The SLDP Press Office and the Monglish language…

29 01 2010

As noted by one of the blogs which Gerry Moriarty won’t be reading this week, at the heart of great politics is great communication. And conversely, when politicians reach out and just baffle you senseless, that’s not so great politics.

So step forward newbie SDLP South Belfast MLA – and PR guru – Conall McDevitt!

A press release went out in Conall’s name attacking the Health Minister. This release  was no doubt designed to be the kind of early doors monstering that shows everyone Conall means business.

It should have said: ‘Do not f**k with me!’ But what it actually said was: ‘Do nto f*k* wiht em!’

Conall screeched: ‘He [McGimpsey] claimed to have cut all the fat out of the system but was unable to confirm that he has moved programme expenditure to zero-based budgeting which requires that all programme (sic) be evaluated annually to allow resources to be reallocated from underperforming areas.’

I’m gonna need Star Trek’s Universal Translator to get to the bottom of that. It makes no sense.

He bravely continued: “The SDLP will support the Minister and the Health Service but we can only do so if he is able to provide us with the information we need to do this. Every other department has published a response to the  Minister of Finance. This has to change.”

Mmmm.. the third sentence is the verbal equivalent of the spire on St Anne’s Cathedral – just completely out of place. WTF is it doing there?

Mr McDevitt then ‘called on the Ministers for Health (yes, all of them) to provide the Assembly Hleath (sic) Committee with meaningful information’ etc. In a second statement, his constituents brought a matter to his ‘intention‘.

But it’s not just Conall. A freshman can be forgiven a flub or two – but what about seasoned Party Leaders? Sure, people find it hard to understand Mark at the best of times but, as part of the longest, most meaningless statement in political history, Durkan tried to say the following:

“Yet the public will rightfully be asked is this the best politics can do us especially at a time when politics and politicians has gota bad reputation.” Wha?

“They are also concerned about what is going to happen after the Westminster Election and the impact of cuts that will come from whoever is left in government.Eh?

“And if anybody should be frustrated in this situation, if anybody as (sic) the right to walk away and feel betrayed it is the SDLP because after all it is the SLDP who will be shafted over the justice ministry.” The SLDP?

“However, we will still keep our eye on what is in the big public interest and what is the big democratic step forward that will meanwe can still achieve the devolution of policing and justice.” Here’s me…?!

Next up to be trampled by galloping bollocks from the Press Office is John McArdle. When almost condemning a burglary, he said:

“It must have been a sickening experience for the victim to find somebody in her house and a handbag and its contents can be replaced, the effects may take longer to come to terms with. I hope not, because the lady in question is held in very high esteem in the community and the local people are quite rightly angered that she should be subjected to this.”

This, like the work of Mr Claypole in Rentaghost, amounts to colourful bollocks with bells on. What’s going on?

I know Conall can write, I’ve seen his excellent blog. I know Mark Durkan can spell – that’s how he invents all those dead big words he uses. But when stuff like the above is going out into the public domain day after day it just looks rubbish. Spelling / grammar is bad but the content is pretty awful too. Read all of Mark’s P&J statement – it’s not merely directionless, it’s pointless.

Guys, you need to review your press system (did Conall and Mark even see those statements before they went?). The SLDP press office are helping to make two of their brightest talents look stoopid. And in so doing, they’ve also produced a terrifying linguistic glimpse of what might have happened had the Mongols ever fancied an extended camping holiday in Albion. There but for the grace of God (and the cruelty of the SLDP press office) goes the Monglish language…

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6 responses

29 01 2010
subrosa

I came for a visit in the hope you’d written something about Brown’s visit this week. Was it so uneventful? 🙂

2 02 2010
bobballs

hi subrosa – yes, i;m afraid it was. talks fatigue really hit me last week. its starting to get more interesting now, hence the material i’ve posted up since this piece. hope all’s well with you!

29 01 2010
shuffling geisha

Conall isn’t dicking around … on his first day at stormont he issued a statement on the talks, he was then quoted for the sdlp alongside party leaders of all the other parties … and that was alongside cycling to Stormont on his first day and issuing both a press release and pic of the great event.

The phrase media whore is simply too lazy for what he is up to, problems with a PR man as an MLA

2 02 2010
bobballs

fierce output isn’t it. suspect he’d better ration is down lest the media guys start to get weary of him. but surely conall is a triumph of style and content??!

31 01 2010
Unrepentent Unionist

Every party has one now!

UUP=Basil!

1 02 2010
danidiot

Is he the wee man on the TV staring lovingly up at his leader outside Hillsborough the other day?

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