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Military metaphors 

There’s no US equivalent of parliamentary sketch writers. I think there are two reasons why. First, US newspapers are comparatively po-faced about the news (except for licensed humorists in carefully defined spaces). Second, the general standard of “debate” in Congress is boring and formulaic.

So US readers may not understand Simon Hoggart, a current master of the genre. Today’s sketch, however, picks up an understandable obsession of Doc Searls — the ways the metaphors we use define and channel our thinking (with appropriate homage to George Lakoff).

“Take health questions yesterday. Of course they’ve always been ‘aiming to hit targets’. Now, we’re told, repeatedly, ‘new funding is getting through to the front line’… It’s spreading everywhere. David Lammy, sometimes tipped as our first black prime minister, is currently in charge of dentistry, which makes him a minister of the crown. He talked about a ‘personal dental service pilot’, presumably a sort of flying doctor who crosses enemy lines looking for caries and impacted wisdom teeth. Then they land and start parade ground drilling.”

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