The last few days have seen some remarkable videos being posted online. At first I thought they were spoofs or deep fakes, but they are directly from the Prime Minister’s Twitter account so it must be assumed that they are real. They really are most peculiar. In them the Prime Minister butters some bread, drinks some beer or eats some fish and chips, then says Build Back Butter, Build Back Bitter or Build Back Batter.
They are making fun of the phrase Build Back Better, which is being parroted by leaders around the world. Which in itself is very troubling. It used to be the case, up until circa 18 months ago, that leaders liked to be original. That they wouldn’t spout words or phrases that had already been used by someone else. But recently many of the leaders of countries around the world have been using this phrase Build Back Better.
It’s a jarring phrase because it’s not quite proper English. No Englishman would ever say build back, he would use the word rebuild. So it’s an imported phrase, something proved clearly when Johnson uses it, as he has a perfectly cromulent vocabulary that doesn’t normally stoop to such pidgin vulgarities.
Why this phrase is being repeated around the world is a question that remains unanswered. But why – when people are already asking, what does this mean, we didn’t elect you to do anything remotely to do with building anything back better – would the Prime Minister make a series of videos mocking the phrase?
It’s weird enough that the PM is putting out the sort of videos that a comedian would make to entertain his Twitter followers. It is peculiar that they refer to a phrase that is already raising hackles and appears to refer to some sort of totalitarian control under the guise of sustainability. The whole thing is incomprehensible. It is unbelievable that the PM’s office is literally posting comedy videos, so unless they are a call for help, they must have some deeper meaning.
What is it?