The basic story is that a senior politician, Andrew Mitchell, was rude to the policeman who told him the politician's bike couldn't be ridden out of a particular gate in Downing Street.*
The really dangerous word the politician is said to have used, the one which has destroyed Mr Mitchell's career (the 'senior' bit of it, at least) is pleb.
According to a police logbook Mr Mitchell said: 'Best you learn your —— place … you don’t run this —— government … You’re —— plebs'.
The logbook goes on to explain that: The members of public looked visibly shocked - though how anyone could look invisibly shocked I do not know.
Anyway. Pleb. Plebs are the common people, the masses. But what's wrong with that?
Personally, I'm honoured and thrilled to be just like the rest of you.
In fact I think I may have to get a T-shirt printed:
to be a
Word To Use Very Carefully Indeed Today: pleb. This word is from the Latin word plēbs, which means the populace.
By the way, isn't it odd how the people who are most keen on equality tend to be the ones who like ordinary people the least?
*Downing Street is the British Prime Minister's London house and office.