‘Council’ Tasked: Dee O’Connell’s irritation at people using “pram face” or “council” as insults is something I can definitely sympathise with. I don’t think it’s the ‘new racism’ or anything like that, though, mostly it’s just snobbery, given a little fillip of hipness by masquerading as ‘pop sociology’ or ‘observational comedy’ of whatever. I’m not as pessimistic as O’Connell about it either – nasty jokes have a short lifespan, writing as someone who’s guilty of using them. The first time I heard “pram” as an insult I repeated it to all my mates in the pub that evening – it was 1997 or so (a Spice Girls joke) and I thought it was funny. I thought it was funny mostly because it was so awful, and so when it stopped seeming funny it just felt awful. The flare-up of these kind of gags I reckon happens just before they become unacceptable – the humour comes partly from a kind of risk, who’ll be the person to go too far / not realise the tide has turned and bring the social Jenga tower down on their heads. It’s a bit pathetic (aren’t we all?) but it’s not the harbinger of anything.