I enjoy a good insult. There is pleasure in hearing a carefully formulated phrase that has no purpose other than to denigrate a deserving recipient. Yes, insults are mean. Yes, in general, if you haven’t got anything nice to say, then you shouldn’t say anything at all — but nobody is perfect.
I was reminded of this enjoyment when reading Alan Duncan describe Boris Johnson as ’a selfish, ill-disciplined, shambolic, shameless clot’. I am confident that nine out of ten Brits would guess correctly if I were to ask who those words describe. Duncan describes Priti Patel, our ineffectual Home Secretary, as ’a nothing person, a complete and utter nightmare, the Wicked Witch of Witham’. It’s accurate, acerbic and includes alliteration. Lovely.
Sadly, my vocabulary of insults is limited to just a handful of four-letter words, but I’ve found that ‘twat’ does a lot of heavy lifting in an emergency.