the US, and we all know your marriage or friendships do not mean you can speak for the world's black population.

Whilst there are contexts were many of us would use the word, we all know it is taboo to use it professionally. It's beyond obvious that an Oxbridge educated professional knows this. She shoehorned the phrase into a the discussion on Brexit in an attempt to play to the gallery. It backfired and is now yesterdays chip paper....... or would be, if you'd leave it.
Post edited at 15:18
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jkarran - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> You are obviously trying to defend Abbot and in so doing you are defending the indefensible . In her apology she claims that she was in fact referring to 19th century colonialism. This is so obviously bollocks as to be totally laughable.

I've stated clearly I'm not defending what she wrote, you've even quoted me doing so, she doesn't so why should I. However I do believe and accept her explanation and apology as adequate, as apparently do her electorate. If you think that is ambiguous, hypocritical, duplicitous or as you eloquently put it 'bollocks' then fine, I've heard and considered your opinion.

> An apology supported by lies as justification is worse than no apology at all. To me this non-apology reflects far more badly on her basic character than any number of botched interviews or misremembered figures.

Fine, you're welcome to your opinion. To me it doesn't and I don't believe she lied.
jk
Post edited at 15:15
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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> If that's what she meant, how she meant it to be read you're right but I believe her when she says it is not how she meant it to be taken. If that makes me an apologist for a racist in your eyes then so be it, I don't think she is and I don't think she holds the views implied by that one-line tweet read in isolation. I do think she was right to clarify her position and apologise for that tweet.

Careful- just like we have both done in relation to the Tory MP, I've chosen my words carefully here. Abbott has undoubtedly used racist language. The sentiment expressed is racist. Is she a racist, and you an apologist for a racist- that is going beyond what can be said based on the evidence. I wouldn't damn someone on the basis of one statement- but I would consider them unsuitable for high office, on the basis of poor judgment, much like the other case.

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> No doubt, and I was somewhat generalising about the areas who have an issue. But the point was, the people on the receiving end of the term, the people for whom it should have the greatest impact, don't mind much - it no longer means much to them, and they've got bigger issues than whites, with no ill-intent, using a word they themselves use every day. Those that do seem to have the biggest beef are those that live in a strata of society where they will seldom, if ever, experience actual racist use of the term. Or they live in a society where we are repeatedly being conditioned to be aghast at the word. In the UK we're 200 years beyond when the word really had meaning and a good half century beyond the period where its mainstream use was really problematic. It's time to move on.


All of this is personal opinion stuff. You may think you speak on behalf of the UK's black residents, but you don't.

And your claim on timescales is wrong. Perhaps not in your circle, but the use of the word 'nigger' is self evidently still problematic now, and not just because of some sort of imagined oppressive cabal of twitterati and students.
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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:
All the effort you have put into this thread and you went and undid all of it with your defence of DA. Hiding behind the fact "her electorate" found her explanation adequate is a pretty pathetic argument. You have invested so much in telling us why the Woodpile comment was unacceptble, regardless of excuse yet easily found comfort in DA's poor explanation.

Very illuminating and a shame.
Post edited at 16:41
FactorXXX - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

I'm not trying to defend what she wrote, it looks bad, she should have known better how it would look and be used, I'm saying I accept her explanation for it as adequate, as apparently did her boss and her electorate who she's been to twice since. I wouldn't seek any more than that for Ms Morris.

So you don't think Ms Morris is unfit for public office then?

You 1219 Tue: I believe it is an unacceptable and racist phrase but that its use in isolation tells us only a little about the person that used it, mainly that she is unfit for elected office in my opinion by reason of demonstrating very poor judgement.
David Martin - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> All of this is personal opinion stuff. You may think you speak on behalf of the UK's black residents, but you don't.

Of course it's personal opinion. I'm trying to answer a direct question: being asked about my viewpoint based on the fact I'm married to an African American and presumably because we have a resulting large circle of African and African-American friends and family.

I'm not talking about friends I went to university with, the Nigerian next door, or the Senegalese guy at work. I'm talking about the neighbouring residents and childhood friends from my wife's entirely black high-rise project, the pentecostal church community, the Ghanaian cultural centre, the in-laws (these families are massive), African clubs, chop-bars, the village we rent our apartment in, etc.
I'll go out on a limb to say it is a pretty diverse range of black opinion I am exposed to, and somewhat uncensored and unfiltered. In these social circles I am usually the only white person present.

