There is a good example here of a politician being put in a tight corner on spending by the interviewer and having to equivocate. In the second part the pressure to equivocate is revealed in the increased hesitation in the speech of the politician.
In the first part, the politician (SF) is asked by the interviewer (IN) where the £60 billion pounds ‘warchest’ is coming from for Brexit. The politician has a stock answer which has probably been prepared in advanced and includes talking about the reduction in the deficit, an increase in tax receipts and a growing economy. The interviewer tries to re-establish the question and there is some negotiation for the floor.
IN: well let’s ask Suella Fernandez Where is that sixty billion pounds coming for the war chest for Brexit SF: listen I think that erm (.) we are laying the foundations for a strong economy we’re seeing government spending erm sorry erm the deficit’s been reduced by two thirds we’re seeing tax receipts go come up er and [increase for example from IN: [just recently but but where’s the sixty billion [going to come from SF: [we’re seeing our economy grow significantly consecutively over all the quarters erm (.) by er nought point six percent in the last quarter [last IN: [you don’t know where the [sixty billion is going to come from SF: [we’re getting a strong economy which is providing the foundations for greater public spending like like this (.)
In the second part, the interviewer (IN) decides to ask the question again. This time we see more hesitation and pausing by the politician (SF) as she unable to fall back on her stock answer.
IN: right (.) but just on the six- just on the sixty billion pounds cos it’s an awful lot of money and if the Lab- Lib Dems are going to make claims that that’s how they would pay for some of their spending commitments where is that money going to come from SF: well there are lot’s of (.) erm as I say (.) we have been er the- the economy is in a very strong position [we have IN: [right but that doesn’t answer the question and actually lots of people would say it’s not (.) com- y’know completely in a strong position when you are looking to try and take out sixty billion pounds (.) SF: well as I say we erm have reduced the deficit we have cut er er public spending borrowing there is erm there are in re- receipts increase er tax receipt increases erm from say erm the cut in corporation tax which er brought through forty three billion pounds last year alone erm I mean there are lot of great (.) examples of how the government is er balancing the books (.) providing the (firm)foundation for a strong economy so that vital investment can be made into our public services such as schools such as social care and the NHS ... IN = Jo Coburn (BBC); SF = Suella Fernandez, Conservative MP
Daily Politics, 8th March 2017, @approx. 28 mins