Paul Henry should try dropping the C word into his diatribe, now that the T word has been ruled OK

Alf hesitates to use the C word in polite company because it usually is rated the most offensive word in the English language.

Giving offence is best avoided when communicating with constituents, so it won’t be used here.

But the Grumbles are both interested in words and their meanings, and when Mrs Grumble went googling for the meaning of the C word she found this at the top of the page of suggested sites:

a woman’s genitals.

an unpleasant or stupid person.

Alf prefers to talk of “naughty bits” (in the former case) and “tosser”, “plonker” or “moron” when he is writing about unpleasant or stupid people.

In his vocabulary the words “greenies” and “lefties” similarly are apt to be unpleasant or stupid people.

Then there’s the T word, which Alf similarly avoids in polite company.

Funny thing is, Paul Henry can use this word on television and the official judges of public taste and acceptability will tell us it is not offensive.

This is curious because Mrs Grumble’s googling on this matter led her to definitions that are astonishingly similar to the meanings of the C word.

1. a woman’s genitals.

2. a person regarded as stupid or obnoxious.

The judges of public taste have some explaining to do.

So does Paul Henry although he seems to be limited in the vocabulary department and might give us a more colourful explanation than the Grumbles can listen to without serious blushing.

The explanations are owed because of what we are told in this Herald report:

Complaints of offensive language and footage of fighting have been dismissed by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

One complaint regarded the late-night Paul Henry show, in which the controversial presenter commented on a recent incident involving an apparent tourist who had reportedly driven with a kayak attached sideways to the roof of his car.

Henry called him a “bloody twat” and lamented New Zealand’s “politically correct” attitude towards tourists.

The Authority said that in the context of a late-night programme with an adult target audience and Henry’s well-known presenting style, which could be provocative, the language did not breach the good taste and decency standard.

Because the C word and the T word are interchangeable, according to the Grumbles’ research, what do you think would happen if Paul Henry had called the apparent tourist a bloody c***?

Alf suspects we would have heard shrieks for Henry’s sacking, especially from feminists.

He was amused, accordingly, when his good mate The Whale commented on the authority’s ruling.

The Whale credited (or discredited) Paul Henry with saying a bit more than Alf realised.

Henry had said the tourist was “a twat of the highest order” and the actions “pissed him off”. He also used other phrases such as “sh–box”, “a piece of sh–” and “prosecute the bastard”.

The decision found Henry’s language “did not threaten current norms of good taste and decency”.

The discrimination and denigration broadcasting standard exists to protect members of the public on account of sex, sexual orientation, race, age, disability, occupational status, or as a consequence of legitimate expression of religion, culture or political belief.

The decision stated “‘foreign tourists’ are not a section of the community to which the discrimination and denigration standard applies”.

Henry’s “outspoken”style and the context of the late-night show led to the decision not to uphold the complaint.

The Whale threw in a nice observation by another of his mates:

As Pete remarked to me last night “weird that the day has come where Whaleoil has higher standards than the MSM”.


Well, yes.

But outrageous, too

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