Sunday, 31 October 2010

Try again Harriet

It was heartening to hear Harriet Harman, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, trying to shed her image of po-faced sanctimoniousness by essaying a witticism at the expense of the Treasury Secretary by calling him "one ginger rodent who would not be welcome in Scotland". It was disappointing however to hear that she felt she had to apologize almost immediately afterwards, and even more disappointing for her when her victim came back with the immediate riposte that he was proud of being ginger and didn't mind being a rodent, who was busily engaged in clearing up the mess left by other people!

But Harriet was right, squirrels can be a blinking nuisance. Our neighbour has a thatched roof and a family of squirrels are busily engaged at present in chewing away most of the electric cables in his loft. They come for lunch to our house, eating whatever we put out for the birds now that they've stripped the hazelnut bushes and the walnut tree. In other words the Treasury Secretary won't be satisfied until he's had your nuts, and then he'll rob your bird.

I'm not sure though why people should think its an insult to be called ginger. I've heard people say that the most unbelieveable part of the Harry Potter films is the claim that it features 'a ginger' with two friends, but I think most chaps would have been very friendly indeed with the Pre-Raphaelite beauties, if they had the chance. It sounds to me as though this 'gingerism' is yet another regrettable '-ism' which we should strive to combat. After all people with no hair already suffer from 'baldism', brown-haired people from 'boring mouseyism', black-haired people are called spicks (in USA) or half-caste (in UK), and we all know about blondes, although it never worried Dolly Parton because, she said, she knows that blondes are really smart and she knows that she's not really blonde.

And I understand that red hair is already well established in Scotland, and the Celts may not like the epithet ginger rodent.

So, nice try, Harriet, but 'nil point'.

1 comment:

  1. I thought it reflected the poor standard of rhetoric, that all she could find to say was an ad hominem ...:-(