thanks for posting this Sweeny. I think its a very tough question. I originally come from a part of the north where lots of people use the word Paki' in everyday speech and I believe there has even been a movement among Pakistanis to reclaim the term. Agreed also that people, as the author says (Pakistanis included) like to live in communities of like minded people. For me the core issue is less one of working class slang and becomes much more serious when those same communities are the ones that vote in large numbers for extreme right wing parties. I'd obviously prefer to believe that the BNP are very devious and clever in how they position themselves politically, after all the only other explanation is people who vote BNP in that part of NW Lancashire are racist. So are they racist or thick? I'd don't find either conclusion particularly appealing.