Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Rants From A Small Island

OK, I think we've got a perfect illustration of the problem of living on a small island right here, and it has nothing to do with Bill Bryson's enormous fat hairy cornflake. Third place on the Guardian's capacious website was a story about Robert Kilroy-Silk, the former Labour politician and talk-show host and probable racist.

Kilroy performed a trick at the last European elections, where he won big for the UK Independence, by proving that famous people can be xenophobes too. He then threw a quite gigantic hissy fit and left the UKIP just as it was making real progress in its goal of forcing the UK out of the European Union by allying with all the EU rejectionist parties from elsewhere in Europe in the European parliament, while drawing salaries from the EU and eating croissants.

But Kilroy was probably just continuing his march rightwards, deciding that a narrow anti-EU focus would never satisfy his insatiable hatred of immigrants, which was what got him sacked from the BBC in the first place. Kilroy's new party is called Veritas, which means "truth", and which, we dare say, is meant to draw attention to all the lies the "normal" politicans are telling, but which really sounds like an unused name for a Blairite think-tank.

Anyway, according to the Guardian Kilroy became amusingly incoherent, as he strived to attain the purple-faced spluttering indignation of the Daily Mail-reader in the street. Essentially he thinks there is this special organic substance called "Britishness" which comes from within and has not been made up by the Hanoverians or Victorians in any way, and which must be protected from people with darker skins.

We've been here before, of course, and it only seems novel because the British insist that they are immune to fascism and racism. And indeed, most of the far-right parties usually thrive on the subconscious feeling amongst BNP voters and their ideological kin that they cannot be bad people, as the success of the ludicrous Cabbie manifesto demonstrates.

We're sure that in due course Kilroy will fizzle out without even so much as an Oswald Mosley moment. Maybe he will one day wake up and realise that by then his only real friends are extreme metal musicians. But for the time being, the man has been given a podium to spout this nonsense at the cameras rather than the front of a cab. If the media are going to collude with politicans in preventing the public from hearing the voices of the pig-ignorant men in the street, can they please not make an exception for their orange-faced spiritual leader, slow news day or no.


At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"yah-boo politics"? Did he really say that? What does that even mean? It makes no sense.

What is Grincorp's position on the bastardization of the English language by the use of non-words? Actually, narrow that to the use of non-words by political types trying to introduce them into the public discourse. I seem to think Gringcorp would approve of the introduction of new words when warranted, or when particularly apt, but yah-boo politics? I mean, really. A limey should know better, don't you think?

Question two: since well-educated limeys have a reputation of having a better general grasp of vocabulary and grammar than their American counterparts, do you think they are or should be held to a higher standard with regard to correct usage of said vocabulary and grammar?

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Gringcorp said...

Crikey, Anonymous, you're psychic as well as invisible, to post such a well-constructed comment on Gumby Fresh, just when we decide to have a go at the PRESIDENT's language. But, in answer to your questions:

1)"Yah-boo" politics has a regrettably solid pedigree in British discourse, although it is rarely printed, at least in nothing that Gringcorp reads. We've seen it before, mind. Inventing new words is a very noble thing to do, so long as one doesn't use them to obscure meaning, or when they are entirely redundant. That means that using "impact" as a verb is very wrong, since "affect" will accomplish exactly the same thing. We see a lot of this in financial news.

2)Gringcorp is an almighty pansexual being, somewhat akin to a gas, and is therefore largely immune to criticism. By and large, though, somewhere between the New Yorker and the New York Post would be an acceptable standard. Note though, that this is a blog, and that achingly beautiful grammar will have to wait for Gringcorp's long-awaited sex novel. Feel free to take a pop, though, and if it's entertaining enough we might not delete your comment.

But thank you for a lovely comment.


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