A ned’s a ned, for a’ that

THE FABIANS aren’t actually calling for the term ‘Chav’ to be banned, but Iain Dale is incensed at the suggestion that we should “tut” at those who use it.

At the risk of needlessly winding anyone up (as if!), I have some sympathy with him. For years there’s been some debate in Scotland about the use of our equivalent term, ‘ned’, which is seen by some as offensive. Yet when you use ‘ned’ to describe certain individuals, it’s immediately clear to whom you’re referring.

The Judean People’s Front, aka the Scottish Socialist Party, used to effect righteous indignation at the use by Labour of the term to describe the small minority of young people who could be described as anti-social. But no-one paid much attention to the SSP, including the neds.

On a more serious note, it’s surely useful to use an unflattering term to describe those whose behaviour is anti-social or destructive to their communities. And if they find it offensive, well maybe they should stop behaving like neds.



Filed under Blogging, Politics, Society

10 responses to “A ned’s a ned, for a’ that

  1. Johnny Norfolk

    The Fabian Soc.is not what it was when it recomends things like this. They must be chavs.

  2. Wrinkled Weasel

    Correct me if I am out of order, but as an Englishman, I have only ever heard words like, “Neds” “Schemies” and “Weegies” from the people who live among them. It seemed merely to me that it was another example of Scottish self-deprecation.

    People who sit and make up lists of words that cannot be allowed should be beaten to death with a kipper. “But that would take a long time”, you say. Precisely.

  3. Auntie Flo'

    I received a hilarious newletter from the TUC a few years ago which advised on the best form of politically correct newspeak for various circumstances.

    One piece of advice this booklet gave was that elderly people should not say “when I was young…” when talking to young people as this upsets the young.

  4. Johnny Norfolk


    Perhaps you can explain Browns Chav behaviour in why he compensated the customers of Northern Rock and not those of Equitable Life.

  5. Stu

    There was a disgraceful woman from the Guardian on breakfast telling everyone that the word ‘chav’ is an insult to the working classes. I was so irritated I had to blog about it

    …Of course, by saying that, she’s implicitly suggesting that she thinks both that all chavs are working class, and that all working class people are chavs.

  6. There was a move a few years back by the Conservatives to ban the use of the word Tory on the grounds that it was generally used as a term of abuse for a misunderstood minority. That’s certainly the way I always use it although there’s no misunderstanding involved…

  7. Much in the way the idle rich self deprecate and call themselves “tax dodgers”, “wasters”, “exploiters”… the term “ned” describes a poor young person in a derogatory way- how many rich people’s children – no matter how much of an arsehole they are- will be described as neds? how many rich “tearaways” will self deprecate and call themselves neds? Language is a powerful divisive tool- and those who think society is becoming a tad “big brother” should remember that.

    The Scottish Socialist Party rightly defend the working class and those who live in areas that have been blighted by Thatcherism and it’s off spring. And yes- we do take offense when our dissaffected poor young people are conveniently labelled and forgotten- and worse- targetted by police and used as an excuse for failed or no New Labour policies over generations in areas blighted with no work, shattered community and no hope- like Glasgow East- where the choice has been put to the voters as “new Labour or something worse” which is no choice at all. The sad thing is that the Labour candidate used the term ned in her election material to evoke the small, but voting middle class fears- they will get in and the poor will be derided and pushed to the periphery again. Shame on the Labour Party.

  8. tom2

    i would have thought there was more important things for the Fabs to apply their big brains to than this.

  9. What, no mention of “numpty”?

    But isn’t the origin of the word Romany Tom? To cut to the chase in the vernacular … the term used by pikeys, and later Kent underclasses, and later still East End underclass hop-pickery for their own children? Affectionately in the first place.

    For example Jackie wotsit on Big Brother describing her loverly daughter … “mee chavi”.

    If that is so, and I do believe it to be, would you review your position at all?

    Myra and Ian have been known to use the term to identify elements of their school soriety/fraternity with whom they do not associate themselves. Here in Manchester. Which usage we discourage.

  10. Hear hear Tom. A neds a ned.

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