Sunday, January 11, 2009

Prince Harry, the ‘Paki’ and the ‘Raghead’

Cranmer was not going to comment upon this, for it is tabloid tittle-tattle of the most insidious kind, contrived to undermine the all that is admirable about British establishment, the political order, the Royal Family, and a young man who is fulfilling his vocation and who has served his country on the front line, risking life and limb without a second thought, in order that tabloid journalists might remain free to spout their trivial absurdities and malicious falsehoods with impunity.

It transpires that the News of the World has discovered a video, made by Prince Harry in 2006 while he was an officer cadet. This newspaper has, of course, sought to limit all offence by posting it on its website and making it available to the world. Cranmer shall not link to it.

The alleged ‘unforgivable’ racist remarks were made as the Prince filmed his colleagues snoozing. He sees an Asian colleagues, and says: "Anybody else around here?... Ah, our little Paki friend, Ahmed."

Later, he sees one of his colleagues with camouflage netting over his head, and he says: "It's Dan the Man... you look like a raghead."

And so, according to the mainstream media (while Gaza continues to blaze, the BBC has chosen to lead with this trivial story), the integrity of the whole Royal Family has been called into question, relations have been strained, and Prince Harry has been obliged to issue an apology, insisting that he had used the term without malice:

"Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term can be, and is extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause. However, on this occasion three years ago, Prince Harry used the term without any malice and as a nickname about a highly popular member of his platoon. There is no question that Prince Harry was in any way seeking to insult his friend."

However, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has said the racism claims ‘appear to be disturbing’. They are to make a formal complaint to the MoD.

Prominent Muslim politician Khalid Mahmood said: "This might have been said in a light-hearted manner but ultimately it's offensive to a lot of people. He needs to understand that this is not acceptable, especially in light of the office that he is going to hold in the Army and as a member of the royal family."

And the Muslim Council of Britain has jumped on the bandwagon, condemning the Prince for undermining race relations within the army.

What a palaver.

Are these idiots not aware that very many British-Asians call each other ‘Paki’? Do they understand why many black people in parts of the US call each other ‘nigger’, and that it is a badge they wear with pride? Are they not familiar with the concept that language evolves, and that yesterday’s term of abuse may become today’s term of endearment? Is it racist to call the Irish ‘Paddy’, the Scots ‘Jock’, or the Welsh ‘Taff’? Or may such terms be used without malice? May one identify the English by the food they eat? Is it racist to refer to the Italians as pizza-eating this or spaghetti that? If so, why was William Hague appointed Shadow Foreign Secretary (of all roles) after referring to the French as ‘cheese-eating surrender monkeys’?

There was a time when calling someone a ‘Christian’ (a ‘little Christ’) was derogatory and insulting. The term ‘Protestant’ was similarly coined.

The News of the World and the BBC ought to be grateful that Prince Harry never used the word ‘poppadom’, for then Her Majesty and the Prime Minister would have found themselves having to tour India and apologising to the entire sub-continent for Britain’s institutionally racist attitudes.

42 Comments:

Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11 January 2009 at 10:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have got ginger hair, and I find the references to ginger pubes at the end of this video extremely offensive to us ging'rr mingers. Absolutely shocking I say.

11 January 2009 at 11:11  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Well said MAC,but the third world is not grown up or mature.As an Englishman i am seriously offended,almost violently so ,when a bunch of ragheads publicly proclaim that they are taking over my country,are going to force me under pain of death to limit my god given right to free speech,and if i do not behave as they wish they will cut my head off,that in a Christian country,aliens are premitted to parade an effigy of thier cow-god down the middle of my street on a sunday outside a church while a service is in progress,but the English being offended seems to be irrelevant since we do not count, have had no say upon wether we wish to live in a savage jungle,and any mention of fair play is completely racist.

11 January 2009 at 11:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is notable that the so called "victim" could not care less about the "insult". I know who I would rather have by my side and it is not any of these "professional victims". I have been called Honkey and Snowflake and given back the banter as well as took it. I do not judge anybody by the colour of their skin but by the colour of their actions (and to the same standard as I expect from myself). Prince Harry is doing something that the Muslim Council of Britain will never do - SERVE their Country.
Michael

11 January 2009 at 11:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny that. Some of the papers very obviously contriving to keep Gaza off the front pages and then along comes a three year old video which drops the royal family into the frame. So whose shelf has that been sitting on for the last however long, waiting for the need to use?

