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Why don’t politicians answer questions?


One of the things politicians are always accused of is not answering questions. – Did you threaten to overrule him?
– I did not overrule Derek Lewis – Did you threaten to overrule him? I took advice on what I could or could not do… – Did you threaten to overrule him, Mr. Howard?
– and I acted scrupulously in accordance with… This kind of thing is really annoying, and it makes politicians look untrustworthy and slimy 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, if they’re being interviewed on TV, on the radio in a newspaper or in the street one of the dangerousest 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 £5,136.45 Yes, but according to this piece of paper the figures are actually closer to £10,746,986.92 Yes, but in a previous interview you said a different figure, which was £4,988,702.11 So, do you mean by that answer you just gave that you want to cut lots of jobs? Well, no… I mean… er… You mean you’re in favour of waste? *heavy breathing* That’s why politicians are scared to commit to anything. Being rumbled will make them look hypocritical, 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 Peter Botting, and I actually exist! Do you want to survive the next election? Are you positively petrified of being powerfully pummelled in a partisan political probing? I can make you bullet proof! 1. Don’t like the question? Change it to a different question. Well, I think what we should be asking is… 2. Use vague, yet committal vocabulary Look, let me be clear interviewer’s name, Robust plan. 3. 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. 4. Change the subject and talk about something dreadful your opponents have done Let me just change the subject and talk about something dreadful our opponents have done And finally, 5. Give an answer that’s so confusing, nobody knows if you’ve said anything at all. Well I’m glad you’ve raised that question, interviewer’s name So, let me be clear, this is an issue that we’re very concerned about and it’s about time that we stopped dithering, got around the negotiating 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 Erm, look… 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 sort of stand back and look at the big picture… So stop making sense and save your skin. Call today! It’s a real pity that this man and several more like him exists slash exist 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 soundbites where everything you say lasts forever, politicians are never going to give straight answers. Their job security 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 owed a solution to this awful, worsening, inherently unsolvable problem. That’s it. Bye.

100 Comments

  1. Oumshka
    Oumshka July 28, 2018

    what a sad ending 🙁

  2. Årpìt Chawla
    Årpìt Chawla August 20, 2018

    Why don't you post more?

  3. Aussie Pom
    Aussie Pom August 21, 2018

    Politicians are very simple crooked people. They don't answer questions because they don't know the answer. So they play for time.

  4. bromleyben2004
    bromleyben2004 August 30, 2018

    Telebots theme!

  5. generic_twat
    generic_twat September 13, 2018

    Did anyone else notice The Girl Is Mine right at the end?

  6. acrazyutuber13
    acrazyutuber13 September 27, 2018

    This is so pre-Trump.

    Also while things do last forever, thanks to how partisan sh*t works, it can be dismissed as locker room talk, reinforced, claimed to be "taken out of context", or even deemed irrelevant to now. And that's if anything goes wrong with what is said.

    Most of the time, no one's actually paying attention at this point because so much sh*t is said.

  7. SomeThrillingHeroics
    SomeThrillingHeroics October 12, 2018

    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.

  8. Tailor Telhais
    Tailor Telhais October 15, 2018

    If we all voted for the politicians who are the least bad offenders in this regard, we could slowly improve matters. Even better, someone fires or votes no confidence towards those who obviously try to obfuscate their answers and intentions. In a democracy, we're never have to just stick with anything we don't like, though it can take an impractically long time to get certain things done, at least on a big scale.

  9. Jonathan Ball
    Jonathan Ball October 20, 2018

    What a terribly sad ending!

  10. Guilt Azaour
    Guilt Azaour October 22, 2018

    in the last and final second, you broke character
    attention to detail is my middle name :)))

  11. ShaolinMeditator101
    ShaolinMeditator101 November 9, 2018

    Its taken me a dozen videos of your videos to watch til i subscribed. You should be on TV!

  12. bookle
    bookle November 15, 2018

    Can I say this is like Content Cop for UK politicians before Content Cop exists?

    Yeah, this is a weird way of saying how he called out politicians.

  13. Alex Ray
    Alex Ray November 15, 2018

    The only solution to this problem is to ban politicians from running for reelection, but that just creates a whole lot of new problems

  14. stormthrush37
    stormthrush37 November 22, 2018

    Great video. Though I absolutely disagree in your final statement. Just because a solution doesn't presently exist, doesn't mean we can't create one for such an important issue. You're already teasing at the edges of it. Change the incentive structure that creates a system in which politicians are incented against answering.

