How times change. In Ancient Greece, apparently, the word "idiot" meant anyone who wasn't a politican, as opposed to now being a fairly concise description of anyone who is, it seems.
Nowhere is this more evident than today's latest rerunning of a developing Coalition tradition: the ceremony of the Repolishing of The Turd, in which two deeply unedifying men attempt to convince an ever more incredulous electorate that they are not irredeemably useless nutsacks. Again, they failed. Dismally.
Both Cameron and Clegg described their agreement as a "Ronseal deal", trying to evoke images of "does what it says on the tin", instead only calling to mind stuff you slap on to planks to make them slightly less rotten.
The full review document is hilarious, or would be if it weren't so tragically self-deluding. Each section tries to paint a lovely, sunny picture of the wondrous progress this rainbow coalition is making to make Britain a better place. Unfortunately, most of what it's trumpeting as triumph is mostly tinkering around margins, and the big picture stuff on the economy, the NHS, education, Social Security (yes, Social Security, not the hideously Americanised "welfare") and the cost of living are just hopeless. It's also very instructive to see that the economy is so wonderfully successful that our friend Gideon, the Chancellor, still has a slightly lower profile than Kim jong Un, but maybe it's not surprising as he might be slightly less popular. The verdict from commentators like the BBC's Stephanie Flanders isn't exactly overflowing with praise, neither (predictably) was it from the dear old Grauniad. Even the Telegraph wasn't exactly brimming with encomiums.
And with the New Year beginning with the child benefit cock-up, train fare hikes, moribund economic news, confusion over the government's internet surveillance policy, the oncoming train wreck of Universal Credit and Cameron's dubious European sabre-rattling, things don't look like they're going to improve anytime soon. Strap yourselves in, kids, it's going to be a bumpy year.
But that's not what today was about. No, today was just another empty hubristic PR smugfest for two men who have lost the plot, assuming they ever had it in the first place; an excuse to try and convince the enfeebled masses that everything's peachy and we'll all have jam tomorrow, when everyone knows there's precious little bread today.