Room 101

THIS WEEK? Sim­per­ing cur­tain call­ers are right bunch of Con­tis

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

IT’S not of­ten that you’ll find yours truly nod­ding along in agree­ment to the words of a town hall burgher.

Whether it’s preen­ing lo­cal coun­cil­lors or self-en­ti­tled civil ser­vants with ridicu­lous ti­tles, by and large I’m nor­mally of the opin­ion that they should “get in the sea”.

But for once I find my­self in un­fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory by whole­heart­edly salut­ing the words of a Labour coun­cil­lor called Theo Black­well.

He’s done what so many of us would like to do by get­ting right up the noses of that par­tic­u­larly self-right­eous bunch who think they’re way above the rest of us mere mor­tals…AC­TORS.

A few of them – Emma Bloody Thomp­son, Tom Conti, Peter Egan – have been con­test­ing plans for a new su­per­mar­ket in north-west Lon­don.

Black­well re­sponded to their whin­ing by declar­ing: “Let’s have less of the livid luvvie protests – not ev­ery­one lo­cally thinks the same on all these is­sues.”

That was it – a mild re­buke es­sen­tially telling the af­fronted thes­pi­ans to go take a run­ning jump.

Noth­ing at with that.

Their re­sponse how­ever was to fire off let­ters con­demn­ing Black­well’s words – and had the bloody nerve to com­pare the term “luvvies” to racial abuse. Se­ri­ously. all wrong

Conti – him out of Shirley Valen­tine – said the term was “hor­ri­ble” and “abu­sive”.

He said it was “as abu­sive as ‘Yid’ or ‘n*****’” and moaned fur­ther that he found it “pe­jo­ra­tive, den­i­gra­tive and de­mean­ing”.

His pal Egan then jumped in with his bit.

“If ac­tors are voic­ing an opin­ion, in many cases a true opin­ion, the way to dis­miss that is to down­grade them with a di­min­ish­ing term for a name.

“It was ex­actly the same in Viet­nam. The Amer­i­can troops used to call the Viet Cong ‘ Char­lie’. It’s how you down­grade your army.

“It’s al­ways been re­garded by ac­tors as an in­sult­ing term. Peo­ple dis­re­gard im­por­tant opin­ion by say­ing, ‘It’s the luvvies at it again’.”

Er, hello? Is it re­ally EX­ACTLY the same as in Viet­nam? Of course it bloody isn’t. Just for starters, the Amer­i­can troops were putting their lives on the line in a mis­guided cam­paign against a fear­some and deadly en­emy.

Some­one ob­ject­ing to your ob­jec­tions to a flam­ing su­per­mar­ket pro­posal does not make for any com­par­i­son at all.

As for “luvvies” be­ing as bad as ‘ Yid’ or the N-word, well, words al­most fail me.

I doubt many of those who had to grow up with racial slurs be­ing hurled at them would likely not agree with these sim­per­ing cur­tain call­ers.

Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch and Martin Free­man are an­other pair who should spend more time read­ing out other peo­ple’s words than mak­ing us suf­fer their sti­flingly in­suf­fer­able own. And Conti? He needs to turn that “o” in his sur­name into a “u”.

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