Grumpy politicians

When Jeremy Clarkson called the UK prime minister Gordon Brown a "one-eyed Scottish idiot", at least two and possibly three groups of people were offended.

The visually impaired had their feelings hurt - The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) said: "Any suggestion that equates disability with incompetence is totally unacceptable. We would be happy to help Mr Clarkson understand the positive contribution people with sight loss make to society." I think this is a misunderstanding: Clarkson did not equate disability with incompetence. He just said that in this case, the two properties are present right there in one person. I am actually quite convinced that Jeremy Clarkson appreciates any positive contributions to society that blind people make, and that he would be happy to have a half-blind but competent Scot for a Prime Minister, because competence - and fairness, and other admirable properties - are what count.

The Scots were offended. Lord Foulkes, a former Labour Scottish minister, said he was "outraged" at Clarkson's comments. Well, he would be.

Representatives for idiots did not turn up to tell how inappropriate it is to associate them with Mr. Brown, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that somewhere, the League for the Mentally Impaired (LeftMI) expressed their outrage. They just couldn't write the address of Guardian correctly so that the letter would get through.

The British have a tradition for colourful parliamentary insults. In June, health minister Simon Burns called John Bercow, the speaker of parliament, a "stupid, sanctimonious dwarf" in the Commons. He had to apologise and say he was sorry for any offence he had caused after the insult was branded "derogatory and deeply offensive" by the Walking with Giants Foundation (WWGF). BASists (British Association of Sanctimonousts) has not yet come forward with a comment, nor has LeftMI which represents the stupid as well as the idiots.

In a more recent case, David Cameron said that Burns's driver had accidentally hit the Speaker's car while reversing. Bercow said he was "not happy" about the incident. Mr Burns retorted: "So which one are you?". And, again, Bercow was offended, as well as WWGF.

I think Bercow should just have said one word: "Grumpy". With that, he would have scored.

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