Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Alan Kohler 2006 Political Cliche Market Report

Alan Kohler, the financial expert for ABC News, knows so much about the markets, that he can even tell you things about markets that don't even exist! So who better to ask for a report on the Political Cliche Market?

Alan Kohler's 2006 Political Cliche Market Report

Hi, I'm Alan Kohler, financial expert and genius, and this is the Political Cliche Market Report! And what a year it's been for political cliches, with the resurgence of some old favourites as well as the emergence of some new cliches!
The favourite cliche of the UN and Kofi Annan, 'We are deeply concerned', saw an unexpected downturn in the early months of this year, causing panic in political cliche markets right around the world. 'There are grave fears that the current global shortage of deep concern could lead to a widening crisis,' said Australian PM John Howard in a statement to the press in August. 'We must all roll up our sleeves and pull together to ensure that we preserve the current stocks of deep concern for future generations.'
In a desperate measure, Kofi Annan eventually made the following statement to the media: 'We are deeply concerned at the lack of deep concern on the part of politicians: our concern is so deep that it could hardly be any deeper: and that is of deepest concern.'
While the stocks of deep concern began to grow mid-year, it will be some time before they return to previous highs.

In the Iraq War Cliche Index, some cliches had mixed success. 'Quagmire' fell from previous highs of approximately 100,000 separate mentions in the news media in the years 2005-2006 to barely 10,000 in the year 2006-2007. The 'Grim Milestone' cliche increased in popularity by about 10 per cent, and the phrases 'New Vietnam', 'Like Vietnam', and 'Vietnamesque' also increased in popularity.
By contrast, the cliches 'Not like Vietnam', 'Nope', 'Not at all!' and 'Nonquagmirist' all saw a dip in popularity.

We saw a few additions to the MFRLATNCROUBLRIASTYVM (that's the Market For Really Long Acronyms That Nobody Can Remember Or Understand But Look Rather Impressive In A Sentence Thank You Very Much), as well as the re-use of some favoured political acronyms, such as DFAT, COAG, DIMIA. We'll tell you some of the new additions ASAP.*

If we look at the political cliches of the year on a graph, this is what we get:

No, I can't understand what it says either.
Let's simplify those results and look at them in pie chart form.

Mmmf ... I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself there ... it looked so tasty ...

Moving right along, it's hard to say what direction political cliches will take next year. While it is likely that we will see continued growth in the use of many new cliches, we may see the strengthening of a few of the classics as well:

- No new taxes!
- Moving forwards!
- Taking us backwards!
- Leaning sideways!
- Climbing up the ladder of opportunity!
- The Road to Middle East Peace!
- A fork in the road!

Interestingly, this year we saw an attempt to roll all of these cliches into one, to create, if you will, a kind of 'super' cliche by a Senator standing for the seat of Backowoopwoop, on the border between Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
"Read my lips: no new taxes are taking us backwards instead of leaning sideways and taking us forwards. It's time to climb the ladder of opportunity before we reach a fork in the road to middle east peace and are derailed before take off."
The senator was subsequently returned to his seat with a reduced minority.

*ASAP: Acronym that stands for 'Never'


Anonymous said...

To mix metaphors is to tread lightly on dangerous waters.

TimT said...

Indeed. I think it's much safer to lie.

You should speak to Diogenes. He has a whole collection of mixed metaphors - real ones!

Anonymous said...

In the immortal words of Pontius Pilate, that great ethicist of our times, "What the f**k is truth anyway?" (John 18:38)

Email: timhtrain - at -

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