It occurs to me that many people are put off politics by their simple expectation that politicians should be honest and their frustration when they’re not.
“To be perfectly frank…” as a beginning to a sentence suggests that, up until this time, the person speaking hasn’t been. However, in politics, what it means is that person is going to continue to waffle about something totally unrelated to the matter at hand. It’s part of the shorthand that anyone who follows politics quickly understands.
Once one understands that, for politicians and the Canberra press gallery, politics has little to do with the real world, then you can treat what they say as having no consequences. After all, it’s what they do all the time.
Like when our Minister for Immigration – who almost always insists that he won’t comment – feels that it’s suddenly OK to give us the details of each of the medical people that the alleged rape victim was alleged to have seen. Then, when she was alleged to have changed her mind about the alleged termination, they allegedly chartered a flight for her to take her back to Nauru which is allegedly a country. in spite of the alleged “fiscal emergency”.
Anyway, here’s a quick guide for those who have been frustrated by expecting that what politicians say should match the way words are used in everyday life:
|What They Say||Meaning|
|“My understanding is that…”||“Someone has told me a bare-faced lie but I’m blaming them if we’re caught.”|
|“I have no recollection of that.”||“I’ve been advised by our legal team that you can’t prove that I knew.”|
|“I believe that…”||“Ok, it’s probably not true, but it sounds better than what you’re suggesting!”|
|“Mr. X remains a valuable member of our team.”||“Yes, all right, he’s a complete nuff-nuff, but he’s part of a powerful faction/has the photos of me at the Christmas Party when I didn’t think I’d become leader.”|
|“I’m happy with the job I’m in.”||“The journalist I briefed about the coming spill wasn’t meant to leak it just yet.”|
|“The fundamentals of the economy are good, even though we’ve had a few hiccups because of conditions overseas!”||“We’re in power!”|
|“The Australian economy is a complete basket-case and this a direct result of the government!”||“We’re not in power!”|
|“I don’t pay attention to the polls.”||“Ok, I’m f*cked. But it’s still some time till the next election so there’s always a chance of a miracle. I mean, remember ‘The Tampa’?”|
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