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Answering the question or obfuscation

(15 Posts)
MawBroon Thu 22-Jun-17 22:15:20

I have just watched Theresa May NOT answer questions from Hilary Benn and Yvette Cooper in the Commons and NOT answer questions from Laura Kuenssberg.
Do politicians truly think we can't spot when they are simply NOT ANSWERING THE QUESTION ? I feel myself doing a John Humphrys or Jeremy Paxman, snarling "answer the blankety blank QUESTION" at the TV.
Do they think we are that stupid or that easily fooled? ? (Answers on a postcard)

rosesarered Thu 22-Jun-17 22:21:28

Oh they are all masters of it Maw
Sometimes they pretend to answer and start by that old chestnut 'let me be clear.....' and then are anything but clear or go off at a tangent.
Sometimes they say they will answer and then go off on a lengthy rant about the Opposition( or the Government, depending on which political flavour they represent.)
Sometimes , gasp! They actually do answer, sort of, but refuse to go into details.
I guess it's all part of the rich tapestry of political life.grin

whitewave Thu 22-Jun-17 22:24:51

May has to my knowledge never yet answered a question. I have come to the conclusion its because she doesnt know the answer. She has a very poor reputation in the Home Office. I dread to think what the No 10 staff think of her

MawBroon Thu 22-Jun-17 22:25:03

Another one is "I am glad you asked that question but I have no intention of answering it " grin

varian Thu 22-Jun-17 22:25:25

TM is a serial avoider. Is she incapable of understanding the question or maybe incapable of listening? Perhaps she has to avoid an honest answer because it would be embarrasing to admit that the truth does not reflect well on her. Have her advisors told her to stick to the script of robotic cliches? She should have learned after losing her majority that if she does not change, more and more people will find her out.

petra Thu 22-Jun-17 22:28:53

''Twas ever thus' - And ever thus shall be.

POGS Fri 23-Jun-17 01:07:22


I believe you are referring to the question raised time and again from not only Hilary Benn and Yvette Cooper re the Grenfell Tower Fire Statement made by the Prime Minister today in Parliament and mentioned on other threads.

The Prime Minister was clear as to the reason why the question repeatedly raised re the ' legality ' of the construction and panel used was not answered by herself during that debate.

She said initial tests show the panels were combustible but there are ongoing tests which will hopefully clarify the position within 48 hours .

The main thought taken by her wording and response was if Prosecutions / legal procedures were to follow the correct procedure and 'facts' re the construction of Grenfell Tower must adhere to procedure. In other words I am not going to jeopardise any legal procedures that may follow to appease the questions of legality raised in the House today.

Swanny Fri 23-Jun-17 01:28:48

POGS maybe it's the late hour but your post is as clear as mud to me grin

MawBroon Fri 23-Jun-17 02:29:50

Yes I was POGS but I found it obstructive of her to merely reiterate her initial answer. The testing was a vital issue, but the point was whether or not the materials met the standards and criteria at the time
That is important because if Yes, then the criteria were inadequate, if No then there is a different issue of culpability.
She could at least have said "I would love to give a definitive answer, but until testing is complete it is too complex for a simple yay or nay. I need to await the advice of all the experts concerned"
Answers the question as far as she is able, but is honest in that there is more to consider.
She does not come across as quick to think on the hoof and parroting out the same statement might explain the Maybot nickname she has acquired. Parliament (and we) deserve better.

POGS Fri 23-Jun-17 02:56:07


I think the PM set out clearly on occasion why she was not commentating on the repeated questions over 'legality' of the construction. Such as :-


" I will add to the answer I gave to the right hon. Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn), and I ask hon. Members to remember that a criminal investigation is taking place in relation to this matter. The testing of the cladding and of the materials used is being undertaken, and a statement will be made by the police and the fire service within the next 48 hours."

"As I have said, the material is being tested. The results of those tests will be—[Interruption.] The information that the fire service and police are able to give publicly they will give; this is part of the criminal investigation. [Interruption.] It is. Hon. Members may shake their heads, but let me make this point: they want to ensure that if there are criminal charges to be brought, those charges are indeed brought, and we must therefore ensure that we give the police the opportunity to do the job that they undertake and that nothing we do prejudices that."

If Theresa May appeared evasive there was a reason for it and I remain bemused as to why there is no understanding of the point she was making that nothing said in Parliament should prejudice any possible prosecution/legal procedures.

WilmaKnickersfit Fri 23-Jun-17 03:23:56

They all do it, but some are better than others. My problem with TM is she's not one of the better ones. We rarely see her say anything unrehearsed and I think a PM should be able to speak off the hoof, if you know what I mean.

whitewave Fri 23-Jun-17 06:41:21

If i accept your point over one particular question pogs

Perhaps you could caŕry out the same exercise over the past year?
I wont ask the impossible and ask for her entire parliamentary career.

It would help me as well as her civil servants and the press and the voter and parliament to understand her apparent inability to answer a single question

Cold Fri 23-Jun-17 13:11:06

I have come to the conclusion that TM is unable to think on her feet and reply without a fully scripted answer - it was clear on the campaign that she couldn't do this and latched on to a few slogans (strong and stable) and just repeated them over and over again

whitewave Fri 23-Jun-17 13:15:49

Too right cold she was notorious for never making a decision on her feet.

She must be incredibly difficult to work with.

Anya Fri 23-Jun-17 14:00:42

It was Jeremy Corbyn's willingness to address the actual question asked of him in the lead up to the election that made me look at him in a different light. Very refreshing, even when placed in a difficult position.