Friday, February 23, 2024


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Nanny state

Nanny state is a term of British origin that conveys a view that a government or its policies are overprotective or interfering unduly with personal choice. The term likens such a government to the role that a nanny has in child rearing.

An early use of the term comes from Conservative British Member of Parliament Iain Macleod who referred to "what I like to call the nanny state" in the 3 December 1965 edition of The Spectator.

The term was popularised by journalists Bernard Levin and Auberon Waugh and later by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.


TINA Principle

"There is no alternative" (TINA) is a political slogan arguing that capitalism is the only viable system.

The slogan is strongly associated with the policies and persona of the Conservative British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

In a speech to the Conservative Women's Conference on 21 May 1980, Thatcher appealed to the notion saying, "We have to get our production and our earnings into balance. There's no easy popularity in what we are proposing but it is fundamentally sound. Yet I believe people accept there's no real alternative."

The slogan was often used by Thatcher to signify Thatcher's claim that the market economy is the best, right and only system that works, and that debate about this is over. Thatcher described her support of markets as flowing from the moral principle that for human behavior to be moral requires free choice by people.


Jackboots and Hobnail boots

1. a boot
2. ruthlessly and violently oppressive

A jackboot is a military boot such as the cavalry jackboot or the hobnailed jackboot. The hobnailed jackboot has a different design and function from the former type. It is a combat boot designed for marching. It rises to mid-calf or higher without laces and sometimes has a leather sole with hobnails.

Jackboots of the Household Cavalry, British Army.

In footwear, a hobnail is a short nail with a thick head used to increase the durability of boot soles or provide traction.

Hobnailed boots are boots with hobnails (nails inserted into the soles of the boots), usually installed in a regular pattern, over the sole. They usually have an iron horseshoe-shaped insert, called a heel iron, to strengthen the heel, and an iron toe-piece. They may also have steel toecaps. The hobnails project below the sole and provide traction on soft or rocky terrain and snow, but they tend to slide on smooth, hard surfaces.

They have been used since antiquity for inexpensive durable footwear, often by workmen and the military. Examples include the caligae of the Roman military, the "ammo boot" in use by the British and Commonwealth armies from the 1860s and the US Army "trench boots" of World War I.

Hobnailed boots

Jackboots have been associated popularly with totalitarianism, since they were worn by German military and paramilitary forces in the run-up to and during the Second World War.

The boots of German soldiers had hobnails not only to make the jackboots more durable, the hobnails added to the theatrics of a marching German army by creating a sharp click sound when each boot hit the hard streets.

Third Reich German officer’s jackboots


Iron curtain

The Iron Curtain is a term used to describe the political boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991. The term symbolizes the efforts by the Soviet Union (USSR) to block itself and its satellite states from open contact with the West, its allies and neutral states.

The use of the term "Iron Curtain" as a metaphor for strict separation goes back at least as far as the early 19th century. It originally referred to fireproof curtains in theatres. The author Alexander Campbell used the term metaphorically in his 1945 book It's Your Empire, describing "an iron curtain of silence and censorship [which] has descended since the Japanese conquests of 1942".

Its popularity as a Cold War symbol is attributed to its use in a speech Winston Churchill gave on 5 March 1946, in Fulton, Missouri, soon after the end of World War II:
From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow.

Cold War:

A cold war is a state of conflict between nations that does not involve direct military action but is pursued primarily through economic and political actions, propaganda, acts of espionage or proxy wars waged by surrogates.

This term is most commonly used to refer to the American-Soviet Cold War of 1947–1989.

The expression "cold war" was rarely used before 1945.

In 1934, the term was used in reference to a faith healer who received medical treatment after being bitten by a snake. The newspaper report referred to medical staff's suggestion that faith had played a role in his survival as a "truce in the cold war between science and religion".

At the end of World War II, George Orwell used the term in the essay "You and the Atom Bomb" published on October 19, 1945, in the British magazine Tribune. Contemplating a world living in the shadow of the threat of nuclear war, he warned of a "peace that is no peace", which he called a permanent "cold war".Orwell directly referred to that war as the ideological confrontation between the Soviet Union and the Western powers.

The definition which has now become fixed is of a war waged through indirect conflict.


Spit and polish


Extreme attention to cleanliness, orderliness, smartness of appearance, and ceremony

Spit and polish was first recorded in 1895. The term originated in the meticulous cleaning by military officers to maintain their required spick-and-span image, which often involved polishing objects, such as their shoes, by spitting on them and then rubbing them with a cloth. Notably, the Victorian British navy was commonly referred to as the "Spit and Polish Navy" for the thoroughness in which they carried out this order.

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