Wednesday 14 January 2009

Dirty Harry

When you hear about another News of the World 'exclusive' about one of the young Brit Royals, I cringe.
This time it's about a three-year-old video in which Prince Harry is questioning whether a fellow officer is feeling "gay" or "a bit queer on the side". He also calls friends "paki" and a "raghead" (being a Middle Eastern).
I really wonder why so much fuss gets made of such informal chats. In context, they are harmless and certainly not intended to be derogatory in any way. Of that I'm sure. I know language can be powerful and words can be loaded with discriminatory fuel. But after watching the video at the centre of this latest Royal storm, it's harmless. Paki refers to a mate of his that is Pakistani. How can that be racist? I reckon we're getting way too PC these days.

24 year old Harry, third in line to the throne, gave an apology for his comments. However the British Ministry of Defence said "neither the Army nor the Armed Forces tolerates inappropriate behaviour in any shape or form. This specific case will be dealt with in line with normal Army procedures."
"The words he used are more in currency among British people than British people like to admit," says Gail Walker at the Belfast Telegraph. "Just look at all the lapses Harry has been involved in: underage drinking, smoking cannabis, grappling with the paparazzi, even the infamous Nazi uniform incident. It sounds like a catalogue of New Lad rights of passage par excellence."

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