arbitrary constant does not condone the use of bad language in respectable society, but politics has never been respectable. Which is why Margaret Beckett’s reaction to being told she was to be made the Foreign Secretary:


is highly commendable.
As the Observer blog points out, however, Mrs Beckett isn’t the only high-level politican to be caught using such language. John Reid, on being told he was to become Health Secretary, said:

Fuck no, not health.

His reaction probably being something to do with the fact he’d have to give up his 60 a day smoking habit.
The best reaction, however, is that of the permanent secretary at the Department of Transport — Richard Mottram — during the Jo Moore “bury bad news” incident:

We’re all fucked: I’m fucked, you’re fucked, the whole department’s fucked.

As the Observer points out, Mottram “demonstrated not only a clear proficiency in profanity but a knack for the forgotten art of conjugation.”
In truth, arbitrary constant couldn’t give a fcuk what language people use. After all, if judges don’t seem to mind a bit of suggestive language, why should arbitrary constant?


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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.