I’m actually old enough to remember watching the “and finally” slot on TV AM some years ago when they pulled out footage of a US Senator called Joe Biden doing a speech with a passage entirely lifted from Neil Kinnock. NK talked eloquently about he was the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to go to university. I can’t remember the exact words but something about these people who toiled for hours in the mines then played football, were they thick? (This is from memory and it was 20 years ago) The answer was “no”; Kinnock had succeeded because he had had a platform. Biden plaigarised the whole paragraph and Kinnock family tree into the bargain! I wish I could find youtube footage of both to present to you in a “spot the difference” way. Biden’s wiki entry includes the following footnote on the gaffe that torpedoed Biden’s attempt to stand as Democrat candidate in 1988:

Biden is filmed repeating a stump speech by Kinnock, with only minor modifications. “Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go a university? Why is it that my wife … is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? … Is it because they didn’t work hard? My ancestors who worked in the coal mines of northeast Pennsylvania and would come after 12 hours and play football for four hours? It’s because they didn’t have a platform on which to stand.”

Having a google the following piece comes up which indicates that Sen Biden has been perennnially talked of as Democratic bridesmaid after withdrawing from the big race. As you’ll know by know Biden is Obama’s running mate for November.

Anyway he’s older and wiser now. The news today is calling him “veteran Senator” rather than Kinnock copyist. Let’s hope that this dream team of youth and experience goes all the way to the Whitehouse now.

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