If there is one persistent theme throughout the Tory conference it is the over-use of the word “hard-working” to describe the general public. Or rather “hardworking”, with no hyphen.
The phrase is not entirely new: Tony Blair was a big advocate as early as 1994 as he sought to redefine Labour as a centre ground party.
But here the word is being flogged to within an inch of its life. In its relentless, over-powering, repeated use one can detect the hand of Lynton Crosby, the Australian political strategist/lobbyist who has sharpened the Tory message in recent months.
Take Owen Paterson, environment secretary, who promised to support “hardworking rural communities”. He had struck a deal with insurers over flood protection that would “help with the cost of living, enabling hardworking people to access insurance,” he claimed.
Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, sprayed the phrase around at least four times. Under Labour “hardworking people didn’t stop travelling”, he said. “Ask those hardworking people whose trips to work are quicker and smoother already.” And he would Read more