Monday, February 15, 2010

What's the opposite of a non-denial denial?

The 'non-denial denial' is of course a long-established staple of politics, with perhaps the classic of its kind being Michael Heseltine's insistence that he could "conceive of no circumstances" in which he would challenge Mrs Thatcher for the Conservative leadership. Well, the current Conservative leader seems to be close to perfecting the polar opposite of the non-denial denial - perhaps it could be christened the 'non-confirming confirmation'. BBC Scotland reported in their evening news that David Cameron had committed the Conservatives to transferring more powers to the Scottish Parliament within the lifetime of his (hypothetical) first term of office. But in the excerpt of the actual interview with Cameron that was shown in the package, he - as far as I could see - committed the Tories to no such thing. Indeed, when he was specifically asked to do so, instead of answering he darted off onto a pedantic point about how he couldn't know the result of the election in advance, or how long the next parliament would last. Somehow I don't think the interviewer was asking him if he could commit to pushing through further powers for Holyrood if he lost the election, so his decision to respond with such absurd literalism is probably rather telling.

My guess is the only early action Cameron is committed to on devolution is the pursuit of some very long grass.

No comments:

Post a Comment