Monday, 1 September 2008

Will or could?

The Telegraph has a very confused take on the leaked Home Office memo:
The economic downturn is set to lead to more crime, fewer police, more illegal immigration and a rise in far right extremism, a leaked Home Office letter reveals.
"Set to" is a favourite newspaper construction, saying something will happen without absolutely committing. The story's intro is in do doubt:
A blunt assessment of the pressures that a recession will bring on law and order is detailed in a document which is to be sent to Number 10 from Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary.
But the next paragraph is less sure:
It outlines the potential rises in crime, including violent crime, that could occur because of the credit crisis.
"potential...could" - make up your minds!

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