I don't claim to speak for the UK's black residents. I'm not sure anyone else here is particularly qualified to either. I'm giving an opinion based on what I experience. And that experience is that white people are, for the most part, far more worked up about poorly chosen words like this than black people are.

A whole community of white folk are voicing their horror about a single word as if someone has taken a sh1t in the living room. This appears not so much on account of any harm it causes to blacks (my point being, its use in this context does about as much harm to blacks as a rapper's use of the term does), but on the shock and fear that black people will be harmed. Its almost as if, in trying to right a historical wrong, we are falling over ourselves to declare the word to be as offensive as possible. Such that even when it is used without malice, heads have to roll.
wintertree - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Quite aside from being a totally inappropriate phrase, it doesn't even make any sense. Most wood piles contain split logs and tend to have lost a lot of the bark, so they generally look quite pale as mainly it's raw wood on show. Ergo, it's pasty white people like myself who are going to be harder to find.
marsbar - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

I spend my working day in London with a lot of people, around 30-40% of them Black. I can assure you that the general feeling of disbelief and horror when the news broke on this story was indeed rather similar to what you might expect if someone took a dump on the carpet. I don't speak for other people, but I can tell you that there was upset and disgust from the Black people I spoke to, along with a resigned air. I don't work in a students union.
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marsbar - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

Pasty white people weren't trying to hide.

Pasty white people weren't chained to woodpiles and covered in oil and set on fire either.
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jkarran - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus & FactorXXX:

> All the effort you have put into this thread and you went and undid all of it with your defence of DA. Hiding behind the fact "her electorate" found her explanation adequate is a pretty pathetic argument. You have invested so much in telling us why the Woodpile comment was unacceptble, regardless of excuse yet easily found comfort in DA's poor explanation.
> Very illuminating and a shame.

FFS, for the nth time: I'm not defending what Abbott said, nor is she though she has explained it. I'm saying I accept her explanation and apology. I don't believe she's lied to cover a slip of the mask, I believe she said something she didn't quite mean then corrected herself when she realised. I'm obviously alone in that on here and it would be far easier to join the crowd with my pitchfork but I'm not going to. Out in the real world I'm obviously not alone in accepting DA's clarification, explanation and apology: Ed Milliband did when sacking her would have been by far the easier option as apparently has her electorate, twice, which for an MP is what ultimately counts, however pathetic you might consider that.

If Morris wishes to explain herself and apologise then I'm perfectly willing to hear and consider it. Perhaps she can, who knows, perhaps my understanding of what she said, meant by it and apparently revealed is off the mark. However unless and until a satisfactory explanation is forthcoming I do personally consider her unfit for office and I think her electorate deserve the chance to decide for themselves particularly since she has been a proponent of right-to-recall, this is the for time to stand behind that idea and be judged by those she seeks to represent, who knows, they may prove as understanding and forgiving as the folk of Hackney and Stoke Newington have.
jk
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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:
But her explanation is nonsense though. As I said in my post earlier, if she'd wanted to make a comment about the tactics of 'the establishment', or 'powerful right wing people', she could easily have said that. She said 'white people'. And the bit about being taken out of context is a red herring- the context is widely available to see, and if anything makes it worse.

And, her apology is one of these 'apologise for for offence caused' apologies, which isn't actually an apology at all. It's also exactly the same apology Morris made, almost to the word.

Both of them seem to my view to be as bad as each other. In fact the Abbott comment is the more troubling and harder to easily set aside of the two; Morris' comment was a stupid analogy to support an argument, Abbott's comment *was* her argument. Both are free to be chosen by their electorate- though that is no real validation, across the Atlantic we have a President who was openly racist and misogynist but still got voted for- but neither are fit for government roles in my view.

You just seem surprisingly partial on this one.
Post edited at 20:28
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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Of course it's personal opinion. I'm trying to answer a direct question: being asked about my viewpoint based on the fact I'm married to an African American and presumably because we have a resulting large circle of African and African-American friends and family....

A very interesting post, cheers- and the perspective is noted. Though marsbar has another perspective, which would fit with my admittedly more limited experience.

