More political clichés
Another pair of ghastly clichés currently uglifying the political debate: the level playing field, and at the end of the day. Few who demand that a playing field be untilted can ever have attempted the task, even with the relevant earth-moving equipment. Evidence that the other cliché is irredeemably dead was provided last week in a radio interview by our breathless Education Secretary, Estelle Morris, earnestly disclaiming any ministerial responsibility for widespread truancy since she couldn’t stop parents telling their children not to bother to go to school: "At the end of the day, in the morning, if a parent…" If Ms Morris’s day ends in the morning, when does it begin? Something else that bugs me, not exactly a cliché, is the misuse of "presently" to mean "currently", or simply "now", threatening to rob us of its useful connotation of "fairly soon but not immediately": ‘Tony Blair is presently our Prime Minister, but is expected to make an announcement about his future presently’ [just an example—don’t get excited].