  15. Brandon Martin-Moore
    Brandon Martin-Moore December 6, 2018

    I think the major TV debates and political talk shows should have a rule where all responses to questions must actually answer that question. Obviously the judging for that would be very very hard to get right, but if it worked it would be brilliant.

  16. David Caudill
    David Caudill December 7, 2018

    I am not a British citizen but I find your take on politics to be quite amusing

  17. ̣
    ̣ December 8, 2018

    Is that tom scott

  18. 1973Washu
    1973Washu December 9, 2018

    I thought that had chronic veritaphobia

  19. Kiworuvu
    Kiworuvu December 9, 2018

    0:55 Oh hello Jezza

  20. eamonnthegr8
    eamonnthegr8 December 9, 2018

    Diane Abbott needs to see this video

  21. King Robert
    King Robert December 12, 2018

    Best one yet! Bye!

  22. fact gasm
    fact gasm December 13, 2018

    PMQs is a complete waste of time as the PM is allowed to respond to questions anyway she chooses. Her answers are so evasive she might as well talk complete gibberish. Just try that in a court of law. But the House of Commons is a court of law! I hear you say. Technically yes, but try getting away with such evasive conduct at a civil or criminal trial and the judge will force you to answer question, and if you still refuse to answer you will find yourself in contempt of court and facing prison. It's this power to compel full and complete answers which is missing in Parliament – and to think Parliament is where politicans are meant to be held to account!

  23. San Jones
    San Jones December 13, 2018

    Damn

  24. 2thinkcritically
    2thinkcritically December 14, 2018

    0:35 Good lord, that's the theme tune to TellyBugs!

  25. Dan HerrickVet
    Dan HerrickVet December 15, 2018

    Diane Abbott is the prime incompetent politician 😂

  26. irene c
    irene c December 15, 2018

    Keep this series going!!!

  27. Cheydinal
    Cheydinal December 15, 2018

    Just dance away while fixing the letters on the wall

  28. Lord Megatron
    Lord Megatron December 18, 2018

    🤣🤣🤣 I seriously can’t stop watching this guy

  29. Philtrash6786
    Philtrash6786 December 19, 2018

    This is video is such a strange mix of youtube and traditional tv

  30. Him
    Him December 19, 2018

    I don't get it.

  31. Nunya Business
    Nunya Business December 20, 2018

    Because people don't like answers. The truth is like poetry, most people hate poetry.

  32. Bas Koning
    Bas Koning December 21, 2018

    A politician failing to give straight answers IS failing at his job. And SHOULD be fired.

  33. Another NPC
    Another NPC December 21, 2018

    Why don't politicians answer questions ?

    Why do cats meow ?

  34. beeurd
    beeurd December 27, 2018

    This is unrelated to the actual topic of the video, but for years I've been trying to remember the name of cartoon I loved when I was very little. I've never been able to remember it, but the second I heard the theme tune 35 seconds in to this video it came back to me: Telebugs!

  35. A. I. L
    A. I. L December 29, 2018

    Or you could use really slimey tactics, like making educational videos and conspicuously leave out any politicians from the party you support :)))))))))

  36. Jesus Gonzalez
    Jesus Gonzalez January 5, 2019

    There is power in boldly grabbing "third rails" with both hands. It's part of the "secret" of Trump…

  37. Kelly Gartland
    Kelly Gartland January 17, 2019

    They could just not lie so they don’t have to keep track of their different answers that could come back to bite them on the bum? 😂

  38. Zachary Meade
    Zachary Meade January 21, 2019

    A simpler time…

  39. siskinedge
    siskinedge January 21, 2019

    I loved the ending so much.

  40. adarsh kumar
    adarsh kumar January 28, 2019

    1:43.
    This is why you shouldn't speak with your mouth full !

    (Seriously tho, what's he saying here ?)

  41. Mr Screamer
    Mr Screamer February 1, 2019

    Just make it so that they can't be fired until they get voted out by the public. They never really get fired anyway. Take Amber Rudd. Caught being incompetent. Forced to resign. Lies low for a few months. Back in the ruddy cabinet again pushing the same agenda to strip every last person in Britain of their privacy … because terrorists.

  42. J.D. Hague
    J.D. Hague February 18, 2019

    Actually, there are several solutions. Each one very unlikely.

  43. Okidoki23
    Okidoki23 February 20, 2019

    Love the intro

  44. Jamie Price
    Jamie Price February 23, 2019

    What do you mean it might make them look incompetent. IMO they do that anyway and in most cases they don't just look incompetent they are incompetent.

  45. haha funni name
    haha funni name February 24, 2019

    So, does Peter Botting actually exist?

  46. Chris Johnson
    Chris Johnson February 25, 2019

    Telebugs!

