Krueger: extreme metaphor

  B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Kevin Krueger says he'll rein-in his use of "military metaphors" after directing an appalling and badly-timed comment toward New Democratic Party leadership hopeful Adrian Dix.

"If there ever was a guy that shouldn't put his head up to get it shot off, as the soldiers refer to it, it's Adrian Dix," said Krueger in an interview radio stations CIFM and B100 in his Kamloops hometown.

Krueger, as reported in a story published in the Sun Saturday, expressed his regrets in an e-mail to Dix on Friday.

But he also concedes the  need to purge his vocabulary of some of the more extreme language.

"I couldn't believe I didn't think of the new context (the Tucson tragedy) until the moment that metaphor passed my lips," he told me on the weekend. "Since then, I've realized that our language in the legislature is heavily sprinkled with military metaphors. I'm trying to edit all mine."

He's right about the prevalence of the language of combat in political discourse.

MLAs target each other's position, they aim for weak spots in each others' armour and fire shots across the bow, they shoot down, assault, torpedo, blast, slash, hack, snipe, bombard and (in the case of members of their own party) stab in the back.

Traditionally, the two sides of the legislature are separated "by two sword lengths" and, as the joke goes, on some occasions here in B.C., that is still necessary.

Still, Krueger is also right to acknowledge that context is everything.

And some metaphors are more appalling than others. One thing to "attack" an opponent on the issues. Far more extreme to suggest that if he, personally, sticks his head about the trench line, he might get it shot off.

Not for the first time did Krueger talk himself into trouble.

But worth nothing that in the last exchange of apologies in the provincial political arena, he was on the receiving end.

It happened last October when in the course of an interview on Voice of B.C. (the show I host on Shaw TV)Leonard Krog compared him to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

Krog apologized the next day and Krueger accepted.

xxxxx

My apologies to the readers who sent in comments on this posting. I accidentally (and irretrievably) deleted your comments, but would be happy to repost if you send them again.

–vaughn

 

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