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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    Question colour of "upstart"

    It has become a platitude of political commentary in Britain to envy the drama that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton brought to American politics. But neither America nor most other democracies offers a spectacle to match the gladiatorial rawness of PMQs, which has itself rarely been so compelling as it is now. An irascible workaholic Scot, one of the architects of New Labour, faces a patrician Tory with unmistakably pukka vowels—a suave upstart who seems set to wrench away the premiership that Mr Brown waited ten covetous years to inherit from Tony Blair.
    Source: The Economist

    The Cambridge Dictionary defines that upstart is disapproving. Therefore, did the writer suggest he/she diapproves of Cameron?

    upstart noun [C] DISAPPROVING
    a person, especially a young one, who has suddenly got power or an important position and takes advantage of this in an unpleasant way

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    #2

    Re: colour of "upstart"

    Dear Daffodils:

    I think the writer uses the term 'upstart' to characterize how s/he thinks Mr. Brown feels about Mr. Cameron.
    One person's upstart is another person's energetic newcomer. The word upstart is used to describe a person, new on the scene, who exerts (or tries to exert) influence in a situation. For example, if A has been working at XYZ Corporation for ten years, and B, who has only been there for six months, starts to exert control and effect changes that threaten A, A may call B 'an upstart'. On the other hand, people less threatened by B may call him/her 'an innovator' or 'just what the company needed'.
    The connotation of the word upstart for me is that it's a word used by stodgy people who are threatened by anything new.

    All best wishes,

    Petra

  2. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: colour of "upstart"

    Dear Petra,

    Thank you very much for your elucidation. I think I am clear about it.

    Best regards,

    TD

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