The Bam Whisperer

Scot Squad is spoof police comedy from the BBC One Scotland made in a fly on the wall style. One of the new skits was The Bam Whisperer as one of the characters acts as a translator for the ‘neds’. The ‘bam talk’ was mostly made up but clearly based on Glasgow Scots. According to the Sun, one fan tweeted: “@scotsquad Brilliant start to the new series. Best Scottish comedy show in years. Congrats to all involved. The “bam talk” scene was superb!”. Another added: “High-level bam talk deciphered by the bam whisperer. @scotsquad is off to a great start. #scotsquad”.

Others on Facebook were less comfortable, “On the face of it, this could be a classist attack on the Glaswegian dialect. That’s highly unpleasant, and elitist, but a problem for Glaswegian discourse; the usual radical right wing middle classes at it again. However as the piece makes clear at the end, it is actually an attack on the Scots language in general, funded and broadcast by the state broadcaster, and very thinly veiled as a funny”.

Another opinion; “It’s the BBC middle class feeding class divisions within Scottish society and promoting self-internalised oppression…If you shame people about the way they speak, they learn to shut up and the rest of society learns not to listen to them. I’m a Glaswegian and worked for years as a community development worker all over Scotland. Time and time again, I saw local people who spoke Scots afraid to speak up in mixed groups of people, ashamed of their “accent” and afraid of humiliation and not being heard. Comedy at the expense of the most marginalised in our society isn’t funny, it’s just another layer of oppression or justifying their conditions.”

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