You’ve sometimes got to laugh at the the wee grunty sounds that issue from the mouths of us humans .
For the vast empty deserts of radio , if there is no new political news, the programmers and presenters panic as to what to discuss.Today , because of the inertia in setting up a local self-governance they have flapped around after scanning the “Belfast Telegraph” and “the Newsletter” have decided to blame Gerry Adams the President of Sinn Fein for the dearth of news..The word on everyone’s lips is “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”.Just think of Aretha singing those words.Suddenly the mantra that it is all republicans ‘ fault because they had no respect for their DUP colleagues.You really have to laugh .Gerry Adams had previously murmured sotto voce that it would be “equality that brought the bastards down”. That prophesy actually came to pass in a very literal sense, but good Bible -readers have a tendency to put much store in the idea of premonition and prophesy. They imagine a grand plan is in motion .It was the word “bastards” that had exercised them then , not the bit about “equality”, which had finally and actually crashed the government. They are only now picking up on that reference and still do not understand its meaning.
It wasn’t just Gerry Adams who was famous for the word. “Bastards” was also a favourite word of ex Tory PM John Major who had also referred to some of his own back-stabbing political colleagues as “bastards”.Hadn’t the late Rik Mayall refined and defined the perfect Tory politician in the form of Sir Alan Beresford B’Stard in his “The New Statesman”. Do we really expect politicians to be anything other than “right bastards” while performing their offices?
Made by Yorkshire Television, the New Statesman’s B’Stard, who shared a middle-name with Norman Tebbit, was a selfish, greedy, dishonest, devious, lecherous, sadistic, self-serving ultra-right-wing Conservative backbencher.He was a sociopathic schemer who even occasionally resorted to murder to fulfill his megalomaniac ambitions. The series was mostly set in B’Stard’s chambers in the Palace of Westminster ….Yes ,he was a right bastard!
TV Mike Nesbitt, ex-Leader of the Official Unionist Party was on the radio just now and used the word “gobshite” three times in conversation ,much to the displeasure , irritation and possibly even fear ,of his host Stephen Nolan. Mr Nolan asked him to desist and said that he was worried that little children might be listening intently to his political, shock – radio show and might even be offended or outraged by the use of these specific words.Would the little kiddies know what the words meant?Would they be remotely interested? Would they tune in on their iPads at all to listen to a wee fat old person such as Mr Nolan jabbering away about stuff that would never ever interest them? Who the fuck was he anyway they’d murmur?…I’m sure they hardly knew, or were even remotely interested at all.
TV Mike, curiously enough ,self-censored himself when it came to uttering the perfectly useful word “bastards” , decapitating the poor thing and rendering it to simple “Bs” ,like some prim schoolgirl.Of course it is quite possible that TV Mike actually uttered the words deliberately to unsettle Mr Nolan, who reacted as an embarrassed schoolboy would at hearing something a little too ripe in the classroom , might respond. After all TV Mike , having been a television presenter himself in a past life, probably knew which buttons to press to unsettle his interviewer.
The word “tubes” was also mentioned .Gerry Adams , the president of Sinn Fein had referred to Owen Paterson, not just as “a tube”, but rather as a “complete tube” , which I suppose must veer near to almost- perfection ,in terms of the art of “tubery”….a skill to be doubtlessly , aspired to.More politicians should take note of the high standards required to attain the status of the Order Of The Complete Tube.Our own Secretary Of State , Mr Brokenshire , may be the Fillibuster Supremo, but will he ever make it to the status of The Completed Tube, too? That might require skills even beyond him, but we’ll wait and see.
When Mr Adams was asked about a suggestion by former Northern Ireland Secretary, Tory politician, Mr Patterson , that Stormont politicians should have their wages stopped because the post-election talks had stalled, Mr Adams was incensed enough to utter those immortal words.Given Mr Paterson’s own track record of prevarication it might seem a bit rich for him to talk about being paid for doing very little..
Mr Paterson thought that withholding pay from MLAs might help ”crystallise minds” and prevent lengthy negotiations. Patterson, had served under ex-Tory PM David Cameron’s command and apparently had talked a good fight ,but did nothing in concrete terms to address demands from Catholic and Nationalist communities in Norneverland for inquests into historical events when he was Northern Secretary in the years between 2010 and 2012. Adams said the Conservative government was actually withholding money set aside for such inquests. It has to be said, of course , that many feel that politicians of every ilk and flavour should be made pay back part of their wages if they fail to produce results while in office.Who really wants the abysmal, useless mess that we had up until Christmas last ,put back in place ,unchanged? It proceeded from one Christmas to another producing little but pantomime, scandals and bile anyway.All that money spent and no real result is what that system produced.I’d imagine ta case could be made for suspending Mr Paterson’s wages too?
I remember a San Francisco rock group in the mid 1970s ,who delighted in the unholy moniker .”The Tubes “. They had a hit single “White Punks On Dope”;they had evolved from the much less -innocuous sounding “The Beans” and co-joined with “The Red White and Blues Band” , another Phoenix band before becoming “The Radar Men from Uranus”(yes!). These art-school renegades delighted in playing hardcore biker- bars and stirring up the citizenry with their on-stage prankery and loud music.How they came up with the wholly Norneverland expletive “tubes” as their given name ,is lost in the mists of time.Did they know that we considered tubes to be the very worst thing in all creation?
