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If You Ask Me... Politicians need a Translator

With elections, resignations and government enquiries aplenty, 2024 is already proving to be a busy year. In these confusing times, Flo Whitaker offers her interpretation of the most frequently-occurring narratives and themes…

“Lessons will be learned.” A Royal Commission will be set up that will take ten years to reach their conclusions, by which time the disaster victims will be dead and the prime suspects will have seats in the House of Lords.

“I am standing down to spend more quality time with my family.” Your family’s living with your in-laws, your wife’s put your wine collection on eBay and your cleaner’s left a farewell note, saying she’s being deported back to Romania. You’re toast.

“Sending thoughts and prayers.” Celebrity sincerity-wash.

“It’s terrible – but attitudes were very different then.” Hmmm… I think you’ll find that non-consensual sex has always been illegal.

“I am resigning because I have become a distraction from the main issue.” No, you haven’t. I’m not distracted at all. I can clearly see what you’ve done.

“We are progressing forwards!” If you think hiring even more special advisors at eye-watering expense can be defined as “progress”, we’re obviously working from different dictionaries. Oh, and congratulations – you’ve just won first prize in a Mangling the English Language contest.

“Recollections may vary.” Barrister-speak for “Someone’s fibbing”. See also; “Alas, my client cannot recall” and “I refer M’lud to my previous answer”.

“The environment is our top priority”. You’re demonstrating this by flogging off more oil drilling licences? Listen matey, I joined Friends of the Earth in 1974 –probably before you were born. Ye Gods …

“The entire nation joins me in saying…” No, they don’t. No one’s knocked on my door to canvass my opinion. Don’t include me in your pompous media soundbites.

In conclusion, although it may seem cruel and inhumane to drag a 97-year-old out of semi-retirement, I think we have no choice other than to put Sir David Attenborough in charge of everything. He’s probably the only person left that we can trust.

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