  47. Eclispestar
    Eclispestar February 26, 2019

    It's actually a very simple answer. Term limits.

    In the US we got a present that can only be elected twice. Usually. On term one they are very careful. On term 2 they go nuts as it doesn't matter they are not running for reelection.

    So yha term limits for representation. One cycle they will be careful. The second they will be honest and not give a crap.

  48. Thunderfjord
    Thunderfjord February 27, 2019

    I noticed that sneaky bit of Depeche Mode, Jay.

  49. pennavedc
    pennavedc March 1, 2019

    I love this video

    But I have a feeling that President Orange might have used this to achieve the presidency, in which case, I dont love this video.

  50. Призрак Отца Гамлета
    Призрак Отца Гамлета March 3, 2019

    The solution is very easy: provide some balls to the interviewers and journalists.

  51. Rishi Guntur
    Rishi Guntur March 3, 2019

    Ayeee

  52. Pickchore
    Pickchore March 5, 2019

    Did I hear the theme tune to Telebugs?

  53. Happy Pancake
    Happy Pancake March 5, 2019

    http://peterbotting.co.uk/

  54. joehoe222
    joehoe222 March 6, 2019

    Why? So they can't say something wrong and make a commercial for their own party.

  55. k
    k March 6, 2019

    sounds like theresa may's script lol

  56. Voice Muted
    Voice Muted March 8, 2019

    Man changes subjects 10 times in 5 seconds

  57. Peter Andreescu
    Peter Andreescu March 10, 2019

    There is one: the current so-called parliamentary democracy sucks, it's a demockery. There should be rounds of direct elections from among borroughs, with the winners going to the next rounds till the very president or prime-minister, if one wants to keep drones, sorry, queens-n-kings (ladies first, beauties after, so bloody sexist, right?) Every candidate should live in her/his area and answer some universal issues about the local, general internal and international state of things, including politics, economics, society, culture and daily issues. Clear answers with clear evaluation criteria should qualify them for the race. Those who are elected and have a say should answer with personal fines for failures due to their own mistakes and the cancellation of their right to re-candidate. Those with real positive results for the community should get rewarded from the budgets of their communities and with rights to candidate again or continue for one additional term without other elections, depending on the level of their measurable successes. Also, people should not compete on ethnic grounds, but on ideology and plans. And, most important, any lobbying and any links between businesses and politics should be cut off and punishable with imprisonment. Like this politics will be for the people, ot for the sharks, like today. But this is compatible with a clean government, a socialist or a keynesianist one, not with the liberal robbery of our times, where a few filthy rich maintain barely disguised dictatorships throughout the west while using their daft puppets, acting as politicians on stage for the masses. Thank you.

  58. William Cameron
    William Cameron March 11, 2019

    course there is a solution, don't have career politicians.

  59. PorkPie Hat D Mingo
    PorkPie Hat D Mingo March 11, 2019

    WOW a graph.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    I'm convinced!

  60. Jared Jeyaretnam
    Jared Jeyaretnam March 12, 2019

    1:57 Jay Foreman is secretly Theresa May?

  61. digers a
    digers a March 12, 2019

    This video still doesn't explain Chris Grayling

  62. Jasper L. Ferini
    Jasper L. Ferini March 16, 2019

    So they don't rat out themselves

  63. Richard Stead
    Richard Stead March 22, 2019

    Very clever , you are number one .

  64. 200K
    200K March 24, 2019

    S P O O N

  65. Demoncard
    Demoncard March 26, 2019

    2:34 You were channeling Ed Miliband just then!

  66. Artuchu
    Artuchu March 26, 2019

    0:21 cant get enough of this intro

  67. British Railways48
    British Railways48 March 30, 2019

    1:30 They're incompetent anyway

  68. BananaPlayz
    BananaPlayz April 3, 2019

    a spoon?!

  69. Wintro
    Wintro April 4, 2019

    Best graph ever at 3:12! 😀
    No units, no title, no nothing – love it – Oversimplify everything! 😀

  70. The Mastermage
    The Mastermage April 5, 2019

    The answer there is no Solution is nearly always false

  71. Some guy with a Quantum Jail
    Some guy with a Quantum Jail April 17, 2019

    But in other places or country you are encourage or you have to answer those questions

  72. MisterVideosoEx Minecraft, ROBLOX, & More!
    MisterVideosoEx Minecraft, ROBLOX, & More! April 17, 2019

    Each episode the last politician is something random. It was a spoon today

  73. Rohan Cassidy
    Rohan Cassidy April 21, 2019

    These videos have an 'Adam & Joe Show' feel to them. Good stuff, keep it up.

