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A Nickname – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson

March 11th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Political Communication, Politics, Prose, Writing

Politicians are always trying to find the words which will stick. ‘A nickname is the heaviest stone the devil can throw at a man,’ said William Hazlitt, and described precisely what is meant when words are used to ‘nail’ a rival politician—‘nail it to his forehead’, as Paul Keating used to say. It is done in the hope that one’s enemy thereafter will be branded and the public will interpret his every word and action in this light: he cannot be trusted, he is weak, he is a loser, and so on.

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