Northern Ireland’s political doublespeak…

IN the wake of Arlene Foster’s ‘minded’ statement to approve another party member’s planning application (although it’s a ‘mind’ she changed), Claire Simpson has been exploring some of Northern Ireland’s political doublespeak. I didn’t realise Hugh Orde coined ‘fit for purpose’, although, let me be clear (Gerry Adams/ Danny Kennedy) that – in the round (Mo Mowlam?) – the reality is (Martin McGuinness?) there are probably a few others that are far more meaningless – though Slugger arguably has developed its own tired phraseology [Ahem, indeed – Ed]. Even the once-funny ‘Chuckle Brothers’ monicker is more likely to raise weary eyes to the heavens than a laugh. Are there any other political phrases you, like Ian Paisley Jr, might ‘know of’? If so are you minded to add to the translations below the fold?’In the round’ – I’ve listened to everyone else’s view, and decided I was right all along.

‘The reality is…’ – Here’s my own narrow view.

‘Historic event’ – An everyday occurrence in Northern Ireland.

‘I know of him’ – He’s my best mate.

‘Let me be clear…’ – I’m about to do a u-turn, while arguing that this was my position the whole time.

  • pacman

    Shouldn’t “I know of him” be translated into “He’s Santa”?

  • Perhaps this will improve the quality of debate:

    Chidren to take over Stormont Assembly

  • mags

    Orde did not create the phrase “fit for purpose”. This is a phrase in common legal usage – refers generally (or most commonly) to sale of goods and the grounds for revocation of a sale of goods contract or compo. It has been around a long time before Orde…

  • mags

    in case anyone wondering why the link – i understand that it became part of “political” language when governments started refering to us as “consumers” and therefore their services as “goods”.

  • joeCanuck

    That’s great news, Nevin. Should greatly increase the quality of debate.

  • Is Papa Doc spending too much time in the company of Irish nationalists. Today I heard him label NI, the ‘North of Ireland’ 🙂

    PS If only it had snowed the Gillespies could have clodded him!!

  • Greenflag

    ‘Northern Ireland land of political doublespeak’

    Gonzo, your header should qualify as the understatement of the 21st century 🙂

    The Romans worshipped Janus (he of the two faces)

    Norn Iron goes at least several faeces better .With Paisley’s 8 , Adams at least 4 and MMcG another 4 🙁

    ‘ A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country ‘

  • joeCanuck


    Freudian slip?

  • Greenflag

    The family motto is SEY ON and we’re dyslexic 🙂

  • joeCanuck

    Seymour? say no more.

  • Danny O’Connor

    never in the IRA=I was oc Ballymurphy

  • Dewi

    I am all in favour of the Irish Language but…..

  • slug

    Arlene Foster has pointed out that she never said she was “minded”. She said that she instead said she was “of a mind”.

  • slug

    When Gerry Adams uses “obviously” it is usually interesting. Such as “obviously, when I say guns will be decommissioned I mean all the guns”

  • slug

    Has anyone else noticed that Martin McGuinness very often starts off a reply with “over the course of the last number of weeks and months…” as a way of filling in time while he gets himself ready to answer a question?

  • joeCanuck

    That is a common method that most people use (not just politicians) when presented with a novel question. Similar to hmm etc.