Private Eye magazine has brought a number of euphemisms into common use during its 50-plus year existence. Elderly and out of touch MPs are typified by Sir Bufton Tufton, the more traditionally minded journalists by Lunchtime O’Booze, and sex is cagily referred to as Ugandan Discussions (as in “Ugandan discussions ensued, but failed to reach Kampala”).
Squeaky overtired finger up the bum time
But the most notorious Eye characterisation is to say “tired and emotional” instead of inebriated. This dates back to 1967 and then cabinet Minister George Brown, whose thirst was the stuff of legend. It was said that the choice of Labour leader to follow Hugh Gaitskell was between a crook (Harold Wilson) and a drunk. The crook won, and Brown was thereafter rather bitter (as well as frequently ratarsed).
However, and in this case there is a significantly sized however, the Eye does not always stick to that phrase, and often describes its targets as being “in an over-tired state”, or in “a state of advanced tiredness”. The latter usage should be borne in mind when considering the latest excuse advanced by Nigel “Thirsty” Farage for his remarks about Romanians during his car crash LBC interview on Friday.
“I regret the fact that I was, sort of, completely tired out, and I didn't chose, I didn't use the form of words in response that I would have liked to have used. I should have just hit back immediately and said, look, understand there is a real problem here, you can't deny it. Too much criminality from those gangs from Romania has come to London” he told, thus digging himself in a little deeper.
So Mr Thirsty admitted to the nice people at ITV that he was “completely tired out” – by mid-morning. Or, putting it more prosaically, he had seemingly already been on the Landlord (a 4.3% ABV cask conditioned bitter widely available as a guest beer, and in pubs that are free of tie) when he arrived for his grilling at the hands of James O’Brien. And, if he wants to talk criminality, I have news for him.
This graphic compares “Percentage of all prisoners in England and Wales who are Romanian (as at 31.12.2013)” and “Percentage of individuals who have served as a UKIP MEP who were subsequently imprisoned”. As can be seen, the percentage of UKIP MEPs is more than 15 times that of Romanians imprisoned in England and Wales. Perhaps someone could tell Mr Thirsty the news.
So if Farage wants to bear down on criminality, there is one place he can make a useful start, and that would be HIS OWN PARTY. After that, he can reflect on the recollection of former UKIP head man Alan Sked, who recalls Nige talking of “the n****r vote”, and of “n**-n**s” (those who remember the ITV sitcom Love Thy Neighbour will be able to fill in the latter two blanks).
But good of the UKIP leader to admit that he was pissed last Friday morning.