Thursday, August 17, 2006

On Being a Politician

It's hard being a moderate. Who cares about the person standing on a soapbox yelling 'On balance I am balanced?'

After a few brief dalliances with the SDP in the 1980s I became a floating voter and continue to float. I am a natural liberal on most matters, believing legislation should be a last, rather than a first, resort but will use my vote tactically if necessary.

I don't feel I could ever allow myself to be so tied in to one party that I compromised my views on one matter for my views on another. I don't think so anyway. It is tricky saying, 'Apart from the war the New Labour government has done OK.' Anyway I wasn't anti-war when it all started because I believed the government's WMD diagnosis. I will be more wary in future.

I waffle. Here's the reason I'm never going to be a politician. It's spontaneity. My life, relationships and views unfold in the cut and thrust of debate, chat, humour, insensitivity, withdrawal and apology of daily life. I have a sharp tongue and sometimes have to apologise and retract or reconsider pretty quickly. I am getting better at controlling it but without it I wouldn't I don't think, be me.

So John Prescott, a street-wise but non-academic man, has risen to be Deputy Prime Minister but is reduced to a laughing stock by his behaviour. The Now Show only has him speaking to say, 'Please let me go to a ranch. Please.'

And apparently he made a private joke last night about Bush being a no-brain in a cowboy hat or something and now it is being treated as a gaff. What is privacy for an MP, especially a senior one? Non-existent that's what. He can never speak his mind with the speed of street wit (OK it wasn't that funny but you get me) because it will be publicised. These days we get to hear all MP's bad jokes, even those made in private.

Prescott is a former waiter on ships, risen through the Trade Union movement to a position of political power. He can compromise. Fix things. Negotiate. Get people together. He ain't Josh Lyman that's for sure. (Please say you know who that is - if you don't you are sentenced to buying the West Wing box sets 1-6 before reading on.)

You can't judge a man who thumps egg-throwers or uses, 'Can I purve your melons?' in sexual foreplay (apparently) through Eton and Oxbridge spectacles.

Oh yes. And almost everyone in the world believes Bush is a no-brainer in a cowboy hat. He has some good minds backing him up though.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Passionate Moderation. Maybe we could start a new movement.