Littlejohn confused by Faggots

Today Richard Littlejohn had this little snippet on his favourite topic – gays:

Faggots and peas, sir – no offence!

The former Mayor of Dudley has been accused of offensive behaviour after referring to ‘faggots’ in an email.

Councillor Pat Martin was simply discussing his favourite childhood food with a friend.

For the uninitiated, faggots is a dish of meatballs in gravy, popular in the Midlands and the North.

But it was flagged up by American software used by the council to screen out ‘offensive’ words. In the U.S., ‘faggots’ is slang for homosexuals.

I hadn’t realised this kind of software was common, otherwise I’d never have ordered a pouffe from Ikea online. [emphasis is mine]

Just a couple of small points Richard, Councillor Pat Martin was not accused of offensive behaviour by anyone, the email simply bounced back because of an automatic word filter – it was a decision made by computer software which is not programmed to be offended or to make accusations. Secondly, ‘councillor Pat Martin’ is also sometimes known by her full name: Patricia Martin.

Perhaps Richard was thrown by the way that the local press covered the story: ‘Faggots email cooks up IT storm’, but if he had made it past the typically hyperbolic (and plain nonsense) headline he would have realised that the email had generated precisely zero fuss. He also might have noticed the photo of Patricia Martin staring back at him as well.

I think it should be mandatory to end any blog post about Richard Littlejohn’s serial laziness and incompetence with the fact that he earns nearly one million pounds a year.

10 thoughts on “Littlejohn confused by Faggots

  1. Someone posted at comment to the “South Wales Evening Post” (owned by the “Daily Mail” group) and referred to the leading man in “Mary Poppins”. The posting was published but, the name of the actor was changed to “**** Van ****”.

  2. I’d like to further Ceiliog’s comment by saying that I recall a news article from some years back about one American subtitling firm whose censoring software resulted in a subtitle for same actor being altered to the “Penis van Lesbian Show.”

  3. I have had to edit archaeological reports on iron-working slag, which were duly rejected by a local authority spam filter that failed to deliver them to their author. The spam filter I have at work (also a local authority) is very good at flagging business emails as either “spam” or containing “inappropriate material” while letting through all manner of advertisments for viagra, breast enhancement and online casinos.

    I’ve got to the point of wondering if the software was written by someone with a malicious sense of humour or a grudge against local authorities…

  4. I saw this in the Stourbridge News (local weekly paper for the Dudley area) on 24/02, and thought “That’s an RL story if I ever saw one”. Also had a feeling about the non-gender specific name too…

  5. Please refer to the huge sum of money that is thrown at Richard Coeur de Legume but, the word “earn” implies that he deserves it.

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