There are various phrases whose use generally irritates me intensely. One of the most irritating is ‘There is no smoke without fire’. Of course you can have smoke without fire. The phrase is used by people who want, or are inclined, to believe some claim that has been made, but cannot be bothered with something as tiresome as evidence. Then there is the saying ‘You have to keep cycling, otherwise you fall off’. No, you don’t. You simply apply the brakes and put your foot on the ground. You only fall off if you never learned to ride a bike in the first place.
One that one tends to hear whenever there is some scandal affecting MPs or peers is: ‘They are all at it’. I have heard this said in the light of the Lord Sewel affair. Some media used the Sewel story as the basis for discussing Lords reform, not least in the context of the large size of the House. Yet how many people claiming peers ‘are all at it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) have researched every one of the near 800 members?
No doubt readers can add to the list….