What is in a name?

Labour has started calling Don Brash "Digger" Don. Even their ertswhile lickspittles are now using it.

Now this is meant to be an insult but my off the cuff research suggests that Labour has badly miscalculated on this one.

Digger for me conjures up the following thoughts;

  • Anzac Spirit
  • Mateship
  • resourcefulness
  • battler
  • fighter
  • trooper
  • Soldier
  • Gold miner

All good connotations. I know a couple of ex-Diggers and they wear the badge with honour. I think Don should as well.

Labour have also fallen into the trap of giving him a likeable nickname. Everyone in Politics knows about Kiwi Keith, Robs Mob, "King Dick" Seddon and "Gentleman Jack" Marshall. Thanks to Labour we now have "Digger Don".

Another intersti9ng aside is the following definitions, take what you will from them:

Encyclopedia Britannica : any of a group of agrarian communists who flourished in England in 1649-50 and were led by Gerrard Winstanley (q.v.) and William Everard.

Wikipedia :

  1. Australian and New Zealand slang term for a soldier: Digger (soldier)
  2. Australian term for a gold miner (on the 'diggings') during the gold rushes of the 1850s
  3. An obsolete derogatory term for the Native Americans of California

Wikipedia : Digger was a popular term used to describe Australian and New Zealand soldiers during the First World War. Diggers were seen to possess the characteristics of hardiness, the ANZAC spirit, mateship and resourcefulness. The term is still used today as slang for an Australian soldier.

So all in all where Labour originally set out to denigrate they have in fact "iconised". Their bent for slur and slander would appear to have backfired.


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