Sunday, October 07, 2007

Stop tinkering with our language

I SUPPOSE that Carl Lewis (no, the other one) thought he was doing the right thing when, as part of his campaign to be elected to his local council, he raised a petition to evict travellers from an illegal caravan park.

His neighbours certainly agreed, and almost 1,000 names were quickly collected. But the Powers That Be know how to deal with small-time rabble-rousers like Mr Lewis. Once he’d handed in the petition “against any proposed itinerant travellers’ site within Llansamlet”, Swansea Council immediately grassed him up to the Commission for Racial Equality. They are now launching legal proceedings against this troublesome Celt because they claim his campaign material is racially discriminating. And the words they don’t like? “Itinerant travellers.”

According to the CRE, which fritters away £19 million of your tax on such nonsense every year, you can’t say “itinerant travellers” because that phrase relates to their ethnicity, rather than the fact that live in caravans. And that apparently breaches section 31 of the Race Relations Act.

If you look up “itinerant” in the dictionary, you will find that it is an adjective meaning “a person who travels from place to place with no real home”. Presumably, that is why they live in caravans. (If you look up “caravan”, you will find that it is “a trailer or dwelling place on wheels”. Presumably on wheels because it needs to move from place to place.)

Setting aside the sheer idiocy of threatening a man with jail for what amounts at worst to tautology (“needless repetition of the same sense in different words”), what offends me most about the dead hand of political correctness that oppresses our lives is the damage it does to the English language and the rules of grammar.

“Gypsy” is now off limits, “pikey” is perilous; “tinker” likely to be troublesome. We now have committee chairpersons and legions of ethnicity outreach support staff just waiting to jump on anyone who dares to drift outside the official vocabulary of the State.

It is very annoying. And it is something up with which we should not put.

THE USUAL accusation levelled at Mr Blah’s NuLabour (now known as Wee Gordy Broon’s Big Tent party) was that they were a bunch of hypocritical urbanites living in a wealthy bubble that shielded them from the realities – and cruelties – of Noughties life. Therefore they didn’t know very much about the state of our schools, the horrors of our health service or the lunacy of our lack of border controls.

However, such is the breakdown of basic services that even the high and mighty are becoming exposed to the tribulations the rest of us suffer on a daily basis. Thus when four illegal immigrants tumble out of the container wagon bringing Tony Blah’s new armoured BMW over from Germany, the car has to sent back because its “security has been compromised”, which is shorthand for “an Albanian done a poo on the back seat, Guv”.

Not even Wee Gordy is immune. One of the security guards protecting him at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth turned out to be an Algerian illegal immigrant travelling (not itinerantly) on a forged French passport. He even managed to get the PM to pose for a picture with him.

Quite where Special Branch and the Funny People were when all this was going on is beyond me. And, predictably, the miscreant has now applied for political asylum. Well he’ll be fine for references, that’s for sure.

PERHAPS THE cops who should have been protecting our big wigs were instead busy arresting two hard core criminals for scraping an apple along a wall.

The perps, two brothers aged 12, picked up an apple from the street and used it to scrape ants off a neighbours wall, as you do when you’re 12. Unfortunately the apple left a mark and when the boys told their mother about it, she marched them back round to the house and offered to clean it up. The homeowner, in all probability a Scouser, said that he’d have to report this serious offence to the police so he could get a crime number and then claim on his insurance. For what, no-one seems quite sure.

The cops were therefore called and the kids were arrested, had to pose for mugshots, were fingerprinted and had their DNA taken. They were then given an official reprimand for criminal damage. In the meantime, it had rained and the apple mark had washed off the wall.

The robotic computer chip inside the head of Dorset Police Inspector Phil Cheverton was unapologetic. “This was criminal damage to a rendered wall. Such behaviour is not acceptable … and has a negative effect on residents’ quality of life.”

(The ladies amongst you are wincing as you think about the “two brothers aged 12”, aren’t you? Relax. One of the brothers is adopted.)

WE ADJOURN to the Congleton War Memorial Hospital in Cheshire, where patients and relatives, doomed to long hours in the waiting room, have been encouraged to grab a pair of knitting needles and some wool and to knit a small square to be assembled into blankets for local charities.

Aha, but that’s until the Panzers of the Health and Safety Nazis rolled up the driveway. Knitting needles? Sharp points? Not a chance. The box containing the potentially lethal materials has been removed from the waiting room and is now under lock and key behind the reception desk. You can still knit, but you have to fill out a risk assessment form first, sign a disclaimer, and wear a high-visibility jacket and a hard hat.

As always with these cases, we ask just how many injuries have been caused by the knitting needles in the past? How many lost eyes, how many bleeding fingers? And the answer is, as always, none.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong on the knitting needle front Bazza - I have a pal that lost his eye due to an accident with a knitting needle. Don't know anyone that's had their arm broken by a swan though.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's cos there aren't any swans left (in the wild) Hungry illegal/legal immigrants have eaten them all along with the carp population. Couldn't eat a full one myself. Swan that is, though I do like a nice goldfish after a few pints on a Saturday night. :) Dog

12:02 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

... and I thought pikeys would be more upset at Brad Pitt's portrayal of the illiterate layabout scum.

If gypsy's want to preserve their way of life, then why did they sell off their horses to the knacker's yard, buy 4x4 and brand new caravans?

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the great things about being a retired scuffer is that I can say what I like about the nonsense world of modern policing while my mates who are still serving really do have have to mind their tongues for fear of reprisal from the promotion seeking clipboard clowns (a great barry term) upstairs.
Just before I left, 'ethical crime reporting' was introduced which meant that no matter how paltry an incident was, it all had to be recorded in excruciating detail. Hence such ludicrous situations as the apple along the wall incident. Believe me, most coppers (excluding the 12 year old ones)would prefer to use their discretion. They hate this bloody nonsense but are forced to do it.
Even the new PCSOs (fake cops) who's role is to be on the streets are now having to fill in reams of paperwork, meaning that they too will soon be spending half a shift at a desk.
Finally, as for pikeys, well in my experience they are the very worst class of society. Confrontatioal,Violent,Dangerous, Lieing,Thieving scumbags are not too strong terminology for them.
Aaah, that feels better....

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Chris, you want to hope that one of their uninsured 4x4s never slams into your car when being piloted by pissed up Murphy.
Just ask that poor MX5 driving woman in Portsmouth who damn near died and suffered terrible injuries in such circumstances. Murphy just buggered off and when he was caught he couldn't give a shit.
Capital punishment needs to be re-introduced for those bastards.

5:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If rainwater did the job then no physical effort has been expended nor would a cost have been incurred in removal of the mark from the wall. Therefore, the offence of criminal damage is incomplete. That bloody Inspector needs to concentrate more on his law books and less on his 'how to brown nose your way to the top' manuals.
Still, they got two detected crimes out of it (one for each lad) and they score as much as two murders.
Crap isn't it....

7:17 AM  
Blogger Trevor said...

Knitting Needles!
My mother had a terrible accident with not one, but a pair of them......

She knitted me a Nordic Pullover which I had to wear much to observers delight and my embarrassment.

I have not allowed her near the things without supervision since.

1:42 PM  

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