'Calam' and conscience.
The ancient Egyptians may have had fifty different words for sand and the Inuit over a hundred words for snow but the reason the English language has at least twice as many words as any other language is that we have to keep inventing new words for telling lies. This is to protect the advanced sensitivities and future peerages of our politicians. It would be extremely bad form for a prime minister or a judge say to call a secretary of state a fibber in an official capacity, so there is now a thesaurus full of alternative expressions to get over this hump in etiquette.
Last week Calam faced not one but two high court challenges to the ‘process’ he supposedly followed in making some high profile public appointments. Mr Justice Girvan showed himself to be a master of linguistic gymnastics, multifariously describing Calam’s inventive porkies as ruses
‘to divert attention from the true course of events.’
‘misleading and contained false information.’
As well as,
‘a less than full explanation of what actually happened and sought to minimise the political considerations.’
and rounding off,
‘it must be concluded that it was decided that the correct information should not be placed before the court.’
I have a word – perjury.
It must be said at this point that at the Ulster Royal Truth or Dare Club, Calam usually goes for the dare as ‘truth’ is not a concept with which he finds himself entirely comfortable. Therefore it seemed obvious that his joint announcement with Gordon ‘Scrooge McDuck’ Brown for the ‘extraordinary package’ of future funding of Northern Ireland would be stripped of annoying detail so that the papers could concentrate on what a fine prime ministerial team these two would make. The Belfast Telegraph sets the scene,
‘Peter Hain stood proud as punch next to Gordon Brown in Downing Street, announcing their less-than-meets-the-eye cash package for
In the absence of any detail, most commentators think this is mostly money that would have gone to
‘Conservative spokesman David Lidington asked how the November 1 funding package "differs from announcements previously made by Ministers about future public expenditure in
The reply from Mr Brown's deputy Stephen Timms was brief and not to the point.
His one sentence answer stated: "The details of the St Andrew’s Agreement funding package announced on November 1 are set out in the Treasury press notice at: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/newsroom_and_ speeches/press/2006/press_82_06.cfm.’
They are so not - I think something just blew in from the
Picture from www.theleveebreaks.co.uk