Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The Tories seem to have taken a liking to the word fairness. Jeremy Hunt was very keen on it on newsnight last week. "Snot fair"! he squeaked. Hard working families have to limit the number of children they have and so should the scrounging classes. No one ever mentions working families who don’t work hard, don’t know why. "Fair" comes up over and over again, like a neocon mantra. Everything the government does, it does in the interests of fairness……………it is only fair that……………it is not fair that. I don’t like it. I think it is crude and simplistic and leads to a crude and simplistic analysis. I would much prefer them to use the word just, mind you I would like them to consider what the word actually means before trotting it out.
There were good articles in the yesterdays papers on this. The best was in the Sunday Herald, by the reliably cogent Ian Bell and I recommend it with big brass knobs on, the other was by Will Hutton, who makes the rarely heard point that there are plenty of undeserving rich knocking about, and that, as well as being undeserving, they actively seek to undermine the system, to which I say, "Snot Fair"!
I wrote this the other day, but have only just got around to posting it, and since writing it the use of the word fair seems to have developed into something of a national crisis, every time I open a paper, or a web page or turn on the radio, someone is debating what the word actually means. If it carries on, the word will become utterly meaningless, if it hasn't already. I heard Nick Clegg describe the new proposals for tuition fees as fair. Er, beg pardon? This is the same Nick Clegg who only a few short months ago pledged, along with every other lib dem, to resist any rise in tuition fees. Already, the word fair, when uttered by liberals and conservatives, seems to mean the exact opposite of its original meaning.
Similarly, to "Clegg", will come to mean: "to abandon all ones principles and dignity"