Soapbox 3: today’s political language, mocked
During the election campaign, we’re sharing the best and the worst of political communication. There’ll be no party bias here. We promise to praise everyone and spare no one, despite what we secretly think.
In today’s Soapbox:
Bravura Boris Johnson: “Vote Tory, get broadband. Vote UKIP, get Miliband.”
Judge Jim Murphy: “Most people in Scotland think David Cameron’s the type of Prime Minister who, when he sees a drowning man, shouts at him to swim harder.”
Dynamic Danny Alexander: “Ed Balls should man up, speak up and turn up.”
Metaphor Watch (please note: not an actual watch)
Not content with weaponising the NHS, Ed’s now medicalising the jobs market:
“We have to end the epidemic of zero-hours contracts.”
We do, Ed, we do, whilst simultaneously lancing the boil of inequality, and applying the ointment of social justice.
“[Labour] literally want to take us back to the 70s with an orgy of regulation and state socialism.”
Boris Johnson joins a proud tradition of people using literally to mean its opposite. Unless Miliband really is leading a team of time-travelling sex fiends. That’s exactly the kind of thing he would do, if you believe the Daily Mail.
“Labour are talking a good game, but they seem to be celebrating and measuring up the curtains in Sheffield Hallam when they won’t be successful.”
Nothing in life is so serious that it can’t be reduced to a sporting analogy, not even the prospect of Nick Clegg losing his seat. You can tell the situation’s really grave when commentators move on to interior design.
A paragraph is a long time in politics
When asked about his precarious position in Sheffield Hallam, Clegg came out fighting at first:
“I’m going to win.”
But moments later, he didn’t seem so sure:
“I’m confident I’m going to win.”
Expect things to deteriorate still further if his ratings keep dipping:
“I’m pretty sure I can still win, if everything goes my way.”
Until he reaches the place I get to every time Wales play New Zealand in the rugby, a sort of insanely optimistic dream state in which anything feels possible:
“They’re not superhuman. Why can’t I win? I’ve just got a funny feeling I can do it. Today is my day!”
Good dog, bad dog
George Osborne lobbies for a squeaky toy:
“[Tory economic success] is the result of a deliberate and doggedly pursued policy.”
Before Ed Balls sends him to his basket:
“The Tories are behaving doggedly as well as dogmatically.”
This, here, now, is the most dramatic moment in political history!
“We have 36 days to save the economic recovery.”
George Osborne again, this time channelling Flash Gordon.