Then there is, of course ,the web video channel “YouTube” which has apparently has no problem with the Norneverland connotations of the awful word either.It makes you wonder just how far this odd tubular word has travelled and what connotations it might imply across the wider world.
The word “scum” also made an appearance in the conversation .This one has been a favourite for unionist politicians to use in relation to republicans. It is their adequate substitute for “reptiles” or “crocodiles” ,both perfectly descriptive terms to them .I suppose these reptiles rise in the water just as scum rises. These words were all being used in the context of the idea of political respect. Scum and scumbags!Yes…The scum also rises! just as republicans appear to be rising politically…..Whatever….
That is a very curious idea for us; that notion that we should respect our political opponents , even though we might actually feel that our political opponents are somehow fools or “tubes” and on the wrong track entirely. It’s even crazier when many of our politicians are actually very able at acting the “complete tube”….indeed are in essence ,the “Full Ulster Fry of Tubery” , even. Some are already so expert at it and continue to cultivate that skill to achieve ever greater heights of super-tubery…..and yet….and yet…we are supposed to pretend that they are hugely efficient individuals and that politics, at base, isn’t really a substitute for warfare after all..
Now ,”gobshite” or “bogshite” are interesting words.For those who may have led a sheltered life and never come out from under their beds or have never overheard a conversation or have never read a few books, they might sound like something profane or depraved ,but the origin is possibly the simple act of ramming the word “gob” (for mouth or “bog”, possibly slang for toilet) and the word”shite” (for shit or excerment) together , to arrive at a description of one whose mouth produces only excrement….He’d be a bona fide “gobshite” or they’d be a group of “gobshites”, for example .Of course , looking at it another way “gob”as a noun can also mean either a mass, lump, gobbet or a beak, bill or a mouth, and as a verb it can mean to spit out a gathered blob of phlegm. Now …”phlegm”….that’s another good word that might well have the heft and potential to become an even better swear-word , eh?
After some research I’ve discovered that Mr Nolan should have no worries about frightening small children, sainted grannies or petal-soft linguists by allowing this word to be unleashed.Some ten years ago, his dear departed broadcasting colleague Gerry Anderson also stirred a nest of complaints by unleashing both “shite”, “bogshite” and finally “gobshite”into the listeners’ ears and the ether ….. for those radio-waves to continue their bounce off the planets of the solar system , long after his death and indeed to carry on into the universe for the next billion years or so .It is odd to imagine them still ringing in the cold reaches of ancient space , when the earth might no longer exist at all.
“The Times “newspaper reported that Mr Anderson was describing some of his broadcasting colleagues with these choice words, but the BBC Trust rejected any complaints, also stating that Mr Anderson should now diminish his use of same words.
“The BBC Trust editorial standards committee found that the words carried little more offence than “eejit” in Irish slang.
It ruled: “The meaning conveyed by the words ‘shite’ and ‘gobshite’ in the vernacular of Northern Ireland( ie Norneverland), and in the context of this programme in particular, was different from other parts of the UK in that they did not necessarily carry the same level of offence and aggression and could be seen as a form of comedic banter.” The language was also “appropriate for children listening during school holidays”. Did this mean they were unsuitable when not on holiday?
“…However, Anderson must submit to a quota(!) of colourful language and Radio Ulster must “mitigate the overuse of the words”.
The trust said that the station had “set in place a system that ensured the programme did not use these words in a way that went beyond the audience’s expectation”.
You might think that the phrase “audience’s expectation” left an awful lot of wriggle- room.
You know there is the smell of desperation in the air when Gerry Adams is put in the frame once again.Unionist politicians Nelson McCausland and Nelson McCausland have already elevated him to the status of supreme Machiavelli who is apparently behind the bringing down of government completely on his own .In this scenario the new female leader of sinn Fein is demoted to a mere pawn of this political maestro. Brokenshire makes hooded threats to bring in Direct Rule unless the little politicians agree on some damn thing….any damn thing . None of them can accept that there is no Government worth re-invigorating at present and Nationalism generally knows that simple fact and has accepted the hard truth of it and the simple fact that the DUP have no idea how to evolve . The DUP and the British government seem oblivious to the fact that they’ve already missed all their chances already and want to blame everyone else.
You might also think that all this offence being taken is something of a zephyr in a teacup, given that our expectations have never been lower.Speaking of words that are supposed to offend , I’ve often heard the word “fuck” used several times on BBC radio 4 in the afternoons and am still waiting patiently to feel just a little bit offended. I’ve always been a patient man.
Gobshite : a poltroon or possibly foolish person who produces only ordure(dung, manure, exscrement,excreta etc) whilst speaking.
Bastard(s): a person(s) born of parents not married to each other or alternatively a scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal ,wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer and so on.
Scum and scumbags: a layer of dirt or froth on the surface of a liquid , or alternatively a contemptible or objectionable person.
Tube : a long, hollow cylinder of metal, plastic, glass, etc. for holding or transporting something, chiefly liquids or gases;a thing in the form of or resembling a tube or a Norneverlander term to generally denote a person taken to be fool or an idiot.