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Mis-Communicator of the Week: Angela Constance

5th November 2015


There were many faults to the way John Prescott used to communicate when he was deputy prime minister. His repeated mangling of the English language is legendary as is his robustness, most famously seen in the 2001 General Election when he brawled with a protestor in north Wales.

Prescott, although careful to avoid admitting to his various inadequacies during his career as a senior politician, must have been aware of a need to protect his own reputation. One way he would do this is to deliberately spoil a pre-record interview by swearing and so making the clip unusable. This worked well for many years until he tried to spoil an interview, where he had mangled the English language to an extreme level even for him, only to instead find himself swearing live on the BBC.

Jump forward to 2015 and another politician has made the same mistake. SNP MSP Angela Constance seemed to have memorised her briefing notes too literally and talked of twenty thousand and twelve rather than 2012 in an interview with the BBC Sunday Politics. She then asked if she could start again. The interview agreed to her request before gently pointing out that the interview was live.

Constance is shocked by this revelation and her face is a picture as she realises what she has done. It is a good part of any media appearance to be willing to deliver your lines until you are satisfied but only if this is in a pre record situation. Not checking first is a huge error and can often result in embarrassment which is why Angela Constance is my Mis-Communicator of the Week.

Mis-Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite.


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