Making It Clear
You’re listening to Our Country Today with Sue Eager and me Jonathan Hustler. It’s ten past eight. There’s been much talk about our inland transport network, particularly since Monday’s statement by Desmond Strange, the man currently responsible for tackling the country’s road and rail problems. We have him here to flesh out his proposals. Now, Mr Strange, you have the prime morning slot to tell us what your plan entails, so please go ahead.
Strange: I’m pleased to have the chance to –
Hustler: And do bear in mind that our time is limited, so it would be helpful if you could stick to your specific brief and avoid advertising your government’s policy in more general matters, or denigrating the opposition’s ideas.
Strange: I will certainly oblige you in that respect, so –
Hustler: You’ll probably never get another opening to speak to so many people at such prime time, and you must be aware that our listeners are astute enough to notice any ambivalence on your part. Let’s get on with it.
Strange: That is precisely what I am attempting to do and my first point is that –
Hustler: Strange by name and strange by nature is how some people are referring to you. Here’s your opportunity to respond to their comments.
Strange: I’ll ignore the non sequitur and do my best to –
Hustler: Attempting, eh? Well, I think most of us would like your attempt to be successful. A good try won’t quite cut it, and I must point out that we have other guests waiting to be interviewed, so as I indicated earlier an element of brevity would be appreciated. Please proceed.
Strange: I’m doing my best to give our audience the most important details, but so far I’ve not been able to do that, thanks to your persistent interrup –
Hustler: Oh, petulance now, is it? Well, I don’t think that will gain you many friends.
Strange: I’d hardly describe my attitude as petulant, considering that I’ve barely been able to get a word in edg –
Hustler: There he goes again. Sadly, we usually have this kind of trouble with politicians. I mean, you all say you want to make things clear, but when put to the test, you’re nearly always found wanting.
Strange: Oh, this is intolerable, and I’ve a good mind to –
Hustler: A good mind, you say. Well, there are those who have expressed doubts about the state of your mind, and you’ve said nothing here to . . . Hey, what are doing? Get your hands off my throat. Ah . . . aagghh . . . aaarrrggghhh . . ..
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