Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sick, stupid or are we just too sensitive?

Two stories highlight issues of free speech in Britain and how responsible we must use it.

At the weekend, the BBC went to town, as did the Sun, over a Tory Activist who dressed up as baby Madelaine on a bebo posting.

Now, judging by the coverage , one might have thought Tory leader Dave Cameron has dressed up himself. My mum thought it was an MP that had done the dirty deed, rather than a 23 year-old leader of its youth wing, such was the fuss and outrage.

The lad was sick, perverted, not right in the head, I was told.

True, it was an offensive and silly and studpid thing to do.

But it hardly makes him the Anti-Christ. And does it justify the lad's expulsion from the Tory Party? It seems just like a stupid student prank to me.

Prince Harry has done worse!

And indeed it appears he has, as lo and behold in the Sunday papers, there he was embroiled in a race row for calling a mate a paki and referring to Taliban terrorists as ragheads.

There has been an almighty furore over alleged harm to rasce relations, how a royal should set a better example, etc, etc.

But aren't we just been a little too sensitive? There are worse things to be called than a Paki. Is it any worse than being called a POM?

Google the words and you will find an intense amount of coverage.

But has Britain over-reacted? Yes, Prince Harry has been very silly in using such words. He should be expected to know better. But is a fine young man being unfairly maligned as the Yorkshire Post notes. It's not as if he has slaughtered an entire village of innocent civilians, is it?

Still, it took attention away from Gaza and the recession and helped the journos fill a quiet Sunday and Monday.

Though it leaves me thinking Britain has become all too sensitive and politically correct, especially where race matters are concerned.


Dungeekin said...

When I was in the Forces, I worked with guys who had any number of 'racist' nicknames, to wit:

Several Paddys, a couple of Micks, two black guys called 'Chalky' and 'Roots' respectively, and an Asian called 'Cornershop'.

Forces nicknames tend to the unreconstructed and the blunt.

Still, it gives the tabloids something to scream about and provides an outlet for those who like to be permanently offended.


Clunking Fist said...

And no doubt Harry was "Ginger Balls" or "ginga", "His Royal Gingerness" etc.

Psycho Milt said...

I believe it falls under the category "stupid." It's OK to put him in a uniform and train him to kill people on command, but god forbid he should also talk like a soldier? Fuck off - just fuck off.

Dave Mann said...

I feel sorry for him. Out of all the idiot people in the "Royal" family, this poor guy seems to be the most intelligent and human and it seems a terrible pity that his accident of birth makes him such a freak show for the media.

It would be terrible to have to live like he does, with idiots poking their lenses and their mics at him every moment of his life. Poor guy.

Charles was human and warm like this once, and the unrelenting pressure of being treated like a zoo animal turned his mind. It wore him down until he bacame a mad twit. The same will happen to this poor guy.

Murray said...

What a load of crap, Harry is NOT stupid for saying these things. A soldier calls the enemey a degroatory name, so bloody what. In case it slipped past everyone including you they're trying to kill eachother, not build a lasting relationship. Calling fellow soldiers names is likewise par for the course. Its the currency of daily language amongst comrades in arms.

If people what to wet their nappies about race relations I sugest they start with the race that does its bit for relations by screaming death to pretty much everyone who aren't them.

You all want "stupid" get mirrors. Harrys getting ragheads shooting at him so you lot can BE stupid in public.

Have a nice day.

Psycho Milt said...

Maybe I should have written "media coverage falls under the category 'stupid.'"

Murray said...

Well that goes without saying.

Anonymous said...

The UK MSM like the NZ MSM is populated with mindless excuses for human beings looking to whip everything and any thing up. They lack the intellectual rigor to engage in serious debate about important issues. Best ignored they cater for the lowest common denominator


ZenTiger said...

A couple of relevant points here:

1. The incident was three years ago. THREE YEARS.

2. It was him playing around with his squad members. His "Paki friend" (now a captain in the Paki army) could take it, especially on account of him being Paki. Yes, it can be meant as a slur but careful use of inflection can make one's surname a slur.

3. The appropriate response to anyone complaining about this is to make use of all that military hardware. Then one ends with a very friendly (another good use of tone and inflection) to enquire "and does anyone else have a problem?"