This morning on Radio 4 anchorman John Humphrys used the expression ‘with respect’ before tearing into Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne who was attempting, and failing, to extol the virtues of the now-popular-formerly-dull Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. What followed was a huffety puffety diatribe from Huhne, who was feeling less than respected.
Huhne was having a girlie strop.
Lies Lies Lies is impartial. We have no political bent because it is taken as read, by us, that all politicians lie. In this seemingly unending election run in the UK we’ve heard scores of lies in numerous interviews. To claim a politician is a liar is to state the obvious.
What does interest us though, in this context, is the lie that is ‘with respect’.
Anyone who starts an argument with the words ‘with respect’ is demonstrating little or no respect and Humphrys is no exception. ‘With respect’ is merely an attempt to put the knife into the heart of even the most eloquent point. If you hear ‘with respect’ as a pre-amble to a gossamer-thin point you’ll know that the person you are talking to is without doubt, a moron. At this point you are well within your rights to introduce physical violence as a way of settling the issue. Kicking people squarely in the crotch with force is a great deterrent.
Usually it’s the politicians who use ‘with respect’ in an attempt to outfox tenacious journalists and it was enlightening to hear the usually sound Humphrys employing this underhand tactic.
We all know ‘with respect’ is pejorative and we also know that anyone who uses this quite odious linguistic tool on regular occasions should be placed in stocks and have old shoes thrown at them.
We’ll forgive Humphrys though, because he did make us laugh and he’s a crinkley old git. We’re so fickle.