Nicholas Soames is Winston Churchill’s grandson—his mother being Winny’s only living child—a Conservative member of Parliament since the mid-70’s, a very large man whose food and drink intake is legendary, and an old friend of mine with whom I used to get into terrible trouble (but the less said about that the better). Soames has been married twice, his first wife having indiscreetly answered a hack’s question about his lovemaking as “like being crushed by a large wardrobe with a small key sticking out.” An amicable divorce soon followed.
As it happens Soames holds no grudge against his ex, but if he did he might soon be able to call on the forces of law and order, and actually have her jailed for committing a hate crime. Indeed, a proposed addition to U.K. hate-crime legislation (Equality Act 2010) could make outlaws of countless schoolchildren who use the word fat or fatty, considering it a crime on par with racism and homophobia.
All I can say is God help us if it becomes a crime to call someone fatty. Next we’ll have people with ginger hair being protected, short folk ditto, and on down the line.
What is preposterous is the assumption that sneering bureaucrats know what is good for us. The thinking behind the proposed Orwellian law is that too many children are worried about their body image—whatever that means—and lest they fall ill as a result of this worry, measures must be taken to protect them. Oy vey! So what happens if this so-called law crosses the ocean and African-American schoolchildren get hold of it? I think I’ve written about this before, but after four Oxford Union debates I have never been invited back since I told an African-American (I don’t dare call her black) student who weighed at least 300 pounds and had accused Uncle Sam of not doing enough for her post-Katrina (“I almost starved to death”) that she could do with a bit of a diet. Students booed me off the podium, and some idiotic prof tried to give me a lecture following the debate, but I had met a pretty coed and was rather in a hurry to get away from fat women and professors who looked as if they had been conceived by chimps with a dose of the clap.
The ex-captain of England’s national soccer team, a terrible hood by the name of John Terry, has just been found innocent after a very expensive public trial at the Old Bailey for having called an opponent a “f–king black c–t.” The charge he faced was not about the f-word or the slang for female anatomy but whether Terry had racially abused his opponent. During the trial it emerged that his black counterpart had not even heard Terry’s cussing, but was encouraged to sue by politically correct do-gooders who somehow monitored the cussing from the stands. However Orwellian it sounds, this is modern Europe. Terry got off because it was never proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended Anton Ferdinand to hear what he’d said—too much noise in the stadium—and because it was not established that what he said was intended as an insult, as the law defines it. (The latter makes sense to me because I know British footballers, and they make American NBA and NFL professionals sound like Professor Higgins.)
The law as it stands in Britain (Public Order Act 1986) is that
A person is guilty of an offence if he—(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.
If insulting the obese becomes a hate crime, what do you think will happen to writers such as myself or Tom Fleming, who like to call a spade a spade? If I were to call the President of the United States a black c–t, it would be considered lèse-majesté, unless he were within earshot. Then I’d go to jail. But if I were to write that Al Sharpton is a fat, black rabble-rouser and con man, I’d end up in the pokey quicker than he can say “racist.” It’s all very confusing, especially when everyday speech is suppressed by the Savonarolas of p.c. Calling the queen a cow, as someone did the other day, is rude—very rude, in fact, because she’s 85 years old and a grandmother. But throwing the name-caller in a cell is even ruder. (Not that anyone was about to.)
People keep writing and bragging about our freedoms—as compared with those lacking in towelhead land—but are these freedoms for real? I should be allowed to call Jesse Jackson a black c–t anytime I feel like it—not that I use such language—but if our British cousins have their say, pretty soon I will have to compliment some black female student who weighs 350 pounds on her svelte silhouette, bow low, and hand her my wallet to go along with her welfare check.