Jonathan Calder has rightly protested the use, yet again, of “Tsar” to describe a new government appointment – in this case Alan Milburn on social mobility.
It’s particularly daft in the case of social mobility because the Tsars were just about the exact opposite of social mobility in action: hereditary roles which brought huge political power and mammoth financial wealth. That’s about as far away from social mobility as you can imagine.
The equivalent in other areas would be a crime-fighting appointment where the poster is called ‘gangster’ or an NHS ‘Poisoner’.
So as Jonathan says, it’s about time the Tsar cliché, never appropriate and always with the wrong overtones, was laid off.