It’s long been thought that politicians have to be born with either a thick skin or a larger than normal dose of arrogance. Some, however, appear to be born with both.
As a politician you can pretend to listen to your electorate and you can brush aside criticism of your party’s policies in the media. You can convince yourself you are ‘doing the right thing for the country and that you possess the intelligence most others don’t possess, because you have had a paid for education from a system that was not available to those mere mortals who could only rely on the state. In truth, your constituents are only of real use to you once every four or five years and even then, only for a few weeks.
Many members of our present government seem to be living proof of the existence of such character traits. They have promised much, but have delivered very little.
Their programme of austerity was initially hailed as a unique blueprint to save the country from it’s own profligacy. In reality, it has done nothing more than hold our heads just above the surface whilst we float in a sea of financial darkness.
Of course, it is the ‘common man’ who should be blamed for this mess, for he has forgotten his lowly status by living beyond his means – for a while he even had aspirations. It is not the fault of the world’s financial institutions, or those who work for them and who continue to manipulate the financial markets. They are only guilty of using our pension funds, and our savings, as a supply for feeding their collective gambling habit.
So, when does a politician really start to have doubts about his ability and longevity as a ‘born leader’?
I would say it’s probably when an ex-Prime Minister, like Gordon Brown, gets cheered by a stadium crowd at the Paralympics while the present tenant of Number 10 and his Chancellor get loudly booed by the same crowd.
Perhaps, when the time comes to discuss a legacy for the Olympic Stadium, we should take a lesson from the Romans, and continue to entertain the masses by forcing those who display arrogance and a thick skin to exercise the Lions.