Wednesday, 25th September 2013

by Joshua Gaskell

Looking back at an old copy of the New Statesman I find a leader which reads, ‘the UK is, as Mr Osborne has tautologically observed, a “safe haven”. (Aren’t all havens safe by definition?).’ Ironically, this is itself tautological, since the writers use the word ‘tautologically,’ then by implication repeat the meaning of tautology with the parenthetical question. Which is to say, don’t all tautologies pose the question ‘aren’t all [blank]s [blank] by definition’? In any case, whereas Osborne was clearly disingenuous, I’m heartened by Miliband’s speech to conference yesterday and his pledges to stand up to big business.

I quite often catch myself (particularly cycling, or it used to be in the bath, when I could have baths) absentmindedly fantasising about something – first novel awards or somesuch – and then find myself too self-conscious to carry on. Then I’m disappointed. I can’t continue with something I was enjoying, because full cognisance has made it seem silly.