Peter Hough

Peter Hough
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Thursday, 24 February 2011

If you ask a silly question...

Why is it that if you're a politician, you're not meant to have a sense of humour? You can be dour, sarcastic, critical and can slag off your opponents - which is all right apparently. But you can't make flippant remarks that are intended to raise a smile.

Even at the local level you daren't make humorous remarks in case they're misconstrued or quoted out of context (although I did slip up last night while chairing the Crosby Area Committee, and made two humouress remarks. Thank goodness there wasn't any journalists present!)
Remarks made by Nick Clegg, who does have a sense of humour, have been seized upon by the media and Labour politicians who chose to take them seriously.

When asked by a journalist before an interview if he was in charge while Cameron was abroad, Nick replied: "Yeah, I suppose I am. I forgot about that."

In my book, if you ask a silly question, you get a silly answer.

Even those commentators who accept that it was just a throw away line, have puffed out their chests in mock indignation and have said how dare the Deputy Prime Minister joke when there are British oil workers stranded in Libya.

Hang on a minute - those oil workers know the risks involved in working in the Middle East. They go there because of the huge tax-free sums they're paid. I hope the rich oil companies who employ them are going to refund the British tax payer for bringing them back safely.

For goodness sake, let's not let the PC brigade ban our British sense of humour altogether!

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