Ed Davey, take a bow, for issuing the single worst joke ever made in a political speech, and that is a strongly contested field. The offending item: “I’ve been cautious on shale gas. I’ve been fracking responsible.” Mercifully even the delegates at the Lib Dem conference thought it was awful; it was met by groans and embarrassed silence, apparently.
A few things. One, it doesn’t really work as a pun. There’s no double meaning. “Fracking responsible” doesn’t mean anything. “Fracking” isn’t an adjective. (Nor is “f–king”, exactly, of course, but that’s a much longer discussion.)
Two, “‘fracking’ sounds a bit like ‘f–king'” might have been funny for about 30 seconds in 2010 but it’s not now. It’s been done. Repeatedly. By everyone. Leave it, now, forever.
Third, why does every politician have to try to be a comedian these days? Come back Rachel Reeves, all is forgiven. Give me boring snoring over Dunning-Kruger-effect attempted comedy every time.