Once something is said, it cannot be unsaid

The Queen supports Brexit! Well, at least according to an anonymous source she does. The Sun has splashed this story on its front page today aware of its potential impact. The tabloid reports that during a “bust up” with then-Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in 2011, the Queen allegedly said the EU was “heading in the wrong decision”. The Sun, fully aware of the influence the Queen possesses and the power of a headline, knew this would send a cat amongst the pigeons and force Buckingham Palace to issue a statement. Although saying it won’t comment on “spurious” claims, the Palace did reiterate that the Queen is “politically neutral”. Those in favour of Brexit will be quick to highlight how during the Scottish independence referendum the Queen was perceived as discarding the age-old tradition of neutrality in her call for voters to “think very carefully about the future”.

The Queen is not the only person whose choice of words go under the microscope. Yesterday, the Bank of England governor Mark Carney told the Treasury Select Committee that an EU exit is the “biggest domestic risk to financial stability”. Brexiters were quick to criticise Carney for his supposed lack of impartiality, despite the apparent hypocrisy of capitalising on The Sun’s headline. However, Carney’s comments should not come as a great surprise. Since his appointment he has not shied away from making veiled political comments, with the Scottish referendum again another case in point. It seems Carney, just like The Sun, knows the power of a headline and that once something is said, it cannot be unsaid.

Douglas McIlroy

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search