— at least not in the British parliament.
The Independent has an article on some of the rules that apply to debates in the British parliament. Along with a dress code which excludes the wearing of armor or the bearing of weapons it lists several words which are not to be used, namely…
pipsqueak, swine, rat, blackguard and tart
MP’s are also forbidden to speak in Welsh or to accuse each other of being a liar or a hypocrite. I can understand the bit about being a liar or a hypocrite since it would be rather redundant given the fact they all got elected. That is more or less confirmation of those two vices. But somehow, I don’t think a voluminous enough list could exist to cover every insult one could think of. The ones they picked for banning seem rather mild actually.
I guess the upshot is if, like me, you had plans to get elected to the British Parliament so you could wear your armor and swear at people in Welsh you might want to make other arrangements. Some dreams are just not to be.
Another rule I thought was interesting is that picture taking is banned. Given the ubiquity of digital devices, and the fact that the newer generations cannot be separated from them, I think we will see selfies become more or less the norm in rather short order. In fact, it would not surprise me if people simply stopped meeting in the flesh. I have hired enough young people recently to know that they are uncomfortable dealing with other humans directly. I wonder though if their avatars will be forced to abide by the same dress code once everything goes digital? Yeah, they are sitting there in their underwear scarfing Doritos but one must keep up appearances for the wider world. It is bad enough we have to watch our politicians screw us while fully clothed.
Rules like these are not uncommon in elected bodies. For just a sampling here are some of the words banned in various parliaments.
Australia – liar, dumbo
Canada – For such nice people they certainly have an interesting list of words and phrases, including; trained seal, evil genius, pompous ass, blatherskite, racist and my personal favorite, “piece of shit.” That last one would do away with 75% of the vocabulary I use when talking about politicians. Throw in “lying” and I am completely out of words. In fact, I am pretty sure Obama would physically cease to exist were those words completely removed from usage.
India – Bandicoot, scumbag, bag of shit, communist
Ireland – corner boy (one who loafs around idly on street corners — and yeah I thought of something worse at first too), guttersnipe, communist
New Zealand – scuttles for his political funk hole (I will give a prize for the best guess as to what that even means), his brains could revolve inside a peanut shell for a thousand years without touching the sides (a typically longwinded way for a politician to say “peanut brain”), communist
There is a more complete list here if you are interested.
One thing that heartens me is that “communist” is so seen as one of the worst insults in so many different countries. I fear though it is singled out for the same reason liar and hypocrite are — it hits too close to home.
So until next time, scuttles to all of you and may your funk holes always be full.