Magazine article The Spectator

'Nuff Respect

Magazine article The Spectator

'Nuff Respect

Article excerpt

From Daniel O'Flaherty Sir: Using that drearily fashionable word 'respect' seems to have become an epidemic among politicians (Leading article, 14 January). First we had George Galloway, whose ego-driven Respect party cashed in on anti-Iraq war sentiments.

Then we have had the launch (or rather relaunch) of Labour's Respect Action Plan, an attempt to win brownie points with the middle class. Now the vacuous poster-boy of the Tories, David Cameron, has entered the fray, threatening to unleash real respect on the English public.

All this is brought into sharp perspective in my frequent visits to my anxiety clinic.

The walls, otherwise drab, are festooned with posters proclaiming your right to respect! , replete with happy multicultural faces smiling toothily beneath. Such posters are to be found everywhere in council buildings and seem to perform the modern equivalent of mediaeval icons or tribal fetishes. …

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