Peter Marshall had a dig at David Cameron on last night's Newsnight, but how severe a dig depends on a particular word of his that I can't quite decipher (even though I've replayed the clip several times now). I think the word he uses is 'loosely' but can't quite believe that it is, or understand why - if it is - Marshall would use such a negative word in this context. Can you help? Please have a listen on the BBC i-player:
The clip begins at 20.48 and that mysterious word is at 20.56.
Here's what it seems that Marshall said: "It's the elderly who are vulnerable (from the prolonged bout of very cold weather) and Mr Brown was today at a drop-in centre in South London. While Mr Cameron was involved elsewhere, loosely sparring over grit for the roads, Mr Brown used the opportunity to remind the old of their entitlements." (Cue clip of a 'smiling', caring Brown doing just that!)
The aim (whatever the adverb turns out to be) is surely to present Cameron as superficial, engaging in petty party politics at a time of national emergency (if such it be), arguing over a comparatively trivial matter, while in contrast St. Gordon Brown is out walking among the poor, dealing with the really important issue of helping the elderly to survive the big freeze with all those generous entitlements Labour has to offer.
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