11 January 2009 at 11:39  
Blogger Sue said...

We're getting far too touchy. Some people actually use name calling as a term of endearment!

In the past everyone was fair game and took it in good humour unless it was quite obviously malicious.

We were always taught "sticks and stones"... What has happened?

Constantly highlighting it is pathetic and causes resentment!

11 January 2009 at 12:11  
Anonymous Shaven-headed tattooed knuckledragger said...

If you look at the etymology you'll find that 'Pak' is an Islamic term which means 'ritually pure', as distinct from 'Najis' which means 'ritually impure' http://www.imamalimasjid.com/students/najasat.htm

Therefore adding the 'i' suffix makes 'Pak' into a noun with the sense of 'one who is...' (As with jihad/jihadi).

Hence there is no way that 'Paki' could be considered offensive.

BTW 'Pakistan' means 'The Land of the Islamically Pure'

11 January 2009 at 12:31  
Blogger Microcosm said...

The establishment has undermined itself by its very actions and why Gaza and London burn, they now seek bogeymen under the bed, such as this paltry storyline.

Wills has a long way to go yet, if Grandpapa Prince Philip be his mentor!

No wonder the Duke is seeking special privacy laws.

11 January 2009 at 13:38  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Times of India writes "Pak" quite regularly in its leaders

11 January 2009 at 13:41  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr McKenzie,

His Grace does so wish you had not used a certain word in your post (and you will know which one he means). The substantive points could easily have been made without resorting to such a base level of expression.

His Grace is now pondering deleting your otherwise informative post, for his blog is a place of intelligent and erudite comment in which vulgarities and gratuitous offence are not tolerated. He has no problem (and never has had) with a full and frank exchange of views, for such is intrinsic to the healthy operation of free speech.

Please see 'Cranmer's Bottom Line' in the side bar.

11 January 2009 at 14:07  
Blogger Willie said...

Who stole the tape? How much was paid for the tape? Is not sanctimony the most unpleasant aspect of politically correct personages?

11 January 2009 at 14:46  
Blogger McKenzie said...

Seeing how you have used the words 'Paki' and 'Nigger', then it must have been the 'F' word which has caused concern for the sensitivities of His grace's communicants.

I was getting over emotional it seems, but apologise I cannot (will not): The Prince is a refreshing breath of air in a stifling atmosphere of stale pompous twittery.

I feel that I agree with Willle, if someone was to leak out my diary it would make your teeth curl, but I am a nobody. The timing of all this seems very convenient to me though, and I am prepared to forgive the pompous twits, because if my instincts are serving me well, I feel there is an undercurrent of English stealth at work here. And it has my full support. LONG LIVE ISRAEL!!!!!!!

11 January 2009 at 16:06  
Blogger Captain Haddock said...

Your Grace, as ever, is a voice of reason.
It reminds the Captain of the ridiculous fuss made recently over Edward saving his dogs from a fight over a pheasant by taking a stick to them.(As any sensible dog owner knows, if your dogs get into a fight you MUST keep them apart and a stick is the quickest and safest way to do it.)
Another example of the crass sentimentalisation of our society.

11 January 2009 at 16:10  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Cranmer, you once deleted a comment of mine specifically because it contained the word "Paki". I am glad that you have mellowed.

11 January 2009 at 16:43  
Blogger Christian-Jedi-Alliance said...

Old sins cast long shadows it seems, but shadows are fickle and change direction with the light.

11 January 2009 at 17:04  
Blogger Dissenter said...

I object to being callad a kufr

11 January 2009 at 17:32  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

This is just 'normal'army talk and the reaction is just way over the top.

we are becomming so sensetive its pathetyic. I say this as a fat git brit.

11 January 2009 at 17:39  
Blogger McKenzie said...

Obama’s Worst Pakistan Nightmare

“men in caves can’t do this.”

