A 70-year old woman abused for using a 150-year-old idiom

A councilwoman in Brimscombe, Gloucestershire, committed a crime.

I’m not sure whether it’s forensically classified as a felony but, if it isn’t yet, it will be soon.

For the time being, this salt of the English earth, who runs a B&B and organises the village fete, hasn’t been sent to prison, as she doubtless will be if she re-offends when she’s 75.

Meanwhile she was sent on a diversity and equality course, which will set her back £150 plus the train fair to London.

Her crime? She described herself as ‘the nigger in the woodpile’, which offended two of her fellow councillors.

Neither of her opponents belongs to the racial group justified to resent being described by the word in the idiom. This group being barely represented in their county, neither could they have felt the vicarious pain of their constituents.

As native speakers of English, they certainly know that the expression is desemanticised, as most clichés get to be after a century or two.

Nonetheless they felt called upon to feel offended, as they’ve been trained to be by the ethos of modernity. The same training makes them sanctimonious snitches, which they proved by shopping the poor woman.

As a result, she’s being subjecting to a stupid, unjust and humiliating punishment, and not for the first time either: “I’ve already done equality training with the council,” she says, “but it was mainly on gays and travellers.”

Mrs Peters spoke without rancour but with bemusement: “I’m a Christian and believe you should love everyone whoever they are, regardless of their colour or creed, so I think for me to go on this course is a bit silly.”

It is rather. I’d actually call it something worse than that, but then Mrs Peters is obviously a gentler person than me.

She then went on to prove that she’s still an inveterate criminal at heart: “‘English is such a lovely language. I feel sad the way it is being changed. I asked my grandchildren yesterday how they say ‘eeny, meeny, miney, mo’ now. One said ‘catch a spider by its toe’, another said ‘catch a tiger by its toe’. Spiders don’t even have toes.”

Neither do tigers, but this isn’t about zoology. It’s about modernity asserting its power over taste, tradition, common sense, language, religion and whatever else stands in its way.

Trying to match Mrs Peters’s benign civility and resignation, I’m prepared to accept that we today have much more delicate sensibilities than our forebears. We’re all hypersensitive and our skin is gossamer-thin.

We are also imbued with the ideological, if somewhat counterintuitive, belief that we’re all equal. It’s in this spirit that I’d like to share this complaint with you.

What about my friends and me? We too are grossly offended, and not just once in a while. Everywhere we turn, our senses, intellects, tastes and beliefs aren’t just insulted but stamped into the dirt.

Aren’t we tautologically as equal as Mrs Peters’s fellow councillors? Or are they oxymoronically more so? Surely not, if you believe in equality as firmly as I do.

So how come no one cares about us? How come we have no recourse? How come we can’t send our offenders to a taste, propriety, politeness or sanity course? How come no one stands up for our human rights?

I can’t speak for my friends, although they’d be happy for me to do so. However, here, in no particular order, is an abbreviated list of things that offend me, and I know I’m leaving a lot out:


  • Tattooed, facially metalled louts and slags overrunning our country
  • People mangling the English language out of ignorance or, worse, perverse ideology
  • Political correctness of any kind
  • Preponderance, indeed the very existence, of anti-musical, satanic, shamanistic noise called music, which assails one’s ears everywhere one goes (including the Proms)
  • Self-serving spivs who run our governments
  • Sexual perversion elevated to social virtue
  • Thousands of mosques preaching hatred for Christians, Jews, the West in general and everything about our civilisation
  • Tony Blair, Dave Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband
  • Grossly rude attacks on Christianity that, unlike even a mild opprobrium of other faiths, aren’t just unpunished but tacitly encouraged
  • What passes for literature these days
  • What passes for classical music these days
  • What passes for art these days, i.e. unmade beds, pickled animals and close-up pictures of genitalia
  • TV and radio announcers who speak with demotic accents and grammar
  • People penalised for their words and thoughts but not for crimes like burglary
  • Education that doesn’t educate
  • Medical care that doesn’t care
  • 200,000 abortions every year
  • Creeping euthanasia
  • EU Maoists and Trotskyists running our lives
  • EU in general
  • Footballers making more in a week than teachers do in five years
  • Most footballers not being worth the fortune they get
  • Most teachers not being worth even the pittance they get
  • Foreign policy designed to punish our friends and reward our enemies
  • Rampant egalitarianism
  • Press with nonexistent moral and intellectual standards
  • Russian gangsters buying into social acceptability in London
  • Ditto Arab sheiks
  • Ditto Chinese communists
  • Homomarriage
  • Anglicanism becoming a social club barring Christians from membership
  • Britain having lost the right to keep the riff-raff out
  • Pall Mall clubs admitting women
  • Reverse discrimination
  • British boroughs and whole towns imposing Sharia
  • Lambeth calling itself a nuclear-free zone
  • All those facilitators of optimisation, optimisers of facilitation and diversity consultants in the NHS or anywhere else

Last but not least, let’s not forget diversity and equality courses, acting as the modern equivalents of tarring and feathering. You know, like the one shoved down poor Mrs Peters’s throat.













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