Claire Perry MP, the Anti-Brexit Government Minister, has flung that most Tory of all the available insults back into the public discourse.
“Holding or expressing political views regarded as extreme or fanatical,” according to the definition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Interestingly, no definition is given in the Cambridge version.
Is this some long held Oxbridge grudge?
A high brow slight enshrined in print and given an airing in public once every four or five years?
Perhaps the Oxford lot have always seen the Cambridge mob as a bit “swivel-eyed” in their political dealings. Having been educated a long way away from any mortar boards, boat racing, or spires, dreaming or otherwise, I’m not qualified to comment.
Ms Perry used the insult in an exchange on a Conservative WhatsApp group, apparently in reference to those hard-line Brexiteers unhappy at the thought of the UK paying a so-called “divorce bill” upon leaving the EU.
“The ‘sell-out traitor mob’ should be ignored…I would hypothesize that they are mostly elderly retired men who do not have mortgages, school-Aged Children or caring responsibilities so they represent the swivel-eyed few not the many we represent.”
I would never condone rudeness, but I can appreciate a well-crafted insult as much as the next online opinion writer.
“Swivel-eyed” does seem a tremendously appropriate piece of language for these times. A particularly physical image of the frenzied disapproval of some new, mildly progressive idea.
Having said this, four of the remaining ambitions in my life are to retire, mortgage-free, and without School Aged Children or caring responsibilities. Am I, too, destined to become swivel-eyed?
Perhaps I should continue to produce offspring in to my seventies to ensure I retain custody of School Aged children for as long as possible, and remain relevant and in touch with the many?
I’m going to have to run this by my wife before I commit.
In 2013, then PM David Cameron referred to the Europhobes in his party who craved an EU referendum as “swivel-eyed loons.”
A truly brilliant put-down ruined only by the fact that he went on to hold that very referendum, motivated by a self-interested scramble for control, only to lose it with a whimper, before sauntering off into the sunset of the great post-PM money-grab.
He’s now busy working on his books, his bank balance, and his double-chins, leaving the rest of us to suffer the consequences.
A fine example of how anyone can deliver a great insult, but to be funny, timing is everything.
(Image: via pixabay.com)