Friday, 1 November 2013

Slegs vir Blankes

The News Letter reports that a DUP member of Down District Council is to boycott its new bilingual notepaper. Like a hardy US survivalist, William Walker has stocked up on the current English-only design and promised, when that runs out, to print his own rather than use the new version, which has the temerity to feature Irish alongside the English.

Not so long ago the Blether Region was at Glasgow Museum of Transport in its swish new home by the River Clyde. One display discussed the railways in apartheid South Africa. Although, notionally speaking, facilities such as waiting rooms were provided for both whites and blacks, in practice it was very often a case of whites only. Where that extended to bridges over the tracks, blacks simply had to chance it, since using a route intended for whites would risk beating or arrest. The upshot of this was that many people were needlessly killed or maimed when trains ploughed into them.

Mr. Walker seems to have something of an apartheid attitude himself, although in his case it is he who seems intent on breenging over the tracks. Indeed, the phrase "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face" springs to mind.

The Afrikaans for "white", incidentally, is blank — which, by a strange caprice of fate, is also an English word perfectly describing both his notepaper and his mind.

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