hey,
I'm a Belgian student and I must make a work about the Budget of the UK. In one of my texts, I have the following sentence:
"But if they, and many other independent experts, are right, then the "clear red water" between the political parties on their tax-and-spending plans will become muddied by the need to find more cash or bigger spending cuts- something that no politician wants to contemplate going into an election."

Can someone tell me what "clear red water" means?
Thank you
1 2 3
hey, I'm a Belgian student and I must make a work about the Budget of the UK. In one of ... something that no politician wants to contemplate going into an election." Can someone tell me what "clear red water" means?

It's a re-working of another expression, "clear blue water", with the "red" and "blue" being the political left and right (respectively).

There was a fashion in right-wing politics a few years ago to use a naval analogy of putting "clear blue water" between your ships and your enemies.
The intention was to make it clear to the electorate that there was a substantial and clear political difference between the parties; the nature of difference was "blue", or right-wing; hence the analogy.

"Clear red water" adapts that concept by the left the "red" parties but it only makes sense in the context of the earlier "clear blue water" expression.
I hope this helps.

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
hey, I'm a Belgian student and I must make a work about the Budget of the UK. In one of ... no politician wants to contemplate going into an election." Can someone tell me what "clear red water" means? Thank you

Usually "clear blue water" -
quote :-

"Put daylight between" means to create a clear gap between two things. A phrase popular recently in politics was to create/put/keep clear blue water between the policies of one party and another to show that they were different.

unquote
I suspect the "red" is a suggestion that the difference is one of left-wing politics, blue being the colour of the right in the UK at least. It is not a usage I have ever heard or seen.
Jim
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On 08 Dec 2004, Dries Allemeersch wrote

hey, I'm a Belgian student and I must make a ... election." Can someone tell me what "clear red water" means?

It's a re-working of another expression, "clear blue water", with the "red" and "blue" being the political left and right ... Cheers, Harvey Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years; Southern England for the past 22 years. (for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)

Thanks for the explanation!
I suspect the "red" is a suggestion that the difference is one of left-wing politics, blue being the colour of the right in the UK at least. It is not a usage I have ever heard or seen.

Me neither, but it's a creative and witty usage; anyone who knows what 'clear blue water' is will be able to reapply it.
DC
On 08 Dec 2004, Dries Allemeersch wrote

hey, I'm a Belgian student and I must make a ... election." Can someone tell me what "clear red water" means?

It's a re-working of another expression, "clear blue water", with the "red" and "blue" being the political left and right ... the "red" parties but it only makes sense in the context of the earlier "clear blue water" expression.

No longer meaningful in AmE, where "blue" now suggests "left of center" and "red" suggests "right of center".

Steny '08!
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On 08 Dec 2004, Dries Allemeersch wrote It's a re-working ... in the context of the earlier "clear blue water" expression.

No longer meaningful in AmE, where "blue" now suggests "left of center" and "red" suggests "right of center".

That's as may be, but it's not really relevant to the OP's query or to my response (which were specific to "a work about the Budget of the UK").

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
I'm a Belgian student and I must make a work ... election." Can someone tell me what "clear red water" means?

Usually "clear blue water" - quote :- "Put daylight between" means to create a clear gap between two ... colour of the right in the UK at least. It is not a usage I have ever heard or seen.[/nq]Yes, the phrase "clear blue water" was used by Conservative Party members who advocated adopting right-wing policies rather than centrist policies i.e. a tactic of moving away form the other parties rather than moving closer to them. It was a phrase which was in use anyway with a general meaning of making a clear distinction between two positions, but had additional resonance because blue is the colour used by the Conservative Party. If supporters of the Labour Party who advocated a move to the left were to talk of making "clear blue water" between themselves and the other parties, it would be in line with the established meaning of that phrase, but would have less resonance since it no longer has the dual reference to the party colour.

"Clear red water" refers to the party colour (Labour's colour is red) but loses the use of an established phrase and the obvious water analogy, and so would appear puzzling unless you were aware of the party colours and the previous Conservative Party usage. A search on uk pages using google will reveal reference to "clear red water" with the specific meaning of Labour Party supporters advocating a more left-wing policy. You can also find by the same means a few references to "clear yellow water", yellow being the colour of the Liberal Democrats party, referring to attempts by the Liberal Democrats to put across a set of policies making them more distinctive from the other two parties.
Matthew Huntbach
On 08 Dec 2004, Dries Allemeersch wrote

hey, I'm a Belgian student and I must make a ... election." Can someone tell me what "clear red water" means?

It's a re-working of another expression, "clear blue water", with the "red" and "blue" being the political left and right (respectively).

But in the usual American inversion of things, red states are right and blue ones are left, and liberals are fascists and communists are liberals.

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
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