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Cheers - AE

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Own goal - UPDATED

Either you are free to speak as you think and feel, or you are not. Any restriction on what can be said by definition means you do not have freedom of speech. It's one of life's absolutes. Mrs Exile should be free to call me a pom with an unhealthy obsession with the weather and the correct form of queueing. I'm should be free to call her a typical fucking colonial with a cultural inferiority complex. We should be free to refer to the Scots as a nation of orange haired, drunken porridge wogs* who deep fry anything edible, perhaps anything at all in the hope of making it edible. And the Scots most certainly should be free to say they'd rather support anyone but England in the World Cup.

Arguably the performance of Rooney & Co is enough to make English fans consider supporting anybody but the Italian led bunch of overpaid, talent-free, embarrassing, salad dodgers on whom England's hopes rest(ed) anyway, but given that the Scots, as usual, don't have a dog in the fight, why shouldn't they support who they want for whatever reason they want?

Because it's racist, apparently.
High street retailer HMV has withdrawn "Anyone But England" World Cup posters and T-shirts from its Scottish stores following complaints they were racist.

Racist? Oh, behave. I wouldn't call that racist if I heard it from an Aussie, much less a Scot. I might accept that "Anyone But England' has possible racist overtones, though not that it's explicitly racist, if it came from someone black or asian etc, but really it's more nationalist than racist. And even if you do accept as racist, it's about a bloody soccer tournament for Christ's sake. How bloody thin-skinned do you need to be to get upset by this? Harden the fuck up!

And who's behind the complaint?
The Campaign for an English Parliament (CEP) contacted police about the "insensitive and provocative" items which, their website claimed were "criminally irresponsible".
/double facepalm and oh shit. I'd been meaning to link to the CEP since I thought these guys stood for a return to common sense, fairness and liberty for all. I may still but this move seems awfully like a touch of "if you can't beat 'em, join in". The CEP seems to want freedom of speech for England, and of course that's great. I'm all for freedom of speech so I'm absolutely with the CEP on that, but why stop at England? Personally I'd like to see the day when any North Korean can say that Kim Jong Il is a cunt, so England (or Australia, depending on who/where I'm ranting against) is no more than a first step. But if so then restricting the same freedom elsewhere seems like a step backwards, especially if it's within your own country. Would we get more freedom here in Victoria by persuading Canberra to put limits on Queenslanders, or would it be more likely for them to apply the same restriction in all states?

You're not gaining more freedom for yourselves by demanding limits on the freedom of your neighbours, and I think the CEP have scored a massive own goal here. I'd hope that the idea was to try to ridicule the tendency to cry 'racist' whenever anyone says something that someone else (not necessarily themselves) finds something vaguely objectionable, but I think they've succeeded only in legitimising it even for something as trivial as fucking football. In turn this opens the door for the Scots to cry 'racist' if an Englishman says he'd rather eat anything but a clootie dumpling.

As far as I know I haven't so much as a molecule of Scottish glomahaeblin in my blood but I'm on their side. Screw the English who killed Mel Gibson and won't let them support whatever football team they like - HMV should have told them to fuck off. Anyone but England indeed, though in the interests of free speech I'll say I think Scotland's twelfth most talented footballer is Wee Jimmy Krankie.

UPDATE - I left a brief comment to this effect on a post about the Scottish HMV at The CEP blog at 9:58am on 20/6/10. It's still awaiting moderation, though ten comments made afterwards seems to be up. [Shrugs] Wonder why.

* In the Aussie sense a wog is a Mediterranean European providing they're not French and therefore already covered by the term 'Frog'. The people covered by 'wog' have been extended by the use of modifiers. Some, like 'porridge wog' for the Scots, I've heard fairly often. Others. like 'potato wog' for the Irish and 'clog wog' for the Dutch, seem more rare. The fact that Australians have given us English the unique and unmodified term 'Pom' all to ourselves I take to be an indication of the special place we occupy in the cultural hearts of this linguistically gifted people. Either that or the sand-grubbing bastards loathe us so much that we deserved our own insult.

I don't lose any sleep over it either way.
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