Tim Ireland has been contemptuous of Iain Dale and the Tories’ argument that the police claim that Damian Green had been ‘grooming’ the civil servant at the heart of the current scandal. Ireland states both on his site, and on Iain’s Guardian piece that:
Using Google to explore Iain Dale's own neighbourhood, I see that the words 'groom', 'groomed' and 'grooming' have been used dozens of times on his website (by Iain and his audience), but only *once* can I see it being used in relation to paedophilia. The rest of the time it's about politicians being groomed for this position or that... or about dogs or horses
Well, I think Tim’s wrong on this one. It’s all about context. If a barber talks about grooming he’ll be talking about moustaches and hair. When a vet talks about it, he’ll be talking about horses. When a policeman talks about it? Well, here’s an experiment. Try doing Tim’s Google experiment, except put in “grooming” and “police”. Spot anything? On the front page 7 of the 10 results refer to paedophilia or rape. It’s all about the context, and in this context the police’s insinuations are fairly clear. Ask the senior editor of the Collins English dictionary.
I know Tim takes particular delight in highlighting any and all of Iain’s shortcomings, real and imaginary. This, I think, falls into the latter category.