Fail but not farewell.. it's law of the bungle

Back in the 70s politicians were a rum lot - a fabled breed of fabulous, mythical oddities like unicorns or goblins. Because of this, things were a lot more fun. These days, every aspiring politico from Clegg to Osborne to Balls to Miliband to Cameron is a cookie-cutter facsimile of each other - a nice young, smiley, posh Stepford Hubbie with a nice wife and a nice suit and a polo shirt for the holiday snaps. But once politicians were immensely fat (Cyril Smith, right) or incredibly mad (Keith Joseph) or had wild eyebrows or smoked pipes or, as in the case of Enoch Powell, had a name as nutty as their politics. Enoch is best known today for a crazy speech in which he predicted that the streets of Britain would run with rivers of blood if we allowed black people - just like Barack Obama - to live here. Well, I did say it was crazy. But he also said something very wise too. He said that all political careers end in failure.

By this he meant that politicians never quit at the top and usually retire at the point of defeat. Until recently, he was right. But being a failed politician is now a valuable first step on the lucrative ladder of celebrity. Take Brian Mawhinney. Once he was a bullying hatchet man in the dying days of the last Tory government. Then when that gravy train was derailed he became Chairman of the Football League, bringing to the great English workingclass game all the expertise and commitment youd expect from a religious ultra-Conservative Ulste

rman academic with a background in medicine. This week, Mawhinney launched into a pathetic attack on the FAs director of football Trevor Brooking, who has only the meagre experience of decades of firstclass 2020第74期新版跑狗哪里有 football and 47 Engla

nd caps to justify his job. Replying to Brookings concerns about youth development, Mawhinney sneered: Sir Trevor has been banging on about this for two-and-a-half years... Somebody has to ask themselves why n

obody has responded to him, including his employers, but I can tell you the Football League is running out of patience with him. He concluded with astonishing cheek: None of us must assume that because we were very good in one job that we are very good in all jobs. Once, they were shoved upstairs into the Lords or shippe

d of

f to Brussels. But this doesnt seem to be

enough for some. So Michael Portillo and Ann

Widdecombe make gimmicky TV documentaries. And with the advent of the reality TV show, whole new avenues of exhibitionism have opened up. George Galloway was the pioneer and now Robert Kilroy-Silk has seemingly forgotten that he is paid a handsome wage to represent his hapless constituents as an MEP. Next time a po-faced politician is bleating about why we give their kind such little resp

ect, ask yourself whether leading lights of the arts or sport would lower themselves like this. Whether Kate Bush or Stephen Fry, Bowie or Beckham, Victoria Wood, Alan Bennett or Ricky Gervais would ever, ever pretend to be a cat with Rula Lenska or eat eyeballs with Timmy Mallet. Then wonder how long it will be before Derek Hatton turns up on Strictly. FAILING AS A POLITI

CIAN IS NOW A FIRST STEP TO OTHER THINGS

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