To Commentisfree, which is running one of the more embarassing pieces of po-faced Spartery I’ve seen outside a student union:
A few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I were watching TV at home when the advert for comparethemarket.com appeared on our screen. I had seen the ad before and not thought anything of it. However on this occasion, my girlfriend, who is Ukrainian, turned to me and said: “I don’t like this advert, it is very offensive to me.” I mentioned it to a friend who said his Latvian lodger also found it offensive.
The advertisement centres on the word “market” – a word that eastern Europeans/Russians pronounce “meerkat” – using talking CGI-animated meerkats. The sole point of this African animal’s appearance is, it seems, to highlight the idea that east Europeans cannot pronounce the word market properly when they speak English. It struck me how racist it was to parody what is now a significant part of the British population in this way. It also occurred to me that were the ad to use stereotypical Indian or Caribbean accents in the same way it would never be allowed on TV.
Luckily, another commenter saved me the trouble of coming up with a witty, incisive demolition of this nonsense:
I am inclined to believe you are making this up.
I am inclined to believe, for comedic purposes, that you are offending me for lumping Lativains and Lithuanians together into an amorphous Eastern European whole.
I am inclined to believe that the editors of CiF are foolish to publish this and like others cannot believe they have.
I am inclined to believe you are employed by Richard Littlejohn in order to supply copy for his hateful Florida-based rantings.