What’s in the Words:  a Political Prognosis



Teresa is quite fond of the word game in which you see how many words you can make from the letters of some longer word or phrase.  For instance, ‘Christmas’ or ‘New Year’, as she invited you to try recently. 


In an idle moment, and with talk of an election growing ever louder, I tried the game on the two party leaders – their letters, that is, not Tony Blair and William Hague themselves.  After my first run through, I was stuck at exactly 100 words for each of them.  (But see footnote.)  What kind of coincidence was this, I asked myself.  Is there some hidden significance in ‘the words’?  The more I looked, the more I thought there was, so here is my analysis.  You may agree or not, but time will tell! 


In the following, words formed from letters in their names are in capitals.



The Words of




Tony Blair will start the election campaign as an apparently BRAINY leader, conducting his government with BRIO, ABLY and NOBLY wielding his BATON over his disparate band.  There is a danger, however, that he may begin to be seen as a NOB, and this could alienate the honest sons of TOIL, like the TRIBAL union BARONs, who will not welcome the ARTY and AIRY views of his coterie.  New Labour must not seem BLOATed on power or too anxious to join the gravy TRAIN. 


Opponents may then emphasise some of the less desirable characteristics:  is he a BOY wonder or a young BRAT who has shot his BOLT, RANTing on about ANY policy that seems popular?  Are there as many LIARs, RATs and YOBs in his party as in any other?  This is where the ROT may set in.


Key policies he will need to sell to the electorate will be on Europe (where the ANTIs start with an advantage), support for the family (he has a young BAIRN of his own), transport (especially the future of the RAILways and avoiding further fuel RIOTs) and the public services – no use continually saving money for a RAINY day.  And he needs to show he is no TIRO internationally, but a true BRITish LION.


Are there any lurking dangers which could give the TORY leader a RAY of hope?  I think not.  Defeat could only come from within, and, after Mandelson, who else could BLOT his copybook?  It couldn’t be a ROBIN or a Gordon, could it?



The Words of




William Hague’s profile is dour.  He must be well aware of the long HAUL ahead and the HUGE task confronting him.  Though he obviously has a clear AIM while he is at the HELM, it must be GALLing to LAG by a MILE in the polls.  No wonder he seems GLUM.


Does he have a future?  He must hope he can HEAL the party and that his policies will GEL.  Where there’s a WILL, there’s a way, even if it can only be a GLEAM in the eye.  But he must be in AWE of his more illustrious predecessors.  Unless he can raise his GAME and improve the party’s fortunes soon, he will be a LAME duck leader.


What are the omens?  Of his policies, only his distaste for the land of GAUL and countries beyond is clearly defined.  Personally, he may stick to the task like the proverbial GLUE, but there remain doubts about his appeal:  does he seem a bit of a WALLIE or even a MUG?  Do we feel – UGH?  He presents himself as a WAG, fond of his ALE, of which he has had many a GILL, but can we trust him not to LIE?


Will the election overWHELM him and become his personal HELL?  At his AGE, it is too early to say that he could not bounce back, providing he avoids AGUEs, AILments and ILLnesses, though he would need the stubbornness of a MULE, otherwise, after such a MAULing, he won’t have a LEG to stand on.  He must also beware of the HAG:  what brought him up, may cast him down.


But who’s to say he won’t have the last LAUGH?






Footnote.  By the way, for any puzzlers among you, when I resumed my search, I ended up with rather more than 100 for each of them:  if you want to play, I reckon the targets are around 140 for ‘Tony Blair’ and 110 for ‘William Hague’.  See if you agree.  (Back to text.)








©  R J Hewitt 2001



Created 2 March 2001