Richard Anthony Chemaly
5 minute read
20 May 2020
4:34 pm

When leaders stand up and speak on our behalf, who is this ‘our’?

Richard Anthony Chemaly

Recently both Gareth Cliff and John Steenhuisen got a lashing for invoking the terms 'we' and 'us', which was interpreted by their political opponents to refer to a small, probably insignificant, grouping.

Richard Anthony Chemaly. Entertainment attorney, radio broadcaster and lecturer of communication ethics.

The insinuations went further to indicate that the “us” in terms of the interpretation hold a higher privilege than others and therefore do not warrant expression before those at the bottom. While I take issue with the logic, it is not my primary gripe. Nor is the confusingly hypocritical statement of “you do not speak on behalf of us”. What irks me is the political game of controlling narratives regardless of the contesting ideas. In debating, half of what goes into winning is how you frame the debate, set out the rules and define the motion. In political discourse, it’s...