A government insider who did not want to be named was prepared to talk to us in return for a fiver and a bottle of gin from which they sipped copiously during the interview.
“They say the sort of things they are expected to say such as how sorry/unexpected/shocked/surprised they were and how they and their department are doing everything they can to… etc.
“The speeches enable them to talk for as long as they like, make a lot of ‘purposeful’ noises but not say anything at all meaningful or make any promises, claims or assertions that could come back to bite them or their party at a later date.
“MPs are expected to put the speeches in their own words so when a couple of lazy knob heads like Grayling and Shapps come along and don’t bother they sound like a row of ducks quacking out the same garbage.
Editor’s note: Shapps speech about the collapse of Thomas Cook was identical to the one Grayling gave about the collapse of Monarch Airlines a couple of years previously.
The insider continued: “They’re supposed to be treated as cheat sheets, not copied verbatim word for word. ‘I was not aware’ doesn’t really cover it, does it? The bellend.”
The gin bottle was almost empty and our contact staggered away from the conversation.
Their parting words were: “Of course, Boris insists on writing all his own speeches.”
What’s the best political speech you’ve ever written?
What words would you like to put into whose mouth?
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