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Keep Your Mouth Shut

Some amusing quotes from Matthew Parris' and Phil Mason's Mission Accomplished – Things Politicians Wish They Hadn't Said:

Can I have a pot of that nice avocado mousse.

Peter Mandelson, reported remarks in a fish and chip shop in his Hartlepool constituency, pointing to the mushy peas. He insists that the story is apocryphal.

It’s not a day for soundbites, really, we can leave those at home. But I feel the hand of history on our shoulder in respect to this.

Tony Blair, press conference, during Northern Ireland Good Friday peace negotiations, April 1998

Jack Straw, Home Secretary, visiting a Bournemouth old people’s home during the 1999 Labour Party conference, to a resident: “Do you know who I am?” Resident: “No dear, but if you ask matron, she will tell you.”

I asked Boris Yeltsin to tell me briefly what the situation in Russia was like. “Good,” he said. I asked for a longer version. “Not good,” he replied.

John Major, former Prime Minister, reminiscing, November 1999

I asked the barmaid for a quickie. I was mortified when the man next to me said it’s pronounced “quiche”.

Italian Ambassador to Britain, Luigi Amaduzzi, 2001

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