This week you couldn’t escape “the c word”, Brown was finally going to say it! We had blog posts, tweets and articles galore all giggling about a 4 letter word, beginning with c, that previously the Prime Minister had tried to avoid saying. All most amusing.
It’s just that the issue at hand was more than Brown just saying a naughty word (“cuts” – see the joke is, you’re supposed to think … oh you got it). By discussing cuts, the PM indicated that he was changing his economic strategy, admitting he was wrong when he previously, consistently, insisted that Labour would continue to spend, and spend, and spend. Given that he’s currently running the country, this is quite a big deal.
That was lost because the “c word” joke didn’t seem to get old in the minds of those who continued to write about it. Journalists and bloggers alike thought that people would appreciate their irritatingly crude and insular humour. Probably not if you’re a public servant wondering whether your job has just been reduced to a snickering aside. Or if you’re in the Armed Forces and already sourcing standard kit from home because there’s not enough to go around.
This was funny the first time, in a terrible kind of way, but jokes get old. I think George Osborne first said it a few months back, which given that it relates to economics, is very rare for Mr Osborne. An obvious Westminster in-joke doesn’t endear people to political coverage, it would have had the opposite effect and put people off the issue altogether. Who wants to hear a stale, six-form level joke repeated over and over in print and online? Thought not.
I have no doubt it provided a much needed moral boost – that’s how it came across. It also detracted completely from the issue at stake. And worse, now the three letter “t word” has reared its head and this utter nonsense shows no sign of ceasing.
So now it’s time to turn to another 4 letter word, beginning with “S”: stop. Seriously.