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  #51  
Old 05-30-2019, 09:22 AM
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It's not like he wrote the character of Basil Fawlty as someone who exploited, bullied and frequently assaulted a caricature of a Spanish person or anything.
Connie Booth gets credit for writing the show too .
  #52  
Old 05-30-2019, 09:27 AM
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This gives an idea of Cleese's attitude towards Scottish people, and people who didn't go to private school or Oxbridge. He's not a nazi, he's a twat.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:37 AM
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This gives an idea of Cleese's attitude towards Scottish people, and people who didn't go to private school or Oxbridge. He's not a nazi, he's a twat.
It's almost quaint for an Englishman to be racist against Scots in this day and age. But it's unquestionably racist. Cleese isn't just a twat. He's a bigot.
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  #54  
Old 05-30-2019, 09:38 AM
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What Cleese means by "English" isn't clear but is obviously very dependent on his subjective judgement, as is the question of, whatever it means, whether London has become more or less so over time.

One thing that isn't subjective is his claim that London was the city with that voted most strongly to remain. And it's a false claim: Bristol, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen all had Remain vote shares higher than London's 59.9%.

It's almost certain that London's character and culture have changed since Cleese was young (how could they not) and if he wants to describe this change as a decline in some nebulous idea of Englishness, good luck to him I guess. It would be astonishing if that real change (call it what you will) has nothing to do with the changes of London's ethnic make up over the same time frame and I will be equally be astonished if Cleese were to say otherwise. And we can debate whether disliking changes brought about in part by foreigners moving in indicates some degree of xenophobia.

But what seems pretty clear, and pretty objectionable, is Cleese's implicit claim here that voting Remain is un-English. He doesn't explicitly make that link, of course. He merely "notes" the Remain vote after claiming that London isn't really English and leaves any suggestion that he thinks there might be a link in the mind of the reader. I note that this is a coward's trick. But it's kind of a surprise to see someone as clearly intelligent as Cleese indulging in this "No True Englishman" citizens of nowhere bullshit.

Last edited by Stanislaus; 05-30-2019 at 09:39 AM.
  #55  
Old 05-30-2019, 09:44 AM
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Don't mention the war.
I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it alright.
  #56  
Old 05-30-2019, 09:55 AM
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It's almost quaint for an Englishman to be racist against Scots in this day and age. But it's unquestionably racist. Cleese isn't just a twat. He's a bigot.
This little kerfuffle has also reminded me of something Cleese said (I thought in jest) a few years ago about Terry Jones, who is from Wales. Something like, "What Terry can't accept is that the Welsh are a servile race, put here to do menial work for the English."

His sense of humor (or maybe I should spell it humour), if that's what it is, has always been laced with a sense of his own superiority.
  #57  
Old 05-30-2019, 11:16 AM
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London was English in 1939. Not afterwards. I wonder if that's what he means. Brexit supporters are obsessed with the second world war, and speak in its terms constantly.

Stuck in the past which never existed. Thatcher without the five year recession and hundreds of thousands of job losses.

When it reality its just old people wanting to relive the days when they could move without pain, and obviously that's the German's and the French's fault.
  #58  
Old 05-30-2019, 11:29 AM
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Mr. Hilter? A Nazi? Nein! Nein! Verboten!
  #59  
Old 05-30-2019, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by The Stafford Cripps View Post
This gives an idea of Cleese's attitude towards Scottish people, and people who didn't go to private school or Oxbridge. He's not a nazi, he's a twat.
He's also an ignorant twat: the object of his ire - Fraser Nelson - went to private school, and Glasgow University is hardly a frigging diploma-mill.

