He was a master of this splendidly named figure of speech
As if this country hasn’t had enough opprobrium dumped on its poor, benighted head, now the United Nations has decided to belabour us with its nailed cudgel.
Commenting last week on the air quality in Britain, a UN special representative on human rights and the environment chose to label us a “laggard and a scofflaw”. Laggard I get, but scofflaw? Nope, never heard it before. US slang, it is defined as a person who habitually flouts or violates the law, especially one who fails to pay debts or answer summonses. I don’t know about you, but I find that a touch strong, almost verging on the defamatory.