Saturday, March 31, 2007

An arse by any other name

The magnificent Slugger O'Toole site, of which Malcolm is an assiduous reader and occasional, ignorant and ignored commentator, inevitably chewed over Simon Heffer's attack on Peter Hain.

Malcolm had a nibble on Thursday.

Slugger's essential thread was whether Heffer was applying coarse rugby's tried-and-tested tactic of playing the man rather than the ball. One correspondent, "Alex", concluded that Heffer is just an "arse". Delicate Anglian souls may not fully appreciate the wealth of meaning that the term has in its original Hiberno-Saxon.

Malcolm now recycles his view that Heffer is not just an arse, he is a pompous and flatulent one.

Item: Heffer's carefully trimmed wikipedia entry. Malcolm wagers that it needs as much attention as a Playboy Brazilian (sorry about that Metrosexual reference: it’s probably lost on good-living souls in God’s Own Province).

Item: And he’s a thieving git. He repeatedly claims and is cited as “the author of the phrase ‘Essex man’”. He nicked it from an October 1974 article by the political correspondent of the Financial Times. The term “Upminster Man” (geddit? Look up where Upminster is) appeared in the Pink ‘Un’s review of the Havering-Upminster line-up for the second ‘74 General Election. Not many people know that.

And, be brutally honest, Hain pulled it off. A dexterous use of carrot-and-stick by the Blair/Hain partnership achieved closure (see last Sunday’s Observer for a fair statement of where Malcolm stands). For the first time ever we’ve got the two gargoyles inside the tent pissing out (© LBJ). [By the way, nice cover on the latest Private Eye: the ruler-of-Malcolm's-heart says she’s going to frame it].

Back to the point, however. Tory Balubas (see footnote), inspired by the syphilitic Randolph Churchill, got us into this mess a century ago. The last thing we need is them dragging us back into la merde.

However, they do have just such a need, if only for short-term intra-party reasons.

As Malcolm has already maintained, Hefferlump should be read as part of the developing sally by the UKIPist/fogeyite faction on the traditional Tory right against the trimming, ducking and diving of the Cameroonies (see also Hitchens’ C4 prog on Monday). In other words, it has more to do with the London-Brussels axis than Westminster-Stormont.

That promised footnote:

By-the-by, sad to notice another useful metaphor seems to have slipped out of use. Back in 1960, on the first occasion Irish troops were deployed in a United Nations task-force. In February 1961 a group of Irish were ambushed and suffered fatalities. The bodies were returned to Ireland and there was a right shin-dig of a funeral procession down O'Connell Street.

Typical of Dublin humour, "Baluba" soon came to mean any troublemaker. The Press specifically applied it to the wild backwoodsmen of Fianna Fáil, who emerged from the lunatic undergrowth, complaining of any backsliding or failure to uphold the true republican ideal, at the Party's Ard Fheis.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Subscribe with Bloglines International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Add to Technorati Favorites