MPs: we know well about cursing ourselves, thank you

A lecture on profane language given to Latvian parliamentarians by their colleague from an ethics commission attracted just 15 people out of 100. The leading vocal combatants were absent.

On Tuesday, philology Professor Janina Kursite-Pakule gave a 40-minute overview of the origins of swearing and its use in different cultures, both traditional and modern. She said politicians often use profanities because they give emotional backing in communication, reports Telegraf.lv news website.

She also gave a comparison of Russian and Latvian brands of swearing, the two languages being the most widely used in the country.

Earlier, the head of the ethics commission, Vitaly Orlov, said the lecture was meant to “teach deputies mutual respect.” He also admitted that the deputies have not been noticed saying anything aloud in the parliament that cannot be printed in the press.

Latvian parliamentarians, like many of their colleagues across the world, get carried away in the heat of a battle of words, trading insults with their opponents.

For instance, right-wing deputy Juris Dobelis is known to have called a Russian-speaking colleague “occupant” amid legislative debates. The issue was even commented on by Latvian President Valdis Zatlers, who called on politicians not to use the word due to its loaded nature.

And Jacov Pliner from a pro-Russian minority party was reported to have called Dobelis “a little Nazi” in an informal conversation.

Several MPs who are notorious for resorting to profane side in their speech ignored Tuesday’s lecture.