The Guardian • Issue #2073


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2073
Weasel Words heading

The centre

Simply the half-way point of something, or the job description of a sportsperson who plays near there; ‘the centre’ enters weaseldom when used to describe political parties. The centre is a magical point half-way between two extremes, such as, for example, not wanting the planet becoming uninhabitable and being fine with earth being unfit for human life.  Tanya Plibersek, our Federal Environment Minister, has said that Labor is “a party of the centre.”  She added that Labor “governs for all Australians”, which doesn’t seem to include the Australians who’d like their kids to outlive Plibersek’s political career.


Not the flooding that we’re bound to have more of thanks to Plibersek’s approach to fossil-fuel projects, but the sort that involves a sneaky trade rival making a lot of things that people want and selling them cheaply. The last time ‘flooding’ was condemned this way, it was the Japanese, filling 1970s USA with televisions that cost less than the local product, as well as motorbikes that didn’t break down all the time.  Now the nasty socialist Chinese have been caught making electric vehicles that Europeans want to buy.  The EU President isn’t having a bar of it, especially since the People’s Republic of China has been subsidising industries, something that would never occur to the European Union.

A perception of a conflict of interest

A recently-promoted Victorian government Minister used this very long-winded way of saying that he’d been found out when it turned out he announced a vast contract that benefited the Commonwealth Bank while owning a lot of Commonwealth Bank shares. Interesting things, perceptions, we often have them when there’s something to perceive.


Not content with importing wool, beef, and pop singers, the British have recently taken to snapping up terrible Australian ideas, from their version of the ‘Cambodia solution’ which involved flying asylum seekers to Rwanda, to saying ‘stop the boats’ a lot.  Now British Home Secretary Suella Braverman has reached back to the Howard era here to talk about ‘values’. Apparently British values are better than any values migrants might have. At this rate, it won’t be long before the UK starts forcing immigrants to learn Donald Bradman’s batting average.


Politicising is bad, mainly if the speaker doesn’t like the politics involved. Recently the suggestion that Australian Rules Football events should involve some support for Indigenous self-determination through a Voice to parliament have been described as ‘politicising’ the sport. Why no, the anti-politicising people haven’t complained about Aussie Rules promotion of Anzac day, why do you ask?

Working to

If there’s ever a Guardian – the Workers Weekly book of Weasel Words, it could easily fill a chapter on Weasel Words that involve sounding really active while not doing something. If there is a serious shortfall of ambulances in your state, why not just tell everyone that you’re working to have a lot more ambulances, and hope people never think about who’s responsibility the shortage was in the first place.

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