THE word 'bigot', introduced into the English language in the late 16th Century, lost all meaning shorty after 11pm last night, it has been confirmed.
Word managers at the Oxford English Dictionary said 'bigot' became officially meaningless when the one millionth person on Twitter used it to describe an old lady from Rochdale who used the word 'immigrants'.
Tom Logan, the OED's deputy director of A to C, said: "Meaning-wise, 'bigot' has been on shaky ground for quite some time and, like most bad things, it's entirely the fault of The Guardian.
"Guardian readers think anyone who doesn't love The Wire is a bigot. They think anyone who hasn't had an interesting experience in a two-star hotel in Ho Chi Minh is a bigot. They think anyone who doesn't like Greco-Javanese fusion food is a bigot.
"Meanwhile, anyone who hasn't read a book about the right-wing media conspiracy against Hezbollah is the absolute worst kind of bigot and of course they now think I'm an appalling bigot for pointing that out.
"But perhaps most damning of all is that these are the sort of twisted, ruined people who will endure at least 15 minutes of The Kumars at Number 42 simply to prove that everyone else is intellectually evil."
Meanwhile, Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies, stressed the use of the word 'immigrants' by 66 year-old grandmother Gillian Duffy would have been bigoted it had been followed by 'are not nice people', but it wasn't.
"Mrs Duffy said 'You can't say anything about immigrants... all these eastern Europeans are coming in, where are they flocking from?'. So let's just examine that one section at a time.
"Now, the first bit is factually correct. You can't say anything about immigrants and I'm fairly confident that we all understand that now.
"The second bit is a little tricky because it does seem to answer its own question - which Guardian readers have pointed out many, many, many times. But of course what she really meant was 'I'm just a normal old lady and I don't really know why any of this is happening'.
"But Guardian readers should continue to patronise her anyway because that just impresses the grade-A shite out of everyone."
Tom Logan added: "The really wonderful thing is that the original meaning of bigot was 'sanctimonious hypocrite', so in the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary we're going to go back to our etymological roots and adjacent to the word 'bigot' it will simply say 'noun - a reader of TheGuardian'.
From the Connexion, France in English, thanks to a source. Cheers!
FRANCE'S biggest police union has attempted to distance itself from a protest by some of its members over the use of halal food in a staff canteen.
A group of CRS officers in Rouen have written a tract voicing their anger after learning that they had frequently been served halal turkey and sausages at meal times for two years without knowing. The letter, written by local representatives of the SGP-Force Ouvrière union, said the "foreign ritual" did not "correspond with our values".
Management said halal food was used because it was cheaper and easier to find locally in large quantities. Which says something about local markets and trade.
SGP-FO union spokesman Yannick Danio told Le Post: "Union tracts should not have this sort of tone. The ideas in this letter do not correspond with our organisation's deeply secular position." So what meat was supposed to be in the sausages? I though even French sausage had pork in, albeit in different proportions and seasonings?
Today's Hadith, though potty as ever, has an almost Biblical cadence. Perhaps it gains something in translation:
Ibn Abbass narrated that Rasulullah S.W.T said: "Whoever lives the life of a Bedouin becomes coarse. And whoever occupies himself with hunting becomes heedless and whoever visits the rulers falls into fitnah."
Narrated by Abu Dawud, al Tirmidhi, al Nasai, and al Bayhaqi
Heedless Hunters could include our Henry, who was forever falling into Fitnah:
Pastime with good company
I love and shall unto I die;
Grudge who list, but none deny,
So God be pleased thus live will I.
For my pastance
Hunt, song, and dance.
My heart is set:
All goodly sport
For my comfort,
Who shall me let?
A pertinent (and impertinent) Peter Brookes cartoon in The Times (h/t Alan):
Also in The Times, Ann Treneman argues that Gordon Brown should take lessons from Boris:
Boris Johnson really could teach Gordon Brown a thing or two (or 300) about “real” people on the campaign trail. Yesterday, in Ealing, Boris went walkabout amid scenes of unscripted chaos and never, once, did he blame anyone else for anything, even when he was photographed with a candidate named Bray in front of a horse’s ass.
Yes, truly. The rump in question belonged to a statue (Small Work Horse, by Judith Bluck, 1985) in the pedestrianised shopping precinct. “Group photo!” shouted someone from Angie Bray’s team, stopping with uncanny precision right next to the upturned tail.
“Boris! Is this a three-horse race?” shouted someone as everyone gurned and raised their DIY poster boards.
“It’s a one-horse race!” shouted Boris.
What, asked someone, was the caption for this photo? “Braaaay!” brayed Boris, quickly moving away from the rump. Angie (or Ange, as Boris called her) scrambled after him, insisting: “No, that would be if it was a donkey!”
Hee-haw, as donkeys (and asses) would say. I’m not sure Gordo could have coped with even one part of that scene. First he’d have to blame someone (Sue, mostly likely). Then he would have to return to the scene to beg the horse’s forgiveness.
