Boris Johnson’s government have become famous (well, more accurately, infamous) for over-promising and under-delivering. They are also spectacularly good at trotting out idiomatic (notice how close the word ‘idiomatic’ is to ‘idiotic’) expressions such as Priti Patel’s recent claim that the government have ‘consistently been ahead of the curve’.


I’ve been having fun collecting metaphors and/or idioms (the ‘and/or’ is because I’m not 100 percent sure I understand the difference) whilst listening to government briefings. Here is a small selection.


Tackling the pandemic. We are:
working round the clock/seeing a light at the end of the tunnel/not out of the woods yet/beginning to see the wood from the trees/between a rock and a hard place/between the devil and the deep blue sea/keeping the show on the road/nipping it in the bud/keeping our foot on the pedal/singing from the same hymn sheet.


Negotiating Brexit. We are:
prepared to talk till the cows come home/leaving no stone unturned/fighting tooth and nail/determined to bring home the bacon/refusing to cut off our nose to spite our face/encountering some bumps along the road/not taking our eye off the ball.


Anyway, all I can say is that I’m looking forward to a level playing field/having my cake and eating it/wearing rose coloured spectacles/doing some blue sky thinking/enjoying some low hanging fruit/not being hung out to dry/being on cloud nine/and letting my wife wear the trousers.


I hope I’m not milking it if I finish by hoping you don’t fall down the cracks this Christmas and that you’ll punch above your weight in 2012.

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