How to write political spin

You really can’t fail to admire the ways in which political journalists and politicians manage to write accounts of events and issues which, though vaguely accurate if you stretch your imagination, vary hysterically and often hilariously in how the subjects are portrayed.

political spin

Spin description of a prison sentence: a “holiday paid for by Her Majesty.”

What exactly do we mean by “political spin?”

According to our beloved Wikipedia

“In public relations and politicsspin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure. While traditional public relations and advertising may also rely on altering the presentation of the facts, “spin” often implies the use of disingenuousdeceptive, and highly manipulative tactics.[1]”


And on another occasion I might take issue with Wiki where it says that PR and advertising “may also rely on altering the presentation of the facts,” largely because these days consumers are far too bright to fall for bullsh*t. In any case there are authorities in many countries now that regulate PR and advertising so if they’re caught “re-angling the truth” they can be heavily penalised. Bloody right, too.

Where political and other spin can give us a laugh

I think one of my favourite examples of spin is in relation to prison sentences.

Years ago, when it was fashionable for British aristocrats to “winter,” (as a verb) in other words spend their winters in the south of France on the “Riviera” so escaping the dank winters in “Blighty,” someone once described a prison sentence as “wintering in Pentonville,” pronounced the French way. Pentonville is a Category B prison in London, England.

Still with the criminal interpretations, a prison sentence in the UK is often referred to as one of the following:

**A holiday courtesy of Her Majesty
**An extended sabbatical paid for by HM Government
**An onward learning course in rehabilitation of criminals
**…and various others.

But the following interpretation of political/criminal spin takes First Prize…

Many thanks to my cousin Janet M from Canada who shared this wonderful example from Australia with me recently… original author unknown, but whoever you are, thank you so much!

Judy Rudd, an amateur genealogy researcher in south east Queensland, was doing some personal work on her own family tree.

She discovered that ex-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd‘s great-great uncle, Remus Rudd, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Melbourne in 1889.

Both Judy and Kevin Rudd share this common ancestor.

The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows at the Melbourne Jail.

On the back of the picture Judy obtained during her research is this inscription:

Remus Rudd horse thief, sent to Melbourne Jail 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Melbourne-Geelong train six times. 
Caught by Victoria Police Force, convicted and hanged in 1889.’ 

So Judy recently e-mailed former Prime Minister Rudd for information about their great-great uncle, Remus Rudd. 

Believe it or not, Kevin Rudd’s staff sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research:

“Remus Rudd was famous in Victoria during the mid to late 1800s. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Melbourne-Geelong Railroad.. 
Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. 
In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the Victoria Police Force. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honour when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.” 

That really does deserve a ROFLMAO….

What examples of political and other spin have made YOU laugh the most?

Please share here in the comments…

 

 

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