Believable Brits

June 23rd, 2009
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“There were turnouts of more than 100% in several cities, so you know there was some gerrymandering going on.” -

BBC correspondent in Tehran, interviewed on CBC Radio One’s As it Happens

Some British people sound smart. A certain sonorous accent has given instant job security to many journalists and newsreaders that, if they were from Nebraska, would be packing crates at UPS. Maybe it was colonial insecurity that led to countless Brits reaching much higher levels of incompetence on this continent than on the old sod. Or we just loved to listen to that Oxfordian music, wavering between insight and condescension. I can’t help thinking of the old SCTV sketch with John Houseman exercising his mid-Atlantic tone reading the Mellonville phonebook.

So it is that a number of the correspondents CBC radio features are Brits. The gentleman above wanted to suggest, quite rightly, that there were irregularities in the Iranian election. No kidding. But seriously, he actually presented quite a convincing analysis of how the fraud occurred. Then he overreached. Gerrymandering of course refers only to a very specific type of electoral funny business – the sinuous drawing of electoral boundaries favouring one party over another. The way he said it though, that lovely pronunciation, almost made it sound right.

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By John Weissenberger