Thursday, February 13, 2014

The British Art of Name Calling

It has got to be their command of the language. No one hurls a better insult than the British.

Growing up, a common childhood rank was to tell another boy their mother wore 'combat boots.' This was meant to start a fight, but I never saw it start one. It was always met with 'oh yeah,' which when you think of it, is not  great a retort. Sometimes, a kid whose mother's footwear was commented on would hurl one back to the effect that "your mother's a who-a." This was supposed to be "whore" but for some reason it came out "who-a." I guess this was on purpose, because if it was questioned if the name-caller was telling you your mother was a "who-a" they could deny that they said "whore." I also never saw these remarks lead to a fight. Kids are very crafty. And vocal. Trash talk.

So it is with some surprise to read of elected adults holding public office in the UK who rant into name calling. You would think those days were behind them. No, the barbs get sharper.

We observed and commented on some of this in a prior posting about the tradition of heckling the prime minister when he's talking in Parliament. The opposition appears to get quite boisterous. They act like they're in a pub. Or, they're at a soccer match.

Consider the latest comments to come out the UK surrounding who is to blame for the terrific flooding that is taking place in southwest England. Entire towns are under water due to heavy rains and flooded rivers. It seems river dredging was deferred for years, leaving rivers with less depth. Less depth, heavy rains, and you've got trouble in River City. Floods are 17 miles away from London at this point.

I take it the current government of David Cameron is the Conservative Party. Anything bad that happens in the UK is the direct fault of the opposition. Even rain.

Apparently the blame game has been raging, with a Conservative lawmaker referring to the Labour party's head of the Environmental Agency, Chris Smith, as a "little git." (Having to look this up, it means a "worthless person.")

Additionally, Ian Liddell-Grainger (you gotta love those hyphenated names) told Mr. Smith he would like to "stick his head down the loo and flush."


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