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Profile: Stop the Press!! George Fripley has written the definitive government employee manual 'You Can't Polish a Turd' which is now available through Amazon.com and Taylor Street Books, along with his other book 'The Dregs of Hsitory.' These are also available as an e-books through many outlets. Buy them or...or...well, don't. It's really up to you.
New politicians can do themselves a favour by studying the career of Lord Clarkson. A long sitting member of the House of Lords, Clarkson has managed to achieve very little in his career, but has provided a great many examples of how to come up with the cutting and memorable quote.
Lord Clarkson resides in on an anonymous property between Milton Bryan and Eversholt, near Junction 12 on the M1. The good Lord has managed to lose his driving licence no fewer than 17 times. He is currently suspended from driving. Lord DeVere Clarkson is, in fact, the 27th Earl of Drule, however the number of times he has been seen standing at Junction 12, and many other junctions between there and London, trying to hitch a lift to Parliament, led to his title being officially changed to Lord of the M1. Clarkson refuses to travel on any form of public transport because he is convinced that cholera, malaria, rickets, tuberculosis, polio, scarlet fever, and the Black Death, are still rife among the lower classes.
He is currently lobbying to be made chairman of the Road Safety Committee due to his extensive experience in this area. When asked about the reason for this he replied, ‘We need to change the law on the speed limit. It is outrageous that I cannot drive my Aston Martin as fast as it can go. Speed limits were only ever meant to apply to the common people who do not have the common sense to drive safely.’
Lord Clarkson sees it as his patriotic and ancestral duty to attend the House of Lords and, despite his often late appearance, he has managed to cast his vote on many issues. An outspoken critic of everybody, Clarkson eventually decided to become an independent and sit on the cross-benches. Due to his current driving suspension and wish to only hitchhike with ‘the right sort of people’, not the ‘common oiks’, he now spends much of his time on the benches of the Red Lion drinking real ale. In his most recent press release he has announced that he is independent of thought and will no longer be taking his seat in parliament. All five parties of which he has been a member agree that he is indeed independent from thought.
Regarded as slightly to the right of just about everybody else in the country, Lord DeVere Clarkson’s most famous quotes include:
• ‘Sink the boats before they reach our shores. We don’t want those people in this country.’ This was a reference to ferries full of French tourists.
• ‘Paying tax is for morons. Look how much of it the government wastes.’ He said this when his own party was in power.
• ‘Everybody should own a gun, this was just a minor mishap.’ This quote came after he was shot by his friend and fellow Lord, Winstanley Watson of Rockall, on the first day of the duck hunting season.
• ‘This is a police state! Speed cameras just raise money which is then wasted on poor people.’ - after losing his licence for the 7th time.
• ‘Who are all these senile, dribbling, and rambling old bastards?’ -on attending his first party-room meeting.
And while we're talking about politicians, perhaps we can do some revision on election jargon.
Frank de Nighle III, a little known but well respected commentator on electioneering, has provided the following advice on election jargon. Frank advises that you should look out from some key words and phrases when other politicians make election speeches and be aware of what they really mean. You don’t want to miss vital signals from your party’s elite. He specifically singled out eight phrases:
Moving forward - of course this phrase can be used with impunity as it has a progressive feel to it. What the politician fails to mention is that they are moving forward in a gentle arc that will eventually bring them back to where they started.
Real action – as opposed to what - unreal action? This is a play on words, what it should read is Reel Action – as in reeling in the public with so much spin that everybody gets dizzy.
We will set up a task force / peoples committee / working group/ people’s forum – we have no idea what to do about the problem, we’re just pointing out the mess that the health system/education system/ transport network/ defence policy (just fill in as appropriate) is in and the inability of our opponents to solve it, but we hope like hell that somebody somewhere can solve it for us if we are lucky enough to get elected.
I am committed to – my advisors tell me that I should be concerned about this problem and I am happy to get up and commit to anything that will help me get over the line in the election. But what I am most committed to is convincing all the voters that I am committed to solving their problems.
Yes we can – uses the ‘royal’ we and actually means ‘somebody in my government better be listening to this speech and have a solution because I’m clutching at straws here.’
We can’t go on like this – we have been in opposition so long that we are just short of throwing a major tantrum…it’s not fair and it’s our turn to govern. Waaahhhhhh!
It’s the economy stupid – the economy is all I know about and I haven’t got any decent policies relating to anything else.
I am glad you asked that question – I haven’t got a clue and I need some time to gather my thoughts and put together a response that sounds vaguely plausible – and who let this troublemaker into the room. Security, throw them out.