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Bunter
124952.  Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:26 am Reply with quote

I used the word 'Abo' the other day in front of an Australian and he looked at me like I had done something nasty on the carpet.

I have never been to Oz, but apparently, calling an aboriginal an 'abo' is as bad as saying 'n****'.

Quite Interestingly, Rolf Harris admitted today that 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport' was racist because the original lyrics to the 1960 hit included a verse referring to Aboriginal workers as if they were slaves.

Our Rolf? A racist? Who would have believed it?

Anyway, I'm not sure more Brits would know that 'abo' was offensive and it opens up interesting debate about words like 'paki', 'spik', 'wop' etc...


Quote:
Rolf Harris has apologised for using racist language in Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport - the hit song that launched his career.

The original words he wrote for the 1960 hit - sung to the accompaniment of his famous wobbleboard - included a verse referring to Aboriginal workers as if they were slaves.

The opening lines tell of a dying stockman giving his friends instructions on how they should treat his pet animals, such as 'keep me cockatoo cool, Curl' and 'take me koala back, Jack'. However, in the fifth verse comes a slur on Australia's indigenous population: 'Let me Abos go loose, Lou, Let me Abos go loose. They're of no further use, Lou, so let me Abos go loose.'

In an interview with Radio Scotland to be broadcast on Sunday, 76-year-old Harris admits that those lines were racist and he wished he had never written them.

Asked whether he regretted having included the verse, he said: 'Of course - dear, oh dear.' He said he now has a 'great love and respect' for Aborigines.

The song was written in 1957, when Aborigines were not allowed to vote, were not counted in the census and were often indentured workers in conditions approaching servitude.

Harris later dropped the verse when re-recording the hit, with the word 'emus' substituted for 'Abos'. But today his website contains a set of lyrics with no mention of emus or 'Abos'.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=420843&in_page_id=1773

 
Flash
124963.  Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:37 am Reply with quote

It's strange how the word 'nigger' has become so taboo that people can't even use it in discussions about how taboo it is. There was a thread on one of the outer boards recently in which they talked about the word without ever saying directly what it was.

Makes it damn difficult to track down via the search facility, if nothing else.

 
Bunter
125267.  Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:20 am Reply with quote

These words become less offensive when the community 'reclaims' them. Hence why black people can call each other nigger, (or 'nigga', as they prefer community), but white people can't.

The same can be said of the gay community.

Recently, young pakistanis have tried to reclaim the work 'paki':

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bradford/features/2005/03/paki.shtml

Personally, I found it very frustrating when people at University told me that I sounded 'posh' or was 'posh'. It seems that it is perfectly socially acceptable to do that these days.

But on the other hand, it would have been totally unacceptable for me to have turned the tables. I would have never dreamed in a million years of telling them that they sounded 'common' or were 'common'. In fact, the thought wouldn't have crossed my mind.

 
Flash
125271.  Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:24 am Reply with quote

Yes, it's regarded as legit to attack David Cameron for being a toff, but it's hard to imagine him getting away with dismissing an opponent as a prole.

 
MatC
146765.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:02 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
Yes, it's regarded as legit to attack David Cameron for being a toff, but it's hard to imagine him getting away with dismissing an opponent as a prole.


I don’t think I’ve ever noticed anyone having a go at Cameron for being a toff; I don’t say I haven’t heard it, only that it isn’t something I’m sensitive to. On the other hand, every time I switch on the radio - almost literally - I hear someone ridiculing John Prescott for being common. Piers must have heard this too, but hasn’t noticed it because that isn’t what he’s sensitive to.

 
MatC
146768.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:06 am Reply with quote

Bunter wrote:
But on the other hand, it would have been totally unacceptable for me to have turned the tables. I would have never dreamed in a million years of telling them that they sounded 'common' or were 'common'. In fact, the thought wouldn't have crossed my mind.


It just has, Bunter, it just has - that’s how you were able to write about it!

Incidentally, I suspect you’re the last person in the world to discover that abo is a rude word ... More interestingly, I understand that “blackfella” is a perfectly acceptable term for aborigine, used by whites and blacks in Australia.

