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Japanese MP Drinks Fukushima Water: Top 5 Politicians’ Stunts

Posted on the 02 November 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
Japanese MP drinks Fukushima water: Top 5 politicians’ stunts

Yasuhiro Sonoda drinking the radioactive water. Photocredit:

Would you drink water from the Fukushima nuclear plant? In an effort to prove that the water is decontaminated, a 44-year-old Japanese MP, Yasuhiro Sonoda, has downed a glass of H20 collected from two reactor buildings at the Daiichi nuclear power plant (which went into meltdown during the earthquake and tsunami of 11th March 2011).

He was encouraged to make the demonstration by journalists, who wanted him to prove government claims about decontanimation. According to The Guardian, his hands were shaking. It’s OK, though – the water has had those nasty iodine and caesium elements taken out of it. The MP said, however, that just drinking it wasn’t enough – data was the best way to show the public it was safe. Both the former Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, and his spokesman Yukio Edano have already eaten fruit from Fukushima.

“I am aware that just drinking [the treated water] doesn’t in itself mean that safety has been confirmed. The best way to do that is to present data to the public,” said Yasuhiro Sonoda, quoted on The Guardian.

So what other stupid things have politicians done to endanger themselves in the name of sanity? Let’s look at the top 5.

1. Doing a Gummer. Famously, former British Agriculture Minister John Gummer ate a hamburger with his daughter Cordelia just when mad cow disease was raging.  Both are still OK. The phrase “doing a Gummer” has now entered the language.

2. Doing a Barack. After the BP oil spill in 2010, President Barack Obama decided that he and his daughter would go for a dip in the apparently clean waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Commentators soon turned against him, wondering why he’d use his daughter in a publicity stunt.

3. Doing a Beattie. The Australians got there first – the former Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie, and his successor, Anna Bligh, went in front of the cameras in order to imbibe recycled sewage water. According to The Week, the stunt didn’t work.

4. Doing a Dukakis. Michael Dukakis, in a 1988 presidential campaign, didn’t quite endanger himself – but he did do something very silly. He jumped into a tank wearing full body armor in order to make himself look tough on defence. It only made him look even sillier.

5. Doing … the entire Spanish parliament? Spanish politicians, during the supposed e-coli Spanish cucumber outbreak, jumped over each other to devour the cylindrical fruit on camera. Turned out it didn’t matter in the end – the disease came from Germany, said The Week.

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