Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jokes Risky in Australia too

In Australia and in Britain, the mayor of a major city is referred to as a "Lord" mayor. The city concerned below is Brisbane, Australia (capital of the State of Queensland). A municipal election takes place there shortly:

"A Lord mayoral aspirant is facing calls for her withdrawal from next month's elections after circulating an email that talks about being gang raped by her Labor opponent. Louise Day - who fronts a rock band under her stage name Punxie - was last night refusing to pull out of the race, saying the email was meant in jest.

Ms Day, a former speech writer for Education Queensland, says she does not feel comfortable referring to Labor's lord mayoral candidate Greg Rowell by his first name "in case he takes it as a come-on and invites his cricket team to gang rape me. "But Rowell just sounds like something I barfed. I think I am just going to call him, 'jug head' because, you know, of his ears," she wrote.


Robust political abuse was once normal throughout the English-speaking world but an artifical politeness seems to be descending. I think the new way is more likely to lead to things being covered up.