 
Bunter
146783.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:24 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Incidentally, I suspect you’re the last person in the world to discover that abo is a rude word


They don't let them in at Bunterington Towers.

 
Flash
146853.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:43 am Reply with quote

I understand the point you're making about different people noticing different things, Mat. So this isn't relevant to what you're saying, but here's what I'm on about:

Quote:
Labour revived the language of class warfare yesterday as the party’s chairman initiated a ferocious attack on David Cameron based on his privileged background.

Hazel Blears cast doubt on the Tory leader’s credentials by asking why he felt the need to surround himself with so many Old Etonians, and attacked him as out of touch with ordinary people.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article643887.ece

Quote:
Denis MacShane, the Labour MP for Rotherham, who is writing a biography of Edward Heath, said far from taking the Conservatives into the 21st century Cameron is dragging them back 70 years. "It's extraordinary that the Conservative party seems to be reverting to a pre-Heath era going right back to the model of the 1930s when it was dominated by charming affable men, who would undoubtedly be welcome at every dinner party in London, but who have little or no experience of the challenges facing modern society ...


Quote:
Frank Dobson, the former health secretary, said disillusioned Labour supporters should not be taken in by the new Conservatism.

"The number of Eton-educated people around Cameron shows that this is still an elitist party - a party by the privileged for the privileged and that will have a serious impact on how they act if they get into power."

both http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,,1843008,00.html

These are all ad hominem attacks, without so much as a figleaf of pretence that they are otherwise. I'm no expert, but my instinct is that attacks of this kind do as much electoral damage to the attacker as to the attacked (but that's another debate).

It's true to say that journalists and other people mock Prescott in the way you mention, but do politicians do so? If they do, then you're right: I've been blind to those comments.

 
MatC
146868.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:25 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
It's true to say that journalists and other people mock Prescott in the way you mention, but do politicians do so? If they do, then you're right: I've been blind to those comments.


Yes, famously. To this day, whenever he stands up in the House, some of the Tory toffs call out "Gin and tonic, please, Guiseppe!" (Prescott used to be a ferry waiter).

 
Flash
146871.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:35 am Reply with quote

OK, didn't know that.

 
MatC
147370.  Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:29 am Reply with quote

Of course, it has to be said, people’s prejudice against toffs on the whole just shows what good instincts people have.

The Daily Telegraph (14 Feb 07) reports on Cameron’s set at Oxford University. He apparently belonged to a club for upper crust types called the Bullingdon Club, which existed for the purpose of smashing up restaurants. (Isn't it funny how, when ordinary people's children set up destructive youth cults, there are debates in the House, Trevor McDoughnuts special reports, ASBOs, and calls to bring back national service?)

Anyway - amongst those present in the Bullingdon was a lad who was renowned for “slashing the cork from a champagne bottle with a sword.” I believe this is called “sabrage” - I’ve got a cutting on it somewhere. Might make an interesting props bit?

Ah, in fact here’s a bit: www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-sab2.htm
and www.champagneclub.org/default.html?core4.html&7

 
Bunter
147374.  Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:33 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Anyway - amongst those present in the Bullingdon was a lad who was renowned for “slashing the cork from a champagne bottle with a sword.” I believe this is called “sabrage” - I’ve got a cutting on it somewhere. Might make an interesting props bit?


My mate's dad Gerald can do that.

He's not a toff, promise. Well, a bit. But not in your face toffness. He's really rather nice.

 
MatC
147378.  Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:38 am Reply with quote

Does Gerald use an actual sabre?

 
Bunter
147390.  Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:51 am Reply with quote

I'm 95% sure that it is a proper sabre.

With regards to your Bullingdon Club remarks, you might be amused by this recent snippet:

http://www.btinternet.com/~akme/bulling1.html

Wasn't Hugh Grant also a Bullingdon Club member?

 
MatC
147391.  Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:56 am Reply with quote

"He admitted that the violence was premeditated and then added: "I am not currently in the club, I am a prospective member"

Wonderful! So they have to serve a probationary period, to show that they're serious, responsible types, I suppose.

Now, look, how does Gerald happen to have a sabre in his drinks cabinet? Is he an ex Russian cavalryman, or an antiques dealer?

 

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