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Bruce and that Freudian slip

Published:Saturday | April 24, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

Is a slip always a slip? Everyone seems to produce slips of the tongue which are really windows to the mind. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a Freudian slip is an error in speech, memory or physical action that is believed to be caused by the unconscious mind. Although the error might appear to be trivial or bizarre, an analysis may show some deeper meaning. As the pun goes "a Freudian slip is like saying one thing, but meaning your mother".

Sigmund Freud based his 1901 monograph 'Psycho-pathology of Everyday Life' on such errors claiming that slips of the tongue resulted from repressed thoughts which are revealed by the particular errors which a speaker makes. Although much evidence has been posited to refute Freud's psychoanalytical view, he argued that slips of the tongue were never accidents, as they reveal underlying intentions of the speaker.

If this was not a slip, is it reasonable to assume that Bruce is acknowledging in a 'strange manner', that mistakes were made and that the good minister of finance is now learning, or if one uses a 'save the captain sacrifice the crew' logic, is it that the minister of finance has been selected to take the beating for the Government if or when things go wrong? Or, is it a 'cock mouth kill cock' slip?

I am, etc.,