Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Careless Words

Oh dear. Some people in the public eye really should be more careful how they phrase things.

First up is MP Julie Kirkbride, expressing her concern - in debate about moves to make secret the addresses of candidates for parliamentary election - about nutty constituents. "You never know", she observes poignantly "if someone is going to explode ...".

Clearly a reference to the recent outbreak of suicide bombers in leafy Bromsgrove. Although others arguing in favour of the measure claims it has nothing to do with terrorism.

Then there's the English Cricket Umpire just back from being shot at in Pakistan. He appeared on the Beeb's News at One today to complain that he had been promised "Presidential Level" security.

So what's his problem? A short grounding in the history of Pakistan over the last fifty years or so suggests that that is exactly what he got. Pakistani Presidents have an unfortunate habit of not dying from old age.

I suppose he could have asked for "Prime Ministerial security" - but even that, as Benazir Bhutto found out to her cost, has its drawbacks.

OK. Is this crude and bad taste? Perhaps: but so too is being so ignorant of a country and its history that one can presume, as this guy does, that one can insist on everything being "just like home" - and then whinge when it isn't.

Perhaps the Pakistanis have more serious problems to worry about right now than the whining of an overseas visitor.

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