A few years ago the British minister of something-or-other, announcing some new law or other, explained that it would not be imposed authoritatively from above, but more by persuasion at a ‘Grass-roots’ level. (All flesh is grass of course, but politicians are especially fond of treating the electorate as something to walk on.) ‘It will be less top-down stick,’ he explained, ‘And more bottom-up carrot’.
The idiotic things politicians say are an endless source of delight, but my favourite dates from the ’thirties; the following Comintern Directive to the British Communist Party, quoted by Claud Cockburn in his book ‘Crossing the Line’:
‘The lower organs of the party in Britain must make still greater efforts to penetrate the backward parts of the proletariat.’