Sunday, 31 October 2010

Ginger Rodents and Rachida Dati again.

Much excitement over here, I explain for overseas readers as Harriet ('Hattie') Harman who is Deputy Leader of the Labour Party has made some disobliging comments about Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury - the Beaker lookalike the rabbit mentioned last Wednesday. Hattie, who the rabbit met a couple of times a few years ago and didn't take to, pronounced of the Beaker lookalike 'many of us in the Labour Party are conservationists and we all love the red squirrel but there's one ginger rodent we never want to see in the highlands of Scotland - Danny Alexander'.

Um righty. A little gingerist perhaps. Cue uproar. George Lyon, Scottish Liberal Democrat election chair pronounced gravely 'there is no depths to which the Labour Party will not stoop'. A little hyperbolic perhaps. Hattie called him a 'ginger rodent'. She didn't try to blow him up or frame him as the supposed centre of a paedophile ring. Beaker can dish it back, it transpires. 'I am proud to be ginger and rodents do valuable work cleaning up mess others leave behind. Red squirrel deserves to survive, unlike Labour' he riposted.

So snooks to Hattie. Anyway, the upshot is that Hattie has withdrawn the gingerist insult and apologised to Beaker. Her remarks may not have been the most tactful thing to say in Scotland where apparently 5% of the population is - erm - ginger as opposed to 1% in Europe generally.

Meanwhile en France all is not well. Regular readers will recall former the French Justice Minister's unfortunate slip of the tongue when she confused inflation and - erm - fellation. As one does. Now some bold French fellow has e-mailed Rachida asking for 'an inflation'. Rachida was not amused and the poor fellow has been arrested. After being kept in a cell for 48 hours, he has been charged with displaying contempt towards a public servant (sic), an offence which is punishable with a prison sentence of up to a month and a €10,000 (£8,700) fine and is due to appear in court on the 3rd December.

This seems a touch over the top. The French sense of humour is sometimes more than passing strange but it does seem excessive for a democratic country to have a milder variant of the 'insulting the glorious leader' type offence that fills the prisons in various totalitarian countries used to prosecute someone for making a bad joke. Below is Rachida contemplating the bold fellow's unusual request. Hat Tip to Mahal.


tony said...

Talking Of Which, Where Has Charles Kennedy Gone?

sybil law said...

What the ?! Jail time for a snide comment?!
So glad I'm American. I'd be in jail all the time. (Not really. It's not like I run into politicians all the time or anything. Still - if I did.)

The ginger vote - that's funny.
(My word is fligatio)

savannah said...

insanity rules the world, sugar! is there nowhere to run??? xoxoxo

Pearl said...

Good for Beaker!

And I echo Savannah: insanity rules the world.


Badger said...

If you cannot take the mickey out of those in elected office there is simply no point in having them there. This is why they have Republicans in the USA.

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

Belgium was just as bad--it must be a civil law thing.

Aberfeldy Distillery has a red squirrel on its label due to a colony of the rare beasts nearby. The label prior to Bacardi's takeover is much nicer than the current thing.

The actual Laci loves squirrels and chases them at every opportunity: even if they are endangered. They are even more endangered when she's around.

Beware the The Connaught Square Squirrel Hunt!

white rabbit said...

Tony - He's still about being less than happy about the coalition - I quite like him, I must confess.

Sybil - No jail time for Sybil! The rabbit will make sure of that!

Savvy/Pearl - insanity does indeed rule. Gibber... Drool... Bark...

Badger I read a nice P.J.O'Rourke quote about Republicans - 'The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it'.

No doubt...

Laci - The Connaught Square Squirrel Hunt has 961 Facebook friends! Blimey and Tally-Ho!

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

CSSH was also on the cover of the Updated Sloane Ranger Handbook--Pretty good for a joke.

Mahal said...

There's no pomposity greater than the pomposity of the right-wing French. Just what is left of liberté, égalité et fraternité under the vile Sarkozy?

Anonymous said...

'Contempt towards a public servant'!? It was a joke! Where is the contempt!?

Maybe the devil is in the details of the email, but I would make this sort of joke at my best friend over such a lingustic slip-up. I do not have contempt for my friends. The contempt seems to be on the part of the official who thinks she is above criticism and familiarity from filthy common oiks.

And I bet the guy was alone only in saying it, not in thinking it. ;-)

white rabbit said...

Laci - Tally-Double Ho!

Mahal/daily g (to whom welcome to my humble blog) - No, this is really not appropriate for a democratic country. Apparently Sarkozy goes psycho if someone has a pop at politicians.