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Cameron on faith

November 15th, 2009 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 1 Comment · Life

I’m always a little worried about politicians having strong beliefs in god: you really want those in charge to make decisions based on logic rather than faith after all.   But what caught my eye in this story about David Cameron’s beliefs is not what he says about religion but what he says about psychology:

Politicians are always a bit of a mixture of ego and altro and you just hope that the altro wins out and that people do the right thing rather than the politically convenient thing.

The thing is I have never heard the word ‘altro’ before.  Of course Cameron is better educated than me so it is likely he knows words that I don’t.  To plug the gap in my vocabulary I looked on Wikipedia. Nothing.  I looked on and the Meriam-Webster online dictionary. Still nothing.

Assuming it might be a Latin or Greek root for ‘altruism’ I went old-school and looked in the paper copy of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary.  Still nothing – although it did give the etymology of ‘altruism’ which is from the Latin ‘alter’ via the French ‘autre’ so it can’t be that.

So either Eton teaches words so obscure they don’t even occur in the massive two-volume Shorter Oxford, or he made it up.  Either is possible I suppose.  I will have to wait until Will Self or Stephen Fry give a verdict I guess.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • skud's sister

    Is he getting a little confused by the phrase (word?) alter-ego? It could just prove Pope right (that ‘A little learning is a dangerous thing/ Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring’).

    Do we pray for the spirit of Prescott toleave this man?