“Spac attack” banned - Senator about to apologise
Take note Lleyton Hewitt - the phrase “spac attack” is now on the banned list. And while he’s normally the kind of bloke who would rail against political correctness, it’s National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce who agreed to put it there.
Joyce will tonight apologise on television for saying Kevin Rudd had thrown a “spac attack,” after the Spastic Centre called on our political leaders to stop using the word “spastic” as a term of abuse.
“I would like to blame ‘Kylie Mole’ from the 1980’s Comedy Company but I should have understood the derivation of this word,” he told The Punch yesterday afternoon. “I generally can not stand political correctness but this definitely deserves an exception.”
The Spastic Centre’s press release said the word “spastic” was a medical term but “has now become an expression used by people as a term of abuse.”
“Therefore, the use of the word, or any derivative of it, to describe a person is offensive and unacceptable, unless used medically or as part of an organisation’s name… We encourage our community leaders to use their position to help people with a disability, rather than perpetuate derogatory and unacceptable terms.”
Senator Joyce said in spite of his ignorance of the inference from the phrase spac attack: “the most vulnerable and needy are those with severe handicaps and the most noble are those who spend their life looking after them. Neither of these groups deserve to be offended and I absolutely apologise if I have done so and have filmed an apology that will be screened on Ten News this evening.”
Hewitt is still living down his 2001 on-court outburst, when he said to an umpire: “Mate, you are a spastic.”, but it’s always been a particularly Australian way to insult someone. Elsewhere tolerance for it is much lower.
In March US President Barack Obama had to do days of damage control after this:
It’s hard to imagine things going that far here.
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