Justin at Chicken Yoghurt has written to Jock Deepfriedmarsbar to ask him what he really meant when he said:
Iran has a clear choice to make: suspend its nuclear weapons programme and accept our offer of negotiations or face growing isolation and the collective response not of one nation but of many nations.
given that the official transcript says that he said:
Iran has a clear choice to make: suspend its nuclear programme and accept our offer of negotiations or face growing isolation and the collective response not of one nation but of many nations.
If he said 'weapons' and meant 'weapons', why doesn't it say 'weapons' in the official transcript, which has been slavishly ctrl+c and ctrl+v'd into news reports by the Guardian and others.
Of course they were given the transcript before Haggis McPrudence had even opened his thin-lipped gob. But why didn't they check that that was what actually did come out of his mouth? Isn't accuracy something important? Or is the word 'weapons' too small a diversion from the script to bother anyone?
So Brown said 'weapons' but history says he didn't. But all those in the Knesset heard him say 'weapons'. He must have meant 'weapons', given that a domestic energy nuclear programme shouldn't be any cause for concern, whereas weapons would be; so why the shyness about saying 'weapons'? If you mean weapons, say weapons. This is quite a serious subject, after all, and words do tend to be important. Maybe Brown said 'weapons' but didn't mean weapons? Maybe he meant 'ladybirds' but said 'weapons' by mistake? Who knows, it doesn't matter: the handout always wins.
Whatever Nessie McIrnbru meant or didn't mean, it shows an interesting little development in modern news: what someone actually says isn't important, if it's easier to cut'n'paste a handout into your story instead. The handout becomes history; what someone actually said doesn't.