Thursday, April 29, 2010

Paying down?

David Cameron tonight referred to people "paying down" their mortgages. I'm used to this phrase because I live in Canada. In North America to pay down your mortgage is to pay it off.

Gordon Brown, on the other hand, used his favourite Americanism, that he has been using for a few weeks now -- "middle class" as a replacement for the tired phrase "hard working families" which itself started as a euphemism for "working class". In Canada the nearest equivalent to the Labour Party is the NDP, but it is very "old Labour", whose politicians like to be filmed with rolled up shirt sleeves speaking to mass meetings from soap-boxes, so it is bemusing to hear them talk about the hard pressed "middle class".

It seems one effect of having US presidential style debates, with imported USA tutors, is going to be the importation of new North American vocabulary.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Too busy to blog.

A friend of mine has the journal kept by her grandfather when, as an army private he was sent to China to subdue the Boxer Rebellion. On the ship over there he and his pals amused themselves by playing cribbage and he used his journal to keep a meticulous record of his scores and to record his boredom at the dull routine of a troop ship. When he got to China he became fully occupied, had no time to write, and sadly his journal ends with a series of blank pages rather than a graphic first-hand account of warfare, vandalism and looting in which he took part.

Canvassing and leafleting probably isn't as engrossing as being an agent of British imperialism, but I do have stuff to do and no time to blog.




Thursday, April 8, 2010

Famous names on the electoral list

Does anyone else play this game? So far I've stuffed envelopes addressed to Josephine Baker, Philip Larkin and Edward Woodward, but been trumped by a fellow stuffer who got Jane Austen.

The Grauniad Election Map and Swingometer

I'm not impressed by the Guardian's Election Map and Swingometer. I had a look at it this morning and selected the constituency where my vote is cast - Staffordshire Moorlands. It told me that it is held by the Conservatives with a majority of 1,168 when it has actually been held by Labour since 1997, Charlotte Atkins MP has a majority of 2438; the Guardian's constituency profile gets it right.