The phrase "hardworking families" or "working families" is an example of a glittering generality in contemporary political discourse. It is used in the politics of the United Kingdom and of the United States, and was heavily used by the political parties in the campaign of the 2005 United Kingdom general election and the 2007 Australian federal election where the Rudd Labor Party used the term extensively.


Gordon Brown expressed gratitude to Bob Shrum for suggesting the phrase between 1994 and 1997.[1]


Some examples of politicians using (or being reported as using) the phrase:

Sometimes the use of the phrase by politicians is echoed in media reports on political events, or indeed the news medium itself employs the phrase as part of its own editorializing, in the expectation that its readers will infer that it is referring to them:

See also


  1. ^ Gordon Brown: Prime Ministerl by Tom Bower, Harper Perennial (2007)
  2. ^ BBC News, 2004-09-28 ("Pro-hunt demo at Labour gathering")
  3. ^ Lord Northbrook recorded in Hansard, 1999-07-23 (column 1229)
  4. ^ the title of a monthly half-hour television series Archived 2005-04-05 at the Wayback Machine produced by the Maryland Department of Human Resources and Maryland Public Television
  5. ^ Michael Howard speaking in Telford on 2005-04-10 ("It's time to set an annual limit to immigration" Archived 2007-05-03 at the Wayback Machine)
  6. ^ Alan Milburn in Agenda: magazine of the Association of Labour Councillors, winter 2004/5 ("Britain is Working" Archived 2006-02-10 at the Wayback Machine)
  7. ^ Frank Luntz Republican Playbook at PoliticalStrategy. ORG ("The Budget: Ending Wasteful Washington Spending")
  8. ^ The Herald, 1996-10-07
  9. ^ Daily Telegraph, 2005-03-14 ("At a glance guide to the most likely changes")
  10. ^ Socialist Worker, 2000-03-25 ("Labour fiddles while Rover burns" Archived 2005-05-27 at the Wayback Machine)
  11. ^ Independent on Sunday, 2005-04-17, ("The Curious Campaign Diary of Tony Blair: Gosh! What a spacematic week" Archived 2005-04-20 at the Wayback Machine)
  12. ^ Independent on Sunday, 2005-04-18, (letter by J Ambers Archived 2005-06-22 at the Wayback Machine)