George W Bush is famous for his "Bushisms". But he isn't the first politician to mangle the English language, and he won't be the last. This page provides examples of unconsciously funny political statements and speeches collected from Walter Jerrold's Bulls, Blunders, and Howlers. The extracts are reproduced for readers in countries where the book is in the public domain, which, to the best of our knowledge, includes Australia. For other countries, please check your local copyright laws.
Joseph Devlin MP:
"I and my colleagues are the only people who can come to this House and speak with clean hands"
Lord Balfour, House of Lords:
"The noble lord shakes his head, and I am very glad to hear it"
A Parliamentary candidate, answering a question about his religious beliefs:
"My great-grandfather was baptised in the Church of England, married in the Church of England and buried in a Church of England graveyard. And so was I."
Sir Boyle Roche:
"I don't see, Mr Speaker, why we should put ourselves out of the way to serve posterity. What has ever posterity done for us? By posterity, sir, I do not mean our ancestors, but those who are to come immediately after them."
Sir Boyle Roche:
"I smell a rat, I see it floating in the air. But mark me, I shall yet nip it in the bud".
Sir Boyle Roche:
"Mr Speaker, the profligacy of the times is such that little children, who can neither walk nor talk, may be seen running about the streets cursing their Maker".
Sir Boyle Roche:
"I would give up half — nay, the whole of the constitution to preserve the remainder".
When debating the union of the English and Irish Parliaments, Sir Boyle Roche declared his love for them was so great that he:
"would have the two sister countries embrace like one brother"
An impassioned speaker during a General Election campaign:
"Our opponents are trying to win this election with a campaign of lying; but, thank Heaven, we have a candidate who can beat them at their own game"
An Irish MP:
"Since the Government have let the cat out of the bag, there is nothing to do but take the bull by the horns"
An unnamed MP:
"I wish the motion was at the bottom of the bottomless abyss"
A commentator, on the state of political affairs:
"It's enough to make a man commit suicide or perish in the attempt"
A voter, on the state of his country:
"Her cup of miseries has been for ages overflowing, and it is not yet full"
News and Updates
3 May 13: "Sister" book, The Funny Dictionary, now available as an e-book. Buy here for just $6.95.
15 June 12: Improve your vocabulary with the recently updated English Language Skills site!
30 Nov 11: Author of Funny English launches Facebook Fan Page for new book, The Funny Dictionary
19 Nov 11: Order Funny English for Christmas. Order here, from anywhere in the world.
9 Sep 11: Funny English author, Troy Simpson, to give Author Talk, 15 Sept 11 (updated: SOLD OUT)
27 April 11: Funny English is the National Library Bookshop's No 1 Bestseller for Autumn 2011! Order your copy while stocks last
8 April 11: Author of Funny English, Troy Simpson, joins fellow author Denise Sutherland in launching the website, English Language Skills.
11 Jan 11: Read the review of Funny English in Teacher: The National Education Magazine here.
11 Jan 11: Sister website, Write Better English, finds new owners. Read press release.
25 Dec 10: Funny English receives glowing review in Teacher: The National Education Magazine (more details soon)
21 Dec 10: A video of the launch of Funny English is now available
16 Dec 10: Troy Simpson and Denise Sutherland to write a book of funny definitions
15 Dec 10: Author of Funny English announces work on new book of funny exam answers
11 Dec 10: Author of Funny English attends book signing at Borders
22 Nov 10: Funny English reaches 60,000 Facebook Fans
21 Nov 10: Funny English is featured on ABC Radio's Tuesday Morning Book Club
19 Nov 10: Funny English moves up into Borders' Top 10 Bestseller List in Humour & Gifts
13 Nov 10: Funny English makes Borders' Top 20 Bestseller List in Humour & Gifts
8 Nov 10: Funny English debuts in the National Library's bestseller list for October at number 3
4 Nov 10: Funny English receives positive review by The Canberra Times. Read the review here.
31 Oct 10: Funny English is available from Borders' Christmas Catalogue under "Hot Gifts for Everyone"
29 Oct 10: Readers' positive feedback floods in. Read news ticker for examples.
29 Oct 10: Funny English is officially launched. Details to follow.
23 Oct 10: Funny English reaches 50,000 Facebook Fans
18 Oct 10: Funny English moves up from 9th to 8th in NewSouthBooks' Top 10 Bestsellers — in all categories
13 Oct 10: Funny English is most "Liked" book in Humour at Borders
8 Oct 10: Funny English moves up NewSouthBooks' Top 10 Bestsellers — in all categories
6 Oct '10: Author of Funny English interviewed by Carol Duncan on ABC radio Newcastle/Sydney
4 Oct '10: Funny English enters Top 5 Bestseller List in Humour for Borders
4 Oct '10: Author of Funny English interviewed by Ross Solly on ABC radio Canberra
2 Oct '10: Funny English enters Top 10 Bestseller List for NewSouthBooks
1 Oct '10: Funny English is top pre-order in Humour for Borders
1 Oct '10: Funny English appears in bookstores