Verging on the ridiculous

9 May

The late Guardian journalist Simon Hoggart coined the phrase “the law of the ridiculous reverse”, which states that if the opposite of a statement is plainly absurd, it was not worth making in the first place.

It is entertaining to apply this to some of the statements in Newham Labour’s election manifesto. For example:

Labour will do the best we can to protect the services residents value

Would any party promise the opposite? They might win points for honesty but not many votes.

Or how about this:

Labour will continue to fully assess the effectiveness of all initiatives designed to reduce crime and will act appropriately to make them more effective.

The thought of the mayor promising to abandon assessment, act inappropriately and deliberately make crime reduction initiatives less effective is amusing but absurd. 

Labour will … ensure that our young people and adults are provided with greater and better choice.

As opposed to offering lesser and worse choices perhaps?

There are many others to choose from, but this one is my favourite:

we are reviewing the spend on public health to make sure that the money is targeted effectively on programmes which actually make a difference

And there I was expecting a promise to throw public money around like a drunk sailor on shore leave without regard to the consequences!

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