Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Essex girls look to Bob Russell to defend their honour

Back in 2004 I wrote a House Points column (scroll down to 9 April) that made fun of Essex MPs. "Why do Essex MPs support VAT? Because they can spell it." That kind of thing.

Although I had taken pains to exclude him, and made no mention of Essex girls, that column brought a ludicrous trenchant letter from Bob Russell, the Lib Dem MP for Colchester. Published in Liberal Democrat News for 23 April, it said:

Had Jonathan Calder made reference to people because of their colour, religion, sexual orientation or disability in what he presumably thought were “jokes” in his House Points column in issue 799 there would have been outrage from Liberal Democrats.

The fact that he used the word “Essex” instead of any of the descriptive words which would have been deemed to be offensive does not make his jokes “acceptable”.

Some of us have grown tired of the insulting “Essex jokes”, generally aimed at women, which have no place in civilised society and certainly not in the national newspaper of a political party which professes to deplore discrimination and derogatory comments.

I trust there will be no more offensive and insulting references about Essex and those of us who hail from the county.

So what is Bob Russell going to do about David Taylor? Yesterday the Labour MP for North-West Leicestershire, asked Tessa Jowell to:
deny the scurrilous rumours that, to encourage the people of Essex to be more involved, it is intended that the sports of putting the medallion and throwing the white high heels should be included?
Come on, Bob. The women of Essex are relying upon you. Liberal England will be keeping a close eye on your response.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bob Russell - so boring his secret service codename is Bob Russell.