Last edited by Baron Greenback; 05-30-2019 at 11:51 AM.
  #60  
Old 05-30-2019, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by The Stafford Cripps View Post
This gives an idea of Cleese's attitude towards Scottish people, and people who didn't go to private school or Oxbridge. He's not a nazi, he's a twat.
Not sure if he wrote them, but the Scotish jokes in Python always seemed to be cheap and broad, as opposed to the English ones which were surprisingly light and loving with regards to the people's eccentricities for a show whose humor could be so biting.
  #61  
Old 05-30-2019, 12:09 PM
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  #62  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:16 PM
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Quoth Stanislaus:

One thing that isn't subjective is his claim that London was the city with that voted most strongly to remain. And it's a false claim: Bristol, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen all had Remain vote shares higher than London's 59.9%.
Yes, but those aren't Real Cities, so they don't count. Everyone knows that The City is only London, and only a part of London, at that. So since London was the only City that voted, clearly it was the City with the highest Remain vote.
  #63  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:19 PM
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I would like to hear, though, which/how many Dopers regard Cleese as a “hero”.
  #64  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:21 PM
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It's not like he wrote the character of Basil Fawlty as someone who exploited, bullied and frequently assaulted a caricature of a Spanish person or anything.
Basil Fawlty wasn't supposed to be someone you looked up to. He was written as an ignorant jackass.
  #65  
Old 05-30-2019, 03:00 PM
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Hmm I don't know. I don't like the sound of these boncentration bamps.
  #66  
Old 05-30-2019, 03:47 PM
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No surprise that many people love to scream "racist" at every minor thing. And for the record I am a liberal.
  #67  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:00 PM
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No surprise that many people love to scream "racist" at every minor thing. And for the record I am a liberal.
No surprise that a liberal, confronted with people discussing racism, decides to respond by mocking the people who are worried about racism. Plus a change.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 05-30-2019 at 04:00 PM.
  #68  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:03 PM
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No surprise that many people love to scream "racist" at every minor thing. And for the record I am a liberal.
Thank you for making it official. We've all been wondering breathlessly.
  #69  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:03 PM
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No surprise that many people love to scream "racist" at every minor thing. And for the record I am a liberal.
Do you suppose that claiming to be a liberal somehow makes you exempt from being clueless about race? Or an authority?
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  #70  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:28 PM
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No, we mean English. It is a distinct nationality. Nothing to do with Scots and Welsh and Irish. Amazingly, we do have our own identity, even if it doesn't come with a national costume!
Oh, but it does.


Having read the quote in question, it seems pretty clearly that it's a basic "back in my day ..." kind of complaint.

Last edited by Merneith; 05-30-2019 at 04:29 PM.
  #71  
Old 05-30-2019, 05:18 PM
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This is about John Cleese, not about Bijou Drains. If you have a beef with an individual poster, take it to the Pit.
  #72  
Old 05-30-2019, 05:25 PM
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I thought this was the national costume.
  #73  
Old 05-30-2019, 05:33 PM
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You want a real Nazi-esque comment from a universally loved older English entertainment legend, this from God himself:

On 5 August 1976, (Eric) Clapton provoked an uproar and lingering controversy when he spoke out against increasing immigration during a concert in Birmingham. Visibly intoxicated, Clapton voiced his support of controversial political candidate Enoch Powell, and announced on stage that Britain was in danger of becoming a "black colony". Among other things, Clapton said, "Keep Britain white!" which was at the time a National Front (NF) slogan.

Last edited by Helmut Doork; 05-30-2019 at 05:33 PM. Reason: removed footnote numbers
  #74  
Old 05-30-2019, 06:18 PM
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Basil Fawlty wasn't supposed to be someone you looked up to. He was written as an ignorant jackass.
And John Cleese played him well because there was always a chunk of Basil in him.

He's a funny dude but 'exposing his own deep fuckupedness' was always part of the funny. I like watching his stuff, but I wouldn't be surprised if spending any amount of time in his actual presence led to wanting to punch him in the face
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  #75  
Old 05-31-2019, 03:11 AM
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No surprise that many people love to scream "racist" at every minor thing. And for the record I am a liberal.
I've found a lot of people pretend they are a liberal to make that comment. Similar to those who claim they voted remain, and then roll out every blackmail and bullying cliche that a leave supporter says...

Anyway, is Cleese being racist, or just saying the same thing as the other racists in the acceptable terms nowadays?

Let's put it this way. Where does the "Nazis are Socialists!" crap come from? Well, simply, at some point the Nazis had to trick the centre ground into believing the Nazi party was something it was not to get the votes. There might even have been parts of the party which were vaguely socialist at the time, but those didn't survive those purges. So they misused terms and got those votes.

