Noted from Gordon Brown’s acceptance/coronation speech yesterday these words:

It is with humility, pride and a great sense of duty that I accept the privilege and the great responsibility of leading our party and changing our country.

Just a bit strange – how do you have pride and humility at the same time – or perhaps I am missing something? I sort of see what he’s getting at. But perhaps words really don’t mean anything any longer, as the deconstructionists would have it. Harriet Harman, the new deputy Labour leader, made a little more sense when she declared it was ‘an honour and a privilege’.

But then of course we struggle to believe any of them in their claims to sincere humility. Politicians really don’t help us overcome the hermeneutic of suspicion, especially when they’ve been brewing for 13 years in coiled frustration and yearning for what they regard as their birthright. Their words are just the mood-music for their electability. To get ahead,you have to pressthe right verbal buttons, regardless of what the words actually mean.

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  1. eoin


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