thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
This is slightly different from the other parts of this series. It's a handy guide for any budding young politicians (aka arseholes, parasites etc etc) of some the things you can do but it is wiser not to, or at least not get caught doing...

Leaking To The Press - this is one of the best weapons in a politicians armoury, provided of course that they know how to use it properly. Nearly everyone in the political field leaks, presidents, prime ministers, civil servants, even journalists leak stories to politicians occasionally the trick is to not get caught doing it.

Leaking has long been a way of preparing the public for a potentially unpopular policy.

Here is how it works - firstly you give the basics of a possible new policy to the press who will cite it as being from "sources close to the government" - its easy to get away with it as technically everyone is close to the government in some way - what do I mean? Do you pay taxes? Do you get benefits? Then technically you are directly related to the government. Then the press will run the story and the public will react. If the public don't like it you can say it wasn't your policy anyway it was only "sources close to the government" that were mentioned. If they do like it then you can press ahead with the policy. All you need is a compliant media and you have got it made.


Poetry/Singing - politicians are like adolescents in many ways. They are always certain that no one else really understands, they sulk or don't answer if anyone asks them a pertinent question and most disturbingly, they seem unable to resist the temptation to try their hand at poetry. There are some really, truly awful attempts. Tony Blair at the TUC conference and John Ashcroft at something or other spring to mind (or rather my attempts to eradicate them from my mind have not succeeded).

Physically Attacking Those You Wish To Elect You - A rule famously broken by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott MP who attacked and punched a voter who threw an egg at him and by former Scottish Office Minister and Conservative MP Allan Stewart who, while still in office, threatened activists protesting against an expansion of the M77 motorway by brandishing a pick-axe handle and saying to them "Useful weapon a pickaxe; there's a lot you can do with a pickaxe". It is not clever to bring your siblings or offspring along to such incidents either - at the same incident Mr Stewart's son was charged with a firearm offence.

Being The Aggressor - As much as you talk in other interviews about strong government it doesn't pay to be seen to have picked a fight, from television interviews to invading other countries it always has to appear like self-defence. Therefore you must convince people there is a genuine threat to security before going to war and you must put on a pious aggrieved face when asked a difficult question in interviews - it is vital to appear like a victim before you strike out. If anyone can find a historical exception to this I would be interested to hear it.

Ever Admitting You Were Wrong - with one exception - when the tabloids owned by the most powerful moguls say you are, in which case its good to make an obsequious climb-down speech.

Suing Members Of The Media And Losing - Rupert Allison springs to mind. The TV Show Have I Got News For You suggested that Mr Allison could be referred to as a "conniving little shit". Officially however, this is now true as the TV show won the case!
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 7:17 pm  
  • At 12:01 am, Blogger mikevotes said…

    One of the bizarre features of American politics comes out of our fervent protestantism.

    When one is caught in a lie or a crime, they can often rebuild their reputation by a tearful, "I have sinned" confessional speech best typified by the famous Jimmy Swaggert moment.

    If properly delivered a speech of this type can cover over almost anything.


  • At 9:37 am, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    here they just resign and then get brought back in a different job about 2 months later.

  • At 9:56 am, Blogger justin barker said…

    Nice. The Politician Speak series is great. And, hey, thanks for linking me up.

    Also, it looks like you are doing some cutting and pasting maybe from word or another program. If so, that would explain why you "s and your 's are broken. They're a little better in IE than Firefox. Only about half are broke in the version of IE that I checked with. ...just a heads up if you are cutting and pasting.

  • At 10:09 am, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    cheers - just been fixing it. the posts on front page should be fixed up now.

  • At 4:52 pm, Blogger Nölff said…

    I'm just know getting into British pollitics.

    I've come to realization that the media controlls politics becouse a lot of voters are still baffled by neon things.

    A lot of people can't see past the media's influence.

    Rock on

  • At 3:05 pm, Blogger Philip said…

    On leaking - a slightly subtler practice is to leak a completely insane proposal which the press will faithfully report, provoking an outcry whereupon you can implement a policy which is only three-quarters or ninety per cent insane.

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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
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Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
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  • World of Jack McConnell
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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

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  • the modern era of law
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