Pork Legs Are Shaking Up British Politics


It’s the sort of thing you’re more likely to find at a country pub than at the center of a political debate. But in the U.K., the meat product known as gammon has recently become shorthand for a certain type of middle-aged white man. He’s a Conservative voter, he likely supports Brexit, and his habitual rantings about immigration and the scourge of political correctness have caused him to turn so red as to resemble a pan-fried slab of ham. Hence, a gammon.

It’s not exactly the most intuitive of insults. After all, gammon is an old-fashioned English dish made from a hind leg of pork, sometimes topped with caramelized pineapple. Yet it has become the British left’s insult of choice, one that is kicking up an impassioned debate about racism—against certain white men.

The use of gammon as a political slight dates as far back as 2010, when The Times of London columnist Caitlin Moran dubbed former Prime Minister David Cameron “a C-3PO made of ham” whose “resemblance to a slightly camp gammon robot is extraordinary.”

The insult took on more widespread use during the U.K.’s general election last year, when one Twitter commentator made a collage of BBC Question Time audience members—all of whom were middle-aged white men with similarly flushed faces—that he called the “Great Wall of gammon.” Now, the term is most often used by the British political left, and specifically younger supporters of U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

America, meet Britain’s controversial Gammon meme — Twitter Left answer to “snowflake.”

Mature and reactionary white males, are being referred to as Gammon — in reference to a beloved British pork product.

Large sections of the population and an MP have been “triggered.” pic.twitter.com/lO0TAo9mPH

— Ben Judah (@b_judah) May 14, 2018

Name-calling is nothing new in politics—if anything, it’s become the norm. Petty insults have been a fixture in British politics for years, with lawmakers calling each other everything from “dimwit” to “muttering idiot.” In the U.S., President Trump has employed a multitude of adjectives to mock his political opponents, foreign leaders, and the media (“crazy,” “crooked,” “lyin’,” and “failing,” to name a few).

But unlike these slights, “gammon” refers not to an individual, but to a group of people—one that, in this case, is defined by age and political persuasion. The insult is like the mirror image of “snowflake,” a slight used by the political right to …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Global

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