Why don't politicians answer questions?

See new videos before anyone else, and extra stuff like outtakes and deleted scenes PATREON: WEBSITE: TWITTER: @jayforeman Politicians are always accused of avoiding answering questions. If it makes them so unpopular, why do they all do it? Written by LIAM BUTLER @LiamMakesStuff JAY FOREMAN @jayforeman JON GRACEY @jongracey and PAUL KENDLER Presented / edited by JAY FOREMAN Filmed / directed by PAUL KENDLER Research / graphics by LIAM BUTLER Also starring GUY KELLY @brainmage

Jay Foreman

8 years ago

one of the things politicians are always accused of is not answering questions I did not overrule him I did not overrule Dara Thalia threatened to overrule I took advice on what I could or could not do you threatened I overruled him sir this kind of thing is really annoying and it makes politicians look untrustworthy it was slime suspended so why do they do it politicians all suffer from chronic job insecurity if they say anything stupid they could be unemployed within hours or days that's why i
f they're being interviewed on TV on the radio in a newspaper or in the street one of the dangerous things they could do is answer a question let me show you what could go wrong if you give a straight answer in an interview the answer is five thousand one hundred and thirty six pounds and forty five pence the interviewer might know more than you do yes but according to this piece of paper the figures are actually closer to ten million seven hundred and forty six thousand nine hundred and eighty
six pounds and ninety two pence your words can later be used against you yes but in a previous interview you said a different figure which was four million nine hundred and eighty eight thousand seven hundred and two pounds in eleven pence you risk alienating voters so do you mean by that answer you just gave that you want to cut lots of jobs what well no I mean you mean you're in favor of waste that's why politicians are scared to commit to anything being rumbled will make them look hypocritica
l or worse incompetent so if you're a politician how do you get through an interview without putting your foot in it hi I'm pizza botting and I actually exist do you want to survive the next election are you positively petrified of a powerfully pummeled in a partisan political probing I can make you bulletproof one don't like the question change it to a different question well I think what we should be asking is to use vaguely and committal vocabulary look let me be clear interviewers name robus
t plan three imply that the interviewer is too stupid to understand the real answer well that's a really complicated question and we don't have all day so let me try and explain it simply for change the subject I talked about something dreadful your opponents have done let me just change the subject and talk about something dreadful our opponents have done and finally five give an answer that's so confusing nobody knows have you said anything at all well I'm glad you've raised that question inte
rviewers name so let me be clear this is an issue that we're very concerned about and it's about time that we stop dithering got around the negotiating table got it sorted got this right stop getting it wrong and made sure that this issue doesn't get raised again at least not during the course of our government without asking permission first i'ma it's important we have a robust response and here's the thing the argument James I'm putting is this that's not kind of the issue the issue is if we s
ort of stand back and look at the big picture so stop making sense and save your skid call today it's a real pity that this man and several more like him exists slash exists but the reason that he and his clients are so successful is because these tricks keep them out of trouble demonstrably just look at this graph we have to face the fact that in a media increasingly driven by sound bites where everything you say lasts forever politicians are never going to give straight answers their job secur
ity matters more than their job being done effectively so what's the solution there isn't one it's naive to assume that we're older solution to this awful worsening inherently unsolvable problem that's it bye



"Just look at this graph" graph Not sure what I expected


I now get why politicians don't answer questions, but now I'm just annoyed at the media instead of the politicians.... great.


"If [politicians] say anything stupid, they could be unemployed within hours... or days!" God how I wish that were still true...


thanks for the graph!


This is one of the best channels ever.


Or just repeat "Strong and stable" every 5 seconds...


2:58 - "Call today!" ... shows a web address.


And then there are politicians who do answer questions, who do promise impossible things and who do make outrageous, demonstrably false claims, but voters are fine with it for some reason. I know those are an exception to the rule, but it's an interesting phenomenon, anyway.


I just stumbled upon your channel, when YouTube suggested me some educational content. And even though I don't live in the UK, I found myself watching almost every video on your channel for the last couple of hours, leaving me wondering how you can be stuck at 38000 subscribers whilst producing so much top quality content. One could argue that focusing on mainly London / the UK, limits the amount of people who are interested in watching your videos. But anyways, here you've got an instant subscription :) Cheers and keep up the amazing work!!


Watching this in 2018, I can't help but see the juxtaposition of the faces of Cameron, Miliband and Clegg in the intro, immediately followed by the sentence "Politicians all suffer from chronic job insecurity". Three years on, none are still leader of their party, and only one is still an MP at all.


That is one inspirational sign off.


Well, I’m glad you raised that question [interviewer’s name], so let me be clear. This is an issue we’re very concerned about, and it’s about time that we stopped dithering, got around the negotiation table, got it sorted, got this right, stopped getting it wrong, and made sure this issue doesn’t get raised again, at least, not during the course of our government, without asking permission first.


When will he be prime minister?


I don't even live in the UK and I find every single one of your videos informative and hilarious!


"It's a real pity that this man and several more like him exist/exist"


"The figure is [quotes figure]." "But this piece of paper says [quotes different figure]." "Nevertheless, the figure is in fact [quotes first figure]." "That's not what you said last time. Last time you said it was [quotes figure]." "Well, I can now confirm the figure is [quotes figure]. Glad we addressed that. Can I clear up any other points for you?" "Yes, I hear you were involved in the [x, y, z] sex and expenses scandal. Can you shed light on that?" "I doubt it would do much good. If you're determined to associate my name with that, then my answer won't make a difference." "Answer the question." "No." "No as in no you won't answer or no as in no you weren't involved in it?" "No as in no."


Partially it's also the media to blame. Some questions can't be properly answered, either due to their wording implying stuff you can't erase if you just answer or cause the question itself is based on wrong assumptions. Not always the case, absolutely, but it is also a contributing factor.


"their job security matters more than they job being done efficiently" This is possibly the most poignant comment on modern politics.


I once watched a presentation from former Australian PM Kevin Rudd. During the Q&A a woman stood up and she just told him about how her experience with institutionalised racism in the 1970s without asking any question, but Kevid Rudd managed to answer the not-question anyway. I didn't know such smooth fuckery was possible.


Makes me wonder, if it were completely normal for politicians to analyze their statements and change their mind openly and on the fly, for example during an interview, would their credibility really be undermined by it? I know that's largely not the case now, but for me at least it's really hard to trust anyone who can't admit to having made a mistake or misjudgment, and it's trust-inducing to me to hear someone admit to having been wrong, and further if they explained how it happened.