Monday, 13 June 2011

Gromit's "Grafting" Gaffe

Some half-wit in the Labour party has today fondly imagined that it might be A Good Move to get poor old Gromit to declare that the party shall henceforth be the party of "grafters".

Clearly the posh intern who came up with this gem, imagined that he/she was employing a solid working class expression, which was same in sentiment, but groovily different from the hackneyed "hardworking families" phrase, tarnished by overuse in the Brown years.

While we all know that graft can mean hard work, with an etymology derived from the work involved in creating defensive earthworks, moats etc; hence the grafting tool which is a form of spade used by groundworkers to this day - and damned hard work wielding one of those is too by all accounts - it is a shame these fools didn't have a little residual knowledge or failing that - check the dictionary:

graft, n.5
colloq. (orig. U.S.).

The obtaining of profit or advantage by dishonest or shady means; the means by which such gains are made, esp. bribery, blackmail, or the abuse of a position of power or influence; the profits so obtained.

While it would be bad enough if it were only mere foreigners who understood the word to have negative connotations, unfortunately, it's not as though this usage is so American that it's unknown in this country.

A documentary about crack houses a couple of years ago, incensed my husband on many levels but no more so than when, the female announced she was off out "grafting".

Ironically her use of English was astonishingly precise and while immoral, it was not hypocritical. Better than Gromit! She was using the word quite correctly to mean that she was going out to rob, steal, con or otherwise obtain money by dishonest means, for her next hit.

Is there really no communications professional, speech-writer, or political advisor currently employed by the Labour Party, who has access to a dictionary? Or someone with more than a rudimentary grasp of the speech patterns of the lumpenproletariat?

Cross posted to Charlie's Blog.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Labour Leader Proposes Apolitical Approach to Social Care

The FT this morning flagged up the Labour leader's call for all the main parties to hold talks on how to resolve the thorny issue of social care, which has come to a head in the last week over the crisis at Southern Cross.
"Mr Miliband will now ask the Tories and Lib Dems to come to the table for apolitical discussions; the time has come for the parties to stop “playing party politics” with the issue."
The BBC confirms that the PM is all for it:
David Cameron welcomed Mr Miliband's call for cooperation on the issue.

He said: "This is a very difficult issue to get right as a country - the long-term costs of social care, how we share those costs, how we pay for them.

"If there is an opportunity for cross-party work on that, I thoroughly welcome it.

This is gratifying news indeed for those of us who have been banging this apolitical drum; and it is a rebuke to a certain Conservative local government leader who at the election count a month ago derided apolitical democracy as a foolish contradiction in terms.

The time for this movement is a-coming in.

Cross posted to Charlie Farrow's blog.