Andrew Kaye writes speeches for Vince Cable, the Business Minister of Britain. Kaye also likes to tweet about Brits, too. For instance, according to a report in The Sun, he called U.K. "grey" and a "shit heap," full of people "yakking on their fucking phones."
Naturally, I like Kaye's style, and a Department of Business spokesman defended him, saying, "These are private tweets, made in a private capacity."
But U.K. Speechwriters Guild founder Brian Jenner gently suggests to his speechwriting colleagues that Kaye is in the wrong: "Shouldn't our attitude be: I only express the opinions that I'm paid to."
Should a professional race car driver confine herself to public transportation?
Should a farmer not grow a garden?
Should a prostitute never have sex with his wife?
Not that speechwriters are prostitutes. Most aren't, actually. Most marry their ethics and their intellects—though not always passionately—with the institution and the speaker they serve. That's good.
But retaining one's own voice requires using it now and then—straight and loud and true.
At your own risk, of course. And with the hope that your honest opinions don't directly contradict the positions you professionally promote. In which case you would, in fact, be a prostitute.
Anyway: A.K., I've got your back. And B.J., upon reflection, I'm sure you do too.