They can dish it outbut they can't take it - Tim Bowen's critical account of what's going on in UK politics.

Some people are always ready to dish out criticism (criticize others severely) but are less willing to be on the receiving end of it. Politicians, in particular, are often accused of being thin-skinned when it comes to criticism. They can dish it out but they can’t take it.

Previously, the UK government has come under fire (been severely criticized) for proposing that people should get extra tax relief if they were married. A series of political opponents tore into the proposals (criticized them angrily), describing them as “unfair” and an example of “social engineering”. One ripped into the plans (criticized them very severely), saying that they amounted to a “bribe”. He later refused to tone down (reduce the level of) his criticism of the idea.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the two main political parties are continuing to lay into each other (verbally attack each other) over their economic policies, with each of them trying to put the other down (criticize them in public in a way which makes them feel embarrassed or stupid).

Many people are less than impressed by this behaviour, however, and are tired of the sight of politicians slagging each other off (criticizing each other unfairly) and would prefer less confrontation and more cooperation.