'Hard Working Families' and 'Work Hard and Play by the Rules' have become jarring clichés, robbed of their meaning by over-use.
For a lot of employees, hard work means doing longer hours for less money than previously with someone else taking the majority of the benefit. And aren't we supposed to be working 'smarter not harder'? That's certainly what most of us try to do.
And what's so great about hard work anyway? Most people, while not being afraid of hard work, and giving it their all, go to work so that they can enjoy holidays, leisure, time with family & friends, whatever it is that makes life worthwhile. Mary Evans of the LSE nails this canard here.
" ...the vindication of what seems to be a mindless new religion, that of hard work, seems singularly pointless as well as inappropriate. Not only does this religion divert attention from more important questions about the morality of rewards (or the lack of them) but it also completely fails to ask questions about the value of work and its products. The doctrine of ‘hard working’ then becomes the worst kind of religion, refusing questions and possibilities, and all too likely to guarantee less the pious boredom of paradise than the life doomed to unrewarded servitude."
We'd all like to hear something a bit more uplifting from our leaders.