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September 10, 2009


Joe Wilson's got nothing on British MPs

You Lie!

Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) is getting raked over the coals for yelling "You lie" during Obama's address to the Joint Session of Congress. Maybe this was inappropriate and disrespectful, and lowered the level of discourse. Wilson has already apologized, and been scolded by Dems and Republicans alike.

In theory, I like respectful dialogue. In practice, high quality heckling is so very fun. This heckling was not high quality. If Joe Wilson wants to learn, he needs to look across the Atlantic. One of my favorites is Dennis Skinner. Skinner's known as the Beast of Bolsover (his constituency) and is famous for his beautiful, well-crafted put-downs. You can find some choice quotes online. I can't decide if calling someone "slimy" and a "wart" or calling someone a "pompous sod" during debates is more exciting. They're all pretty good. He also once said, in referring to the Conservative economic policy in the 80s: "The only thing that was growing then were the lines of coke in front of boy George and the rest of the Tories"

Dennis Skinner's not the only hilarious heckler. Here are some historical and contemporary insults, from parliamentary debates and elsewhere:

“He might as well have a corncob up his arse” Alan Clark on Douglas Hurd.

“She probably thinks Sinai is the plural of sinus” Jonathan Aitken on Margaret Thatcher.

“A sheep in sheep’s clothing” Winston Churchill on Clement Attlee.

Joe Wilson, I'm not sure whether you need to raise the level of discourse, but I'd like it if you raised the level of insults.

categories: Politics
posted by Cushie at 12:21 AM | #

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