Stalwart Progress MP Chris Bryant dug a new nook of absolute bonkery down in the dank depths of the anti-socialist smear-hole this week. He chose to pretend he thought a description of Progress member Mike Gapes as ‘gammon’ was an insult with anti-Semitic undertones.
Even a Blairite numpty like Bryant knew that the comment was not meant as anti-Semitic and he knew that there is a definition of gammon as
“Middle-aged white overweight balding Englishman who expresses right-wing views angrily causing his face to redden.“
Nineteenth century author Charles Dickens was credited as the creator of that particular use of ‘gammon.’
When challenged by patient observers, Bryant declined to own his absurdity and continued with his nonsense: Bryant shenanigans.
Bryant knows he has no future as a Labour MP. Whenever the next general election is called – soon, hopefully – Bryant will not be a Labour candidate. He could disappear before an election. His future is as a think-tank contributor, quango member or consultant; all such jobs are well-paid but ethically worthless.
Without a meaningful political future, Bryant does not need to care how daft or petulant he behaves. This ‘gammon’ incident is unsurprising.
The Unwin Window
Named after the entertainer Stanley Unwin who was a master of deliberate gibberish, the Unwin Window, a companion to the Overton Window, is the breadth of political verbiage that is not considered too idiotic or nonsensical from the perspective of prevailing popular opinion. The closer to the centre of the Unwin Window any comment lies, the more likely it is an intelligent informed remark worthy of inspection, debate and analysis.
If the Unwin Window is stretched then not only does gobbledygook creep into its range but also its previous extremities move inward from the edge of the window and, thus, acquire more legitimacy. If Bryant’s absurd remark about ‘gammon’ is allowed to be within the Unwin Window’s range then other stupid comments appear less dismissable, relatively.
For example, this week David Aaronovitch claimed that an extremist left-wing group planted a bomb in Warrington in 1993 in which two children died, and he claimed Jeremy Corbyn supported this group. (The IRA had admitted planting the bomb.) Such a claim by Aaronovitch is barely within the boundary of the Unwin Window but, if Bryant’s absurdity is allowed in, then Aaronovitch’s assertion is further in and, so, assumes more (spurious) legitimacy.
A greater quantity and greater stupidity of gibberish can be expected from the opponents of socialism.