Between the Lines

BTL: 19th June, 2019

The laughter grew louder when Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau acknowledged the use of the term by Mr Usamate and said it was permissible.
19 Jun 2019 11:30
BTL: 19th June, 2019
Jone Usamate and Lynda Tabuya. Photos: Ronald Kumar

Bollocks: Testicles Or Nonsense?

That was the big question in Parliament yesterday after Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate used the word.

Awkwardness, rebuttals and then laughter followed suit as Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya attempted to explain the meaning of the term ‘bollocks’ and why exactly it should not be used in the august House.

The laughter grew louder when Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau acknowledged the use of the term by Mr Usamate and said it was permissible.

On one hand, Ms Tabuya’s position on the use of the term could be justified as the word “bollocks” means a man’s testicles.

However, the Oxford Dictionary also recognises that the exclamation could be used as a swear word when somebody is disagreeing with something or in colloquial British English it could mean ‘nonsense’ which was what the good Minister was probably going for.

Ms Tabuya said the term was vulgar and not a good example for those who were watching and listening at home especially children.

However, the Speaker ruled out her point of order.

“Bollocks is permissible, there is nothing wrong,” Ratu Epeli said.

“There is another word with ‘B’ which is not permitted and I won’t tell you which one it is.”

Ms Tabuya then suggested that members use the word ‘hogwash’ instead.

“It might not sound as nicely as he wants to put it,” Ratu Epeli replied.

NUMBER PLATE SAGA

On the expired number plate saga, the Land Transport Authority is waiting for the Police to complete their investigations.

When plates are no longer in use, they are supposed to be turned in to the LTA. They become expired and are then destroyed.

When one of those expired plates was found on a car which was used as a getaway vehicle in a burglary, it raised eyebrows.

The previous owner of the plate reported the matter to the Police and the LTA.

LTA says it can’t comment until the Police have finished their investigations. BTL understands, however, that LTA is carrying on its own internal investigation.

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