28 September 2011

Thinking Paper #123: The fastest u-turn in history‏

By Ron Ford Golightly


The other day right, Ivan Lewis said something about journos. He said that if they get caught sniffing people's dirty laundry then they should be struck off. Then everyone said, that's bloody ridiculous, including Eds spokesman, so Ivan said that he wouldn't speak again until being told to do so by Labour HQ. Some papers said this was the fastest u-turn in history so the IIPBA decided to investigate.

Who dunnit?

Loads of people dunnit. Gordon Brown dunnit (10p tax rate), so did Dave (NHS reform), as did Nick (Lib Dem manifesto pledges). Why?

1. The thing is, politicians feel like they have to say things all the time and appear as though they have something to say. The more someone speaks, the less useful the words become (look at 24 hour news). So they rush things out and make silly statements about bankers and other such bastards.

2. Sometimes, prepare yourself for this, politicians speak their mind, This usually leads to getting "slapped down" by spotty apparatchiks back at party HQ. Sometimes they also get banned from going on the Today programme for being naughty and not remembering their lines to take.

3. Finally, they like to say things that will get them a really big cheer from the party faithful. They often do this in the full knowledge that the announcement sounds a little silly / unfair / unplanned to everyone else.

Concluding Comments

Ivan Lewis's u-turn was said to be the fastest in history. The IIPBA disagrees, back in 2007 Lord West, the then Security Minister, questioned the evidence that the government needed 28 days pre-charge detention for terrorist suspects. He said this at 8:20am. After a quick "coffee" with Gordon Brown, he announced at 9.30am that he was now "personally convinced" that the police needed the full 28 days to lock terrorists up without charge. Lord West now sits in the House of Lords being a Lord and slagging off Denmark.

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