Monday, 12 April 2010

The Battle Between Good Sense and Prejudice

I just watched David Cameron's interview with Mark Austin on ITV.

It was moving.

Having seen 'teary eyed' pictures of David Cameron on the front on newspapers today I was half-expecting something a bit cringe-worthy. But the reality was that he came across with a depth of honesty and feeling that is completely unmatched by anyone else who has been exposed to, or by, the media in politics for... well maybe almost for ever.

Anyone who watched him talking about the life and death of his son Ivan and felt cynical about his words then they really must be suffering from a deep and perverse degree of cynicism or a heart of stone.

Many people express the view that these kind of interviews are undesirable. They are intrusive and even corny - we don't need to delve into the inner-most psyche of politicians. To do so is strange, perverse and distasteful. And those politicians who expose themselves in this way are simply prostituting themselves for power..


The level of general and justifiable public scepticism, as a direct result of the broken promises, 'sleaze', spin,  total insincerity and corruption of politicians, political parties and the political system means that we can no longer make sound judgements on the basis of policy or presentation.

A politician's word is worthless. Policy pronouncements are virtually meaningless. We really don't believe that policies are anything more than the loosest, insincere, untrustworthy advertising messages from highly discredited brands.

So to make our decisions about the people, from the realistically limited options available, that we think should run our country, we have to plumb greater depths than simply looking at policy or listening to spin..

So it is necessary for those who wish to be elected to really expose themselves - to put themselves in situations where we see them discussing their inner thoughts or in situations where their guards slips and we see the inner person.

Because we are no longer making judgements on who has the best message. Messaging is meaningless.

Almost all of us bought Blair to one extent or another. So we now know exactly how pointless, disappointing and tragic it is to be seduced by faked sincerity and superficial charm.

The decision we are making at this tightly fought General Election is largely about who is the best person to run this Country and we need to really know them to make a worthwhile decision.

I don't think we are expecting perfection from an individual and if we see polished (or apparently airbrushed!) images we don't buy them. We want raw, unvarnished honesty more than anything. More than good news, far more than good policy and way, way more than mindless platitudes or sound-bites.

So now ask yourself this.

Does Cameron look like, sound like, feel like he is the best of this generation.. or is there someone else?

I think it is becoming increasingly clear that even given people's prejudices towards his background, the history of the Conservative party and politics in general anyone who is asked this question will have to answer, no matter how reluctantly...erm .. well... Yes, of course, he is.

The best of his generation - the best option.. and frankly given that the only viable alternative is the unelected second best (well maybe) of the previous generation..

The only worthwhile option.

So keep on giving of yourself David (or Dave if you prefer!) because you will get it all back in spades. Not just the reluctant votes or those of hopeless optimists but the considered decision of the broader electorate.


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