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Wisdom from knee height

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I’ve been doing some research for a guest lecture I’m giving next year, a rare opportunity to speak for myself rather than for the organisation I usually speak for. Part of this hard preparation work is watching JFK’s press conferences: if you haven’t already, I recommend them as TV gold with a generous helping of comedy. Where else would you have a political leader saying “When it comes to managing the news, if that’s what we’ve been trying to do, we haven’t been very good at it have we?” Only JFK could pull it off.

But it had a new perspective on the political grilling from a family interview this evening. Mrs Griffin is, unfortunately, ill. The time-of-year lurgy that comes to all educationalists plays particularly vicious havoc with a lupus sufferer. And the cold/cough/infection has done its bit, for she has finally been knocked over and is conducting the business of motherhood from the sofa in a whisper.

Cue our correspondent, Mr Grifflet (3 1/2), seeking the truth fearlessly.

Grifflet: “Mammy, why you lying on the sofa?”

Mam: “Because I’m not very well.”

Grifflet: “Mammy, why are you speaking all quiet?”

Mam: “Because my voice has gone.”

Grifflet: “Where’s it gone?”

Sometimes such a question comes and seasoned press handlers can only admire the questioner’s ability to stump the interviewee entirely while completely missing the point they’re trying to make.

He finished, by the way, by declaiming that his own voice remained loud and telling us all what he thought about the subject at hand.

He’s clearly going to be a political correspondent.

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