« | Home | »

Don’t Call Me Eddie

Politicians have not stopped being pompous, but these days they are pompous in a faux-bonhomous, sub-Australian way. The minister is now by inflation called the ‘secretary of state’, but on The World at One or PM, he will address Ms Kearney or Mr Mair as ‘Martha’ or ‘Eddie’ through every wiggle of the party line, much as a master or mistress would once have spoken to an indoor servant. As for themselves, they want us to call them by first names instanter, but not ‘Kenneth’ or ‘Anthony’. Along with the Greengrocer’s Apostrophe, we must now live with the Politician’s Diminutive: he is, and must be, ‘Ken’ or ‘Tony’ (or Geoff, or Ed, or Andy…).

This chummery affects the best of them. Some glinting PR type has told the useful and rather reputable Mr Cable that ‘Vincent’ is too formal. So, to the City and the world, he must now be ‘Vince’. (Actually, so I have heard, before this rubbish came in, ‘Vincent’, with its Catholic ring, had helped him, a non-Catholic, win a tight, Celtic-supporting ward in Glasgow.)

I’m not proposing a return to watch-chains and aldermanic gravity, but ‘Mr Attlee’ and ‘Mr Macmillan’ sounded about right, and the Politician’s Diminutive is an assertion of instant friendship, at source, without the option, which is false all the way through.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • Timothy Rogers on In Philadelphia: The closing sentence of this report is true, and very ominous at that. The critical question then becomes, of the voters who actually turn out in Nov...
    • Charles Turner on England, Secede!: The arguments for brexit were dominated by the alleged need to control immigration. Wouldn't there have to be a serious physical border - a fence - b...
    • Locus on England, Secede!: People in Ireland really hate it when people from Britain (or Jersey, I guess) use the term "Eire." They think it sounds outdated, inaccurate and cond...
    • bggilmore on Cleveland, Day Two: I cruised through Atlantic City, New Jersey recently. Trump has some dead casinos there. He doesn't own them and yet his name is still on the building...
    • Timothy Rogers on Cleveland, Day Three: The question isn't her lying (she's an amateur compared to Trump on this front), but whether or not she's more suitable (and less dangerous) than Trum...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement