Move along! Nothing to see here!

By Toby Manhire In Politics, The Internaut

Print Share

On at least five occasions during parliamentary question time this afternoon, the prime minister dismissed inquiries over the the SkyCity Convention Centre deal by characterising the Deputy Auditor-General’s findings as “nothing to see here!” or “nothing to see there!”

While his intention was presumably literal, the choice of idiom was a little puzzling.

Because the words “Nothing to see here”, often twinned with “Move along”, are almost invariably used by an authority figure – a police officer, typically – when there is a lot to see.

In popular culture, that is inescapably the case.

The TV Tropes website explains it this way:

Move Along, Nothing To See Here

The standard line used by police officers or The Men In Black keeping people away from something interesting. Usually a case of Blatant Lies. Also often used in Suspiciously Specific Denials.

And offers the example:

Ok folks, show’s over, nothing to see here, show’s… OH MY GOD! A horrible plane crash! Hey everybody, get a load of this flaming wreckage! Come on, crowd around, crowd around, don’t be shy crowd around.
— Chief Wiggum, The Simpsons

The clip from Naked Gun, above, is just as instructive.

Related content:
Jane Clifton: Winner takes it all Subscriber contentIcon definitionSubscriber content

More by Toby Manhire

Post a Comment

You must be to post a comment.

Switch to mobile version