maddog

Barking Bigots

The Welsh are among the dwindling company of acceptable targets for gratuitous public contempt and abuse. Hatred against other identifiable groups of people continues as before, but many bigots now feel a certain embarrassment at ranting in public. They will usually feel comfortable enough at perpetrating such abuse amongst their own kind, and can become very indignant when this is reported. What, though, is the best way of dealing with the kind of ravings we still read against Welsh people and their language, their culture, and their way of life.

A cove I knew who worked on a paper explained that, from the editorial viewpoint, there is often nothing personal in such attacks. Any group of people would do as a target. What matters is that the vilifying pieces attract a lot of attention and elicit a furious response. This boosts the circulation, and thereby enhances advertising revenue.

He went on to assert – and I only have his word for it – that an indirect approach can discourage this kind of calumnious behaviour. The first step is to buy a single copy of the issue of the periodical in question wherein the offending piece was published. The second step is to create a ream or so of facsimiles, either through photocopying or through scanning. They need not be full-sized, or, indeed, particularly legible. All that matters is that they be identifiable. The third step – and I have never tried this myself, nor do I urge you to try it – is to post them to the editor of the periodical in cheap, unstamped envelopes.

This, it is alleged, will indicate the depth of public displeasure at the publication of gratuitous calumnies. For my part, I prefer studiously to ignore them. If the perpetrators fail to elicit the angry response they desire, this will ruin their day for them.

8 thoughts on “Barking Bigots”

  1. Thank you for your question. Here is the answer: ‘The Welsh are among the dwindling company of acceptable targets for gratuitous public contempt and abuse. Hatred against other identifiable groups of people continues as before, but many bigots now feel a certain embarrassment at ranting in public. They will usually feel comfortable enough at perpetrating such abuse amongst their own kind, and can become very indignant when this is reported. What, though, is the best way of dealing with the kind of ravings we still read against Welsh people and their language, their culture, and their way of life.

    A cove I knew who worked on a paper explained that, from the editorial viewpoint, there is often nothing personal in such attacks. Any group of people would do as a target. What matters is that the vilifying pieces attract a lot of attention and elicit a furious response. This boosts the circulation, and thereby enhances advertising revenue.

    He went on to assert – and I only have his word for it – that an indirect approach can discourage this kind of calumnious behaviour. The first step is to buy a single copy of the issue of the periodical in question wherein the offending piece was published. The second step is to create a ream or so of facsimiles, either through photocopying or through scanning. They need not be full-sized, or, indeed, particularly legible. All that matters is that they be identifiable. The third step – and I have never tried this myself, nor do I urge you to try it – is to post them to the editor of the periodical in cheap, unstamped envelopes.

    This, it is alleged, will indicate the depth of public displeasure at the publication of gratuitous calumnies. For my part, I prefer studiously to ignore them. If the perpetrators fail to elicit the angry response they desire, this will ruin their day for them.’

  2. I ask the question again…. I’ve heard this all before, over and over and over again. Any new ideas, insights, etc?

  3. I am from the USA. It is true that in the USA when you say Wales sometimes you get a blank stare but no different then when you say Belgium or Basque . with some you get that look when you say Portugal. Yet when you say Welsh to some people they say, Burton, Betty Davis, Merlin ,Hopkins, Thomas Jefferson. See ignorant people are EVERYWHERE but well read, Insightful HUMANS are a little rarer but far more important. So only let the the rarer important people judge Wales, the ignorant ones can stay slow and stupid in their isolated minds.

  4. What you say is, of course, quite true. It’s interesting how people in particular areas or trades will often be particularly aware of a given group. One of my friends travelling in the USA found an area where drive-through hamburger joints were replaced by drive-through Cornish pasty joints. As you say, there is a wealth of human variety, and decent people everywhere rejoice in this. On a more depressing note, it strikes me that bigotry seems to draw on a very narrow set of stereotypes, which are then applied to whatever groups of people are chosen as target.

  5. Here’s something for Byron to think about. There’s a popular new comedy show on the BBC which features a Welsh character called Mr Barber. Barber is the frequent butt of sheep jokes with the cry Baa-Baa following him around.

    Would the BBC feature a black character being pursued by monkey sounds – purely in the interests of humour of course?

    Bigots steer clear of openly resorting to stereotyps nowadaya but the Welsh are still fair game.

  6. Welsh people and Liverpudlians are just about the only groups in the UK who you can still openly denigrate in the media without any backlash whatsoever.

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