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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Comedian or politician?

A lot of people I know consider politicians to be the lowest form of comedian anyway so it seems entirely appropriate that today's Independent should use Nick Clegg's rather funny jokes earlier this week to focus on some of the best political one-liners of the modern age.

Some of the really good ones are missing from their examples including exchanges between Winston Churchill and Lady Astor but I am relieved that at least up-and-coming stand-up comedian Lembit Öpik has not made the list:

"Whatever people say about Chris Huhne, I don't know any politician better at getting his points across."

Nick Clegg

"Look at Ryan Giggs, look at Ed Miliband. One is a fading left-winger who's upset his brother and is having a difficult time with the press – and the other is a footballer."

Nick Clegg

"I stole David's football, so he nationalised my train set."

Ed Miliband in his first speech as Labour leader

"At least I won't have to worry about her running off with the bloke next door."

Tony Blair opening his farewell speech to the Labour Party conference in 2006 with a joke about on his wife's dislike of Gordon Brown

"He's passed from rising hopes to elder statesman without any intervening period whatsoever."

Michael Foot on David Steel, 1979. Steel became an "elder statesman" when the Lib-Lab pact was formed just after he had been elected leader of the Liberal Party at the age of 38

"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his friends for his life."

The Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe after Harold Macmillan sacked seven cabinet ministers in one day in July 1962

"In politics, you should never completely rule out falling back on the truth."

Advice passed on from Michael Foot, then Leader of the House, to his deputy, John Smith, 1977

"Harold Wilson is going round and round the country stirring up apathy."

William Whitelaw 1974

"He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened."

Attributed to Winston Churchill summing up his predecessor, Stanley Baldwin

A body of 500 men chosen at random from amongst the unemployed

David Lloyd George summing up the House of Lords, 1909

Maybe Nick Clegg should re-use the Lloyd George quotation when he pushes through his own reform of the House of Lords.

Re an earlier post of yours about homes. I said there were plenty of empty houses. I think you said that it was just anecdotal in the same way as my mentioning of the BTL phenomenon. There's a programme on BBC2 tonight. "Britain's Empty Homes" I-Player is your friend.
I think you are confusing me with somebody else. I have consistently argued over the last four years that something needs to be done about the 26,000 empty private sector homes in Wales.
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