The political pundits have had a field day over Jeremy Corbyn’s muttering ‘stupid people’ in the House of Commons. The problem is that many of them think that he said ‘stupid woman’ about Prime Minister Theresa May during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.
There were calls for Corbyn to return to the chamber to apologize, and when he did return he explained that he had said ‘stupid people’. This did not stop the mob of wishful thinkers. It seems that they cannot believe him, although the Speaker said that he should be taken at his word.
Which is worse? Miscalling someone, misinterpreting someone, falsely accusing someone, or not believing someone? This is the state of current political debate.
Lip readers were consulted and although they were divided it seems that most were of the opinion that he said ‘woman’ and one who thought he said ‘people’ was discredited by the Daily Mail. This apparent confirmation only heightened the outcry because it seemed to justify the accusations by Corbyn’s detractors.
Look at his eyes
The debate has been about his lips but no-one to my knowledge has commented on Corbyn’s eyes.
Not only do his lips show him saying “stupid people”, a double ‘p’ movement in ‘people’, not the ‘w’ forward lip movement in ‘woman’, but if he had said “stupid woman” he would have been looking at Theresa May. However, he did not do so. He looked to the left and right along the government benches and, evidently responding to their baying cheering of their leader, muttered about them: “Stupid people.” The Prime Minister had just told him to look behind him; instead, he looked along the government benches.
Theresa May’s words
However, this leads to a timely reminder of the rather infamous remarks by Theresa May as Home Secretary when she emphasized her solemn pledge to the 2010 Conservative Party Conference, which I think was prefaced by ‘read my lips’. “Listen very carefully – I will say zis [sic] only once” that immigration numbers would be brought down to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament. She failed to do so.
These tens of thousands are still being repeated in public debate on the White Paper on post-Brexit immigration published this week. It seems that Theresa May’s bad experience in being unable to control immigration from the EU, and her inability as Home Secretary to deport as readily as she would have liked, on one occasion overlooking a deadline to do so, has steeled her resolve to see Brexit through although she was a ‘Remainer’.
George H. W. Bush made “Read my lips” famous by saying “no new taxes”, whereas he went on to raise taxes.
“Read my lips” has a habit of coming back to bite the speaker.
21 Dec 2018: 8:34 p.m. George Galloway’s Mother of All Talk Shows on talkRADIO kindly allowed me to publicize this point on the national airwaves for others to reassess their prejudicial statements and opinions.