Wednesday, February 29, 2012

RINOs, Red Tories and Wets! Oh My!

"What do you mean, he's a rhino, Grandpa?"
Well, I explained of course, that its RINO - Republican in Name Only- that I meant. And I explained that in Canada they're called Progressive Conservatives or Red Tories (pass the sick bag, Ethel), while in the UK, Margaret Thatcher's term "wets" sums such pathetic creatures up rather well, but let's let the Iron Lady herself elaborate:
"Jim Prior was an example of a political type that had dominated and, in my view, damaged the post-war Tory Party. I call such figures 'the false squire'. They have all the outward show of a John Bull -ruddy face, white hair, bluff manner - but inwardly they are political calculators who see the task of Conservatives as one of retreating gracefully before the Left's inevitable advance. Retreat as a tactic is sometimes necessary; retreat as a settled policy eats at the soul. In order to justify the series of defeats that his philosophy entails, the false squire has to persuade rank-and-file Conservatives and indeed himself that advance is impossible. His whole political life would, after all, be a gigantic mistake if a policy of positive Tory reform turned out to be both practical and popular."
Thatcher, Margaret, The Downing Street Years pg 104.

"Wet" she explains, "is a pubic schoolboy term meaning 'feeble' or 'timid', as in 'he is so wet you could shoot snipe off him'.
So let's see about translation. I suggest that here we might say, 'He is so Progressive Conservative you could steal his appendix.'
Works for me.

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