Top 10 political gaffes
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Boris Johnson made headlines last week when he found himself stuck on a zip wire waving British flags in celebration at Great Britain winning its first gold medal of the Olympic Games. While many politicians would have gone red-faced and tried to forget the whole thing, Johnson’s famous eccentricity and sense of humour has seen his popularity increase even further. TNS takes a look at ten famous political gaffes – many of which weren’t received quite as well. 1. Former US President George W. Bush is the undisputed king of political gaffes. There are almost too many to choose from, but here’s a personal favourite: “Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?” Former Vice President Dan Quayle wasn’t much better in his use of English; at an elementary school he corrected a young child’s spelling of ‘potato’ to ‘potatoe’. 2. Bush’s father George Sr. wasn’t quite as renowned for his gaffes, but he is responsible for one of politics’ all time infamous moments. At a formal dinner in 1992, the President vomited over his host, Kiichi Miyazawa, before fainting. The incident did little for US-foreign relations - the unfortunate man on the receiving end happened to be the Japanese Prime Minister. 3. Senior Tory politician Chris Grayling did nothing to improve public perception of MPs when he criticised a decision he believed had been made by then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown... only to discover it had actually been made by his own party. Cue awkward backtracking and an apology for the “misunderstanding”. 4. Prince Philip may not be, strictly speaking, a political figure, but his comments have time and again caused minor diplomatic damage. He even manages to offend people in his own country – such as the time he compared the opening of Hertfordshire University to a shop that had had its windows “blown in” during the Blitz.
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