A brief history of invective, with special focus on Halifax Regional Council


Consider a few great moments in insult:

Abuse vendor to man seeking an argument in Monty Python’s Flying Circus: “Don’t give me that, you snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings! Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type makes me puke, you vacuous toffee-nosed malodorous pervert!”

John McEnroe to a Wimbledon spectator: “What problems do you have, apart from being blind, unemployed, and a moron?”

Sir Winston Churchill, when disturbed in his toilet by a call from the Lord Privy Seal: “Tell him I can only deal with one shit at a time.”

David Lloyd George on the Liberal home secretary: “When they circumcised Herbert Samuel, they threw away the wrong bit.”

Critic Harry Medved on Dean Martin: “Martin’s acting is so inept in this film that even his impersonation of a lush seems unconvincing.”

The Earl of Kent to Oswald in King Lear: “[Thou art] a knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of good service; and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch; one whom I will beat into clamorous whining if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition.”

Evelyn Waugh, upon hearing that Randolph Churchill had been operated on for a benign tumour: “It is a typical triumph of modern science to find the only bit of Randolph which is not malignant, and remove it”

District 13 Councillor and Halifax Deputy Mayor Matt Whitman to RCMP officer: ““Very disappointed in the #RCMP officer who ticketed a Kingswood 4 wheeler with a plow $406 for tidying up his culdesac. #PowerTrip and #GetALife.”

OK, I’m not sure that last one really belongs. For one thing, it doesn’t score well on the wittiness scale. For another, it’s so… tame. And yet…

Be it resolved:

That Halifax Regional Council, having reviewed all of the documentation and having heard from Deputy Mayor Whitman, Council finds that the social media communications of the Deputy Mayor did not show the respect expected of a public official, accordingly, Council directs the Deputy Mayor to issue an apology.

In the craven Council of Halifax, democratically elected officials cannot invoke the mildest terms of obloquy, or at least must not direct them to an officer of the law. How embarrassing!

Halifax Council does not practice civilian oversight of police. It has succumbed instead to police oversight of city council.

In this respect, mayor and council display a quality aptly described by Sir Winston:

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last.”