Friday, May 22, 2009

Don't speak

Each time Labour ministers open their mouth to parade their bureauspeak in an interview it turns into a massive advert to have them booted out of office.

Who are these people? Do they talk like that to their partner before going to bed? Are they actually human?

These days the scale of sorting out the Labour party is possibly more complicated than shovelling three tons of dung from A to B on your own. And if you think that's harsh, then take a look at today's interview with deputy PM Harriet Harman or last month's encounter with senior Minister Hazel Blears.

These people are not human. They don't function like normal citizens. They wake up in the morning and someone programs them for the day, with a binary set of hollow-sounding words and technocratic expressions that they will recite by heart.

I was trying to watch Polly Toynbee's interview with Harriet Harman and within a minute I felt as if I'd downed a whole bottle of JD. Utterly impossible to follow. Aside from the atonal voice and the uncharismatic demeanour, she would just not answer a single question without tangling up the listener in the Land of the Bamboozled. "The straightforward issue", "the scale of the challenges", "as far as blah blah is concerned", "an important job to do", "simply a matter for the Prime Minister", "need for change".

When, for instance, Toynbee asked Harman if the Party could "carry on with a leader quite as damaged as [Brown] is", Harman replied that "what the Party is thinking about at the moment is that every single voter in England, Scotland and Wales will have a vote on June the 4th and indeed the postal votes will be going out from this weekend. How can we make sure that we get as many people as possible to vote?". Relevance to the question? Zero.

Pretty much like when Toynbee asked her about electoral reform and the Labour automata answered that "we've given people constitutonal backing with the Human Rights Act".

It makes you think. When her husband asks her what she fancies for dinner does she answer in bureauspeak that "well, as far as we are concerned, it is absolutely essential that we open and close a window as part of the straighforward issue that is our challenge for the evening". Or if her neighbour asks her a simple "how are you", does she go "As I say, it is indeed in the best interest of our lawn that at this point we provide sufficient measures on a whole range of policies"?

Vote anyone but Labour on June the 4th.


Tom Khat said...

Ha ha. Dave Millipede is another one. Can't make out a word of what he's trying to say.

Sonofajoiner said...

"well, as far as we are concerned, it is absolutely essential that we open and close a window as part of the straighfroward issue that is our challenge for the evening"

Excellent stuff. Milliband was being interviewed on the channel 4 news yesterday about the middle east and expenses and such-like and he behaved as though he were delivering a speech at a party conference, all Tony Blair hand gestures and unintelligible... I guess they were sentences but can't swear to it. And not a single questioned was answered.

merrick said...

"Vote anyone but Labour on June the 4th."?

There are undoubted problems with entrenched power, be it the present Labour regime, the Orange Order in Northern Ireland, or the runaway train of sleaze we saw in the dying days of the Major government, so any change brings at least some relief.

But letting the overtly racist BNP get a seat - ie get a huge pot of public money, a lot of press and a lot of respectability - is a heavy price to pay indeed. a party that wants to repatriate non-white Britons and repeal laws that protect rape victims is not merely a bit to the right of UKIP.

Vote anyone but Labour or BNP.

claude said...

I totally agree. It's just that I don't want to give the other party you mentioned, the shitty fascist one, any publicity. And I think the B 'n' Shit is receiving too much uncourted attention these days.

Will Pickering said...

While I wouldn't give individual BNPers the time of day, in electoral terms they're a nuisance not a threat. Their share of the vote could increase by an order of magnitude and they'd still be nowhere near forming a government.

The only reason anyone's mentioning them this time round is that after twelve years of lies, sleaze, warmongering, spiralling inequality, curtailment of civil liberty and privatisation of public goods, the words "Vote for us or the Tories will get in" no longer hold any meaning.

The Big Two parties desperately need to create a false dichotomy between the buggins-turn status quo and the only thing that could possibly be any worse.

But there are plenty of other options out there. Just don't kid yourself that voting Tory will improve the situation: remember what happened last time.