A fine example of uptight bien–pensant political correctness’ continuing assault on legitimate freedom of expression in this righteous indignation offering from Guardianista Jodie Matthews last week.
Ms Matthews, it seems, found the epithet “pikey” (in this case by Richard Hammond on Top Gear) deeply offensive and inappropriate (ah, that wonderful catch-all adjective of the thought police), and professed it to have been used (naturally) solely as a racist slur.
For the record, Clameur de Haro has no truck with racism, and neither commits it nor condones it: certain people, or certain ideas, or certain values, may be offensive, but whole races and religions are not offensive per se (although that does not mean they should be exempt from legitimate criticism).
Ms Matthews however seems to have deliberately ignored the overwhelmingly modern usage of the term “pikey” not as an epithet of racist abuse or presumed ethic origin, but as a convenient shorthand for a disparaging value judgment on the target’s lifestyle, ethics and behaviour. In this modern usage it’s equivalent to “chav” – the connotations it conveys are those of disapproval, not of race or even socio-economic group, but of coarseness and vulgarity, cavalier law-breaking, aggression and inconsiderateness toward others, and cynical manipulation of the welfare system.
But that, of course, is precisely the point of Ms Matthews’ article. Like any right-thinking social commentator on the Grauniad, she presumably recoils in horror at anyone making a value judgement about anyone or anything (unless of course it’s a value judgment she agrees with) as being an infringement of enlightened and progressive non-judgmental attitudes.
No doubt then, she will be suitably castigating the producers of the latest UK DCSF storybook for children for making a value judgment of their own that Tess and Toby the
Pikeys Travellers are really just nice, misunderstood, and fun people.
Or possibly, bearing in mind they should tick quite a few of her boxes, she won’t be.........Add to del.icio.usDigg It!Stumble This