Controversy raged this week over whether calling an angry, white, right-wing man a ‘gammon’ is racist. The insult is first recorded in Charles Dickens’s novel Nicholas Nickleby in 1838. But what of people really called Gammon?
— There are about 2,500 Britons with that surname, which originated in Cornwall. Their politics are not all right-wing: in the 2017 Cornwall county council elections a Jacquie Gammon stood for the Lib Dems.
— In the US, two Gammons are recorded as delegates at National Conventions: Lemuel Gammon representing Colorado for the Democrats in 1916 and Gussie Gammon representing North Carolina for the Republicans in 2008.
— Not all Gammons are white: 7.3 per cent of those in the US are African-American and 2.2 per cent are Hispanic.
This is an extract from Barometer, found in this week’s Spectator