THE Scottish Parliament is drawing up plans for a wide-ranging ban on swear words in public places.
Concerned at the effects of passive swearing on children, MSPs are compiling a list of words and phrases that will be banned in pubs, hospitals, police stations, art galleries, farmyards and the front – but not the back – of Transit vans.
The proposed legislation has the full support of First Minister Alex Salmond, a reformed swearer with a particular hatred of the phrase 'smug prick'.
But the plan has provoked a row over which words should be outlawed. Labour's Jack McConnell wants to give a high priority to 'fanny' while the Lib Dems insist more attention should be paid to 'cock' and 'arse'.
An SNP source said: "This is about culture change. Scotland has become known as the 'dirty, foul-mouthed, intimidating old man of Europe'.
"We hope to introduce the ban in summer when people are less likely to complain about the 'bloody weather' or say things like 'is it just me or is it fucking freezing in here?'
"All the really obvious words will be in there – plus a few surprises. At the moment 'piss' is on a knife edge."
Maureen Moore, co-ordinator of the Framework for the Eradication of Language that Causes Harm (FELCH) said: "Just the other day I was reading the Scotsman and came across the phrase 'huge, fat cock'.
"Okay, so it was an article about chickens but children don't know that do they? They just see 'huge, fat cock' and that's it, they're covered in filthy muckiness."
Moore added: "Swearing in enclosed places kills 20,000 people every day in this country. Seriously, you can look it up on the internet.
"We're not saying that people should not be allowed to swear. No, hang on a minute, that's exactly what we're saying."
But swearers' rights groups have reacted angrily to the plan. A spokesman for FUCKTHAT (Freedom to Utter Crap, Knickers, Toss, Horse's Arse and Twat), said: "It's a slippery fucking slope. Hitler eventually banned people from saying 'knob' and 'flaps'. Is that what you want? Is it?"