22 November 2009

Can you blame them?

I rarely defend politicians, particularly Messrs Brown and Cameron, and I hardly condone using armistice day as a photo-op

(Slightly more moderate article from the BBC here)

But I am in reflective mood, and when I think about it - it's hardly their fault is it?

They do it because they know we want it - Brown is a clumsy fool and always comes off insincere when he talks to real people, Cameron is a smarmy PR man, but they both play the game, our game

But much like how football's lax rules allow the Henrys, Maradonas and Ronaldos to get away with it while we watch, so too does the political game allow Brown and Cameron to perform these stunts

In reality I want a thoughtful, rational government that doesn't resort to appealing to the lowest common denominator - but if that happened what would we get? They'd be ripped to shreds, they'd be seen as ditherers, weak, boring and so on - because image is king

And we ask for it, we let the media peddle their stories - had Brown and Cameron not showed some heartfelt compassion they would've been seen as ingrates, this time they misjudged it, but for the most part people want them to do completely pointless gesture politics, such as visiting flood victims... or talking to Mumsnet

What the hell can Brown do about floods? Nothing could've prevented a month of rain within a day, this was basically a morale booster - and faced with the choice between our two unelected leaders, I'd prefer the unused, neutral one was put to some use (and while I remember, Peter Hitchens really shows his true colours in this week's column)

But we want our leaders to be 'human', to show compassion - and that ultimately is going to come down to who is the best actor (or not in Brown's case)

I doubt that Brown could ever be an effective leader, but who knows, either way we get useless politicians who can't make a decision for fear of the media and its various agendas, and this is only compounded by the fact that the nature of the game drives away the best sort of people for the job

So I don't blame Brown and Cameron for being shameless media manipulators - we get the politicians we deserve

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