Saturday 24 May 2014


BBC political correspondent Chris Mason seems to be moving into presenting these days. Following his hosting of Broadcasting House a couple of weeks back, young Chris presented Saturday PM this evening. 

The discussion featuring Tory MP Robert Halfon and Labour List's Mark Ferguson particularly caught my attention. They were discussing how the two main parties should react to UKIP's gains, and Chris asked them if they should follow UKIP's example and talk "like human beings". 

It's certainly true that mainstream politicians often spout 'politicians'-speak', sounding as if they come from Planet Politics, and that many voters don't like it one bit. Nigel Farage's reputation for plain-speaking, in contrast, has won him many admirers. 

Now, 'politicians'-speak' tends to be at its worst in the wake of poor election results. You all know the cliché. You've heard them many times before, things like: 
'We're listening', 'We get it', 'We're going to go back out there', 'We're going to change', Our message is right, but we're just not communicating it properly', 'We're going to try and get our message across'. 
Mark Ferguson himself gave us one of the old-time classics, "There's no time for complacency", as well as a variant on that old favourite about opinion polls, "You've got to be looking at the actual polls, the actual elections", but he was completely out-classed by Robert Halfon MP - one of finest spouters of 'politicians'-speak' I've ever had the pleasure to hear.  

Just listen to these absolute beauties from Mr Halfon, every one of them a true politicians' cliché of the first order: 
"We have to look at this very carefully. We have to respond to it." 
"We have the right policies, but we need to communicate those in a way that is like a moral mission". 
"We need to be counter-intuitive. The Chancellor has raised the minimum wage. We need to look at those kind of issues and, as I say, we need to be authentic and do public meetings in the way UKIP have done". 
"The government's had to take really difficult decisions".
"[It's] an important message for us not to be complacent".
Even the finest satirists would struggle to have come up with such a belter as the third one there. Or this whole discussion.

1 comment:

  1. I myself draw great encouragement from their responses.
    Utterly clueless...babbling turkeys muttering platitudes as trained...all the way to the meat processing plant.
    They can`t even speak human when their very careers are under dire threat-despite the urgings and soundbite facility on 24/7 call there at the BBC.


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