Read the full story and weep: The New York Times

11 January 2009 at 18:13  
Anonymous Fred said...

@Dissenter: Wear the badge of Kufr with pride. As His Grace has said, the term Protestant was invented as a term of abuse, but became the mainstream denomination in this land of ours.

Let them call us Kuffar, then let us make our religious discrimination claims against them!

11 January 2009 at 18:22  
Anonymous Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel said...

We papists are praying fervently that Harry never accedes to the throne. Half a millenium later and we are still trying to deal with the mess caused by the last King Henry.

11 January 2009 at 18:30  
Blogger Witterings From Witney said...

Your Grace has summed up, in your inimitable manner, that which I wished to say.

Having made an attempt on my blog which began to 'peter out' due to my frustration and annoyance, I have taken the liberty to linking to your comments and trust you have no objection.

11 January 2009 at 18:37  
Blogger Mark Wadsworth said...

I've set up a Fun Online Poll Have you ever used the word 'Paki'?

11 January 2009 at 18:46  
Blogger Tachybaptus said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11 January 2009 at 19:14  
Blogger Tachybaptus said...

Shaven-Headed Tattooed Knuckledragger: the name 'Pakistan' does indeed mean 'Land of the Pure', but in fact this is a retro-explanation, since the name was built up as an acronym of the provinces of the country -- Punjab, Afghania (also known as North-West Frontier Province), Kashmir, Sindh, and Balochistan. How dull.

Cranmer: the word 'christianus' was indeed originally intended as derogatory, but -anus isn't a diminutive, it just signifies attachment like '-an' in English. You might compare the original use of the word to that of 'Moonie'.

11 January 2009 at 19:19  
Anonymous MrDavies said...

In general usage, "Paki" is just the short form of "Pakistani". It is not the use of the word that should be considered, but the way it is used.

Similarly when someone, an American or an Australian for example, calls me a "Brit", I do not find it offensive.

The tabloids just want to sell papers, but the BBC has no such excuse since we are forced to fund it anyway.

It is the Left that constantly seeks to undermine our country and our culture.

I can't say I particularly like Prince Harry, but he has served and performed his duty in the military and therefore does deserve a modicum of respect and some leeway.

11 January 2009 at 22:18  
Blogger len.allan said...

Surely this P C thing is getting out of hand!
If remarks are made without malice doesn`t this come under the definition of banter, a common British tradition?.

11 January 2009 at 22:47  
Anonymous Rob Farrington said...

My fiance is from South Carolina and is part Cherokee, part Cree, part German and part Irish.

She doesn't mind jokes about wigwams and scalps, and refers to herself as a redneck. Should I avoid reference to things like panzers though, just in case she's offended?

I WAS under the impression that we could joke with each other about anything, what with us being close, and all. I'd hate to think that I'd broken the BBC's standards of political correctness, though.

11 January 2009 at 23:00  
Blogger Dick Puddlecote said...

Nice post Cranmer. I was at college with a guy from Southall who used the word 'Paki' himself as a self-deprecatory term. I spent two years with him and we were inseparable. We had great times and I'd throw the insult at him every now and then when he made me laugh, he'd hit back by calling me a 'whitey twat'.

Nothing vitriolic, just banter between very good friends.

I wonder sometimes if those that wish to portray the Harry situation don't actually want further racial emnity.

11 January 2009 at 23:18  
Anonymous Paul Sorene said...

A Paki "friend"- the scumbag!

http://www.anorak.co.uk/celebrities/199846.html

12 January 2009 at 03:11  
OpenID BL@KBIRD said...

Your Grace has perhaps overlooked the most important aspect. The Mohammadans have publicly rebuked a Royal Prince for offending sacred Islam and the precious slaves of Allah who you are so blessed to have among you in such prolific numbers. Now that Royalty has been chastised and made to kiss the feet of Islam, how will a simple plowman dare to ponder the mysteries of Islam louder than a whisper in the dark to himself?

12 January 2009 at 03:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would "Camel Jockey" fall in lines of a racial name as towel head? I feel sorry for Prince Harry.

12 January 2009 at 04:10  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Ah well. 'Tis just another of those little things sent to try us: true Christians bear the Cross - Imitatio Christi - on the Way to the Truth, the Light, and the Life.

