Saturday, 8 July 2006


Smoking guns were first talked about in the middle of the last century, there was a famous tape so described in 1974, and Iraq was said to have been full of them a few years ago.

Just lately John Prescott’s activities have brought out a fresh crop. Yesterday smoking guns were mentioned on TV four times, by three different commentators. All these idiots used the phrase as if it meant the impending threat of a discreditable revelation, thus turning a merely boring cliché into a totally meaningless one. Clearly their minds were in neutral when they spoke; a moment’s thought would have made them realise that a smoking gun has just been fired and so has already carried out its threat.

Actually the phrase means, obviously, a piece of incontrovertible incriminating evidence.

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