Monday, 13 July 2009

Hue And Cry To Humble Pie

Where I am staying for a few days, whilst doing the 're-decs', is a very civilised household in that the 'small room' has a range of reading material to 'while away the time', so to speak. Browsing the offerings I came across the above title, written by Judy Parkinson, a few snippets of which I thought may be of interest, especially when put into the modern-day political context.

Affluent Society: A phrase, in fashion from the late 50s, used to describe the growth in material wealth of British Society during the decade after the Second World War. Popularized in JK Galbraith's book The Affluent Society in 1958: 'In the affluent society no useful distinction can be made between luxuries and necessities'.

To those of us of a certain age what we used to consider luxuries are now, in turn, considered necessities by the younger generation. This prompts the thought that maybe therein lies one of the ills of our society: credit - if you don't have to work and save for something, how can you know its true worth and thus gain satisfaction from owning it?

To cover one's ass: A slang term, American in origin, meaning to make up an excuse or prepare an alibi in advance, in order to avoid being blamed if something goes wrong.

Nowadays prevalent amongst the political elite!

At this moment in time: A classic example of circumlocution to make a point with as many words as possible, when one word would do and this word is 'now'.

Again, the political elite love this phrase.

Back to basics: By now an infamous phrase, meaning to go back to the ground rules. Dating back to the 1950s, probably derived from the expression used in mathematics and physics, 'to go back to first principles', with the implication that any calculation, however complicated, has its origin in just a few essential basic rules. Made famous by John Major in 1993, albeit with the best of intentions - back firing due to a number of sleaze/sex scandals - funny what goes round come round, albeit in a different colour. What Major said was: 'We must go back to basics.....lead the country back to these basics, right across the board: sound money, free trade, traditional teaching, respect for family and law.'

If only - EU, Human Rights, Fake Charities, Pressure Groups, Bureaucrats and Jobsworths permitting.

Big Brother is watching you: From George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four (1949) and his fictional Ministry of Truth; popularly now applied to an individual or establishment that exercises dictatorial control, supposedly for every one's benefit.

Problem now is that we also have his (Big Brother's) bloody father, mother, son, daughter and grandchildren all watching us!

To laugh all the way to the bank: Originally the expression was 'To cry all the way to the bank'. Usually made about someone who has done something questionable, while making a great deal of money.

Obvious culprits being MPs with their allowances and expenses. Problem also now, it is the banks that are crying out for money.

Dear John letter: A 'you're dumped' note from wife or girlfriend breaking the news that the relationship with the recipient is over.

Er.....Dear Gordon, .........

Garbage in, garbage out:
A term, believed from typesetting and computing, sometimes known as GIGO - meaning that if you put incorrect data into a computer, however much you embellish it, what comes out is meaningless and useless.

Bit like all this global warming rubbish we are getting fed - coupled with every IT programme run by this government - in other words utter crap!

A pig in a poke:
To buy something sight unseen, to make a blind purchase, usually worthless.

Tad like the present political party's manifestos - especially those of 1997, 2001 and 2005!

To play the white man:
To be a 'good sport', to play by the 'rules, to be someone of 'honourable' character.

Coupled with:

Black is beautiful:
Coined by Stokely Carmichael (born Kwame Toure - 1941) at a civil-rights rally in Memphis, Tennessee in 1966 in an attempt to destroy the negative associations that the word 'black' had until then.

In this present day politically-correct, Human Rights, diversity and equality age in which we live, no prizes for guessing which of the two phrases would create the greatest furore amongst our 'left-leaning' brethren - mind you the first phrase promptly excludes some of those presently occupying positions as MPs!

No comments: