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Why I want to whack Cameron and Clegg

Matt Chorley

1377662971 288x300 Why I want to whack Cameron and CleggA worrying trend emerging in Coalition language: the use of the word “whack”. Not in the sense of “whacking the poor” but the (more American sounding) complaining about something being “out of “whack”. As far as I can tell it is a new, infuriating development in 2012, but I stand ready to be corrected.
Cameron started it on January 6, announcing:

“I think the whole bonus culture has got completely out of whack.”

Then Clegg got in on the act in his January 16 CentreForum/Mansion House speech, when he declared:

“Our economy is now seriously out of whack.”

And in today’s speech he has said:

“The Coalition is calling time on our unfair and out-of-whack tax system.”

I have yet to find evidence of Ed Miliband using “whack”, though no doubt he was the first to use and was ridiculed but now everyone is and is proof of Labour setting the agenda.

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  • Guest

    My copy of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th edition (revised) 2006, defines the phrase ‘out of whack’ in the context of Cameron’s and Clegg’s quotes: not working, skewed or awry.

    Dictionary: a book that lists the words of a language in alphabetical order and gives their meaning.

  • porkfright

    I particularly like the slang term “A bunch of Whackos”. Seems most relevant when applied to politicians.

  • exchemist

    The word I would most like to ban from politics at present is “fairness”. Brown started it but they are all at it now, including even Obama. “Fairness” is hopelessly subjective: perfect for judicious-sounding but tendentious sound bites, useless for making real policy. 

  • Pacificweather

    Fairness is definitely out of whack.


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