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Friday, September 26, 2014

Microphone gaffes of our time

Twenty four hour news cycles, the prevalence of social media and the ever-present microphones mean that it is almost impossible for national high-profile politicians to have a private moment anymore.

And, as David Cameron demonstrated with his gaffe over the Queen's response to the Scottish referendum result, even the most private conversation can be broadcast worldwide if you hold it in a public place.

So as to be helpful, and presumably to make the Prime Minister feel better, the Telegraph has set out the six biggest microphone gaffes of modern times.

These include the time that John Major forgot that he was still 'miked-up' after an ITN interview and called his opponents "bastards" that he would "crucify".  He also discussed the recent sex scandals that had been rocking the Conservatives, saying: "Even as an ex-Whip I can't stop people sleeping with other people if they ought not", and then went onto bring up the subject of his own performance as prime minister, admitting he wondered "how such a complete wimp like me keeps winning everything".

There is George Bush greeting the British Prime Minister with  "Yo, Blair. How are you doing?" and of course Cherie Blair reacting to Gordon Brown, who was then Labour chancellor and prime minister-in-waiting, telling delegates in Manchester that it had been "a privilege to work with the most successful ever Labour leader and Labour prime minister", by commenting: "Well, that's a lie."

In 1984, Ronald Reagan, former president of the United States, was taking part in a soundcheck prior to a radio interview and announced: "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

And finally, there is Prince Charles who was asked by the BBC's royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell how he was feeling in the run-up to his wedding, Charles replied sarcastically: "I'm very glad you've heard of it, anyway."  He then turned to Prince Harry and whispered: "Bloody people. I can't bear that man. He's so awful, he really is."

It is moments like these that enable us to get behind the mask and see the real person. We should celebrate them, unless of course the incident involves me.
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