Nowadays, they don't say "black people" or "indian people", they say "not english"or "not british" (they usually mean the same thing to the small minded people targetted). This gets the vote of the some of the more conservative minorities, such as Indians in the Uk, with a "pretend its about empire and commonwealth which had brown people in it". Then a sikh MEP gets shouted at to "go home" by masses of brexit supporters. Because that's what they were REALLY voting for.

Is Cleese being racist or nostalgic? Does it matter? He's using the weaponised terminology of the far right when he really should know better.
  #76  
Old 05-31-2019, 07:04 AM
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He's also an ignorant twat: the object of his ire - Fraser Nelson - went to private school, and Glasgow University is hardly a frigging diploma-mill.
Not only that, but I don't think Nairn has any tenements for him to be a ' half-educated tenement Scot' from!
  #77  
Old 05-31-2019, 10:06 AM
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The apologetics of John Cleese is very strong in this thread.
  #78  
Old 05-31-2019, 01:10 PM
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It's almost quaint for an Englishman to be racist against Scots in this day and age. But it's unquestionably racist. Cleese isn't just a twat. He's a bigot.
Nationalist, chauvinist, being an ass, sure. But racist? Who considers the Scottish and the English different races?
  #79  
Old 05-31-2019, 01:25 PM
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Nationalist, chauvinist, being an ass, sure. But racist? Who considers the Scottish and the English different races?
Racists.
  #80  
Old 05-31-2019, 01:45 PM
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Not only that, but I don't think Nairn has any tenements for him to be a ' half-educated tenement Scot' from!
I've only passed through Nairn - maybe stopped for an ice-cream once - but no, not a very tenementy sort of place at all. I wonder how the beanpole prick would describe an actual tenement Scot like Billy Connolly?

Last edited by Baron Greenback; 05-31-2019 at 01:46 PM.
  #81  
Old 05-31-2019, 01:50 PM
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Nationalist, chauvinist, being an ass, sure. But racist? Who considers the Scottish and the English different races?
For the purposes of the concept at the root of racism, there's no difference.

Really, what is the fundamental difference between an Englishman's bigotry against Nigerians and an Englishman's bigotry against Scots? There is none. If one is racism, then there's no logical reason that the other one isn't racism.

It's only if you consider race to be some kind of fundamental concept. But we know race isn't fundamental. There is no scientific definition of race that logically divides an Englishman from a Nigerian but not an Englishman from a Scot.

You can try to muddle about and look for a term--ethnism?--but why bother? "Racism" is good enough. It's describing the same phenomenon in both cases.
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Last edited by Acsenray; 05-31-2019 at 01:52 PM.
  #82  
Old 05-31-2019, 01:50 PM
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I've only passed through Nairn - maybe stopped for an ice-cream once - but no, not a very tenementy sort of place at all. I wonder how the beanpole prick would describe an actual tenement Scot like Billy Connolly?
"Wormy.

What's that? He's still alive? Smelly then."
  #83  
Old 05-31-2019, 02:18 PM
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From here. (Tweet quoted)

Nothing about immigrants.

Further clarification:

Still nothing about immigrants.
Man, you did far more research into this than the OP did.
  #84  
Old 05-31-2019, 10:23 PM
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nm

Last edited by Melbourne; 05-31-2019 at 10:24 PM.
  #85  
Old 05-31-2019, 10:49 PM
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nm
I told you once.
  #86  
Old 06-01-2019, 04:01 AM
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For the purposes of the concept at the root of racism, there's no difference.

Really, what is the fundamental difference between an Englishman's bigotry against Nigerians and an Englishman's bigotry against Scots? There is none. If one is racism, then there's no logical reason that the other one isn't racism.

It's only if you consider race to be some kind of fundamental concept. But we know race isn't fundamental. There is no scientific definition of race that logically divides an Englishman from a Nigerian but not an Englishman from a Scot.