  74. sharpshooter33
    sharpshooter33 April 29, 2019

    I probably should have seen that ending coming.

  75. Zapdog
    Zapdog May 9, 2019

    Because they know they’re wrong. That and they never listen to the people.

  76. thexalon
    thexalon May 13, 2019

    In the immortal words of the late great Graham Chapman: "Well speaking as Conservative candidate I just drone on and on and on… never letting anyone else get a word in edgewise, until I start foaming at the mouth and fall over backwards."

  77. Frankie Ley
    Frankie Ley May 14, 2019

    So your brother made the titles music?

  78. allaroundme
    allaroundme May 22, 2019

    Politician's don't answer the questions because they can't tell the truth.
    Until we get a politician who can is selfless … Or Until the public stops looking at one polician as if they are a saviour and expects them to give infallible answers and doesn't expect them to change and grow with circumstances/new information… Nothing will change.

  79. Daniel McAllister
    Daniel McAllister May 23, 2019

    your comps speakers are not pointing at an optimal level FYI. Great vids.. keep em coming

  80. Mike Dignum
    Mike Dignum May 24, 2019

    You can always tell when a politician is lying.. They open their mouth.

  81. Ian Warburton
    Ian Warburton June 2, 2019

    What’s the music playing during the tips?

  82. Pigeon Scratch
    Pigeon Scratch June 4, 2019

    Did you threaten to overrule him, Mr. Howard?

  83. Ravi Yarwood-Paintal
    Ravi Yarwood-Paintal June 5, 2019

    Here's an idea. Always tell the truth then the public will like you better.

  84. Halotaku
    Halotaku June 7, 2019

    Then why do interviews at all?

  85. B.M. Whindle
    B.M. Whindle June 20, 2019

    oh man this is depressing

  86. Joseph De-haan
    Joseph De-haan June 30, 2019

    There is a solution. End adverserial democracy. Move more towards a concensus based system. Redefine what a politician is. Legislate against corruption and conflicts. Stabilise their careers.

  87. tollerest
    tollerest July 8, 2019

    the solution is education. If people understand how the system really works then MP jobs become more secure. i wasn''t taught about our political system at school, why the hell not. i spent 1hour a week being taught about different magical religions and all the crap that surrounds these dellusions for years and not an ounce of infomation about politics that id have the right to vote on current issues for the rest of my life(it almost seems that its intentional to ill-inform us that the system is you vote for a prime minister so dont influence our agenda by voting green ukip or libdem. because its pointless, and hey pay tv licence and we can influence your news and voting) literally 35years old voted only a few times in my life due to reasons you address in other videos and just learned more from you in 2hours on youtube.

  88. Costa
    Costa July 10, 2019

    Jesus – peter botting actually exists!!!

  89. Peter Bowles
    Peter Bowles July 11, 2019

    Jobs and growth… jobs and growth

  90. TazerFox
    TazerFox July 16, 2019

    who else thinks of that one meme

  91. Ryouga Hibiki
    Ryouga Hibiki July 18, 2019

    "their job security matters more than they job being done efficiently"

    This is possibly the most poignant comment on modern politics.

  92. Nelson Gono
    Nelson Gono July 19, 2019

    Oh my word this is funny

  93. Saif Ullah Khan
    Saif Ullah Khan July 24, 2019

    Is Peter Botting supposed to be a younger version of Stephen Fry?

  94. Autotrope
    Autotrope July 30, 2019

    Exists slash exist is the funniest thing I've heard today ta

  95. Paul Quaife
    Paul Quaife July 30, 2019

    Just noticed the title music is by beardyman… Where's the beatboxing?

  96. Centrist Chad
    Centrist Chad July 31, 2019

    Career politicians shouldn't be a thing. People who've done amazing things for humanity should be asked to lead us, fuck it, pay them double. Not some posh cunt who went to a private school who can't even relate to the average ordinary British person.

  97. Antonio SCENDRATE GATTICO
    Antonio SCENDRATE GATTICO August 1, 2019

    That's the issue with live debates and interviews, isn't it?
    Honestly, it's a problem of expectations. Politicians always needing to appeal to a majority carries huge problems with it, of needing to constantly adhere to ill-defined expectations.

  98. Julia Hanson-Clinnick
    Julia Hanson-Clinnick August 1, 2019

    3:10 nice graph

  99. Janjão Jonata
    Janjão Jonata August 1, 2019

    Politics is a popularity contest.
    How ashamed we should be for allowing these ticks to go on earning so much of our money

  100. Kieran Gallagher
    Kieran Gallagher August 3, 2019

    That’s it, bye

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