Saturday, July 16, 2016

The curse of the selective quote

I should have known that a person as intelligent as Michael Gove would be unlikely to have said something as bongo-brained stupid as his infamous quote on experts appears to be in the form in which it is usually quoted.

It turns out that - surprise surprise - this is a truncated quote which, although I still don't agree with it, is not nearly as daft when you see the whole thing in context.

Not quite up there with Mrs Thatcher's "No such thing as society" quote or Benjamin Franklin's "gain a little security at the price of a little liberty" quote, both of which, out of the proper context, come over as nearly the exact opposite of what was exactly being said.

(Here is what Mrs T actually said in context, and here is how Benjamin Franklin's quote on liberty vs security was misrepresented.)

Nor has Michael Gove been as badly misrepresented as Peter Mandelson was by those who left out the condition "as long as they pay their taxes" from his statement that he was intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich. This is what Mandy had to say about the way his words are often used:

Hat tip to John Rentoul of the Incdependent for explaining the context to what Gove actually said:

The rest of Rentoul's "mea culpa" article is available here.


Jim said...

Things can go wrong when taken out of context quite badly.

One needs look no further than the recent employment of Alexander (aka Boris) Johnson. You see it just makes no sense does it.

Until you find the truth that Theresa May had seen his name on the list, and beside it wrote F OFF unfortunately this confused the office temp.

Chris Whiteside said...

I like that one!