Political Leaders: Made of Plastic


In an earlier post, Avoiding the Debate, I discussed some of the reasons why the electorate is increasingly switching off politics and I made the point that some intellectual honesty during political discussions would go a long way to repairing the situation. I would like to develop this theme with a short post for the weekend on the curious incidence of the plastic political leader.

They are all seem to be the same, don’t they? Completely ruled by their media advisors, they all speak the same politico, media-friendly language, and they even wear the same tailored suits. They refuse to acknowledge both sides of the argument, they issue inane and meaningless soundbites and they appear unprincipled shifty, and lacking conviction. Wait for the Leaders’ TV debates if you want to test this theory. Here they are already being prepared for their live TV appearances:


If only they could allow some individual humanity and personality to shine through! We all know what’s required, and it’s not made of plastic. It’s made of real flesh and bone. You can argue about his politics (and I agree that there is probably a degree of political cynicism under the facade) but how is it that Boris is able to win his mayorship twice in a city that votes predominantly labour? Yes, it is probably by appearing eccentric and by by quoting Greek mythology. But the fact of the matter is that people are bored with plastic leaders. At least Boris appears different. He is unconventional and interesting, and this makes people listen to him. Whatever your political leanings, we need to bring back some flawed humanity into the political discourse and a slightly unconventional, offbeat and unpredictable figurehead, so long as he/she was a capable and intelligent manager, would be a good start.

Finally, I don’t wish to endorse any particular politician with this posting and I am sure there would be suitable candidates to replace the plastic Miliband. George Galloway perhaps? Or the maverick Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis. Now he’s certainly not plastic! Any ideas for Cleggers?