Gordon Brown is rather devious

I heard this snippet as I passed an old couple out for a walk this evening. Gordon Brown is rather devious the man said. I have no idea what the context was – perhaps there wasn’t one, maybe she had just said “a penny for your thoughts” and he said the most obvious thing which came into his head.

It is a nice piece of English understatement though, more subtle than the hackneyed ones about the Pope being a Catholic or as to what bears do in the woods. Gordon Brown is rather devious. A host of other examples come to mind.

  • Tony Blair is less than honest
  • Jade Goody is a little uncultivated
  • The Health & Safety officer was fairly cautious
  • Caroline Flint is not uninterested in influencing your lifestyle
  • The traffic warden was less than understanding
  • The Equalities and Diversity officer did not really focus on the opposite viewpoint
  • The highways officer was a little slow to grasp the point
  • that is not very clever, John Prescott
  • Patricia Hewitt did not find it easy to face the challenges of her responsibilities
  • Hazel Blears can be a little annoying

And so on. It begins to sound like those tactful obituaries where a wealth of criticism is lightly buried behind a muted phrase, so that “He did not suffer fools gladly” means he was a domineering bully.

Gordon Brown is rather devious. Someone ought to offer a prize for understatement of the year.



About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
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