Friday, 19 October 2007

Call the UK a third world country once more if you want to be punched

One of the current buzz phrases being used a lot by the right wing in the "modern" online community is that Gordon Brown is a "third rate manager for a third world country" or the topological equivalent.[1]
I am not a violent man but the next time I see or hear this and I know where the person concerned is I am going to have to lamp them. We have the sixth biggest economy in the world (GDP using PPP), we have 3% of the worlds wealth but only 0.91% of the world population, our life expectancy is twelve years more than the world average and almost forty years better than Swaziland at the bottom of the pile. We are in the top thirty in quality of life indexes such as those used by UN and the Economist Intelligence Unit. I just don't read that as the description of a third world country.
My objection to this label isn't based on patriotism, but the fact that it is one of the most pathetically degrading and patronising things anyone living in the relatively luxury of the UK can say. Anyone caught using this phrase should receive an immediate "mile in their shoes" sentence and be sent to a real third world country for a year. They would be made to work in a sweatshop factory producing consumer goods for sale in Britain, live in a shanty town over-run by gangs of gun toting children and have to rely on aid workers for any health care.
I know that life in this country can be hard for people relying on state benefits as their sole income, but the shear existence of such a welfare state is one of the things that sets us apart from the parts of the world that these tossers seam to think that we are living in just because the price of petrol has gone up.
[1]No I don't know enough about linguistic theory to know what the appropriate term for this is, "paraphrased" doesn't seem quite right; go on pedant pals, correct me.

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