The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Daily catch-up: guttering snodgripes, pedantic fun and politicians’ instincts

All you really need to know. There are also some pictures of kittens on the internet

1. Important news from the Rochester and Strood by-election. James Worse (above left) has been in touch to clarify his description of Mark Reckless, the MP who defected to UKIP. What he told Michael Crick was: “The man’s a flouty pelmvessel. He should be hoddered into solulence, literally.” There is of course no such thing as a poundvessel, which is how I had rendered it originally.

Mr Worse, who describes himself as a spoken word performer and percussionist (Hand of Stabs), added: “He’s a guttering snodgripe.”

He was speaking in Worsicles. I am so glad to have cleared that up.

2. “It is I.” “That must be they.” “It’s we.” Cracking good pedantic fun: Tom Freeman on Steven Pinker and his critics, in the course of which he quotes this chunk from the American Heritage Dictionary:

“Traditional grammar requires the nominative form of the pronoun in the predicate of the verb be: It is I (not me); That must be they (not them), and so forth. But in less formal contexts the nominative pronoun can sound pretentious and even ridiculous, especially when the verb is contracted, as in It’s we. The traditional rule creates additional problems when the pronoun following be also functions as the object of a verb or preposition in a relative clause, as in It is not them/they that we have in mind, where the plural pronoun serves as both the predicate of is and the object of have.”

3. I once apologised to Norman Baker for suggesting that he was more sensible than he is. My article about his resignation as a minister is in The Independent today.

4. Mark Pack says this is still the Amazon review of which he is most proud.

5. “Politicians end up doing what they are compelled to by their instincts.” Janan Ganesh had a brilliant column in The Financial Times yesterday on how politicians try to pursue strategies but usually make decisions from instinct. Of the core-vote strategy ascribed to Ed Miliband, he said:

“Mr Miliband does not have a 35 per cent strategy. He has a 35 per cent world view. He is authentically leftwing and was only ever going to seek a leftwing path to power.”

The photograph of the Labour leader giving money to a Romanian beggar last week captured the struggle between instinct and calculation perfectly.

_______

6. And finally, thanks again to Chris Heaton-Harris for this:

“Run a marathon in ill-fitting trainers and you’ll almost certainly suffer agony in defeat.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in