BY WILL PATCHING
The hapless Gordon. What opportunistic politics devolve into.
May 16th, 2008
So, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is considering hosting a TV reality show in an effort to boost his image. The idea was mooted in some confidential Cabinet briefing notes recently photographed while being carelessly paraded by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears. The show, which would be based on “The Apprentice”, will come with the pant-wettingly exciting title, “Junior PM.”
Whatever next?If anyone needed evidence that our political system has finally slithered beneath a scum of mediocrity and cynical media manipulation, just the idea that such a show could be seriously considered by Britain’s most important political figure provides it.
Apparently, soundbite politics – modelled on the US where government lies and propaganda are brazenly touted as nothing more sinister than ‘spin’ – along with the vacuous cult of personality, typified by Tony Blair’s style over substance approach, are the answers to Britain’s latest political problem: the nation has been saddled with a highly unpopular PM.
“I wanna be like The Donald!”
So his cronies want to ‘re-package’ him.
Brown is no Boris Johnson – the popular and ‘lovable’ aristocratic buffoon who can at least justify his TV celebrity status. Johnson oozes natural charisma, has photogenic looks, and entertains us with a quirky wit that lurks behind his bumbling Etonian facade. Brown cannot hope to emulate him: he is nothing more than a dreary, dour, po-faced, ever-so boring politician. And he doesn’t really want to change – it’s just that he’s been identified by his party faithful as a liability at the ballot box.
But the answer is not for us to see more of Gordon. Frankly the less time he spends attempting to display his credentials as a real human being the better…
Some of us thought he had enough to do already. Like, maybe running the country?
Brown’s Britain already has its own depressing reality show:
The economy is nose-diving after several years of Brown’s mismanagement: this despite the UK having experienced one of the longest boom periods in recent history, something which should have left us strongly placed to weather the current economic storms. Not to mention the fact that we are still enGulfed in an oil war, with our military seemingly strapped to Bush’s thigh like a handy six-gun.
Perhaps Brown doesn’t understand the British people’s actual reality revolves around their concerns over immigration, job security, inflation, after tax incomes, education, health care, national security and war?
You can almost hear them in number 10, yakking over their champagne cocktails and caviar – “Never mind all that Gordon. Let’s just toss them another trashy reality show. They do love their telly. That’ll win us loads of votes…”
Leadership is not about popularity – can you imagine Thatcher ever contemplating such a move?
People vote for strong leaders, for leaders who get results, for leaders who strike a chord with the mood of the people, leaders with the courage of their convictions… Many electors disliked Thatcher but voted for her because they knew she had what she believed were the country’s best interests at heart.
Surely the Labour government has had plenty of time to achieve something to justify re-election. When they get beaten at the next general election it will have nothing to do with whether their latest leader ‘starred’ in a manufactured reality show aimed at boosting his popularity by frolicking in the cesspool of media manipulation.
It will be because Brown and his crew failed to deliver.
Will Patching is a frequent contributor to Cyrano’s Journal Online. His main blog is located at http://willpatching.com/
Find more on this here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7399700.stm