Alarming Cliché Count

John Rentoul

diy mp3 alarm clock 229x300 Alarming Cliché CountDavid Mills draws Nick Clegg’s article for today’s Sun to my attention, saying, in the tone of Obi-Wan Kenobi when Qui-Gon Jinn tests Anakin Skywalker for midi-chlorians, that it contains “more clichés per 100 words than any piece of political copy I have ever seen. Staggeringly, woefully, shamefully awful.” (Obi-Wan: “The reading’s off the chart… over twenty thousand. Even Master Yoda doesn’t have a midi-chlorian count that high!”)

The signature sound bite is Alarm Clock Britain, a piece of rhetoric as embarrassing as any of the all-time turkeys of political history. Not only that, but Flashing Blade says that it is “stolen from Sarkozy’s ‘La France qui se leve tot‘ (the France that gets up early) from 2007″.

Anyway, here is the article in its entirety, 495 words, clichés (134 words, 27 per cent of the total) in red:

There are millions of people in Alarm Clock Britain. People, like Sun readers, who have to get up every morning and work hard to get on in life. People who want their kids to get ahead.
People who don’t want to rely on state handouts. People who don’t need politicians to tell them what to think or how to live their lives. People who are not poor but struggle to stay out of the red.
They are the backbone of Britain.
These are the people who will get this country moving again. It is their hard graft, day in, day out, that will get us out of the hole Labour left us in.
This Government is formed by a coalition of two parties and we want to join the people of Alarm Clock Britain in another coalition. A coalition of people prepared to roll up their sleeves and get the nation back on its feet.
Ed Miliband may be prepared to hide under his duvet from the problems Labour left us with. But we will get up every morning and face up to them. In Alarm Clock Britain, people don’t want a handout but they appreciate a helping hand. And that is exactly what the Coalition Government is offering them.
I know that times are difficult right now. We are having to make cuts to pay off Labour’s debts and some bills are going up.
Now more than ever, politicians have to be clear who they are standing up for. Be in no doubt, I am clear about who that is. That is why the Liberal Democrats made a promise to voters on the front of our manifesto.
That no basic rate taxpayer will pay any tax on the first £10,000 they earn.
We’ve already taken the first steps which will take nearly 900,000 out of paying tax altogether.
From April, every single taxpayer earning less than £42,500 a year will see their income tax bill cut by £200. By the time of the next election, 23 million people will be paying £700 less.
The Government is lending a hand in other ways, too.
We are protecting jobs by cutting red tape for employers and stopping Labour’s tax on jobs. We are putting more money into our schools. We are increasing childcare for kids under five to help the mums and dads who get up every morning and juggle work with raising their families.
And we’re helping the grandparents too by protecting pensions and putting billions into social care.
Today, I’ll be meeting some of the hardworking heroes of Alarm Clock Britain. They, like many of you, had to set the alarm incredibly early this morning. They are busy doing their jobs long before it’s even light.
The people in Alarm Clock Britain deserve a break.
They drive our economy every single day of the year. Rain, wind or shine they are busy making this country tick.

Update: I have amended Luke to Anakin Skywalker above, after some tedious pedants intervened.

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  • MontyBest

    I agree with Nick!

  • John Rentoul

    “Putting money into” schools or hospitals is a cliche – “more” is not, if you see what I mean.

  • ab1210

    Only three more years to go then Clegg and his cliches will be voted into political oblivion

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