> A whole community of white folk are voicing their horror about a single word as if someone has taken a sh1t in the living room. This appears not so much on account of any harm it causes to blacks (my point being, its use in this context does about as much harm to blacks as a rapper's use of the term does), but on the shock and fear that black people will be harmed. Its almost as if, in trying to right a historical wrong, we are falling over ourselves to declare the word to be as offensive as possible. Such that even when it is used without malice, heads have to roll.

A bit undermined by this last para though- who are this community voicing horror- certainly not the community on here. And you're still not engaging with the point made throughout- it's not about the harm or offensiveness of the comment directly, it's what it says about the judgement of the MP. This isn't a left v right thing, see my comments about Diane Abbott. And I don't personally think she should be sacked, but it's certainly put the brakes on any government aspirations she may have had, and rightly too...
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FactorXXX - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

FFS, for the nth time: I'm not defending what Abbott said, nor is she though she has explained it. I'm saying I accept her explanation and apology. I don't believe she's lied to cover a slip of the mask, I believe she said something she didn't quite mean then corrected herself when she realised.

Her explanation, is that she was referring to historical colonisation and she couldn't fully explain it due to restraints on the amount of characters she could use in a individual Tweet.
If that is the case, why did she add the hash tag: #tacticasoldascolonalism to her message of : 'White people love playing "Divide and Rule" we should not play their game'?
Doesn't that sort of suggest, that Abbott believes that present day white people are using the same tactics of 'Divide and Rule' as historical white people?


Graeme Alderson on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Another amazing post from you stroppygob. Thanks, it made my day. The relevance is untrue.
Jon Stewart - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> So it illustrates that sexist abuse is considered OK by those of left leaning inclinations, as long as they deem the target worthy of it.

There's no indication that these people complain that this language is unacceptable in other contexts - you've added/made up that assumption - so all it illustrates is that these people post vitriolic stuff on facebook.

On this topic more generally, this idea that what people post on the internet says something about "the left" "these days" is garbage. What it demonstrates is that people are arseholes. They always have been, but in the past we didn't hear from them because there was no facebook or comments section under newspaper articles. So we introduce these new ways of communicating our views publicly and what we discover is...people are arseholes. And arseholes regardless of their political persuasion (don't try and tell me that the equivalent on the right is reasonable and noble - Dianne Abbott abuse?).

I wonder how many more times I'll hear more of this bullshit about "the left" before people come to the realisation that being an arsehole is just the common standard of humanity and isn't confined to the groups they don't identify with.
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jkarran - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You may have missed it Jon but Big Ger has admitted he made up the stuff about his facebook being full of vile abusive memes from lefties though not before accusing me of lying about mine not being. As you say, there are plenty of arseholes out there of all political persuasions and none.
jk
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Stichtplate on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
While I agree that all people exhibit arsehole tendencies on occasion, I would add that these tendencies manifest themselves on social media more frequently and to a more pronounced degree, the further you go to the left or the right of the political spectrum.
The more closely someone's views conform to hard left or right orthodoxies, it seems the greater that persons ability to believe that anyone of a differing opinion is either mentally or morally deficient.
At best this results in the superior and condescending tone of the true believer, at worst it manifests as the sort of toxic bile that recently got that posh tw*t a 12 week sentence.
Post edited at 11:38
David Martin - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> There's no indication that these people complain that this language is unacceptable in other contexts - you've added/made up that assumption - so all it illustrates is that these people post vitriolic stuff on facebook.

Really? You really need to get on Facebook. All the talk about hate speech and bullying on the internet is aimed at the right, but it's just as prevalent from the left. This kind of stuff is rife in universities too. I've watched students daub "Sack the bitch" on the walls of our university corridors, cheered on by their supporters, union reps and their lefty activists. If I referred to any woman as a "bitch" do you think they would cheer me? The double-standard is literally there, in black paint and capital letters.

You seem to view the left as intrinsical without sin, with any negative outcomes simply the results of arseholes. Whereas the right, by virtue of its policies, is inherently wrong.

That isn't really surprising as the left does have an overblown sense of self-assuredness. It repeatedly tells itself, and those opposed to it, that it represents the masses - the many and not the few, the voiceless, the oppressed, etc. It is therefore by default, correct in its vision and actions.

