Diminishing Returns

Politicians and their matey informality on Dalrymple’s Hilarious Pessimist blog:

One of the reasons I preferred Mr Brown to Mr Blair was that he never tried to make himself known by a diminutive of his first name….The vogue of our political class for being known publicly by diminutives grates on me: Anthony Benn, Anthony Blair, Nicholas Clegg, Christopher Huhne, Edward Miliband, Edward Balls. What is all this informality about? After all, one cannot imagine Bob Peel, Ben Disraeli, Bill Gladstone, Dave Lloyd-George, Stan Baldwin, Nev Chamberlain or Jack Major.

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