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Speaker John Bercow Called A ‘Sanctimonious Dwarf’

June 29, 2010

Paul Waugh on the Evening Standard Blogs says that Health Minister Simon Burns today ‘stunned the chamber by denouncing Speaker Bercow as a “stupid, sanctimonious dwarf.”‘

How do readers feel about this? I’m particularly interested to hear from people of restricted growth or those with dwarfism. Is ‘dwarf’ an accepted, acceptable term, or is it a disablist insult? I’m not sure how people with those DisAbilities see it, but personally, I feel quite upset after reading that quote.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2010 10:00 pm

    Extract from the website of the Restricted Growth Association, a charity that supports people affected by dwarfism:-

    “The RGA considers it inappropriate and offensive for the Minister of Health to use a type of disability as a term of insult.
    Although the RGA welcome the apology from Mr Burns, the fact that the incidence will not be recorded in Hansard seems to suggest that the seriousness of this matter has not been understood.

    This inappropriate use of the word ‘dwarf’ in this context adds to the negative stereotypes already in existence towards people of restricted growth and does little to help change attitudes in society.

    Acting Chair Stephanie Birch said: “I am very disappointed that as Minister of Health he demonstrated such a lack of sensitivity toward the situation of people and families living with restricted growth who have been very hurt by these comments.”
    The RGA has been campaigning for an end to the word ‘midget’ in the media for some time now. It has also called on MPs to take action to get offensive groups removed from the social networking site Facebook. “

  2. July 7, 2010 10:04 pm

    The Restricted Growth Association (RGA) is a charity supporting people affected by dwarfism and has expressed its disappointment that the incident occured on its website. An excerpt is below:-

    The RGA considers it inappropriate and offensive for the Minister of Health to use a type of disability as a term of insult.
    Although the RGA welcome the apology from Mr Burns, the fact that the incidence will not be recorded in Hansard seems to suggest that the seriousness of this matter has not been understood.

    This inappropriate use of the word ‘dwarf’ in this context adds to the negative stereotypes already in existence towards people of restricted growth and does little to help change attitudes in society.

    Acting Chair Stephanie Birch said: “I am very disappointed that as Minister of Health he demonstrated such a lack of sensitivity toward the situation of people and families living with restricted growth who have been very hurt by these comments.”
    The RGA has been campaigning for an end to the word ‘midget’ in the media for some time now. It has also called on MPs to take action to get offensive groups removed from the social networking site Facebook.

Trackbacks

  1. Career Development and Planning: A Guide for Managers, Trainers, and Personnel Staff | Uncategorized | Information about Careers
  2. MP Who Once Called Speaker A Dwarf Now Running For Deputy Speaker | Same Difference

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