Unfortunately plenty of people, many of whom who have experienced life under leftist regimes, rightly point to the elements inherent in the very nature of leftism that stifles rights, freedom and individual welfare - from Mao, Pot and Stalin to Chavez and Castro. The response of the left to these criticisms is seldom "Yes, we screwed up/took it too far/lost balance", but more usually "Ahh, that wasn't proper leftism - nothing to do with us, not our fault" or "The right wing forced us to do it" - despite leftist regimes so often headed in that same direction. That is, the left isn't the problem, just a bunch of arseholes screwed it up.

You can't just dismiss ranters on social media as not being representative of real left wing views either. They are as representative as anyone else. Or if you are going to say they are an irrelevance then so is Brietbart, Milo and all the other right-wingers that the left gets so worked over. And it seems quite often the left is content with them and their destructive ways because they at least skew the political discourse in a left-ward direction.

And I'm sorry to say, as moderate and intelligent as you find your own leftist views to be, history has a habit of showing people with those views tend to get purged pretty quickly. The hard left consider themselves fighting the real fight and they'll have no time for those "centre-lefts" when they get power.
4
Jon Stewart - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Really? You really need to get on Facebook. All the talk about hate speech and bullying on the internet is aimed at the right, but it's just as prevalent from the left.

I don't know how you claim to have an overview of everything on facebook. I don't know much about it, but I know you don't browse through the whole thing! I've also got no idea why you think I should go on there (although actually I do have a profile, but it's just so people can message me for climbing in the Lakes, I don't display edited highlights from my life and ask vague acquaintances from the periphery of my social network to comment on whether they like it or not).

So from what I hear talked about, people from both the left and the right post vitriolic stuff about people they don't like. I wouldn't deny for a second that people with left wing as well as right wing politics can be bigoted and use horrible language to make personal insults. I've never suggested otherwise, but it seems you're attacking this straw man all the same. So just to be even clearer, yes, I am perfectly aware that people on social media with left wing views post horrible, bigoted stuff.

But no, I don't agree at all, in any way, for a second, that it's a fair generalisation that "the left" is characterised by this type of bigotry.

The problem for "the right" - by which I mean all people who support right wing politics (e.g. by voting conservative, choosing to get their news and commentary from right-wing sources, etc) is *not* that they're all bigots. (Yes, believe it or not, I can be both left-wing and not think all Tories are bigots! How incredible, I must be the only one! Everyone else on "the left" thinks all Tories are bigots...in fact, I'm probably lying when I say that aren't I? I must be since what it means to be left wing is just about hating Tories, isn't it?). The problem is that right-wing politics has a history of bigotry: the Thatcher government was explicitly homophobic, and less explicitly racist (references here are Section 28 and Thatcher's views on the ANC). Conservatism has in the past sought to conserve a world that did not offer equal rights. It isn't true today that the Tory party push racist and homophobic policies - but David Cameron had a job on his hands of cleaning up the act of the party in this respect.

I'll say it again, just in case it's not clear: I don't think that all Tories are bigots. But the position of the Tory party, whose raison d'etre is to represent the right, is that it *was* bigoted in the last century, but now it has changed. Opponents of the Tory party are not making up out of thin air these associations with bigotry, they're saying "you haven't really changed". Largely, I'm sure it has (i.e. some members have died and been replaced by younger people, while others have learnt to keep their mouths shut on certain topics). But of course there is some residual bigotry, all of which explains the stereotype of the racist, posh old Tory that Morris' faux pas so hilariously brought to life.

> This kind of stuff is rife in universities too. I've watched students daub "Sack the bitch" on the walls of our university corridors, cheered on by their supporters, union reps and their lefty activists. If I referred to any woman as a "bitch" do you think they would cheer me? The double-standard is literally there, in black paint and capital letters.

I've called Theresay May a silly bitch countless times on here. I do it all the time. I hate the stupid bitch, because of her abysmal policies, her lack of integrity, her hunger for power, her total absence of talent, and most of all for the consequence of her awful decisions and ideas on the people of this country. I don't consider that there is any hypocrisy in me calling her a bitch. I've never said that I think the word "bitch" is an unacceptable word to use about a woman that you hate because of the appalling things she does to damage millions of people's lives. I don't have a problem with this word, I've never said to anyone that I do, and I don't really understand what the problem is. If she was a bloke, I would use the word "wanker" instead. Using "wanker" for a woman has a kind of amusing ring to it, but it's not quite right, so I would use "bitch". "Bitch" is also pretty strong, more so than "wanker".

