20 NOVEMBER 1999, Page 41

Roll out the ballot

From Mr Benedict King

Sir: It seems to me that there is a further explanation ('meaning' is too strong a word in the context of this government) for 'rolling out' (Another voice, 13 November). Given Tony Blair's love of `rock'n'roll', 'rolling out' policies is probably just a rather sad attempt to make politics a bit more 'groovy', and politicians a bit more 'hip'. 'Yo, people, we're gonna roll out some kinds owdasight pension reform, man. Can you dig itl"Yeah, like, cool, man, that rocks!' sort of thing. Maybe the phrase was inspired by the lyrics penned by Tony's great friend, Noel Gallagher: 'You gotta roll with it, you gotta take your time, you gotta say what you say, don't let anybody get in your way. .. . ' Remarkably, these words are arrogant, superficially profound, stupid, vaguely jolly, banal, illiberal and slightly menacing all at the same time — a distinction they share with this government. Gordon and Peter should adopt it as Labour's new campaign 'anthem'.

Benedict King 52 Coverdale Road, London W12