Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | October 27, 2013

Self-referential sayings

Students in my class raised the issue of self-referential paradoxes, and the old classics came to my mind:

“Now is not the time for sound-bites. I can feel the hand of history on
my shoulder”.

(Tony Blair on TV, arriving in Belfast for the final stage of the Northern Irish negotiations, 8 April 1998 

The most fantastic thing is that it was not a slip of tongue, it was written by Tony Blair a day before, as could be seen from Alistair Campbell diaries:

Tuesday, April 7, 1998

Mitchell finally tabled his paper around midnight . . . On the plane (to Belfast) we went through the paper in some detail . . . TB [Tony Blair] was a bit fed up with it because he and Bertie had not actually negotiated all this, but Mitchell insisted it was all in there . . . I drafted a few lines, but he pretty much did his own thing. This is not a time for sound bites but I feel the hand of history upon my shoulder.
Hell of a sound bite.


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