My prayers and all my support are with Prince Harry. I will never forget the image of the two princes following their mother's coffin; and I will never forget the race of 'the other man.'

God bless Prince Harry, and not least for befriending people of that race, and for serving in armed forces who are surely trying to help those people.

12 January 2009 at 06:07  
Anonymous Voyager said...

"since the name was built up as an acronym of the provinces of the country"

Hardly a country really more an agglommeration of factionalism created by the British and Prince Harry's great-grand-uncle in a fit of madness

12 January 2009 at 07:25  
Blogger Dungeekin said...

In my seven years in the Forces, I served with the following:

Several Paddys;

A couple of Micks (no, that wasn't their real name);

Two black guys, called 'Chalky' and 'Roots' respectively;

An Asian lad called 'Cornershop'.

Were these racist nicknames? Nope. They were good colleagues, good naval ratings and good mates. It's just a name.

Intent is everything.

This is just something old and irrelevant for the Tabloid Gutter to get themselves aerated about - nothing more.

D

12 January 2009 at 09:42  
Blogger McKenzie said...

If you go to another country right, and part of your thing is to wrap up in bed sheets, and do other weird and wonderful things, then you are going to attract attention, yeah? The onus will then be on you to prove yourself and show that all this weirdness is simply part of your culture and is harmless, and in know way poses any sort of threat, you know, like it doesn't mean that you and your kind are going to blow up our trains and buses, and crash airplanes into our buildings, and demand that we change everything we hold dear about our own little idiosyncrasies, and generally become a major pain in the bottom (bottom is ok right?). You know what I mean innit?

12 January 2009 at 12:49  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Tachybaptus said, "-anus isn't a diminutive".
It certainly isn't, in the case of some people.

12 January 2009 at 16:23  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

Your grace,

I find this whole thing fascinating, and having watched the video, I have three comments to make.

1) As you say,the media fuss about the use of the word 'Paki' is completely over the top.

2) The use of the words 'paki' was among the least offensive things about it. I am old fashioned, and a couple of the other four letter words the prince used struck me as much more offensive. The press has not commented on this, but strangely enough, the 'News of the World' clearly thought that they were more offensive than 'Paki', for they were replaced by a row of asterisks, while 'Paki' was not.

3) The prince was extremely stupid to make a video which would depicted him as a rather laddish character, and extremely naive if he didn't think it would become public. Of course, he was young when it was made, but many people of fewer years and less breeding show a lot more sense.

12 January 2009 at 17:30  
Blogger Wattock Hunt said...

Harry should stick with the generic, and traditional, wog if he's going to refer to them again.

There's no need to discriminate between pakis, asians, ragheads... as the whole lot are as bad as each other. And anyway I hear discrimination is out of fashion at the moment.

12 January 2009 at 22:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just a farce! Paki is used in India to refer to a Muslim without any racist undertones, in the same way Catholic refers to a non-Unionist in Northern Ireland. In the UK, we use words like Taff for Welsh people, Paddy or Mick for Irish people, and Jock for Scottish people. There is no racism intended in that, so why should Paki be regarded any differently? Is it because they are brown skinned? This is just ridiculous; the next thing you know, racism will be screamed for what southern English people call northern English people: "northern monkeys". Just because something might pertain to skin colour does not make it racist. We joke about people with ginger hair, people with curly hair, fat people, skinny people, short people, tall people ... that is the beauty of jokes and friendships. I think people need to lighten up!!!

13 January 2009 at 16:46  
Blogger McKenzie said...

It has emerged that Prince Charlie calls his favourite Paki 'sooty'. You couldn't make it up.

13 January 2009 at 17:19  
Anonymous some bloke said...

Such a shame that Prince Harry felt the need to apologise and so help the PC circus on its way.

Phil the Hun would have have told them to get lost.

14 January 2009 at 01:19  
Blogger The Alternative Take said...

Whichever way you look at it it was a stupid thing to say, and even stupider of him that he thought he wouldnt get caught.

Good blog here, nice one.

I've done a bit on this here: http://thealternativetake.blogspot.com/

9 February 2009 at 01:43  

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