Sunday 4 December 2016

Lifestyle tips from Minister for Waffle fail to convince

Published 19/07/2011 | 05:00

LANGUAGE can come back to dog a politician, and never more so than in these politically perilous times when loose lips can scupper ships of state -- or at least blow them off-course, deeper into shark-infested waters.

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Election promises can come back to haunt the over-reaching vote-seeker, as Enda Kenny found out the hard way recently when the Roscommon Hospital controversy erupted, or when Eamon Gilmore (rashly as it transpired) declared that "it's Frankfurt's way or Labour's way" when it came to opposing the ECB.

Or sometimes it's just a word or a phrase that can follow a politician around like a bad smell, while handing opponents a big stick with which to beat them with relish. Therefore, "lifestyle choice" wasn't the wisest of phrases for Social Protection Minister Joan Burton to deploy when speaking about the unemployed, when at the weekend she commented: "What we are getting at the moment is people who come into the system straight after school as a lifestyle choice.

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