Nice wee Friday thread for you all to get your head showered from the madness of Northern Ireland politics.
One thing that really bugs me is the platitudes that pass for talking points in our political system. These annoying phrases can be heard on Nolan, Talkback and the Sunday Politics most weeks and if you watch politics as much as me they can become tiresome very quickly.
So, in that spirit I thought I would compile a list of the top ten most annoying political phrases in Northern Ireland. Feel free in the comments section to add your own and I will update as we go along.
1. “Let me be clear……” (Translation: I have no idea what the answer is, but I want to sound like I know what I am talking about).
2. “The reality is…..” (Translation: I am going to give you my point of view and make it sound like a matter of fact by adding the word “reality”).
3. “We will not be found wanting on this issue” (Translation: We know we will have to compromise, but I just am not in a position to sell it to the party).
4. “Our party is totally united on this issue..” (Translation: The divisions in our party are as a deep as the Atlantic Ocean on this policy).
5. “Haven’t gone away you know” (No real translation needed for this one, but this term coined by Gerry Adams has been one of the most over used phrases and makes the list).
6. “We need workable alternatives, going forward” (Translation: I am not totally sure about a solution, but when I figure out one, you should just agree with it).
7. “Now, I didn’t interrupt you Stephen” (This is typically used against Nolan but this is typically a coy attempt to cut off an opponent/presenter when you’re struggling to answer a question).
8. “On the ground……” (Politicians like to work on the ground, if you didn’t realise that ask them about a pot hole or a local phone mast).
9. “This is about parity of esteem and equality” (Translation: What’s yours is negotiable, and what’s mine is a red line).
10. “You’re losing the run of yourself” (A nice way of basically saying “calm down dear”, without looking arrogant).
This is my list and a bit of what most politicians actually mean when they say these statements (most of the time anyway).
Tell me yours in the comments section.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs