Now for the missing words round …

The Guardian website appends a word-cloud for the ConDem mid-term review:

Coalition mid-term wordle

What’s missing? Well, three that jump to mind are:

  • Deficit. Is it there? Has it gone away? Actually, no: it is the very first section of the published document, where the word gets the grand total of just six uses, one of which is the section title. Clearly the message is: “Nothing to see here. Move along now!”.
  • Unemployment. Even though the the Office for Budget responsibility are reckoning on the numbers increasing by 200,000 in 2013, it also seems to have been vanished. Again, not quite: the word gets three outings in the Jobs and Welfare section (nice conjunction of two very different ideas, but it tells us where we’re being driven). Two of those uses are specifically in connection with “youth unemployment”, the third is the mantra about “making work pay” for those “stuck in unemployment and poverty traps.”
  • Labour. The previous government is no longer responsible for the mythical mess? Perhaps that one’s unfair: even the ConDems seem to have recognised “That was then. This is now.” Otherwise we are expected to decode “the previous administration”: the meerkats no longer mention by name the dreaded mongoose.

Malcolm has resolved not to suffer much further: Andrew Sparrow’s observation [@ 3:23 pm] was:

I’m glad I don’t have to turn that into a splash. I haven’t had time to read the mid-term review yet, but colleagues who have taken a look are saying it is pitifully thin. And we did not learn a great deal from the press conference either, although Cameron and Clegg did a reasonable job quashing speculation that the coalition may collapse before 2015.

Guido Fawkes‘s shouts and claps out-voice the deep mouth’d sea normally precede any major Tory effusion. On this occasion the mighty whiffler was subdued:

It reads an awful lot like the Coalition Academy letter in Private Eye…

In connection with Staines-by-name-and-by-nature reading such a turgid document so fast, Dr Johnson’s comparison of Quaker women preaching comes to mind: it —

 … is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.

With a deep sigh, Malcolm recognises that, short of the Crossrail excavation setting off a major volcano under Canary Wharf (a consummation devoutly to be wish’d), overnight large quantities of newsprint will be expended this non-event. And we’re no longer allowed to recycle the waste for useful fish-and-chip wrapper *.

* Memo to self: where did that expression originate?


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Filed under David Cameron, Guardian, Guido Fawkes, Lib Dems, Literature, Nick Clegg, Tories.

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