> You seem to view the left as intrinsical without sin, with any negative outcomes simply the results of arseholes.

Strawman garbage. I believe in left-wing political ideas, I don't think that "the left" (who do you mean?) are "without sin" and have never implied this. Responding to strawman accusations is tedious.

> Whereas the right, by virtue of its policies, is inherently wrong.

Yes, I believe that "the right" - by which I mean all people who support right wing politics (e.g. by voting conservative, choosing to get their news and commentary from right-wing sources, etc) -are wrong because the policies they push forward have bad outcomes for people who have the least control in society but protect those who have the most.

> That isn't really surprising as the left does have an overblown sense of self-assuredness. It repeatedly tells itself, and those opposed to it, that it represents the masses - the many and not the few, the voiceless, the oppressed, etc. It is therefore by default, correct in its vision and actions.

This is a ludicrous argument. Of course people on the left think that they're right (correct)! And of course people on the right (wing) think that they're right (correct)! The trouble for the right is that they have recently lost a big moral argument on the treatment of minorities and had to reform, so they're very touchy about the moral implications of being right-wing - this is the association with past bigotry I described above, and it puts the right on the back foot. In decades gone by, the right would have been able to appeal to a higher moral authority - the church - which it has now lost. This is why you're telling me how overblown and self-assured the left are, they fought the battles for equal rights and won them; and more currently, the Tories took away benefits from disabled people to claw back a deficit created by bankers. A conservative voter needs to square up to these realities and not just say accuse the left of self-righteousness as a way to deflect the moral questions being asked. This isn't to say that the left are "without sin" - I can't vote Labour after Iraq, and voting Lib Dem after the NHS reforms under the coalition is problematic.

> Unfortunately plenty of people, many of whom who have experienced life under leftist regimes, rightly point to the elements inherent in the very nature of leftism that stifles rights, freedom and individual welfare - from Mao, Pot and Stalin to Chavez and Castro. The response of the left to these criticisms is seldom "Yes, we screwed up/took it too far/lost balance", but more usually "Ahh, that wasn't proper leftism - nothing to do with us, not our fault" or "The right wing forced us to do it" - despite leftist regimes so often headed in that same direction. That is, the left isn't the problem, just a bunch of arseholes screwed it up.

I wouldn't vote for the policies of these regimes. But the idea that I shouldn't vote for the Green Party because of some association on the political spectrum with them is totally absurd and I don't consider it to be a serious argument.
1
Jon Stewart - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> You can't just dismiss ranters on social media as not being representative of real left wing views either. They are as representative as anyone else. Or if you are going to say they are an irrelevance then so is Brietbart, Milo and all the other right-wingers that the left gets so worked over. And it seems quite often the left is content with them and their destructive ways because they at least skew the political discourse in a left-ward direction.

Let me clarify (although it was already perfectly clear). Members of the public who add comments on The Independent website or post memes on facebook do not represent the left. Left wing journalists and publications do represent the left. Brietbart represents a low-brow, scum-sucking portion of the right. It is not fair representation of the right, it is fair representation of a particular sector that I would call the "thickie right". This is a different bunch of people to right-wing economists who argue for policy reforms towards a smaller state.

> And I'm sorry to say, as moderate and intelligent as you find your own leftist views to be, history has a habit of showing people with those views tend to get purged pretty quickly. The hard left consider themselves fighting the real fight and they'll have no time for those "centre-lefts" when they get power.

I don't [edit!] understand the point of this remark, so I don't know how to reply.
Post edited at 23:11
r0x0r.wolfo - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> I've watched students daub "Sack the bitch" on the walls of our university corridors, cheered on by their supporters, union reps and their lefty activists. If I referred to any woman as a "bitch" do you think they would cheer me? The double-standard is literally there, in black paint and capital letters.

I'm always intrigued by these statements about one side or the other displaying certain tendancies.

Lets say you have two people wearing shorts, one of them draws a massive cock on a wall, the other one sees it and is outraged and offended.

So then David says, those shorts wearing hypocrites, one draws cocks whilst others are offended? The double standards are there in black and white I tell you.



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