You can try to muddle about and look for a term--ethnism?--but why bother? "Racism" is good enough. It's describing the same phenomenon in both cases.
That's my take on it too in pretty much every detail. To say that the term racism only applies to the categories invented by 19th century scientific racists is to give those racists power, especially since before that, "race" referred to any related grouping of people (or animals). And even so, the state of mind between broad-grouping-racists and (ethnicists?) is similar enough that one shouldn't quibble with the term especially since there isn't a better one available.
  #87  
Old 06-01-2019, 10:44 AM
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John Cleese started making grumpy old man statements years ago. In at least some ways he was the grumpy old man of the group even back in the Monty Python days.
A crucial point. He wasn't happy about the show and left it after the 3rd season. He generally made it his job to stir stuff up.

Now that he's older he's crankier. Someone sneezing a block away is probably enough to set him off.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:39 PM
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I told you once.
No, you didn't.
  #89  
Old 06-01-2019, 05:13 PM
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Not only that, but I don't think Nairn has any tenements for him to be a ' half-educated tenement Scot' from!
Morningside's got masses of 'em!
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  #90  
Old 06-01-2019, 05:15 PM
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You know who else was a Nazi?

  #91  
Old 06-01-2019, 06:04 PM
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Mosley?
  #92  
Old 06-02-2019, 03:42 PM
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London is...?


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Here is a story about the comments Cleese made. He's also moved out of England for the time being.
Has Cleese lived much in England in the past few decades? I seem to recall that he spent some time in the USA.

As for London not being English, I would agree with him. It is simply ... London. It is very international, racially and socially very mixed. What you might think of as English tends to be the smaller towns, the other big cities have a charm - or more often, lack of - all of their own.

Anyway, the good Mr. Cleese likes to provoke. Nazi???? Hardly. But don't mention the boncentration bamps.
  #93  
Old 06-02-2019, 03:45 PM
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Tenement Scots


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Originally Posted by The Stafford Cripps View Post
This gives an idea of Cleese's attitude towards Scottish people, and people who didn't go to private school or Oxbridge. He's not a nazi, he's a twat.
The article ignores the fact that Cleese's comments are directed towards one person. He is not criticizing the haggis-fanciers as a whole.
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:47 PM
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This little kerfuffle has also reminded me of something Cleese said (I thought in jest) a few years ago about Terry Jones, who is from Wales. Something like, "What Terry can't accept is that the Welsh are a servile race, put here to do menial work for the English."

His sense of humor (or maybe I should spell it humour), if that's what it is, has always been laced with a sense of his own superiority.
Or do people take him too seriously?
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:49 PM
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So true


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London was English in 1939. Not afterwards. I wonder if that's what he means. Brexit supporters are obsessed with the second world war, and speak in its terms constantly.

Stuck in the past which never existed. Thatcher without the five year recession and hundreds of thousands of job losses.

When it reality its just old people wanting to relive the days when they could move without pain, and obviously that's the German's and the French's fault.
That is right on the mark.
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:46 PM
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This little kerfuffle has also reminded me of something Cleese said (I thought in jest) a few years ago about Terry Jones, who is from Wales. Something like, "What Terry can't accept is that the Welsh are a servile race, put here to do menial work for the English."

His sense of humor (or maybe I should spell it humour), if that's what it is, has always been laced with a sense of his own superiority.
I believe Cleese liked pushing Jones's buttons and turning up his thermostat. All in good fun, don't you know.
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:47 PM
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The article ignores the fact that Cleese's comments are directed towards one person. He is not criticizing the haggis-fanciers as a whole.
Blessed are the Cheese Makers!
  #98  
Old 06-03-2019, 04:02 PM
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He's obviously referring to the creators of any animal-based product such as haggis.
  #99  
Old 06-03-2019, 04:15 PM
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While Cleese has said said some questionable things at times, being a grumpy old bloke, I see no reason to attribute that comment to racism without a mention of race or diversity; it's a common meme in England that London is something by itself, not really quite a part of the country.
Even job listings separate by "London" and "the rest of England" first of all, something which I haven't encountered for other countries (not that I've searched in every country).
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  #100  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:35 AM
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Eric Idle has lived in LA for a while now and Cleese lived in the US as well. His first 3 wives are American but his current wife is British and he lives back in the UK now.
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