Modernisers have struck another blow within the cobwebbed corridors of Westminster: as of today the general public in the vicinity of Parliament will no longer be referred to as ‘strangers’.
In the 1980s the rule which allowed MPs to clear the public gallery by shouting “I spy strangers” was done away with, and yesterday MPs voted in favour of a motion which means that the public will now be referred to as…well, “the public”.
The Strangers bar and the Strangers gallery will not change their names however.
Who ever said that politics was a bureaucratic nonsense?
Of course this is not the first time that politicians have used their position to ‘bend’ the English language. In the past MPs have referred to mistresses as ‘close friends’, prostitutes as ‘business acquaintances’, and John Prescott as ‘that fat bastard’.