When is a row not a row?

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Reflecting on the "row" between the Lib Dems and the Tories over wind farms (whether there should be more or fewer of them in the British countryside), I asked listeners to BBC Radio 4's Today programme to help me come up with a new word to describe coalition "rows" which it suits both sides to have and to publicise the fact that the coalition is "consciously uncoupling" - like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.

Here are the best suggestions I saw (there may be more now on my twitter thread @bbcnickrobinson):

  • 'Exhibitchinism'
  • "Sprats" - ie putting the PR into a spat
  • "Prows" (PR rows)
  • "Codfrontations"
  • "Fisty-bluffs"
  • "Coallisions"
  • "Fraying to the gallery"
  • "Cryologue"

One cynic suggested that no new word was needed since "bloody politics" was a perfectly good description. One believer in plural politics preferred "open internal debate".

Finding an impartial new word - agreeable to both sides of the coalition let alone their opponents - could prove to be tricky.

New ideas still gratefully received.

Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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