“F***ing Poms” is NOT Racist 2006-12-02Posted by clype in Intolerance, Scotland.
Calling an Englishman a ‘pom’ is not racially abusive, a court ruled 2006-12-01.
The controversial decree came as a Scotsman was cleared of using the remark towards an English police officer.
Sheriff Mr.Lindsay Foulis said it is not a derogatory term because it can be deemed only to be ‘mildly offensive’.
He said the term — which is widely used by Australians to denigrate the English — compared favourably against ‘nigger’, ‘paki’, ‘chink’ and ‘coon’.
He found Mr.William Gallagher, 39, ‘Not Guilty’ of ‘Racially Aggravated’ ‘Breach of the Peace’ after hearing how he abused Tayside Police Sergeant Mr.Rodney Wigley, 54.
As he was being charged with other offences by the English Policeman, Mr.Gallagher said:
‘Speak Scottish, you fucking pom. I fucking hate poms.’
The Police Sergeant told Perth Sheriff Court that he had never been insulted like that before and was ‘deeply upset’ by the comments. He said:
‘People often swear and shout, but never anything like that. I don’t know what sparked him off. He obviously didn’t like my accent.
‘I found it quite offensive; it was the way it was said — it was said with venom.
‘It was an obvious attack on my ethnicity; it was a term made by a Scot towards an Englishman which I perceived to be racist.’
In a bizarre courtroom exchange, The Sheriff then asked the Police Sergeant how it compared to being called a ‘bastard’ or a ‘cunt’.
The Police Sergeant said he found ‘pom’ more offensive.
Police Constable Mr.Barry Robertson told the court:
‘He was using the term as a slur that day.
‘It was not a word you come across very often.
‘It was obviously directed towards English people.’
The Procurator Fiscal Depute Mr.John Malpass described the remark as
‘… Offensive, perceived as racially motivated and conduct which should not be tolerated in any walk of life’.
‘It is not acceptable to say [that] a police officer should not be offended by that.
‘The manner and context in which it was delivered clearly proved to be racist.
‘”Fucking pom” is “Racially Aggravated” — it’s a derogatory reference to persons of “English ethnicity”.’
The court was told that the origin of the term dated back to the shipping of criminals to penal colonies in Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries.
‘Pom’ or ‘pommie’ could be derived from ‘Prisoners Of Mother England’, or may be an amalgam of ‘Immigrant’ and ‘Pomegranate’ — the colour new prisoners went in the sun after arriving in Australia.
Solicitor Mr.David Holmes, quoting ‘The Collins English Dictionary’, said ‘pom’ was described as a ‘mildly offensive’ term — often used for criticising opponents in ‘The Ashes’ cricket match between England and Australia.
The Sheriff said:
‘The sergeant and two officers were holding an accused who was being truculent. The accused says ‘speak Scottish’ and makes a reference to “Fucking Poms”.
‘If we have regard to “The Collins dictionary”, words like “nigger”, “paki”, “chink” and “coon” are all described as derogatory words.
‘They are, at the beginning of the 21st century, considered to be insulting or derogatory. That is where society has reached.
‘”Pom” or “pommie”, on the other hand, is defined as “mildly offensive”, and with the greatest of respect to Sergeant Wigley, I consider that’s a quite significant difference.
‘In the circumstances, I am not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the charge of “Breach of the Peace” has been established.’
Mr.Gallagher, of Newhouse Rd, Perth, was also cleared of four further charges — including attacking his own parents with a walking stick on 2006-11-07.
- ‘Pom not a racist term, rules sheriff‘, Gordon Currie, The Scotsman, 2006-12-02