Our Little Prince
I was deeply shocked by Prince Harry using the phrase "our little Paki friend" about a fellow soldier.
There can be no excuse for using the patronising term 'little' about a colleague or anyone else. The only possible justification is if the person is of abnormally short stature but even then it might be considered impolite to draw attention to the fact.
In this case, judging by the television footage, the target of the comment was of at least average height.
Harry's usage was similar to that of those ladies who say "I've got this wonderful little man who does my garden" or those football commentators who describe any player under six foot as 'little' - "the little Brazilian striker is proving a handful for the England defence."
I suppose we should make an exception for Mothers: Pam, in Gavin and Stacey, is wont to call Gavin "my little Prince" and Saint Diana may well have employed that expression quite truthfully in Harry's case. My own mother was more likely to have called me a little bastard, though never to my face.
One of the worst aspects of this affair is the stream of gibberish from the rent-a-gobs now infesting the airwaves. On the Today programme, Keith Vaz, MP, has just described Prince Harry as a "role model".
What kind of surreal world does Mr Vaz inhabit that leads him to think that Prince Harry is a role model for the youth of Britain?
Meanwhile, another MP stated that 'Paki' was simply an abbreviation of 'Pakistani' and therefore inoffensive.
Well yes, but 'homo' is an abbreviation of 'homosexual' yet I've rarely heard it used in anything but an insulting way.