Pantomime time for the Revealing ‘ah’

Here is a nice example of the revealing ‘ah’ by backbench MPs in support of Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs. A revealing ‘ah’ is a comment made by a few members of the chamber in order to back up and support some revealing fact that the current speaker is delivering. The comment is purposively mocking in order to  add emphasis to the face-threatening nature of the revelation.

Revealing ‘ah’

The revealing ‘ah’ can be heard on three occasions at line 09, 16 and 18 in the following transcript as Jeremy Corbyn (JC) questions the Prime Minister.

01 JC: the leader said they’d had
02     many conversation with the government
03     we know they have
04     because I’ve been leaked copies of texts
05     sent by the Tory leader David Hodge
06     intended for somebody called Nick
07     who works for ministers in
08     the department of communities and local government
09 Chamber: aahh ((revealing ah))
10 JC: and these texts read
11     I’m advised that DCLG officials
12     have been working on a solution
13     and it wi-
14     you will be contacting me
15     to agree a memorandum of understanding
16 Chamber: aaaahhh ((revealing ah))
17 JC: will the government
18 Chamber: aaahhh  aaahhhh ((revealing ah & some laughter))
19 JC: will the government now (.) publish
20     this memorandum of understanding
21     and (.) while they’re about it
22     will all councils be offered the same deal
23 Chamber: ((shouts of agreement))

External link to clip

It is likely that some Labour MPs were forewarned of the Corbyn revelation and they time their revealing ‘ah’ to coincide with his delivery. In the first instance, the revealing ‘ah’ is held back till line 09 when it would plausibly occur earlier at line 04 or 05 if there had been no warning. It occurs again in line 16 but with more emphasis, and then achieves pantomime proportions in line 18 as Labour members seem to delight in mocking the Prime Minister and revel in the leak of texts.

PMQs 8th February 2017




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