Archive for January 9th, 2006

How To Make Hard Work of a Thank You Speech

I met Mary O’Rourke once, about 15 years ago, when she awarded me a prize in her capacity as Minister for Education. She was very nice, smart and amusing, and she congratulated me on my efforts, managing to express herself without recourse to racist slurs, even though I had been working very hard indeed, as was my wont in those golden days post-Italia ’90.

In using the phrase ‘working like blacks’, Mary O’Rourke is no different from hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people on this island, of her generation and younger, who indulge in casual racism. One may argue that as a public representative she ought to know better, and this is true, but one should also point out that she speaks the same language as many of her potential voters.

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January 2006
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