Who is a cynic and who’s a sceptic?

Among Andrew Marr’s guests on the breakfast show yesterday were satirist Rory Bremner and Peter Hain, the Thatcherite New Labour Northern Ireland Secretary, champion of private finance initiatives in public service industries, privatisation of schools, social housing and everything else, cheerleader for war, genocide and the exploitation of the poor by the very very rich, nee Peter Hain, firey left wing idealogue, leader of protests against war, racism, suppression of trade unions and the excesses of capitalism. Hain took Bremner to task, accusing him of trivialising political debate and sreading “cynicism” about politicians through the way he made fun of their scheming, spin and evasiveness.
Bremner in turn took Hain to task for abandoning every principle on which he had been elected. He also smartly corrected Hain’s misuse of “cynicism” by pointing out that he had meant scepticism.
Not very good at English then, our Pete. But what can we expect from a cynical, sychopphantic, two – faced hypocrite?

*Sceptic: one who doubts everything.
Cynic: oringinally meaning a follower of an ancient Greeek school of Philosophy that taught the pursuit of virtue to the exclusion of all else, the modern meaning of cynicism is the ruthlessl pursuit of self interest (e.g. a cynical foul in football, a cynical marketing ploy in business.)

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