Oh good, there’s an interesting conversation below the line on this blog. It’s about whether it’s completely fair to rip sound-bites out of their intended context, take them down and use them against the suspect, later, as evidence in the court of public opinion.
There are millions of examples, but let’s take the most notorious one.
“Friends”. No, not them. Jeremy Corbyn and his friends from Hamas and Hezbollah. He definitely called them friends, but at a stretch, he could have meant it in a general sense, or ironically, as one might refer to an infestation of carpet beetles or rodents. You know, our little friends who invade our homes and chew them to bits.
That is arguable but unlikely. We all know that British irony may be Jeremy Corbyn’s special area of expertise, but let’s face it, irony is not something he’s known to have used himself. He’s just not that witty.
So, taking his overall conduct into account, it’s safe to assume that he really does consider Hamas and Hezbollah as friends - not necessarily in a strictly personal capacity, but ideologically and symbiotically “denoting a mutually beneficial relationship between different people or groups”
The red bus. Side of.
“The Leave campaign promised the NHS 350 million quid per week.” No. Not exactly, but there was an implication, and they should have known better than to lay themselves open to such a meme. Look out for the potential open goal - anticipation is nine-tenths of success. (I made that up, but you get the point) Every fule kno that when one says ‘could’ it is automatically assumed one really means “will”.
“Freddie Starr ate my Hamster.”
Apparently, he didn’t.
Now we have: “Gavin Esler called Leave voters village idiots”. Gavin Esler explained on Daily Politics that he used the term ‘village idiot’ during a conversation about Michael Gove’s comment about ‘experts’. Esler claimed he used the term ‘Village Idiots’ merely to serve as an example of ‘the opposite of ‘experts’, and specifically to illustrate the type of person who doesn’t merit any air-time at all. Only ‘experts’ deserve air time.
But then someone went and spoiled it all by producing the incriminating Tweet, which did show that he does indeed think of Leave voters as village idiots. “The ‘village idiots’ of Brexit” - there it is in black and white. But wait - there are scare quotes around the damning words. Does that exonerate Esler?
Personally, I think he really does think of Leave voters as village idiots, on account of umpteen more general indications and clues that that is what he actually thinks. Everything points to it, and if it walks like a duck etc., etc.
I just think he let it slip accidentally, and tried to row back on it rather ineffectively. That doesn’t mean I approve of the witch-hunt as a means of attack. Not at all. I’m one of your more pedantic observers of what 'words' mean, but I think in most cases the bigger picture rules ok. Discuss?
Lo and behold....
Lo and behold....