Lord Chancellor and British Secretary of State Michael Gove said leaving the EU could help Britain “recover its mojo” (BBC March, 2016). 

Dear Mike (if I may call you Mike):

You’re certainly a clever guy (clever, not smart) and a “good politician” and extremely well connected (friend of that font of ethical standards, Rupert Murdoch, for example) and the expert on the empirical and objective evidence in favor of Brexit. (Your comments are based on statistical, peer-reviewed studies, right?) 

So all this gives you the political weight and the absolute right to hold forth your wisdom on why the UK will be better-off outside the European Union. Fine.

But it in no way gives you the license to appropriate the hipness of the masses by saying the UK has “lost its mojo.” Mojo is a term to be used with respect, not linked to some silly political argument.

As you’re probably too busy with politicking to deal with details such as facts, let us help you out on this one. “Mojo” was coined by Preston “Red” Foster in his blues song “Got My Mojo Working,” first recorded by Ann Cole in 1956. Muddy Waters popularized it in 1957, and the song was a feature of his performances throughout his career.

Mr. Waters was also a musician of global renown. Someone who actually worked for a living to get where he was, and produced something real and tingling, not wind, fear, and skepticism.

Also, in case we need to explain (and happy to oblige): the mojo celebrates the pleasure of sex. Hardly an appropriate campaign message for a responsible leader. Think of the children and the conservatives!

So by all means, do your thing. Despite your fear of Euro-pollution of the British way of life, you still live in a free country. But don’t step over the line and embarrass the intelligent public (mostly not your constituents) by appropriating our concepts. Your dorkiness in referring to our culture makes us look dorky. And we don’t like that.

On a related topic: When you see your pal Dave (Cameron) next, would you mind asking him why he pollutes British political-speak by insisting on “stepping up to the plate”? That would be baseball. You don’t hear Barack telling his constituents that he “has a bit of a sticky wicket.”

But he does have every right to bring mojo into political discussions. Because he’s black, right?

No. Because he’s cool and smart. That’s why.

Anyhow. Hope you can actually find your mojo. Let us know if you need any more help. 


Photo by Jean-Luc Ourlin (originally posted to Flickr as Muddy Waters) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.