But the truth about walkabouts and “real” people is that they are (actually) real and so, by definition, random. Yesterday people told Boris about autistic children, illnesses, parking, travel, unemployment and, yes, their anger at immigration. So here are some tips from the Book of BoJo:
• When someone from Poland talks to you, answer back in Polish. “Dzien dobry!” cried Boris at the Pole, who was thrilled.
• When someone hands you a mobile phone, do not throw it (habits of a lifetime, etc) but talk into it. Yesterday it was the owner of the Chitter Chatter phone shop trying to give him a new phone. Of course, Boris rejected it (well, he had to, the BBC was filming ) but only after securing a vote for Ange. (This is an ultra-tight three-way marginal).
• When someone disagrees with you, have a bit of a good-humoured debate, then say: “Well I’m sorry we disagree!” And walk away.
• Have fun. When asked about the Lib Dems, Boris began to splutter: “How can you conceivably trust the Lib Dems! Spineless protoplasmic invertebrate amoebic fibbers — Janus-faced!” (Isn’t that so much better than “bigoted”?) Finally, pretend you don’t know where you are going. As Boris left yesterday, he walked away from his own car. “Boris!” cried everyone as the blond-haired one looked abashed. Personally I think he did it on purpose. Gordon needs a masterclass — now.
Boris has the advantage of a keen mind and a sense of fun, neither of which are much in evidence on the Left. Brown, with his sanctimony and self-importance, can't hold a candle to him. And if he ever does, here's hoping Boris is in fine farting fettle and it blows up in his face.
THE history of Western civilisation is expected to come full circle today when Greece brings it crashing to the ground.
With most European and American banks now filled to bursting with worthless pieces of paper handed out willy-nilly by the Greek 'government', experts say the world of science, art and democracy which was born in Athens 2500 years ago and spread its glow across the Western hemisphere is now fucked into a tinker's bucket.
Professor Henry Brubaker, of the Institute for Studies, said: "Given that it was founded by Greeks, I'm amazed it lasted as long as it did.
"Plato's Republic is full of spelling mistakes and airy-fairy bullshit, Aristotle was always dropping trays and bumping into pillars and Archimedes spent his entire life inventing a water pump that takes absolutely fucking ages."
He added: "If only we had been inspired by Spaniards. The buildings may not have been so grand - or actually finished - but we'd have afternoons off and be able to maintain a clear conscience while doing unspeakable things to a donkey.
"Beyond that I'm not sure we had much choice. Italian civilisation is based largely on paying protection money to hot-headed olive oil importers, British civilisation is fine as long as you actually prefer it when things don't work, while German civilisation does have a tendency to get a bit... carried away.
"And French civilisation is of course an oxymoron, much like German humour, Italian ethics, British cuisine and French soap, French decency and French not fucking my wife."
Professor Brubaker said it was now time to plan for a post-civilisation society, stressing the transition would be much easier for long term viewers of ITV.
NEW YORK — Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged "immodest."
Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women," according to its website.
Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N. press releasedistributed Wednesday on the filling of "vacancies in subsidiary bodies," was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from 10 other nations, was "elected by acclamation," meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states — including the United States.
The U.S. currently holds one of the 45 seats on the body, a position set to expire in 2012. The U.S. Mission to the U.N. did not return requests for comment on whether it actively opposed elevating Iran to the women's commission.
Iran's election comes just a week after one of its senior clerics declared that women who wear revealing clothing are to blame for earthquakes, a statement that created an international uproar — but little affected their bid to become an international arbiter of women's rights...
An update to this story. By Munir Ahmed and Ishtiaq Mahsud for AP:
ISLAMABAD – The head of the Pakistani Taliban is now believed to have survived a U.S. missile strike earlier this year, intelligence officials said Thursday, reversing earlier claims he had died and handing the militants something of a propaganda victory.
U.S. security officials had also said they believed Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in the January attack in an area between the North and South Waziristan tribal regions close to the Afghanistan border. They were not immediately available for comment.
The Taliban themselves had always claimed Mehsud was alive, but have said they were not going to offer any evidence such as a video recording because doing so could help security forces hunt him down. Until or unless they do, questions are likely to remain over his fate, given the patchy nature of intelligence from the tribal regions.
Four intelligence officials said Pakistan's main spy agency now believed Mehsud was alive and well. They cited electronic surveillance and reports from sources in the field, including from inside the Taliban. One official said Mehsud was believed to have been wounded in the attack and had been seen alive after the attack.
In early January, Mehsud appeared in a video with a Jordanian suicide bomber who killed seven CIA employees in late December in eastern Afghanistan.
If he is alive, it won't be the first time Hakimullah, believed aged in his 20s, has defied reports of his death.
This guy must be the reincarnation of Rasputin, if Rasputin ever actually died. In some of the earlier reports of Hakimullah's deaths, the Pakistani government claimed that he had a twin brother, and the twin brother had taken the place of the "real" Hakimullah. Maybe there were triplets?