The bland, sterile words; the evasive body language. “Political Speak” is easy to detect, says Patrick “it’s Paddy” Gower. He sees it in the unnatural gestures, and hears the squeaky-clean talking points ring hollow.
“It’s almost a foreign language,” says Gower, speaking in the slow, purposeful voice you hear weeknights on the telly. “My job is to translate it.”
Gower first reckoned with Political Speak back in 2008, when covering his first election. Technology has changed since then, but, ultimately, the job of election coverage hasn’t. “It’s like: go, ask questions, find out stuff, turn it into a story, tell the people what’s going on,” he says. “My job is pretty much the same. Except I wear makeup now. I didn’t wear makeup in 2008.”
Charting the election’s twists and turns; breaking scoops; holding power to account; setting the nation’s political discourse. Right now, Gower’s life is hectic. “Actually, hectic is an extreme understatement. Chaotic. Volatile. Crazy. I have to say, it’s actually pretty scary right now.” So how does he take care of himself?
“I eat a lot of almonds. I don’t even know if they’re good or bad for you, I just eat a lot of almonds. Sometimes I’ll have a handful, sometimes a pack. I’m very disappointed there was no almond/cashew question in The Grill.” Well, sorry Paddy. Even so, Gower agreed to take our Sunday Grill.