Linguistic ticks I despise

Minneapolis has vowed to defund its police. New Zealand needs to have that conversation

A country doesn’t have a conversation. People do. And she doesn’t mean have a conversation either. She means all should roll over and do as she says. Because to disagree with someone proposing a conversation – or, perhaps disagreeing with what is conversed – is to fail to show respect to the views of others. Or some such nonsense.

It’s even true that there should indeed be a discussion as to whether to defund the police or not – I am all in favour of returning to the one, true, Peelian, path – but I still despise the construction “need to have that conversation”.

23 thoughts on “Linguistic ticks I despise”

  1. Its odd, my memory must be fading badly, I seem to remember the Left arguing in recent elections about how the Evil Tories™ had cut spending on the police force as a bad thing……………..

  2. The Meissen Bison

    ‘Conversation’ sounds reasonable and even-handed with any number of possible conclusions or none. This is diametrically opposite to what is intended which is why the word is usually deployed as here by those wishing to dress up coercion as something legitimate.

    I have found it helpful in the current spate of racist madness to sing: George Floyd knew my father / Father knew George Floyd.

  3. I imagine Sad Dick’s “Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm” will have a conversation with the people about what statutes to censor from the streets.

    No doubt the Commision be stuffed with the usual suspect (mother’s of murdered black teenagers, gay coppers, head of some arts quango etc) and the conversation will be with the chattering classes who already want to destroy British history. Everyone else can of course fuck off as they are racists.

  4. I wonder if they mean defunding the police and having an armed citizenry exercise its own right to self-defence?

    To be fair to New Zealand’s Labour government, it did recently order an investigation (I don’t know if it was a conversation exactly) into whether a capital gains tax should be implemented. It was a reasonable bet that this would just be a white-wash to provide political cover for a decision already made, but in fact the result was in the negative.

  5. Wat — the report argued for it. That was preordained.

    But one of the joys of coalition governments is that really big changes like that struggle to get past. NZFirst killed it dead.

    Public opinion being firmly against did the rest.

    While much of the worlds lobbied think Jacinda is marvellous, opinion in NZ is more divided. Her party wasn’t even the one with the most votes. (Unimportant to the Left if they win, vital when Trump does.)

  6. Apart from misuse of conversation, we also have misuse of, inter alia, “narrative” and my personal hate “speaks to”.

    I imagine a Guardian editor would pass this nonsensical sentence happily: let’s wish them severe Lyme disease effects from their ticks

    NZ needs to have that conversation; the Minneapolis proposal speaks to the narrative about current policing

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    Arthur the Cat June 10, 2020 at 10:02 am – “It’s “take the knee” that’s getting up my nose. To where should one take it?”

    They mean take it to the groin, right in the testicles, if you’re White.

  8. @Gamecock,

    “Hey, Democrats, if you have no cops, how are you going to collect taxes?”


  9. “Hey, Democrats, if you have no cops, how are you going to collect taxes?”

    Or indeed hassle legitimate gun owners…….or enforce ‘hate speech’ laws etc etc. I’m not sure they’re actually though this through – the main reason the Left within the State apparatus have any power is because they have the police to do their bidding. If there’s no police, who is ultimately going to enforce all the legislation coming down from on high? Those children selling lemonade won’t arrest themselves you know.

    Completely by accident the Left have just demanded a minimalist State. The Right should snatch their arms off.

  10. Not a linguistic tic, but cant.

    And, yes, I agree with all the above about these awful expressions.

    It’s a good rule of thumb instantly to question the good faith and intellectual honesty/capacity of people who say things like, “we need to have a conversation about …”.

  11. I wonder if they mean defunding the police and having an armed citizenry exercise its own right to self-defence?

    Sounds great. Well worth a go.

  12. Gamecock has a point. The left generally favors more government regulation and control, so it’s illogical not to also favor a vigorous enforcement capability.

  13. TD.. They will… Defund local police, replace with federal police led by their stooges, copy that Traditional custom of block-heads and kiosk-ladies, and feed the dissenters to the gulags

  14. All the examples I’ve seen of ‘defund/dismantle’ the police have just been coups to replace the people in charge with more amenable ones when you create a new organisation, it does seem to have pushed out some unionisation and brought in stiffer disciplinary codes which isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. What the left mean isn’t less state but taking the police budget and spending it on their pet community initiatives instead

  15. needs to have that conversation

    This is Leftist newspeak for a sustained, one-sided, well-funded political campaign to impose views held by a tiny minority of the population upon the resisting, sensible majority.

  16. Bloke in Lower Hutt

    More to the point New Zealanders don’t need to have that conversation because they already have….

    The Policing Act of 2008, notable for being the first time nationwide consultation on reforms of any proposed legislation was facilitated using a Wiki to attempt to ensure any comment or submission was considered (before being dismissed), brought in an overhaul of the police to make them more representative of the communities they were policing. Eg More Maori, more islanders, more women.

    Note the decision to recruit more women was derived from evidence that they were more effective in dealing with the investigation of specific crimes such as domestic violence and so they were deployed largely in those roles rather than the apprehension of 6’10” armed males. Horses for courses and all that.

  17. Americans suffered eight years of “having a conversation” with Obama and his wing man, Holder, constantly hectoring, denigrating and lying to and about the white population. It was disgusting and they were never called on it.

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