Archive for the 'Language' Category

As it was in the beginning…

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

I’ve been looking back to the beginning of the Blair regime – that time of misplaced hope, ‘glad, confident morning’, etc. – and was struck by a number of things in the New Labour manifesto. This in particular now strikes a rather chilling note:

“New Labour is the political arm of none other than the British people as a whole.”

I mean WTF? Isn’t that the kind of thing totalitarian regimes say about themselves? At least we can’t pretend we weren’t told.

Then there’s already an indication of a desire to play fast and loose with the legal system:

“…fast-track punishment for persistent young offenders by halving the time from arrest to sentencing”

Note the missing stage of trial and actually needing to be found guilty. As ever it’s hard to believe so many of them are trained lawyers.

Some stuff, though is almost comic in the mismatch between what they said and what they actually did:

“…In health policy, we will safeguard the basic principles of the NHS, which we founded, but will not return to the top-down management of the 1970s. So we will keep the planning and provision of healthcare separate, but put planning on a longer-term, decentralised and more co-operative basis. The key is to root out unnecessary administrative cost, and to spend money on the right things – frontline care…”

and

“…Over-centralisation of government and lack of accountability was a problem in governments of both left and right. Labour is committed to the democratic renewal of our country through decentralisation and the elimination of excessive government secrecy…”

But best of all is the list of 10 pledges, of which this is number nine:

“We will clean up politics, decentralise political power throughout the United Kingdom and put the funding of political parties on a proper and accountable basis.”

Yeah, right. Maybe it was a typo and they meant ‘We will clean up in politics”.

Whilst shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart; nor will moderation be utterly exiled from the minds of tyrants.
Edmund Burke

Be sure your sin will find you out

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

Via, this gave me the best laugh of the day. Ted Haggard, though. Sounds like a made up name, don’t you think? Clearly, this is one of those stories that brings a warm glow to the heart of every right-thinking person. It almost doesn’t matter if it’s true, though it would be much more fun if it were.

He really is one of those people for whom the word ‘oleaginous’ might have been specially-minted, oozing false sincerity and fellowship from every pore, while cheerfully condemning almost all of humanity to eternal torture and clearly relishing the prospect. It’s not enough for him to be ‘saved’ – anyone who disagrees with him has to be ‘damned’ as well.

Life’s just a bugger sometimes, isn’t it?

*Not often I get to use a genuine biblical quote as a title

Self-respect: The secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.
HL Mencken

A suitable case for treatment

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

I get sent a lot of unsolicited catalogues at work. Today I recieved this Book Catalogue:

Sigh. More bumf.

Take a look at the middle top item. Another example of something I first noticed on a cinema poster nearly thirty years ago (it was in Aberystwyth and I think it was for the Gauntlet) – Clint Eastwood really shouldn’t have his first name spelled out in capital letters. Yet here he is, still doing it. Has nobody told him? Are they afraid? Is it deliberate or is it just graphic designers taking the piss? Let’s take a closer look…

Has nobody told him?

Cunt Eastwood. How hard a name is that, eh?

Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.
Edmund Burke

Doggerel Dave elsewhere

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

My alter ego, Doggerel Dave, has been active in the comments to Rachel’s rhythmic, rhyming rant. I can’t help myself – I just find it too easy and tempting, and my brain just works that way. Come and have a go yourself – let’s face it, there’s plenty of source material.

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.
Edmund Burke

Rhyme wave

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

In response to this:

How many have started a blog,
a daily excrescence they clog
with their ‘rapier’ wit,
in the vain hope that it
will leave any readers agog?

Or maybe a parental log
Recounting the deeds of their sprog -
No commonplace brat,
But a prodigy – that
You can see here, asleep, with the dog.

A chance to feel more than a cog?
You’ve important opinions to flog.
A chance to be free -
though pseudonymously -
Then vanish back into the fog.

[Well. Completed them all at a jog,
but a favourite childhood prog
that I couldn't fit in,
rather to my chagrin,
was a reference to Noggin the Nog.]

Power corrupts, but Power Point corrupts absolutely.


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