Slip of the tongue…

On occasion, speakers experience a slip of the tongue.  In yesterday’s debate on the Queen’s Speech in the Lords, it happened twice.  The minister, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, in opening the debate made what is now the classic slip in discussing withdrawal from the EU:

‘supporting trade and investment in least-developed countries by maintaining duty-free access after breakfast –

Noble Lords: Oh!

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: Sorry, after Brexit – and after breakfast.  If you stand here for 20 minutes, you start thinking about breakfast…’.

However, the most distinctive slip came from Lord Cormack:

‘I would like to say something that I have advocated since the Monday after the Reformation –

Noble Lords: Oh!

Lord Cormack: – not quite that long ago, but after the referendum I advocated, as noble Lords know. having a Joint Committee of both Houses..’.

Lord Cormack has been a member of the House for some years, but not quite so long as his original comment would suggest.

Any interruption during a speech, be it laughter, murmurs of dissent or other noises, are simply recorded in Lords Hansard as ‘Oh’ or ‘Oh!’  Commons Hansard are more likely to include the nature of the interruption in parenthesis: [laughter][interruption].   Readers with a long memory may recall that I have only once achieved an ‘Oh’ – during my speech in the Second Reading of the Marriage (Same-sex Couples) Bill.  I did, though, get the accolade of an exclamation mark.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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1 Response to Slip of the tongue…

  1. Lord Norton,
    I was edified by the commitment to a British space program of some description, by most of the environmental programme and by the idea of dealing with the implications of divorce for child welfare.
    I would like to have heard some of the breakfast speeches during the Reformation by way of comparison.

    Is Hallowe’en really the time for BREXIT?

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