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(Pinched from Scott at Love and Garbage)

Better Left Unsaid.

There are certain phrases which politicians just shouldn’t use. Usually they have previously been made by a politician in the hope of great effect but have for a variety of reasons ended up hoisting their petard.

So there we were yesterday with thousands more job losses, the banks resolutely refusing to lend (the government stepping in with a loan guarantee scheme for small firms) and most of those in the know saying that the next step could be nationalisation of the whole banking system.
Then, like an early crocus, pops up Baroness Vadera who isn’t a character from a Mills and Boon romance but a government minister. Asked on lunchtime news when we could expect to see “green shoots” of recovery she replied “I am seeing a few green shoots, but it’s a little bit too early to say exactly how they’d grow.”

Green Plant Shoots

Red Arrow Shoots

This of course was the interviewer quoting from Norman Lamont’s 1991 speech to a Tory conference and Baroness Vadera gladly devoured the bait, hook, line, sinker and indeed fishing rod.

So this set me thinking of the quotes which worked against the politician who made them and were then destined only ever to embarrass not only themselves but also future politicos. As yesterday’s  news item confirmed they don’t even have to be from the same party.

In no particular order, here are a few of the quotes which have haunted politics over the years (some may be paraphrased)

Norman Tebbit

1) ” I have in my hand a piece of paper which means peace for our time” Neville Chamberlain

2) “There is no such thing as society” Margaret Thatcher

3)” This will not affect the pound in your pocket or purse” Harold Wilson

4) “Like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood” Enoch Powell

5) “Scotland free by ’93!” Alex Salmond

6) “The green shoots of recovery can be seen all around” Norman Lamont

7) “I’ll have one for the road”  Charles Kennedy

8 ) “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.” George W. Bush Dec. 16 2008

9) “My father didn’t riot, he got on his bike and looked for work and kept on looking until he found it” Norman Tebbit

10) We, therefore, here in Britain stand shoulder to shoulder with our American friends in this hour of tragedy, and we, like them, will not rest until this evil is driven from our world. Tony Blair

I will follow this up with some good, succinct and amusing political quotes tomorrow.

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