Here are the top five stories of 2016 from neutralfooting for you to open in the run up to Christmas.
The semantics and pragmatics of ‘Brexit means Brexit’
We have been tracking the use of the slogan ‘Brexit means Brexit’ at neutralfooting. At Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday we learnt a little more about its use though the Prime Minister who originally coined this soundbite.
Equivocation – the first penalty shoot-out of the season
Just as the new football season gets underway with the same old tricks and moves, so the new political seasons kicks off this week. Andrew Neil (Daily Politics interviewer) went up against David Gauke (Conservative MP) in the first penalty shoot-out of the season. As MPs do, Gauke brought his ‘equivocation gloves’ to the studio to defend against the interviewer’s penalty kicks.
PMQs watch: Theresa May’s first outing – a touch of Thatcher perhaps?
Theresa May delivered her first Prime Minister’s questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon and came through the event relatively unscathed with a touch of “Thatcher” to her performance as some commentators noted.
PMQs Watch: Humour at Cameron’s last PMQs
Politicians are not noted for their stand-up comedy routines, but there was plenty of good humour at David Cameron’s last Prime Minister’s questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday. Many of the jokes were scripted and some fell a little flat as members struggled with their delivery. However the sense of occasions and the fact that it was the politicians delivering the jokes, at their own expense in some cases, meant that there were some genuinely funny moments worthy of Mock the Week or Have I Got News For You.
The language of U-turns
We all have to make U-turns in our lives sometimes: reversing our car when we realise we’ve gone down the wrong road; changing our opinion on some topic; wearing something we swore we would never wear.
For politicians, making a U-turn is potentially face-threatening so getting the language right to explain the U-turn to the public is paramount. It seems that these days anything that has been said in the past can be overturned provided the explanation ignores what has been said and looks only forward.