The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, January 07, 2004
 

Hillary: it's that fakir again...


There's a hoo-ha on about the putrid double-standard applicable to race humour when essayed by members of the Party of Treason, compared with the same words falling from GOP lips (as here and here). Nothing new there, then.

But naturally Hill's bizarre non-joke about Mohandas Gandhi (aka Mahatma Gandhi) [1] takes me to Winston Churchill's crack (which at least had a discernable point to it), mentioned in October 2002.

The words (from here) are these, more or less:
It is alarming and odious to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the vice-regal palace, while he is still conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor.

There seems to be some dispute as to where they were spoken, though. The piece states
House of Commons. Feb 23, 1931

But this page of Canadian academic Hans Bakker says they were said at Epping (Churchill's then parliamentary constituency, to the east of London) [2].

  1. The Note - my source - can't spell the name.

  2. He also says
    ...Gandhi was not merely a "half-naked fakir", as Winston Churchill described him (Speech at Epping, 23 February 1931). Instead, Gandhi was as much an English gentleman,-albeit one who wore a dhotti,-as a traditional Indian.
    Churchill was clearly saying Gandhi was posing as a fakir, and was, in fact, no such thing! (A glance at the Table of Contents leads one to suspect the guy to be something of a Gandh-ophile.)


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