Thursday, February 03, 2005

Haven't Seen It

I found this summary of UK politics on the Background Noise blog:

Labour Backbencher - "Could the Prime Minister please tell the House if he thinks terrorism is bad."
TB –

Labour Backbencher – "Does the Prime Minister think that money for hospitals and schools is a good thing."
TB –

Question of this nature come up all the time, asking the PM to support or condemn something that absolutely anyone would support or condemn. The topics of the questions change but the format doesn’t. Also allows the PM to talk about his policies.

In the U.S., we have a contrasting dynamic where any accusation against the administration is met not with a denial or explanation, but simply with a plea of ignorance. It goes something like this:

Reporter 1: Mr. President, how would you respond to the recent story in the Washington Post claiming that you are an evil robot from the future?

President: Well, I haven't seen the original article, so I can't comment on that.

Reporter 2: Mr. President, an ex-member of your cabinet said that you intend to launch a nuclear attack against Australia next month. Is this true?

President: If you're talking about the book that came out earlier this year, I haven't read it, so you're asking me to comment on something where I don't have all the information. Next question, please.

1 comment:

Starbuck said...

I've endured a lifetime of watching Prime Ministers Questions in the UK (I'm so interesting, y'see!) but the tradition of Parliament still drives me up the wall.

Backbenchers on the PM's side of the house asking a fracking ridiculous question just because otherwise he wouldn't be able to comment on it - gah!

And as for the necessity to prefix any question with a request about his "movements" or something, thus eliciting the referral, every bloomin' time, of his "right honourable friend/gentleman to his earlier answer"... GET WITH IT, DADDIOS!