The Guardian • Issue #2087

WEASEL WORDS

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2087
Weasel Words heading

Brave

As if ‘let’s have the conversation’ wasn’t annoying enough, Goldstein MP Zoe Daniels wants the government to be ‘brave’ about changing the tax system. We completely agree, and would like the Labor government to make the tax system more progressive, and get rid of rorts like negative gearing and all the various deductions that make the tax system a way of getting money from people who work for a living to people who are already rolling in the stuff. Doing that would be ‘brave’ in the sense of ‘suicidal,’ the way the Australian political system is set up now.

Turns out that what Daniels means by ‘brave’ is that the government shouldn’t be afraid to tax rich people less, lest the wealthy just give up being aspirational (see below). Once Labor’s timid changes to the Stage 3 tax cuts go through, the streets of Daniel’s electorate will be filled with rich people doing nothing because they’ve got a few hundred less back than they thought they would.

Aspiration

Ugh, it’s back. ‘Aspiration’ and ‘aspirational’ were leading words of the Howard era (1996-2007), as a nice way of saying that you could get people to agree to be ripped off now if you could trick them into thinking they’d be richer later on.

Peter Dutton, like Zoe Daniels, is worried that tinkering with a cash handout to the top 2 per cent will “crush aspiration”. Maybe, although it seems more likely that people who are well-off will continue to aspire to be even richer. Dutton’s aspiration is to a undemocratic ethnostate with him in charge. You can crush that aspiration any time you like.

Dishonourable

This is a real and meaningful word, but it’s weaselly, not to mention sort of amusing when wielded by someone who wouldn’t know honour if it bit them on the leg. Dutton has repeatedly and demonstrably lied about Black Australians, and about spying on an Australian senator. He’s also recently called Albanese ‘dishonourable’ for changing the Stage 3 tax cuts so that they don’t just benefit the already loaded. Coming from Dutton, that’s like being told off for smoking by a chimney.

Clunky

An extensive sympathetic report from Nine newspapers details a Melbourne couple who were allegedly harassed after their membership in a a Zionist Whatsapp group came to light. In between offering to help persecute pro-Palestinian media figures, one of the pair compared anti-Zionist Jews to urban Indigenous people, the implication being that the former are not real Jews and the latter not really Aboriginal. He described his comments as ‘clunky’ which sounds like something you’d say about a car, also nicer than ‘racist’.

Real people

Former Neighbours actor Holly Candy (née Valance) has gained a further 15 minutes of fame by showing up at a Liz Truss* event called ‘Popular Conservatism’ and claiming that people give up being lefties after they start making money (in her case by marrying a billionaire). She added “for real people”, making us wonder who she thinks the unreal people are.

* The recent British PM whose term in office didn’t last longer than it takes a head of lettuce to go off.

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