There was a kid at our school called Warren.
Guess what his nickname was.
Go on, guess.
Bunny you say? No, actually it was Yoda for some reason.
Ok, bad example. But for every exception there is a rule, and it’s a brave Wayne Kerr, Richard Head, or indeed, Colin Hunt who meets his new classmates for the first time.
Because as we all know, children are little bastards.
But surely the parents of these little darlings are there to set an example to their evil progeny, to guide them on the path to tolerance and understanding of their peers?
Well you would like to think so wouldn’t you? But this morning a YouTube clip showed up on my Facebook Newsfeed that made my jaw drop in amazement, and not in a good way either.
The clip (from ITV’s This Morning TV show) features a “celebrity” guest called Katie Hopkins – apparently an escapee from Amstrad-gnome-in-chief, Sir Alan Sugar’s business themed reality show The Apprentice – airing her views on how children’s names reflect their background and behaviour. (Yes, you did read that right)
Watch the clip, then pick your jaw up, and we’ll continue.
Ok, how far did you get before you started swearing? I made it about a minute I think.
What sort of person says that?
I really hope she meets a whole lot of Tylers in the near future, don’t you?
And the clip is entitled “Holly Willoughby Loses Her Cool With Katie Hopkins…” whereas I think Holly kept her cool remarkably well under the circumstances.
I mean, she didn’t slap the snobby cow, she even refused to be goaded into taking the piss out of Hopkins’ own children’s names, Poppy, India, and Maximilian.
Speaking of which, she’d already consigned kids with “geographical” names like Brooklyn, Lourdes,
India, and Paris to the social scrapheap……..whoa there, hang on, back up a bit there Katie…
India? Isn’t that your daughter’s name?
Ah, well, yes, but you see that’s a different thing altogether because she isn’t named after a specific location, so that’s allowed. Obviously.
Right, that’s ok then.
She also has it in for “footballers’ names” for some reason. Which lets out a few biblical favourites for a start: every David has to go (Mr Beckham losing out on two fronts with Brooklyn also on the shitlist), all Matthews (Le Tissier) would be blacklisted from dear Maximilian’s birthday soirées, and goodness knows what the rules say about those unfortunate enough to named after Manchester City winger Jesus Navas.
Oh, and by the way; Katie? What sort of name is that?
Which yardstick are we to measure your name by exactly? Katie Price? Katie Holmes? Katie Melua?
Did other childrens’ parents not let them play with you, in case they developed ambitions to take up topless modeling, become Scientologists, or took to warbling soulless, mediocre folk-pop music?
The woman actually says she would make sure that any girl called Chardonnay wouldn’t even make it to best friend status with her precious little India, so the harrowing concept of the wretched child actually coming to her house would never come up.
What do her children do, carry a list of proscribed names around with them all the time?
Do they have to say “I’m terribly sorry Fred/Stacey/Tyler/Kylie, I know we appear to be instant and obvious lifelong friends/lovers/soulmates, but the Rules say I’ve got to set the dogs on you”
Or maybe the upper echelons of society, unknown to us mere mortals, have access to some sort of Namecheck Hotline they can call in emergency social situations, to enable them to tell at the touch of a speed-dial button whether they can safely send their children on a playdate with a borderline Nigel, or a frankly suspicious Nadia.
I applaud Philip Schofield’s attempt to give her some more rope by asking if she applied the same rule to surnames. I was just waiting for her to hang herself by saying something along the lines of “Finkelstein? Are you mad?!” but apparently her bigotry only extends to those of us who had to rely on our parents’ foresight in not calling us North West, Apple, or Fifi-Trixibell, (although I can’t help thinking that any of Paula Yates’ daughters’ names would meet with approval from the Name Nazis) and not the poor souls who find themselves saddled for life with something so lowly as a “Smith” or a “Jones” through no fault of their own.
If a generation of kids like hers grow up judging people only by their names, before they’ve even had a chance to speak to them let alone get to know them, then it won’t be long before we have another sort of discussion on the breakfast show sofa altogether.
You can’t help but wonder what reaction we’d have got if Philip and Holly had thrown an “Ahmed” or a “Fatima” at Hopkins for snap judgement.
Now that would have been a show worth seeing.
As it is, Schofield’s double face-palm in the very final shot says it all.